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Fierce Heart

(Elven Alliance #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Essie would do anything for her kingdom…even marry an elf prince she just met that morning.

When a diplomatic meeting goes horribly wrong, Essie, a human princess, finds herself married to the elf prince and warrior Laesornysh. Fitting in to the serene, quiet elf culture might be a little difficult for this talkative princess, but she’s determined to make it work.

Paperback, 338 pages
Published November 26th 2019 by Sword & Cross Publishing
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  394 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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H.S.J. Williams
Gosh! When is the last time I stayed up late to read a book? I can't even remember.

Fantasy Romance is not my typical go-to genre as I generally find it full of uncomfortable hormones making poor decisions or sweet and clean but really boring. But every once in a while I find a gem in this niche and FIERCE HEART is such a gem!

First off, ELVEEEEEESSSSS. I'm really picky about how elves are handled in books. I love Tolkien's elves, and I generally find other elves in fantasy fall short to that
Sylvia Mercedes
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an adorable story! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment (and I'm not even usually a romance reader!). Definitely hooked for book 2 . . . .
W.R. Gingell
Very much enjoyed! Light and big-hearted, with a chatty heroine and a surprisingly thoughtful hero. I'm a sucker for arranged marriage books, and this one had may of the best things I like about that without having the worse things... I did feel like I was reading the first third of a full book, but I won't lament at that too much since this is the first in a series and we're bound to see more of this whole story.
Jaye Knight
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eeep! So good! I haven’t read a whole book so quickly in FOREVER. I totally neglected editing my own book to do it. I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob. No, seriously, it did. And I certainly did my fair share of swooning. It was adorable and delightful and I can hardly wait to read book two!! P.S. I want to wrap Farrendel in bubble wrap and protect the poor, precious dear forever.
Claire Banschbach
Oh my gosh! I loved this so much! RTC!
I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted, steampunk-flavoured, clean romantic fantasy. A human princess marries an elf prince in order to forge an alliance between their kingdoms. Together, they promote peace through trade (in magical elven haircare products, in fact *snort*).

This was just a cosy, sweet rainy-day read and I was hooked all the way through. It's an arranged-marriage romance, which can be easy to do wrong, with a lot of the male love interests in such stories behaving coldly,
Savannah Jezowski
I designed the covers for this series so I can’t leave a starred review, but if I could it would be five stars. I ADORED the hero and heroine. They were both like able characters, not your typical angsty rebellious heroine or brooding, borderline-mean hero. They were so well written, and I LOVED the arranged marriage plot. There are not enough books about married couples, and I loved how this one played out. The romance was so beautifully written, so sweet, and very clean while still being ...more
Patricia King
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I saw this book while it was still in the pre-order phase, and thought, “That looks interesting.” But even though it is only 99 cents, I decided to wait until the delivery date, so that I could try a sample first. Mainly because I have pre-ordered new authors before, based on the blurb on the order page, and immediately regretted it.
So, I downloaded the sample during the very early hours of the 26th, and ended up spending the remainder of the night reading this delightful book. As the other
J.M. Stengl
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, romance
After reading other reviews, I'm going to sound like an echo chamber here, but really, this book is so much fun! The author takes elf/human romance tropes and turns them upside-down and definitely right side out. The heroine is very courageous to go into an arranged marriage with an elf prince she has only ever heard of as a dangerous warrior. Her positive attitude, courage, and wise choices--not to mention her often hilarious inner dialogue--make her a very likable POV character.
And Farrendel
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it

I always have fun reading a human/elven romance, and this book didn't disappoint for me!

I liked both characters, and Essie's strong and kind personality really grew on me. Hopefully in the next books we can see a bit more of Farrendel’s personality coming out as they struggle to find a place for themselves.

oh and a tiny story spoiler- but I was really relieved (view spoiler)
Rebekah Gyger
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really fun book. I love well done stories about married couples and felt that this was a particularly well done romance for an arranged marriage. Essie goes into the relationship with perhaps the best attitude and expectations I've seen in such a story, and she keeps that outlook through out the book.

There were somethings I felt could have been edited a little better, such as occasional repeated words in the same paragraph. I also would have liked for the melding of technology and
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ok. Wow. That was an amazing read!!!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. Most romances are sappy, cheesy, and have a plot that is just thrown together. This book? AMAZING!

The romance was clean, and put together well. There was also a real plot. It was very well done.

And Elves! Finally someone wrote a book with Real, Tolkien-like Elves. The portrayal of them and their world was stunning. Again, very well done.

As for characters? Essie was adorable! So strong and energetic. I loved the
Caelena Fey
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I read this book after watching Frozen 2, I just can't help but compare the heroine with Anna. They are both just so cheerful, it such a refreshing thing to read.

The dialogs in this book are my favorite part.

“Why did you agree to this arranged marriage?”
It was only fair if she was just as vulnerable as he had been a few moments earlier. “Actually, I kind of suggested it. It started off as a joke, sort of. I was somewhat serious when I said it. Avie decided to use it as an opening gambit,
Easily one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, and definitely one of my favourite books ever. It had a my favourite things—a strong yet sensitive hero, a smart, kind heroine, and COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE LEADS. There were literally moments where I just had to stop and sigh in absolute giddiness. In a world where pessimistic, postmodern views have seeped into literature, it is refreshing to read stories that touch on darkness while also spreading light and hope. I’ve fallen and fallen ...more
Jenny Koch
Really liked the characters - the heroine in particular was so rational and understanding that in a field filled with TSTL fantasy romance heroines, she was an utter delight.
Essie knows that her duty as a princess is to marry for a political alliance. So when the elves want to bargain, she tells her brother she’s willing to marry for the sake of building peace between the humans and the elves.

