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Stars and Shadows #1

A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows

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Destiny or desire?

Where does your allegiance lie?

I am told my union to the crowned prince will determine the fate of the kingdom, but it isn’t my betrothed who haunts my dreams. It’s the half-breed prince who stands at his side.

He is darkness and sin, and when he whispers promises of wickedness in my ear, I crave a man who I can’t have.

Every thought I have is treasonous. The way my hands ache to touch him deceitful.

Even my dreams make me a traitor to the kingdom I am sworn to protect.

But when the kingdom is attacked, I am forced to make choices I’m not prepared for. Our lies and deception are entangled in the shadows and stars, and as they unravel so shall my fate. Betray a kingdom or betray my heart.

259 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 14, 2022

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About the author

Holly Renee

26 books3,707 followers
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Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of contemporary romance, Holly Renee brings readers a pinch of angst, an indulgence of heat, and the perfect amount of heart in every book.

Born and raised in East Tennesse, she is a married mom of two wild children. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, pretending to be a dragon for the hundredth time that day, being disgustingly in love with her husband, or chilling in the middle of the lake with her sunglasses and a float.

Holly is a lover of all things romance, Mexican food, Harry Potter, and yoga pants.

Holly is represented by Savannah Greenwell at Two Daisy Media.

Find me here:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EmyBlD
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2BFWTnG
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2DZUqtz

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5 stars
8,244 (31%)
4 stars
8,759 (33%)
3 stars
6,023 (23%)
2 stars
2,133 (8%)
1 star
655 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,315 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
September 29, 2022
this is sooo similar to ‘what lies beyond the veil.’ so similar that i was able to predict the twist at the end.

but thats not a bad thing because my enjoyment came from the rest of the story. fantasy romances are my guilty pleasure and this definitely hit the spot. its not the most well-written, the characters are pretty generic, and the plot predictable. but thats exactly what i want from these kind of stories. something where i can turn my brain off and just enjoy an angsty bond between two characters who think they are enemies. lol.

so this a good series to start if you are looking for something to scratch your fantasy itch!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
796 reviews2,876 followers
July 22, 2023
“If I knew how to do this, I would. If I knew how to love you without getting you hurt, I would never allow them to touch you again.”
“Your family?”
“Your enemies.”

I picked this up thinking it'd be short and sexy, but it turns out it's not the case and that's a description that I can only apply to myself.

★𝗪𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: ✍🏼✍🏼✍🏼/5
★𝗣𝗟𝗢𝗧: 📜📜/5
★𝗥𝗢𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘: 🌹🌹/5

Excuse the Leo humor, but if this wasn't the let down of the month, I don't know what it was.
In the book's defense, it was rather short and a very quick read. It also tried very hard to be sexy, but the more the author tried, the cringier it got, so I'll rule that one out.

I wouldn't say AKOSAS (an acronym too pretty for a book so mediocre, in my humble opinion) is a bad book, it's just painfully underdeveloped.
There's so little world-building and lore I was the John Travolta in Pulp Fiction gif the entire time I was reading this.
Who knows. Not me, that's for sure.
And not the heroine, THAT'S FOR SURE.
Seriously, for someone who's supposed to have this important task, this life that was controlled since birth and centered around a central role she was supposed to take, this lady knew very little of what was happening around her.
And who can blame her. Lol.

The characters felt so dull I couldn't pinpoint a single characteristic about either main character and her boyfriend-in-law if it was biting my ass. Heroine is just....ther. And Mister Love Interest tries too hard to be a bad boy. Even Jace WaylandLightwoodMorgensternHerondale was broodier than him, back in two thousand and cringe.
The writing is average, although it had its peak in the first chapters, which mislead me into thinking this could be way better than it actually was.
And the dialogues. My goodness, how unoriginal and trite they were.

