Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Heather Frost
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 18th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Twelve strangers. Six marriages. One year in Esperance.
Amryn has many reasons to hate the empire. Her latest is her forced marriage to General Carver Vincetti, better known as the Butcher. If he learns even one of her secrets, he will kill her. And Amryn has many secrets. Not only is she an empath with forbidden magic, she’s also a newly recruited rebel intent on destroying the empire—starting at Esperance.
Carver knows the rebels have infiltrated the remote temple of Esperance. His job is to hunt them down before they can wreck the emperor’s new peace. Despite the demons that haunt him, Carver is intent on his mission—but he’s not prepared for Amryn. From her fiery red hair to her surprising wit, his new wife has captured his attention. The attraction that flares between them is undeniable. Now he just has to determine if she’s the enemy.
When the newly married couples become targets in a violent game, Esperance becomes more dangerous than anyone anticipated. Carver and Amryn are about to discover that no one is exactly who they appear to be—especially each other.
This book and I had a journey.
We started off super strong. I loved the premise for the plot and I am ALWAYS here for a arraigned marriage situation. There was good action to get the blood pumping and many mysteries afoot.
Then in the middle we lost me for a bit. The magic system and world building still needs some help. I think the confinement in one location caused a lack of understanding for the outside world and why there’s magic in the first place. I’m hopeful this is further explained in the next book since there’s going to be many new locations. I did struggle with the romance too, there was a bit more tell vs. show. Buuut I will say, once I got pass the 60% mark things progressively picked up.
And the ending. The whole last quarter was a wild ride. I loved having reveal after reveal after reveal. Some twists I saw coming, others, totally surprised by. And even better? NO THIRD ACT CONFLICT between the main couple. There’s plenty of other things happening around them and the fact they actually decide to TRUST one another was amazing. I love that kind of hope and communication.
I official consider myself invested in continuing this trilogy. I’m excited and hopeful about the next book!
Overall audience notes:
- Fantasy Romance
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses; mentions of closed-door between other couples
- Violence: high
- Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, kidnapping, loss of loved ones, weapons violence, poisoning