Read Palace of Deception by Helena Fairfax Online


A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess - mystery and suspense in a Mediterranean palace.When Princess Charlotte of Montverrier disappears on the eve of her Investiture, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life.But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist LizzieA sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess - mystery and suspense in a Mediterranean palace.When Princess Charlotte of Montverrier disappears on the eve of her Investiture, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life.But in the run up to the ceremony, all is not what it seems in the Palace of Montverrier. Why does the housekeeper insist Lizzie keep to her suite of rooms? What danger lies outside the palace walls? As Lizzie learns her role, her only confidant is Léon, her quiet bodyguard…but what secrets is he keeping from her?Mystery and suspense against the backdrop of a beautiful Mediterranean city....

Title : Palace of Deception
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25879188
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 76 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Palace of Deception Reviews

  • N.N. Light
    2019-01-30 20:13

    A princess has gone missing and Lizzie is asked to fill in for her. Her only friend is her bodyguard, Leon. As the coronation approaches, Lizzie realizes that her very life might be in jeopardy and the one person she trusts the most is keeping things from her. I loved this romantic suspense! I've been a fan of Helena Fairfax for awhile now and in this one, she amps up the stakes. Highly recommend! My Rating: 5 stars

  • Bobby Underwood
    2019-02-08 15:08

    This novelette of romantic adventure lightly touched with suspense is surprisingly quite wonderful. It’s a very nice read with no eye-rolling moments because it is devoid of all the frivolous chick-lit moments which so often haunt these type of reads. It is neither bland, nor silly beyond words. The characters are likable, and the setting is wonderfully described as the author truly puts you there. Despite the implausible sounding premise, by making the characters and setting seem just real enough, this has the feel of a light romantic film done well. I kept picturing Marisa Tomei as the heroine, in fact.Elizabeth Smith is a struggling actress in Scotland whose funding for her troop of actors teaching at schools is running near rock bottom. Then Mr. Ross gives her an opportunity to make more than she needs in just five weeks. Soon she is in Southern Europe, touching down secretly in a lovely little country nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean, called Montverrier. Her arrival has to remain secret because she is to impersonate Princess Charolette, who has done a runner. With unrest — possibly even violent opposition — among the population, who do not hold women in high regard, her coronation as Queen at the Investiture must not be delayed.Allaying Lizzie’s apprehension is the money she’ll earn for impersonating Charolette, and her assigned bodyguard, Leon. Yes, the premise sounds a bit like a fairy tale for adults, yet never feels unreal. There are warm and magical moments, such as a starlit escape to the balcony when the cloistered atmosphere of the palace becomes too much for Lizzie. And there are a few moments where the actual danger begins to take shape. It’s all lovely and romantic, yet grounded and — almost — believable, despite the enchantment of the story.I can’t reveal more, but the ending is near perfect for this type of story. The narrative is all the better for the low-key manner author Helena Fairfax maintains. It’s accomplished so marvelously well, that one almost hates to term it as romantic fluff. Perhaps it is, but it is also extremely enjoyable, and at less than a hundred pages, never has a chance to bog down or become romantic filler. It’s such a nice read, I immediately picked up The Scottish Diamond, which apparently continues what has begun at the charming ending of Palace of Deception. Anyone with a romantic heart should enjoy this one. I found it a terrific surprise, and at around a dollar for the Kindle story, I was glad I picked up this one. I give it my highest recommendation for those who enjoy this genre from time to time. Nicely done!

  • Sue
    2019-02-01 17:00

    What a good light hearted novella, a perfect quick read for when you need something to read without having to think to much but just immerse yourself in a good story. Just what I needed after reading a few thrillers that took far to long to get where they were going. Thank you Helena for the chance to read your beautiful book via your newsletter.