I swear, though, nothing prepared me for the mess that was the romance.
So insta the characters fell in love and lust before the book was even written, the romance is so scripted and shallow you could tell me my 13-yo non-reader niece and her hormone-fueled bffs wrote it, and I'd absolutely believe you.
It lacked the tension and angst that usually come with forbidden love between two people who are supposed to be enemies. Jesus Christ, Mister Love Interest dropped bombs about him falling to his knees for FMC in the second chapter.
THE SECOND CHAPTER. And the first one was super short, so it counts like chapter 1 and a half.
Their love was all tell and no show, but most importantly, it lacked motivation. Why would you consume yourself for someone so ardently when you've barely interacted and know nothing of the other? Why put into this "love" all of yourself when all you've said before to one another were just pleasantries and cringey innuendos?
I wish I remembered to highlight the exchanges these two had before they started longing for each other in the way they were, because the notion would be scandalously embarrassing.
The talking during the sex scene made me wanna cry. It was just THAT bad and basically a copy-paste of all the over the top, cussing-filled, cheesy lines you'll find on Wattpad.
And of course the main character is a virgin superstar! I love smut with my books, but hate it when there's a virgin heroine who sucks dick like she patents for Hoover and whose body is a pleasure machine.
I could overlook this, if at least it gave me some emotion. But nope, in tune with the romance, this gave me nothing except for a weird urge to re-read Sea of Ruin.
AND OMG Can you believe the disrespect???

In short, this was a YA novel with fanfictionesque smut and characters so forgettable I actually forgotten their names as I wrote this review.
Two stars and not one because it was very very fast-paced and the writing didn't suck completely.
Profile Image for aly ☆彡 (hiatus).
346 reviews1,170 followers
December 16, 2022
The premise must got you thinking that you're in for one hot, spicy, forbidden romance but I’d say this book lacks tension and happened to be one of the blandest books I’ve read.

I love Evren and the heroine which I forgot her name already (this book is forgettable) but there is just something about the dirty talks and secrecy that didn't excite me. The writing just probably doesn't help? I guess.

Further RTC
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
797 reviews2,822 followers
February 10, 2023
Holy shit! I don't even know how to begin this review. To say I enjoyed this book is an extreme understatement. Holly Renee impressed the hell out of me with this creative, engaging, perfectly paced, captivating fantasy romance.


I would go as far as to say A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows is one of my favorite books of the year. In fact, if this series keeps moving in the direction it is now, it might just become one of my top fantasy series of all time. I know that's high praise, but with how much I enjoyed this read, it deserves it!


AKOSAS is the author's first foray into this subgenre, but if I didn't know beforehand, I would have never guessed. Her world building is so well done and easily digestible. All the information we need is delivered to us naturally in bite-sized pieces that don't bog you down and overwhelm you. There is no lengthy info dumps to be found here, and I seriously fucking appreciated that.


Fae, vampires, royalty, magic, political intrigue, arranged marriage, forbidden romance, a swoonworthy hero, a Starblessed heroine, scorching hot sexual tension, violence, and a healthy dose of steam, this book has it all! From the moment I picked it up, I was hooked, and I only became more enraptured as the story went on. It delivers in every single way. The plot, the characters, the romance, the world, literally everything about it gets an A plus from me!


Above all, A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows is just a damn good time! It's interesting, entertaining, sexy, enchanting, intriguing, and exciting. Adara and Everyn are EVERYTHING! Their banter gave me life. Every interaction between them is like foreplay, and the sexual tension pouring off the page is so intense you can FEEL it down to your toes.


Even if everything else about this story was mediocre, Everyn would make it a masterpiece! His one liners alone deserve 5 stars. This man had me fanning myself as soon as he was introduced! If you know me, you know it's hard to earn a spot in my fantasy harem, but Everyn reserved one almost immediately. He's strong, hot, sarcastic, powerful, playful, a little bit of an asshole (my kryptonite), half motherfucking vampire, and as skilled on the battlefield as he is in the bedroom. The way he is enamored with Adara and the things he says to her will have you full on swooning and damn near panting the whole way through the book. I'm talking turn up the air-conditioning and put an ice pack in your panties, y'all!!


I'm going to shut up now, because I could talk about this book all day. I love it so much I can't put it into words. This review doesn't even do it justice. You need to read it and experience this incredible story for yourself!


If you're a fantasy romance fan and even if you're not, please give this one a try. It's a great first fantasy for contemporary romance fans wanting to dip their toes in. Trust me, you won't regret it!
Profile Image for monica ✨ romantasyreader.
375 reviews466 followers
October 25, 2022
Reread October 2022
Everything in my original review still stands. This book is highly entertaining, short, smutty, and predictable (but in the best way!). Evren ily.


