The prince of no value
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
The noblewoman of no importance
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn't just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she's known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.
Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.
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An unexpected and awesome surprise!!!!
...and it's right in so many ways.
There's no instant lust in this one, but there is instant chemistry, and a warmth that's not found in every romance. It makes the eventual love even better.
Loved Ildiko and Brishen. Loved to hate Brishen's mother.
The world building is nicely done. Just the right amount of detail to make it real, although I suspect that there are a couple of things that will be fleshed out when needed. This is a tightly written book: no filler to tune out. And the twist at the end is jaw- dropping.
When something special comes out in audio I hold my breath to see what the narration will be like. No worries there: Gabrielle Baker is perfect. I may or may not re-read this, but I will be re-listening to it many, many times.I have the tentative release of book 2 marked on the calendar. Please bring it out on audio and don't change the narrator!