  • Caroline Barker
    2019-02-04 21:12

    There are many reasons to fall for this romantic novella; not only is the suspense powerful and intense, and captivating with a hot bodyguard in Léon, but the story is set in a picturesque town between mountains and the Mediterranean, which is perfect for a romance. Yes, Montverrier is described so beautifully by the author that you can actually picture yourself there.Lizzie is instantly likeable and the reader can sense that her drama teacher thinks highly of her, especially to ask her to become involved in such a covert task in taking the place of Princess Charlotte of Montverrier after she has disappeared! One cannot deny the ease and optimism that Lizzie has when accepting the job, albeit she is not completely aware of the full situation.But, I must admit, aside from the scenic setting, it is Léon that makes my head turn. Meeting Lizzie for the first time in his leathers and taking her back to the palace on his bike, it is hardly believable that he is a bodyguard for the Princess. And yet, his whole mannerism, politeness and care do tell a different story, making him very believable and extremely sexy.I absolutely love the chemistry between Léon and Lizzie. It is clear before too long that Lizzie is expected to remain in her suite for the full five weeks she is to be at the Palace, and with an emotionally cold housekeeper in Daria, Léon is the only human contact with warmth that she has. I love the mild smiles he passes her, over Daria’s shoulder, and the cute winks he makes – all of which help assure Lizzie that she will be okay. Yes, I found myself smiling at some moments.Regardless of the mystery surrounding the missing Princess, and the fact that Lizzie feels like a prisoner at times, it is the fact that Léon spends day and night with her that provides her with some comfort. Léon’s character is perfect for the suspense. A man of little words, and yet his actions and expressions speak so loud, it is impossible to not be taken in by him. I’m sure every reader will wish to be in Lizzie’s shoes! I certainly wouldn’t mind being guarded by him!Lizzie is aware that the situation isn’t quite right at the Palace as she is made to remain in her quarters, the housekeeper is a little stern and cold to say the least towards her, and she is aware of the dislike some members of the public have on the Princess’ s Investiture. Just what danger is she in? Does Léon know? And, will he really protect her?If you’re looking for a short, suspenseful romance, in a setting you can only dream of, then Palace of Deception is the book for you. As always, it is written in the sophisticated and classy manner that Helena Fairfax is known for, and I have no doubt that her fans and new readers alike will love this sweet, sexy and suspenseful novella.An ARC copy of Palace of Deception was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.

  • Laurette Long
    2019-02-19 22:57

    I downloaded this novella having loved the author’s full length novel ‘The Antique Love’.Novellas are difficult creatures. You have to catch the reader’s interest fast, then sustain it while developing plot and characters in a contained format. They’re not usually my cup of tea but ‘Palace of Deception’ grabbed me from the start: the heroine, Lizzie plunged into a strange yet believable situation as a stand-in for Princess Charlotte of Montverrier who has mysteriously disappeared, the move from rainy Edinburgh to the glittering blue and gold kingdom on the Mediterranean, the Cinderella transformation of unremarkable Lizzie Smith into elegant glacial Princess, the developing relationship between Lizzie and her bodyguard Léon. And we all know about bodyguards..! Physically Léon is dark and slender, but as Lizzie notices, ‘his chest was broad and hard’. Accidentally interrupting his exercise routine one day, Lizzie watches transfixed, her eyes drawn to his arms and the tattoo of a bird in flight ‘the wings beating with the flexing of his muscles.’ But Léon also has a serious side. As the relationship develops, Lizzie learns that he is a reader of histories, a story-teller. Recounting how the Romans tried to invade Montverrier, he tells her a disturbing tale about how the citizens outwitted them and preserved the integrity of their little kingdom.Meanwhile, time is passing. During the five weeks in which Lizzie must perfect her role, the suspense builds. There’s a chilly feeling that all is not as it seems in Montverrier, and that the strangely silent palace is guarding sinister secrets. Adding to the unease is the character of the housekeeper, Daria, gliding in and out of the story like a Mrs Danvers, her face ‘as cold and eerie as the moon’.Lizzie struggles with different emotions, her attraction to Léon, her fears that she will not be able to complete her role successfully and her feeling of claustrophobia confined to the fairytale palace where her only contact with the outside world is the glimpses she has from the balcony:‘The clouds sailed past outside my window, leaving a glorious night sky behind them, black as jade, and sprinkled with a thousand stars...I was overwhelmed with longing for home.’What will be the outcome of Lizzie’s mission? How is this strange tale going to end? With admirable mastery of her story and its form, author Helena Fairfax keeps us guessing, keeps us holding our breath, keeps us hoping.

