Rating: 2 stars out of 5
Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time.
Or have they?
Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.
Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.
Okay, this book was very much not for me. The blurb sounded interesting and seemed to promise a fair bit of drama and angst. Well, there was a bit of both, I guess, but somewhere buried amidst an avalanche fluffy fluff so cute I think it gave me diabetes.
The world building was essentially non-existent. Yes, I am starting to feel like a broken record. It seems like I have to complain about lacking world building in every second fantasy/sci-fi review I write. It’s sad, but true. Really, the fantasy was extremely low-key here.
I’d expected the large cats mentioned in the blurb to actually somehow matter for the plot, but they didn’t. They were mentioned on occasion and there were a couple of scenes involving them, but nothing really important happened.
It was hard to form a connection to the MCs and the things that happened to them. It felt like the author only ever told us what happened, but never showed anything. At times that made for a rather boring story, to be honest. Not even the wedding was narrated in any detail. I just didn’t care about anybody in this story.
The whole story as such felt a little too easy for me. There was insta-love on both sides and the rest just fell into place somehow. Sure, there were those who tried everything to keep the two of them apart, but that part seemed very predictable to me. And since I just couldn’t form a connection to the MCs, I probably wouldn’t even have cared too much if one of them had died.
The thing that bothered me the most, though, was the sudden Mpreg. I do NOT like Mpreg. There’s no hint whatsoever anywhere in the blurb that there’d be Mpreg. If I had known about that, I wouldn’t have picked up this book. I know there are plenty of people out there who like this, but since it’s also something a lot of people absolutely can’t stand, a little warning would definitely be appropriate. It didn’t help that I got the feeling that the author only used the fantasy elements as an excuse for the Mpreg.
Overall, this book just wasn’t for me. Too much fluff, sudden Mpreg, and I just couldn’t relate to the MCs. While reading this book, I felt a kind of annoyed boredom. If you like Mpreg, enjoy tons of fluff and don’t care too much about world-building, give it a shot. Chances are, you’ll love it.
I didn’t, however, and I won’t bother with the rest of the series. And before I pick up anything by this author ever again, I’ll make sure to scan the reviews for some unmentioned Mpreg first.
Cover: The cover by Anne Cain shows Amory and Philip in a loving embrace. I like it, the colours are all very pretty.
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published October 16th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
SeriesChronicles of Tournai #1
The Scholar’s Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3 coming soon