The first in a new fantasy / historical romance series from Ashlyn Macnamara, Destined for a King has some wonderful moments of light in what is a quite complicated story.
Destined for a King
Calista is promised to King Magnus, as her father negotiated the marriage in part to insure the security of Blackbriar Keep. However, the location of the keep leaves it open for intrusion until the king is wed. The Bastard Brotherhood has laid siege to the keep, and Calista manages to wound, although not stop, Torch from taking over.
As he is faling, he claims both the keep and Calista as his bride – and falls from his injuries: wounded but not dead. As the one who wounded him, it is her responsibility to care for Torch, even as she is not interested in becoming his bride.
Revenge on the King is Torch’s entire reason for being, until he sees the care and gentleness that Calista displays in nursing him to health. Calista has her own worries and concerns: her father is in the King’s jail, her home is invaded and her whole life plan has been set on its ear.
Told in alternating 3rd person POV, the story uses Torch’s fever-induced moments to bring a romance to light, but I wanted more believability in the connection and love. The insta lust and insta love happened far too quickly, especially considering the lack of actual ‘quiet moments’ to meet where Torch was not holding most, if not all, of the power.
World building seemed to fade in and out for me- there were magical elements and moments that could have used more fantasy and description that were clearly missing, and the sense of the medieval was missing, not grounding the story in a solid place for me.
As an introductory story in a series, there were places where I would have hoped for more. Most of the issues could have been resolved with more editing and less elements – mysteries, past grudges, current political machinations and a romance that seems to grab most of its oomph from the instant connection rather than a true build between them. I’ll wait to see if the second improves the feel of the story once I close the book.
Title: Destined for a King
Author: Ashlyn Macnamara
Series: The Bastard Brotherhood #1
Genre: Fantasy / Magical Elements, Historical Romance, Medieval
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 6 September 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
Bestselling author Ashlyn Macnamara, hailed by Jennifer McQuiston as “a born storyteller,” introduces the strapping, audacious outlaws of the Bastard Brotherhood in this enchanting tale of forbidden love between supposedly sworn enemies. Though she is intended for the king, Calista Thorne picks up a crossbow to defend her ancestral home, Blackbriar Keep, from a gang of landless knights. She even manages to sink a poison-tipped arrow into their commander, who survives long enough to conquer the Keep and claim Calista for his own. Now, with her father’s life at stake, Calista must nurse the brigand back to health, and the strangest thing happens: She finds herself fascinated by his tautly muscled body, and enthralled by his hotly whispered demands. Ever since his father’s death, the fearsome warrior they call Torch has been consumed by his quest for revenge. Taking Blackbriar Keep is the first step in that plan, and—by the three gods—it won’t be the last. But after taking one look into Calista’s smoldering gray eyes, Torch discovers a passion nobler than retribution. He will fulfill his destiny and take her from the usurper king, even in his weakened state. For with Calista’s love, no man has ever felt more powerful.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: