Lia, along with Rafe, are being held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Verda. Lia feels betrayed and confused by both by Rafe, who lied about who he is but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her, and Kaden, who has given her a gift to the Komizar but he did choose not to assassinate her. Venda is not what Lia was expecting it to be and she tries to control her gift and her sense of self, and has to fight to not be a pawn in Verda’s politics.
The Heart of Betrayal is the enjoyable sequel to The Kiss of Deception and while predictable it was a fast read and I did not want to put it down. That being said, like the previous book not much happens and there is too many pages for the amount of story in it. It is still really romance heavy and while it did feature some of the politics of Verda there was not much magic and fantasy elements to it. However, it was nice that we got to see Verda and its people, and it is hard not to feel sorry for them, even if we did not see much of what was happening outside this nation.
Lia is playing a dangerous game in this book, especially as she is quite impulsive, but also she has grown and shows compassion to the people of Verda. Rafe is clever, sometimes idealistic and has to learn to control his anger and repress who he truly is to survive. Although it is annoying, and makes a bit of a dull story, that both of them were waiting to be rescued rather than being proactive and trying to escape themselves. We learn more about Kaden past, which makes me feel sorry for him even though I did get annoyed at his unwavering loyalty to the Komizar.
I did like this book but it did not really improve on the first book, and I am worried that the third book The Beauty of Darkness will have the same problems as the rest of the series. I would recommend The Heart of Betrayal to fans of the first novel The Kiss of Deception.