Princess Kimri is used to betrayal. Her brother sold her to a king in exchange for swords to defend his lands. King Tathan's reputation is as fierce as that of his mountain kingdom—where dragons are said to guard the castle walls—but the realms are unstable enough without angering the mountain-king, so Kimri reluctantly agrees to the union.
When she arrives in Helsmont, the king promises her a year of courtship before marrying—or parting ways. Before long, Kimri thinks she may find comfort, and perhaps eventually love, with the stoic king.
But the realms are more unsettled than Kimri realizes, and she soon finds herself caught in the middle of a war between the kingdoms. Can she count on her betrothed to take her side? Or will his loyalty to his kingdom come before his loyalty to her?
Kimri is pissed off at her brother the king of Anagard because he's sold her her to the Mountain king of Helsmont for swords and arrows to. I guess she'd have every right to be but she ends up trying to make the most of it. When she gets to Helsmont she experiences things like never before. The freedom to roam the city, meet new people and get to know them, and start to fall for the king.
Life is so very different for Kimri in Helsmont but she starts to grow to love the city and its people. The king is definitely more stoic than expected but she loves the time they share at breakfast whether they complete in silence or talking about the city.
When Kimri finds out that her brother has been captured by Anagard's enemy Kimri heads to the Mountain-king for assistance – which he denies. Kimri decides that she needs to take matters into her own hands. Kimri hopes to save her brother and her relationship with Tathan but that never turns out the way they plan, does it?
This was a very different read for me. I usually read straight romance and this is definitely more of a fantasy with romantic elements. Despite that I really liked the book. It was a little slower than I normally like but it was so interesting I couldn't be bothered by it too much.
The love story that was involved in the story was good but was on the sparse side when it came to romance. Kimri was a headstrong woman and Helsmont allowed her to be more herself than she felt even in her own country. I liked that we got to see her in her wanderings and getting to know the townspeople. We didn't get too much from Tathan, the Mountain-king, but what we did get to know of him, I liked.
Overall it was a good story with humor, love, family loyalty and much more. If you want a quick but good fantasy then this is the book for you.
How the heck are ya? I’m doing pretty well. The weather today is wonderful – about 79 degrees but the sun isn’t too hot – love that! That’s the kind of weather we should have all the time. lol
Nothing much happened this past week. I did manage to FINALLY use the gift certificate to the spa that my hubby gave me for my b-day back in May – yay me! I got a pedicure and a hydrating body scrub and wrap with a 30 minute massage. Dear God I was a complete wet noodle when I was done. It felt incredible and I just want to do that every week. lol
Alright on to what I read:
First up was Because of You by Cathy Maxwell that I read for Book Binge. This was the story of a vicar’s daughter, Samantha, who is alone in the world and the town that she has served so well in nursing them is now practically kicking her to the curb. They manage to marry her off to Yale who is the second son of a duke – but they don’t know that. They think he’s just some poor stranger – and they’re still willing to marry her off. The nerve! Anyway, all Yale’s lies come out and Samantha has a terrible time learning to trust him again, which I would too, quite frankly. The love story is good and though I wanted to punch both the hero and the heroine at different times during the book it ended up being really good. 4 out of 5
After that was a short story by Tam Ames called Take a Breath. This is the short story of Eli, an ER doc that has been scarred by life and his experiences in the ER. He meets James and despite not liking each other at first they end up seeing something in each other that brings them together. This was so darned cute and I just loved seeing the two men stutter their way through the romance. So cute! I love ending a book with a big smile on my face. 4.5 out of 5 (free on Goodreads)
I must have been on a short story and Tam Ames kick because I then read the three shorts I Dare You, I Dare You…Again and I Dare You, Back (all 3 available for free on Goodreads). The first, I Dare You has Derek daring his roommate Steven to go to a Halloween party with him and make a move on his crush, Cory. Steven can’t resist a dare and soon Cory and Steven are making wonderful Halloween memories. Very cute. This was a re-read for me but it was just as good the second time around. 4 out of 5
In I Dare You…Again Derek AGAIN dares Steven and this time it’s to tell Cory that he loves him. He DOES he’s just not gotten up the guts to actually say the words yet. This was just as cute as the previous book. Derek and Cory are adorable together and I’m so glad we got to see a little more into their relationship. 4 out of 5
Last was I Dare You, Back. Steven and Cory now dare Derek to sit down with his ex, the one he hasn’t seen in two years, and talk/listen to him for just one hour. Unfortunately Derek is having none of it and doesn’t know if he can ever forgive Jaden for breaking his heart so thoroughly. I loved seeing Derek get a dare after him handing them out like candy to Steven. Poor Derek was just well, traumatized, but his heartbreak with Jaden and when he sees him again he knows he doesn’t even want to talk to him. When Steven, Cory and their other roommate befriend Jaden Derek feels betrayed and goes into silent mode. It was interesting to see things from Derek’s point of view. I felt so bad for him when it came to Jaden and wanted him to sit and listen as his friends just wanted what was best for him. Good story. 4 out of 5
After that was Dragon’s Moon by Lucy Monroe. This is book 4 in the Children of the Moon series and it was a good one. We have Eirik who is a dragon/raven shifter who moves some of his bird shifting clan to live with the Sinclair clan. He meets Ciara and they have a strange attraction but she wants nothing to do with him since he’s the dragon that killed her brother 7 years earlier. On top of that she’s having visions of the sacred stone that belongs to her people. It was a really great story and I can’t wait to read more in this series. You can read my review at Book Binge here. 4.25 out of 5
Impulse by Moira Rogers was my next read. This is the story of Sera, a coyote shifter, and Julio a wolf shifter. Sera is submissive as a coyote and in the bedroom and Julio’s definitely a more dominant man. You can read more about them and my review of the book on Wednesday.
Heart of the Dragon’s Realm by Karalynn Lee is a fantasy story with romantic elements. The story revolves around Kimri who is given by her monarch brother to another king for marriage. There is a small romance in the story but it’s more about Kimri getting used to her new way of life and then trying to save her brother. It was a good story. I’ll post my review in a couple of weeks. 3.75 out of 5
Lean on Me by HelenKay Dimon is the next story in the Holloway series and it was a good one. This has Mitch Anders trying to hook up with a girl he always liked from High School who is back in town. Cassidy is definitely attracted to Mitch but she’s got so much more on her mind than hooking up – like not freezing to death because she has nowhere to stay and no money. I liked Cassidy a lot and though Mitch annoyed me at times it was a nice addition to the series. 3.5 out of 5
Charmed Spirits by Carrie Ann Ryan is the story of Jordan who is back in her home town to clean out her grandmother’s house and put it on the market. She is a witch and while she was growing up was ostracized for that. Matt was her high school boyfriend and he thinks he just wants to be friends but he can’t stop his attraction. This was cute – a little painful to read as some people can be so cruel but then the heroine had her own growing up to do. Cute story. You can read my full review here. 3 out of 5
A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long is book 7 in the Pennyroyal Green series. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading Long’s books. She stirs emotions in me that don’t normally come out while reading and I love that. This book was really good – Adam the Vicar’s story – and worth reading. I’ll post my review later this month. 4.5 out of 5
Last for the week was My Fair Dork by Daisy Harris – book 8 in the Men of Holsum College series. In this story we meet Owen who befriends Harold but there ends up being so much more between them. I’ll post my review later this week.