A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.
On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf's invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.
Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn't need or want Lady Felicia's help.
With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives--and hearts--forever.
Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over forty books and is the winner of numerous awards. She writes sweet historical romances with plenty of sizzle. Find out more at jodyhedlund.com.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
This is a great novella for introducing us to the backstory of the three lost princesses in Jody Hedlund's exciting new YA series! The reader is thrust into the action which never slows down- danger is nipping at the heels of Lance and Felicia throughout the story which gives it a quick, suspenseful pace. The world-building is vivid and I felt like I got a good sense of the setting as well as the dynamic of the kingdom, its people, and its enemies. The author skillfully weaves in character development and I felt invested in the fate of these selfless people who sacrifice for their kingdom. Lance's awakening of feeling for Felicia was sweet and I admired his fortitude over the years of denying himself. It makes their budding romance a little rocky, though, since he's not used to allowing himself any emotional connection to a woman. Felicia recognizes the noble qualities he has and appreciates the action he takes to protect her and the princesses. Their falling in love was only natural and I enjoyed the special moments they share. I'm so excited to read the books in this series!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
This is the first young adult novel I've read by this author and I can see I've been missing out. Geared toward teens, as an adult I enjoyed it a lot myself and I also enjoyed that it was a clean read. This novella sets up the backstory for her new, The Lost Princesses series, which I look forward to reading and continuing the adventure! Immaculate research from the author sets the story line in this medieval time line. A true adventure fraught with danger will be yours while reading this exciting book . Lady Felecia has been tasked by the dying queen to take her newborn twin princess daughters and three year old crown princess out of the castle to safety when an army invades. Sir Lance has also been tasked with taking taking protecting the youngsters. You will have an adventure as they are pursued through underground tunnels and caves. Can they make it to safety. As a knight of the king's elite guard, Lance took a vow to serve til dismissed or til death so how do his newly awakened feelings for Felecia factor in and because of class differences would she even be interested? Wow, what an exciting adventure and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Expected publication: August 13th 2019 by Northern Lights Press. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.
I ADORED this novella! I can't say that I read a ton of novellas, but of the ones I have read, not many have felt this rich, romantic, and action-packed...and with such fully fleshed out characters, too! And Jody Hedlund perfectly sets up her new series--I can't wait to read more! Meanwhile, I'm going to go back and read her other YA series (the Noble Knights series) because how in the world have I not read them yet? :)
Wowza! I was completely shocked how much I loved this. This is an amazing start to this series. I hope it is as good as this one was. So impressed with the writing and the composition of this short story. It had everything I love in a good adventure romance. This is a sweet romance with a bit of violence. This also has a very well done Christian element. It was so natural and peaceful. So happy I found these. On to the next!
This was the sweetest, most enchanting novella I've ever read. There were times I wanted to laugh, to cry, to just close the book and throw it at the wall yelling "noooooo!!!" (I would never do that to a book😅) I thought I had it all figured out, but it turned out I didn't! I just can't wait for the rest in the series now!
Words cannot express how excited I am for Jody Hedlund's new YA series. I absolutely adored her last one. And with this novella this series is already off to a great start.
This story has everything: adventure, romance, cute little babies, and sassy nuns. I must admit that I have not read a straight up romance for a while so it took some time for me to become readjusted to the genre. It was a little abrupt at first but it is a novella so that is a given. The detail was rich and the world building created a unique story world. Felicia and Lance were such a cute unlikely couples. I have a secret weakness for Elite Guards, so there is also that *totally wasn't crushing on Lance just for the fact that he was an Elite Guard*
I cannot wait to read the princess's individual stories.
I was provided a ARC from the author, all opinions, however are my own.
Now THIS is a 5 star novella! Novellas are so tricky, but Jody Hedlund has mastered writing a wonderfully crafted story into a shorter amount of pages.
I loved everything about this story- the adventure, the sweet knight/hero, the kind heroine, etc. I was never bored & there were more swoony moments in this novella than in other full length historical romances. 🤣 I loved the romance between the two characters and how it didn’t feel rushed like a lot of romances in novellas feel. They had great chemistry and were perfect for each other.
I would highly recommend reading this before the other novels in the series because I feel like it explained so much of what to expect in the coming books. It really gave the background of what to expect and oh my word I can’t wait to read this whole series! 😆😆
“Sometimes, when we think we’ve come to a dead end, we’ve arrived instead at God’s stepping stone on the way to bigger plans.”
