His father's kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he's falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?
An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past. All she wants is to be free. What she doesn't realize is that freedom comes with a price she can't afford to pay. She's forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else... his brother.
Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king's son and Commander of the King's Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father's bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.
When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik's brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik's interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.
Winner, Curvy Book Award: Best Overall Small Press
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I devoured this book but OMG that ending!!! I was left dumbstruck that it ended how it did! I hate cliffhangers in books but this book is too good to hate! Everything about it was amazing!
I'm not going to say too much about the plot for fear of ruining it so I'm going to just start with everything I loved!!
Rema was such a sweetheart and I loved her character. She is so nice and sweet but she isn't afraid to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. My heart broke for her when she was "requested" to visit the palace. She wanted a quite life and was due to marry her childhood friend when the chance encounter with Darmik changed everything. I loved that no matter what was thrown at her, she stood strong and was sure of herself. She put everyone she cared about first and was willing to sacrifice everything for her family.
I wasn't sure of Darmik at first because he is so unsure of things but I eventually grew to like him, though I did want to shake him and tell him to wake up and small the coffee!! How could he miss what was going on??
Prince Lennek is pure evil! He picks Rema simply to get one up on Darmik. He is a womaniser and all round horrible person. Then we have the King. He is as bad as Lennek and so hard to find anything nice about. Both of them treat Rema like she is nothing and poor Rema has no choice but to grin and bear it, though she is in no way passive with them!! She stands up to them many times but with the treat to her family, she has to play it safe till she can come up with a plan.
The world building was amazing. The prologue sets the scene for a plot that's very fast paced and intriguing. The book is full of treachery, heartache, betrayal, adventure, secrets and enough twists to keep your mind reeling! It has everything a great read should.
There is a little romance thrown into the mix. Rema finds herself drawn to Darmik no matter how much she tries not too. He can't stop thinking of her either but has to stay away because if his brother found out, he would be accused of treason.
Anyway, The Key was so so good. I listened to the audio and absolutely devoured it. I couldn't turn it off because I needed to see what happened next. I listened to it in 2 days and hated that it had to end. Its the type of book that once you start, you will not want to finish. Be warned though, there is a massive cliff hanger and you will need book 2 to read straight away after! I have book 2 and 3 on my kindle and just need to clear some more review books before diving back into this amazing world, believe me it's hard to stay away!!
A brilliantly written and executed book and one that everyone needs to read. The audio was fantastic and Michelle Michaels did an amazing job of bringing Rema to life. The narrator made you feel her heartache and struggle and she pulled you into the story. All the books need to be brought to audio, and for me, the sooner the better!!
- Natalie @ BookLoversLife
The Romance Comes to Life in the Audiobook
I think the novel is written very well, but the audio brings it to life and gives it dimension, allowing listeners to get sucked into Rema and Darmik's love as the story unravels. The audio version provides nuances to the story, to Rema's struggles, to Darmik's pain in losing his love to his conniving brother... it's all deeply engrossing with Michelle Michaels as the entertaining narrator.
Michelle Michaels' voice has a lilting and entrancing quality to it that captivated me and made this story all the more enjoyable. With a great narrator a well-written story can come to life and she certainly did that with "The Key".
Behind every great love story is a story of hardship, struggle, romance and finding your way back to each other.
Jennifer Anne Davis is a talent author who has crafted an engaging novel that readers can sink their teeth into and get a little vicarious romance from. The writing is lush, vivid, romantic, drama-rich and deeply engrossing. Overall, this was a great story whether in audiobook or novel format.
- L. Clifford