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Just Ella

(Books of Dalthia #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,645 ratings  ·  522 reviews
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far ...more
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published August 14th 2013 by Hidden Falls Publishing
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Just Ella is a YA romance novel about a princess trying to find her own place in life, delightful if you like this genre. It's a fantasy in the sense that it's in an imaginary kingdom, but there's no magic or unicorns or suchlike.

Ariella, the title character, is a young princess who's frustrated by all the rules and restrictions in her life, as well as by the arrogant prince of a neighboring kingdom who's trying to push her into marriage. When Ella develops a friendship — and then a relationship
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Once in a while I come across a book that I fall in love with. That happened yesterday.

I got an email from Amazon a couple days ago with a "recommended" book - Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen. I looked at the cover and summary and was intrigued by it. It sounded right up my alley. I spent a while perusing the author's website and fell in love with the author before even starting this book.

Read these paragraphs from her bio and tell me she isn't the perfect match for the
This was a pleasant surprise. For some reason I didn’t have the highest expectation going into it. I think part of it was that I didn’t love the cover. I probably would have put off reading it for awhile if I hadn’t read the great reviews (especially Chrissy’s). I guess I’m a cover snob and I gravitate to the books with awesome covers (which doesn’t always mean you’ll get an awesome book. Unfortunately.)

Ariella was a great heroine. I really liked her. The book opens when she is fifteen and I th
LOVED it!! I could not put this book down! I stayed up too late reading it and then got up this morning and re-read the end. It was SO GOOD!!

The romance was so real and part way through my heart was breaking for both of them but then the was perfect. This is a clean romance that I will let my girls read when they are teenagers but it was great for me too. I was worried when the main character started out so young (15) but this book spanned for a few years.

Now I am off to stalk this aut
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For me, this read was the rare ignore my kids and stay up late reading kind of story. First of all, it's clean. It's a lovely, romantic story where you feel butterflies in your stomach because it's so cute, not because the "romance" has gone too far. The characters have real feelings but put them in perspective with real life.
Also, the book has some twists in it and is not completely predictable. I felt like I had something figured out and then I was wrong. This happened several times, which ma
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am squeezing in a review for this book because I just loved it. It was a book I picked up because I heard some awesome things about it from people I trust with book recommendations. I got a little ahead in my review reading and jumped right into this book because I was so excited. I picked it up for free because of my Amazon Prime membership which was SO happy! Although, this is a book I'd actually like to have on my shelves forever.

Clean romance is one of my very favorite genres. This book is
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my. That is what keeps popping in my head. Oh my. It was just soooo good. I have wanted a great book like this for a while and it was worth the wait.

The beginning was a little slow for me and I was questioning whether or not I was going to "fall" for this one. Well, the minute she was caught after the dance(for those of you who have read it, know what I am talking about and for those who haven't then enjoy the bliss of reading it) the book exploded for me. The tension and relationship buildin
N.N. Light
Just Ella was just FANTASTIC!!!! I had no expectations as this was a freebie years ago. I loved the cover and 1-clicked it without even reading the blurb. So when I started reading, I didn't even know what the story was about.

Imagine you're a princess and in need of an escape from the palace life. Now imagine you meet a boy who likes you for you, not because you're the princess. He shows you what real life is like and you fall in love. This is the premise behind Just Ella and it is such a delig
Courtney Long
1 star

I'm SO confused how this book has such high ratings on Goodreads. Seriously, if you filter the ratings, only 4% of readers gave this book a 2 or 1 star. It only has 14 1 star reviews. HOW? This book lacks a logical plot, well-developed characters or a compelling romance.

It's not like I'm holding this book to unrealistic standards, either. I knew what I was getting in to. It's a self-pubbed, clean romance about a princess who falls in love with a commoner, despite their differences in stat
This is unlike any fairy tale I have read. It's like Cinderella backwards. I loved it and will be devouring more by this author! What a fun book. I loved Ella who I immediately fell in love with and Gavin was just awesome! The writing was great! The story had great movement and a good build and wow what an ending! The love story was wonderful and tragic and so much fun to read. I just really enjoyed reading this book and will be buying a hard copy for my daughters and I to read again! Clean with ...more
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
6 stars :) I loved it. What a beautiful love story. One of my top 3 favorite books for sure. If you loved Edenbrooke & Blackmoore, this is your next book.
Katie W
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's true--I was one of those girls who wished to be a princess. In fact, I was obsessed with Princess Diana and even now love any "royal" news. How could I not absolutely fall in love with this story?! What I found to be ironic is that Ariella is a princess but doesn't really want to be one. How could she not? Well...after this glimpse, however fictional it may be, into the life of royalty, I could definitely understand her reasoning. That didn't make me love the story any less or cause me to w ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. I even used covert measures that I haven't resorted to since childhood to sneak out and finish this book after I was supposed to be in bed. And despite how much I loved the story, it was perhaps just a little too fanciful at times. I mean, it is fairytale-esque, but as much as I wanted certain characters to end up together, sometimes the hammer of reality would hit a little too hard and whisper, "This just wouldn't be possible."