Oh my heart. Y’all. This is “just” the prequel novella. But there’s nothing “just” about it… unless you count “just beautiful”, “just perfect”, “just ripped out my heart”, “just left me in a swoony little puddle”.
I was immediately immersed into this emotional, romantic, high-adventure story – right from the very first page – and I couldn’t put it down until the very end. At which point I promptly began reading Evermore and am trying to figure out how to get copies of the next two books like right now because THIS STORY ARC. Y’all. It’s everything I love about medieval historical romance especially with a bit of fairy tale flair.
It doesn’t really even feel like a novella. The story is so richly developed with perfect pacing, not too rushed or too slow. From the king and queen (even as briefly as they are on the page) to those who are caring for and protecting the princesses before Lance and Felicia take them away, to Lance and Felicia themselves, and the nuns who provide much-needed and timely refuge – all the characters are also fully layered and fleshed out.
Bottom Line: Always may “only” be a novella but it’s as beautifully written as a full-length novel. It sets an intriguing stage for the rest of the series to build on, too, and I can’t wait to (hopefully) meet up with Lance & Felicia again in a later book. Tender, breathless romance plus high-stakes danger & adventure, along with a sweet theme of trusting God – instead of leaning on your own strength or wisdom – all combine to deliver a fabulous read you’ll love for … well… always.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
As much as I love Jody Hedlund’s stories, I initially borrowed this title not for myself but for my daughter. However, the aforementioned daughter offered to read part of the story aloud to me as I was driving and then I was hooked.
The young adult genre isn’t usually one I reach for and, as I said, I wasn’t exactly “sitting around with nothing to do” and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I highly recommend Always to all fans of medieval fiction and I plan to purchase a print copy as soon as the book budget allows!
I borrowed this title through the Kindle Unlimited program. The opinions expressed are my own.
'Sometimes, when we think we've come to a dead end, we've arrived instead at God's stepping-stone on the way to bigger plans.'
Tasked by the dying queen to keep her newborn twin daughters safe when the castle is overrun by an army, Lady Felicia fears for their lives. As she is packing to leave, she is confronted by Sir Lance, knight of the king's elite guard. Lance, too, has been tasked by the king to protect his twin newborns, including the 3 year old crown princess. Lance and Felicia have no trust for the other, but they are thrust together to save three small lives and outwit their pursuers.
I have long been a fan of Jody Hedlund; since her first book, I've been determined to read everything she writes. She is a very good author, but she totally shines in her medieval offerings. It is my favorite time period to read and she is amazing at it. I loved every single minute of this one. Highly recommended. Now I must dash to read the next novel behind this one.
*My thanks to the publisher and author for a preview copy of this book. My opinions stated here are completely my own.
Have I read this one three times already? You bet. I really liked seeing more of the backstory behind the Lost Princesses and getting to know the couple who raised Emmeline. I will admit that the insta-love bugged me a bit, but the rest of the store more than made up for it (hence why I still gave it five stars). It had the perfect amount of adventure.
Tropes: marriage of convenience
Content: kissing (nothing more), lots of noticing, war violence
A perfect prequel which told me what I needed to know about the backstory of the three sisters and how they were separated from their mother, hidden and protected by Lady Felicia and Lance.
The author Jody Hedlund is a masterful storyteller who painted a vivid picture, weaving in the story amidst the danger that surrounded the protagonists. Emotions rose in me at every page and action dodged my steps.
A novella which whetted my appetite for the book 1 in the series of The Lost Princesses.
I've been anticipating this book and this new series by Jody Hedlund since I first heard about it! I was so anxious to get started. This novella really sets the stage for the following books. It's an in-depth look into the series of unfortunate events leading up to the lost princesses. Honestly, it was heartbreaking. Two countries are at war, there is death and destruction everywhere. King Ethelwulf is a brute and will stop at nothing to gain the victory, the throne and the treasure. What he doesn't count on is the loyalty and devotion of two brave people who are willing to risk everything to see the future of their country preserved through the three young princesses.
Both Lady Felicia and Lance are fierce in their loyalty. The vows they made to the queen and king are binding to them and come before all else. I loved them both. They fought hard, they committed and they stayed the course no matter what was against them. How can you not love that?! Honestly.