Her either suggests is, thinking they will counter offer. But he never expects them to accept.

So Essie is married off to a young prince, the fierce warrior known as Laesornysh, who turned the tides on the last war.

This book checked all my favorite tropes. It’s an exploration
Merenwen Inglorion
Normally, when I put stories on my "romance" shelf, the romance is more of a significant side-mention, the aftermath of adventure, defying death, and some tough choices.
This one is straight-up romance. Beginning to end.
And it's lovely.
I believe its loveliness lies with the main character, whose head we are in the entire time (this deep third POV was consistent, a difficult thing to do):

Quote: Ugh. She gave herself another mental shake, harder this time. She was not going to turn into one of
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rounding up because I have low expectations when I read a new author and am pleasantly surprised when they turn out to be good. I went in expecting more fantasy adventure but this was at its heart mainly a clean romance set in a fantasy world. Luckily I enjoyed it and was able to shift my expectations. The premise is that the humans and elves are trying to avoid war so a princess human marries an elven prince to try and help guarantee peace.

The marriage could have been full of resentment and
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Fierce Heart, by Tara Grayce, is the first book in the Elven Alliance series. I gotta say, I really enjoyed this book. For one thing, it bucked the trend of a princess who falls in love with a pauper or a commoner or someone equally unlikely. Princess Elspeth, aka Essie, knows she has a duty to marry for the sake of an alliance. She accepts her lot in life. And she has prepared to fulfill her obligations.

That is a breath of fresh air.

The book starts off a bit on the slow side, but after the
Ariel Masters
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essie is a Breath of Fresh Air.

Finally, a princess who understands the great responsibility that comes with the role!

In a desperate attempt for peace, Essie marries a prince she doesn't know, enters a world she's only heard and read about, and faces prejudice with a smile.

It's been a while since I've read a romance, but I did enjoy it. The pace kept things rolling forward. Yet, it was the climax that made me certain this book deserved five stars. Such a powerful ending.

Looking forward to book
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Y'all, this was cute as HECK. Also there was a lot of blood, but still. Cute.
I plowed through it (it's pretty short tho), fully planning to roll up to the Kindle store and pick up the second one right after, only to realize that it's not out til, like, July, and I am Suffering.
The tone was very chatty, which I kind of liked, but will not work for everyone, and there was the occasional typo or error, but I do not CARE because it was CUTE and SWEET and that gets you pretty far with me, ngl.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
SO wishing I could rate this book MORE than FIVE stars, it was just SO GOOD!! This is the book to read if you ever wondered what it would be like if Legolas married a human. Essie agrees to marry Prince Farrendel on sight in order to bring the elves and humans peace, she figures it's the right thing to do and she wants to avoid war. Farrendel is special, both in identity and in magic/fighting skills, and fortunately he has the same heart Essie has in this marriage agreement. He's a total ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very cute and quick read. I love how the relationship between the characters was built. It is really a sweet book. However.... the mention and obsession with elf shampoo and conditioner was a little much. Seriously at least a few times in every chapter it is mentioned. Besides that super cute read.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a light romantic fantasy with characters that make rational decisions, a somewhat damaged assassin/warrior prince, and an adorable slow burn romance. Highly recommend if you are looking for a quick read that will make you smile (and make you wish for elven shiny hair magic). Thanks to Sylvia Mercedes, who recommended this in her newsletter. Also, note that the book doesn't exactly end on a cliffhanger, but it isn't a standalone so we'll have to wait for book 2.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fierce Heart is the first book in the Elven Alliance series by Tara Grayce.

The human kingdom of Escarland and the Elven kingdom of Tarenhiel have been fighting a war for the past fifteen years. Such an extended period of time under constant skirmishes at their joining borders has led to more deaths than either side is comfortable with continuing. In a desperate play for peace King Averett reluctantly proposes his sister Elspeth’s hand in marriage, hoping that this offer will be turned down
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: generic-fantasy, fae
This was an unexpected good read. I think I randomly added it from my kindle unlimited options. I'm glad I did. Haven't read a good fantasy in a while. I appreciate that the h is not a meek character, and her H has his own issues he struggles with. The ending leads me wanting more.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was sooo sweet, my teeth ache and my heart melts
Susie Johnson
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
VERY VERY good book!!! AWESOME love story, couldn't wait to read it to know the WHOLE STORY but HATED for it to end!!! Farrendel's story is so tragic I just wanted to hug him and apparently so did Essie--She was definitely made for him!!! I fought between giving it 4 and 5 stars, ended on 4 b/c it was a bit "wordier" than I like in some places but those parts were important in setting up the NEXT book hopefully, with more action , the action parts of this book were SOMETHING ELSE though!! Can't ...more
Rebecca Widener
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Clean, fun cross-cultural romance in an interesting setting with believable characters and relationships. I loved the emphasis on love as a choice.
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Born and raised in Michigan, I enjoy traveling to new adventures that inspire my writing.

Growing up, I read just about every book I could get my hands on, especially fantasy. I currently write YA fantasy and romantic fantasy filled with lots of humor, spunky and tough leading ladies, and broken heroes.

When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with my chocolate lab, Miss Kisses.

Other books in the series

Elven Alliance (2 books)
  • War Bound (Elven Alliance #2)
“The women would never let their men go to war against the source of their haircare products.” 1 likes
“Essie couldn’t pick out a word of what he was saying, but it did seem like he went on for several paragraphs.” 0 likes
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