Also, the pacing felt a little too in
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
In her Author's Note, Annette K. Larsen mentions being influenced by Jane Eyre, and wanting to create heroines that have a moral compass. I myself couldn't agree more and feel very strongly that heroines such as Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennett, these are the characters who experience true romance. I'm so appreciative of authors that can create a story that sweeps me away in amorous enchantment and yet still remain squeaky clean. I can recommend this book to my 14-year-old daughter and still want ...more
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this 6 stars, I would. :) I could not put it down! Such a sweet, clean story...with plenty romance, and a few semi-heart wrenching moments that had me (almost literally) clutching my heart! I actually found myself hoping my 2-month-old son, who just started sleeping through the night last week, would wake up for a feeding so I could justify reading in the middle of the night. I loved the story, fell in love with the characters, and did not want it to end! My only disappointment w ...more
Valerie Waters
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awwww!!!! What a great story!!! Awww....I have needed a good book like this for awhile now. This book was so great. I did get a little annoyed about some of the modern day speech and customs but the book was so amazing I am willing to overlook that. Gavin. ahhh what a guy!!! I loved Ella too. They were the perfect couple. Thank you Kath for recommending this book!!!! Thank you Chrissy for loaning it to me! ...more
Meh. The writing didn't blow me away, and the plot wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teenagers
I love fairytales. :)

Ella is a princess who feels stifled in her role as princess. She wants to be useful instead of ornamental. This story is her journey towards finding a purpose, and finding love, of course. The dynamics of her relationships with her mother and father are interesting. I especially found the punishment her father chose (and its outcome) to be thought provoking. I found the philosophies of leadership interesting as well.

I really liked that the heroine didn't think that her roma
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this wonderful book when the author posted on Facebook or in an email that there were chapters of it on YouTube. I thought what did I have to lose? I'd listen to it while doing my morning routine and if I didn't like it I could stop listening. Well, that never happened. After the first few chapters I was taken in by the story of Ariella and the palace gardener Gavin, and I eagerly awaited the notification that another chapter was available to listen to on YouTube. If you look up the ...more
I've had this book on my TBR for a long time. Ironically, I'm currently least likely to read a physical book, and the copy I have of this book is a paperback. The author has made this available on YouTube. I'm not sure for how long. I wonder if it's a coronavirus-related promotion. Anyway, I encourage you to check it out. I've always thought it sounded cute. Looks like on average, the videos are 20 minutes long.
I’ve always had a thing for princesses and fairy tales, and this delightful romance of forbidden love combined both. I’ve been reading a lot of romances as of late, and Gavin and Ella are one of my favorite couples in the books I’ve read recently. Not only was Gavin a sweetheart, but the fact he was a gardener made him more endearing for someone like me who adores being out in nature. Ariella (Ella) was a strong heroine, and I really enjoyed her journey of self-discovery as she developed the inn ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. This is

one of those books that slowly wraps you up in it's

story never freeing you until the last word. The

characters in this story are varied, but so

memorable. I especially loved Princess Ariella or as

she likes to call herself, Ella. She is not like her six

sisters who love being royalty. Ella is bored with her

life and in the process makes friends with a gardener

by the name of Gavin. Their friendship grows into,

as Ella says, "The most precious
I can't describe well enough how beautiful this book was. Ariella (seriously love that name!) was a endearing heroine. She was independent, humble, brave, pretty and a wonderful princess.

Gavin.....SWOON! Best guy friend turned lover ever! He was so sweet and genuine! The whole love story was gorgeous and pure and captivating. And if that wasn't enough Ella's journey to self discovery, through happiness, grief, heartache, betrayal, and independence was amazing.

I almost cried in this book for so
Jana Miller
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
By far one of the best romance novels I've ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story--plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well. I love how all the obstacles in Ella and Gavin's relationship are believable, not just lame miscommunication issues like so many romance novels try to rely on. Also n ...more
Kimberly Jepson
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book you don't want to put down once you start it. The first time I read it, I stayed up until 6 am to finish reading it (as a sleep-deprived mother of a newborn). I just love the sweet romance that grows gradually and feels like a real relationship. The writing is lovely and really sweeps you away. It is squeaky clean, which I love, without being at all cheesy. The plot is involving and the characters are very well developed. You will love it!! ...more
Melanie Charles
First read in 2014. Reread in 2017.

I love this book. Seriously it's just so good, one of the sweetest books I've ever read. Ella is one my favorite characters ever. I'm so happy I decided to give Just Ella a reread, I think I enjoyed it even more than the first time I read it. Definitely one I'll reread for many years to come. If you haven't picked up this gem yet, I very much encourage you to do so.
This is an incredibly sweet and satisfying story. Ella and Gavin's story had me feeling all the feels. I felt nervous in parts, tears in other parts, and smiles throughout. Thank you Annette Larsen for taking matters into your own hands and creating Ella! ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vintage-romance
Great story. Please write many more.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such great characters! Great writing and a sweet, captivating storyline. (And loved all the princesses names!)
Kristen Kooistra
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It still throws me off that this is the same title as Haddix's better known story. But then that's how I stumbled across it.

Princess Ella's rebellious spirit leads her into the garden maze where she meets the caretaker, Gavin. Despite a rocky start, they soon hit it off. Their time together is pretty much consisting of walks to a waterfall, garden work, and Gavin working while Ella loiters. Not that interesting, but it means they spend a lot of time talking so it feels more believable when they
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Happily Ever Afte...: Giveaway! Just Ella and Missing Lily 2 15 Aug 26, 2014 09:57AM  
Clean Romances: Ebook Giveaway of Just Ella - Ends Tomorrow! 2 20 Nov 04, 2013 01:49PM  
All Clean Romance...: New Release 3 18 Oct 07, 2013 11:23AM  
Clean Reads: New Clean Romance 4 79 Aug 31, 2013 04:57PM  
Clean Reads for M...: New Clean Romance release 16 40 Aug 29, 2013 02:28PM  
Clean Romances: New Book Release 8 51 Aug 27, 2013 11:22AM  
Clean,Non Religio...: New Book Release 6 15 Aug 26, 2013 09:14PM  

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I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho.

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from

Other books in the series

Books of Dalthia (5 books)
  • Missing Lily (Books of Dalthia #2)
  • Saving Marilee (Books of Dalthia #3)
  • Painting Rain (Books of Dalthia #4)
  • Keeping Kinley (Books of Dalthia #5)

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