I loved the pacing of this book- fast and exciting. There was hardly time to breathe! I am so glad I got to immediately read the next book without waiting. #EverTour
Loved this book so much!! I stayed up all night even though I was still tired from my trip to Michigan! The story was delightful and so many adventures!! I was kept on the edge of my seat and holding my breath to see what happens next!! Jody does have that effect on us. That's what I love about her writings. With God all things are possible. All we need to do is ask!! Trouble is, a lot of people myself included think they can do it all on their own. At some point and time we're all going to need devine intervention from the Lord to help us out. I'm thinking that Lance finally figures this one out. I had a feeling it was going to take something drastic to make him see. I think my favorite is Felicity. She's brave, strong, caring and can adjust to certain situations if need be. That's my kind of lady. I love being kept up late into the evening and then cry bc my adventure is over!! Well done Jody Hedlund!!! I strongly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No compensations were received and all opinions are my own!!
This novella was so sweet and such an enjoyable read! Just enough action to keep me eagerly flipping pages and wondering what would happen next. The characters were so sweet and very relatable, I instantly fell in love with them.
Overall the story was a must read and definitely one I will be rereading! There was a lot of romance so keep that in mind if you're not a fan. Nothing inappropriate and all very sweet but just wanted to add that.
After that ending I can't wait to get my hands on the next one and devour the rest of the series! This book is definitely going on my favorites list!!
Always is a prequel novella for The Lost Princesses series, and it not only sets the stage for the stories about each of the lost princesses, but is a cute love story in its own right.
When an evil king takes over a kingdom, Felicia, a lady-in-waiting to the queen, and Lance, a guard to the king, risk everything to take the newborn twin princesses and the young heir to the throne to safety. During their adventure of outrunning the evil king’s men, the two enter a marriage of convenience and fall in love.
Both Felicia and Lance were wonderful characters. Lance was incredibly noble, while Felicia was brave and caring. Both of their feelings develop naturally and in such a sweet way as they first develop trust and friendship, focus on the noble characteristics of one another, and work together for their common noble goal. They fit together perfectly. Lance’s oath that he made when he joined the king’s Elite guard where he swore to resist women added a nice obstacle to their deepening feelings. Their adventure was both emotional and romantic.
The plot was richly developed and paced well, set against a richly developed medieval world, and nicely set up the remaining stories in the series. I especially loved the faith element woven throughout the story emphasizing that with God, all things are possible if we but turn to Him.
Overall, Always was a lovely medieval story and I’m excited to read the rest of the books in the series.
“Sometimes, when we think we’ve come to a dead-end, we’ve arrived instead at God’s stepping stone on the way to bigger plans.”
O my! This novella is the stuff my dreams are made of! “Always” is the novella which is the prequel to Jody Hedlund’s new series entitled “The Lost Princesses.” So why did I love it so much? This fairy tale-esque story is set in a medieval-like time, has princesses and is full of adventure and budding romance! There is a daring escape amidst danger on every side. The story is fast-paced. I love that it is clean and it is a great book to give to teens that are looking for an amazing read (but it seems adults love it too)! Ms. Hedlund sets up a world that I can’t wait to return to in order to read more about these princesses and their respective stories!
Content: This is a clean read.
Rating: I give this book 5 stars.
I want to thank Jody Hedlund and Northern Lights Press for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
"In all the years I'd relied upon my own strength, I hadn't needed God's. Now I was coming to understand the truth of my father's claim that God's grace and presence shine the strongest in our humblest moments."
It was going to take a miracle. A member of the king's elite guard, Lance has just vowed to carry the dying king's infant daughters to safety, along with the keys to an ancient treasure. When he enters the queen's chambers, he discovers her majesty to have already passed from one life into the next, and a lovely young noble woman having made the same vow as his. With only minutes to escape their enemy's encroachment, Lance acquiesces to allow the maiden to join him in their escape from the castle through a little known tunnel. But fleeing the grounds is just the first of many dangerous maneuvers that Lance and Lady Felicia must make on their way to "always".
"Happiness is a choice we can make no matter what life brings us, is it not?"
A lovely, adventurous beginning to the author's new young adult series.
This is a super sweet book. Literally that is the main thing I can say about it. It was a perfect read when I was looking to just relax on a hot summer day.
This is a novella, meaning it is shorter than a novel but longer than a short story—so right in between! But it still made me want to turn the pages so fast. I didn’t want to stop reading. Jody has a way of pulling readers into the story, which makes the story come alive. I love it.