  • Janice Hougland
    2019-02-23 22:10

    This was a novella, but in no way was the suspense and plot shortchanged by the story’s length. The 21 chapters were written in a crisp, no-nonsense manner that kept my interest and the suspense building until the very last chapter. The heroine, Lizzie, a Scottish actress and owner of a travelling drama school, and the hero, an Italian bodyguard named Leon, meet in a tiny Mediterranean village called Montverrier. Lizzie has been hired by the royal family to impersonate their missing daughter/Princess so that her investiture can still go forward and Leon was hired to be her bodyguard. At no time until the end did I guess what the point of the royal family’s deception was or why a bodyguard was needed for Lizzie. There was a strong romantic element to Lizzie and Leon’s relationship and a hint of more of their story to come. I’m looking forward to reading more about this couple.

  • Robbi Perna
    2019-01-30 18:10

    UK author, Helena Fairfax, uses a classic plot to spin a delightful novella. Palace of Deception recounts the heroine's portrayal of a missing royal princess. The story, written in the first person, instantly transports the reader to Ruritania and provides readers with an entertaining two-hour read. At its conclusion, we come to the same realization as the heroine. Graciousness of manner and caring for fellow humans are the qualities that endow an individual with nobility not royal birth. I highly recommend Fairfax's novella for an entertaining evening's read.

  • C Joy
    2019-02-19 23:19

    This is the first story I've read from this author and I liked it a lot. This novella was simple and straightforward. The mystery was also good and I liked the pace.Lizzie and Leon were meant to be from the start. Since this was told from Lizzie's point of view, there is no character dissection when it comes to Leon.The story was aptly titled and it was really interesting, this world Ms Fairfax created.

  • Susan Angela Wallace
    2019-01-25 17:19

    I received this as an arc from the book club in exchange for an honest review.A sinister housekeeper, a silent bodyguard, and a missing princess-mystery and intrigue in this gripping romantic suspense.Wow. Fantastic read. i loved it.The characters were great.I liked lizzie and leon they were my favourite.this was definetly a cnpid read. I read it in 2 days.If you love romance and suspence this is definetly for you

  • Heather Brainerd
    2019-01-28 15:10

    Great book for an afternoon at the beach! I adored this novella from one of my favorite authors. As always, Helena Fairfax manages to make you care about her characters right from the start. The setting was described beautifully. There were enough twists to keep me turning the pages. A fabulous summer read!

  • Helen (TBC)
    2019-02-06 15:20

    A lovely quick and easy read - perfect to transport you away from a stormy winters day. I read this novella in two sittings and really enjoyed the change of genre. Helena Fairfax writes beautifully and set the scene vividly, added some great characters and produced a lovely story which was engaging and suspenseful if a little romantically predictable. 3.5-4 stars

  • Linda Rimer-Como
    2019-02-24 19:09

    Fast paced read that captured my interest from the start. There is an underlying mystery that keeps you guessing to the very end. The writing is great and the characters are unique, with a slow growing attraction between Leon and Lizzie. I enjoyed this book immensely.Gifted copy for honest review.

  • Maxine Taylor
    2019-02-05 21:57

    An excellent book, fast paced, sweet and yet filled with suspense. Grabbed your attention from the start. a loved the style and fulled my night in a lovely way. thanks for writing this beautiful novella

  • Cherry Sholem
    2019-02-21 21:13

    Read it in 2 days. A lovely "chick flick" (hope no one is offended by this description) an escape from reality, a simple plot but an intriguing one never the less in a lovely setting. Could see myself reading this on the beach on holiday

  • Sandie Bell
    2019-02-06 21:59

    This is the first work by Helena Fairfax I've read and I am hooked. I enjoyed the intrigue and romantic undertones between Lizzie and Leon. I'm starting The Scottish Diamond next and then, I plan to read Helena's earlier works.