I cannot wait to read the next three books in this series. Like this one is just so great I am sure the others will be just as amazing.
The cover is beautiful. I really like it. It adds the “princess” into the story of adventure. 5 stars to whoever designed this cover.
As for the story, you can guess how many stars I am giving it. It deserves 5 stars. I would recommend this book to any readers who enjoy adventure and romance, mixed with a little mystery.
This little novella got started with a bigger bang than I anticipated and the story just kept moving right till the end! My heart was racing as Lance and Felicia fought to keep the princesses safe from those who chased them! I greatly admired the way they both thought nothing of sacrificing everything to protect the rightful heirs to the throne! I really liked both of their characters and enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. Hedlund created a great story world and perfectly set up the books that are coming in this series! I definitely recommend reading this first so you can see how everything gets started! I’m looking forward to reading each of the princesses stories and seeing how the story will end!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I am a longtime fan of Author Jody Hedlund, and I can’t believe I had never read one of the books in her Young Adult genre. I realize after enjoying Always I have been missing some excellent reading. The author’s research into medieval times is meticulous and the descriptions were so real. A definite page-turner! I think it is suitable for both Young Adults as well as adults. It’s a good, clean romance and who doesn’t enjoy a story about princesses and strong, handsome knights in shining armor. Always is a novella that you will want to read before you start The Lost Princesses Series. I look forward to reading the first book! I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author. The opinions are completely my own.
I loved this introduction to the Lost Princesses. You know you are in for a good series when you can't put down the prequel! I really can't wait to see how the Princesses lives have turned out and how they will beat the evil that has taken over their kingdom.
This novella features Felicia, a lady in waiting to the Queen. She is to take the newborn twins and the heir to the throne to safety. She and one of the King's guards, Lance, take on a perilous journey to save the Princesses. The story was filled with action and adventure that I had a hard time putting it down.
I am so excited to read the series!!!!
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
"Sometimes, when we think we've come to a dead end, we've arrived instead at God's stepping-stone on the way to bigger plans."
Stunning cover delivers exactly what it promises. Knights and ladies; dire danger and plenty of action. And sweet, chivalrous romance. What a spellbinding start to Jody Hedlund's Lost Princesses series. The author sets the stage for the three enchanting tales to come in this novella. But don't be fooled by the shorter length -- Always is chock-full of page-turning delights. Love the fairy tale quality and medieval setting. While Lance and Felecia's part of the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion, the author leaves some dangling threads that will be picked up in future books -- three 'lost' princesses (actually they are just really well hidden) = the promise of three enchanting stories to come. And since Evermore, Foremost and Hereafter are already in print I'll be devouring them soon.
What an amazing start to a new series by Jody Hedlund! If you plan on reading The Lost Princesses series, you need to begin with this novella. There is so much backstory here that I know is going to be important when reading future installments. Not only that, but it's good! Hedlund provides a story that will keep you on your toes, surprise you, and toy with your emotions. I literally read this in one sitting because I could not put it down. You won't be able to either!
A series for any age, not just young adults, readers will find themselves swept away with Hedlund's beautiful writing, adventurous storyline, and wonderful characters. If this is any inkling as to what's ahead in this series, I can tell you it's going to be something great. Probably my favorite from Hedlund to date!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a book that you won’t want to put down! I couldn’t read it fast enough! The details were rich and kept me immersed in the story the entire time. I really liked that this book can be entertaining for young adults and adults. I just can’t wait for the rest of the series!
I was given a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author, but was not required to write a review. The thoughts and comments are my own.
The start of a new series. And may I say, it's a winner. I never go wrong reading Jody Hedlund. She immerses me in a different time and place
Felicia was phenomenal, full of bravery, gentleness, and a surprising tenacity. Lance was great too. He felt a little cookie-cutter near the beginning but this knight proved to be thoughtful and sweet. They built upon each other which I loved.
Throw in any adventure plot about running away or speeding through the woods for a prize and I'm in. And that's what this medieval fantasy is full of. (Once more I shall stress 'fantasy'. Please don't confuse.) The pacing was great--a little abrupt at end though--and the ending set up the next book great. I also want to point out how gentle Jody started with the world and then gave us spoonfuls along the way to help us grasp the full picture.
Loved how this fantasy conquered some tropes in multiple genres and embraced some of my favorite tropes while at it. Jody Hedlund is not to be missed as she writes with a sword of skill.