My fate has never been mine.

THE TROPESSSS. The tropes are elite.

✩ Forbidden love
✩ Forced marriage
✩ Vampires
✩ Fae
✩ Inter-species war
✩ Magic
✩ Prophecies
✩ Powerful fmc
✩ Touch her and you d!e (literally)
✩ One horse

A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows follows Adara, a Starblessed human fated to marry the fae prince. It starts off the night before she’s sent to the fae realm.

The plot is slow to develop, and focuses a lot more on relationships rather than plot movement. But there is action and suspense so I never got bored.

The romance is so hot. I love the love interest (which one is it hmm??) so much. He’s protective, powerful, and possessive af.

There’s court politics, betrayals, secrets, spice, and everything you could want in a fantasy romance. My complaint? It’s so short!

The ending was slightly predictable but I’m not mad about it because it sets up this series perfectly. Please excuse me while I go scream in my pillow until book 2 comes out.
Profile Image for Hailey Stalter.
338 reviews12 followers
July 20, 2022
*Language and spoilers - it's a mean review y'all.*

I don't understand all the 5 star reviews. I really don't. There's better smut out there, y'all. Smut with cohesive storylines where the language used makes SENSE (what the fuck was 'bummer' used for???).

I guess it doesn't matter when there's literally no backstory and no timeline to go off of. Who knows when her dad actually died or why the hatred of her mother went so deep - all I'm garnering from the information I'm being given is Adara is a dumbass whose vagina has completely taken over any sense she may have possessed.

Maybe I hated this so much because that's the ugliest trope in existence to me. The chosen one who continually puts herself and others at risk needlessly because her emotions rule her life. And she doesn't learn, either. No no no. She's going to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and then have the audacity to blame everyone but herself.

This needed heavy editing and could've probably been cut in half because the pining and yearning and "we can't be together because XYZ even though we've had literally every opportunity to run away up until now" was just repeated again and again. I get tired of that, y'all. I'd hope within the 4 hours it took to read SOMEONE would get smart and start making the right decisions.

We're also introduced to Evren's personal guards. Aka we were given their names and then they died within a chapter or so. Why introduce them at all if they're just going to be killed? Maybe if there'd been some depth and some explanation as to why they chose to serve Evren it would've been worth it. But all I read was "Evren is wonderful, we'd die for him, but we aren't actually going to tell you why!" Like we see Evren do nice things and be a "nice guy" throughout the book but honestly he's also really shitty and lies a lot to the MC and is selfish and I guess I just really don't understand why the author didn't just pick a lane for him. Is he a brash asshole with some redemptive qualities or is he some savior of the people who's completely misunderstood? The lines blurred too much there and Evren fell really flat for me as a result.

To touch on the language again, and why it was such an issue for me, this came across as a fantasy romance/smut set in a world where the pet name "princess" shouldn't have come across with the same tone as a modern day fuck boy pretending to be a Dom in your Snapchat inbox. In the eternal words of Christopher Walken in Joe Dirt - "it's the wrong tone." You can keep the tone of the world you're trying to build without breaking character, so to speak.

OH AND GASP! THE PLOT TWIST AT THE END! WOW! Totally didn't see that coming back around chapter 5.

Just kidding I totally did.

Overall I liked the premise. And I love tropes, when they're done well. But the execution here made the storyline feel rushed and inconsequential, and overall cheapened the effect I think the author was aiming for.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Megan.
158 reviews59 followers
July 20, 2022
This was just a bad FBAA fanfic
Profile Image for Kat valentine ( Katsbookcornerreads).
644 reviews876 followers
July 24, 2022
“You may be blessed by the stars, princess, but you were fucking made for me. Fate be damned.”

Kingdom of Stars and Shadows was fantastic!!
Holly Renee is a fabulous storyteller and her characters simply delicious!!
This tale was full of intrigue, passion and some really awesome sex scenes! Holy shit! did I get all hot and bothered from reading this book! Evren the bastard prince and brother to the future king is a gorgeous badboy who's bold and intense and has a very dominant nature and if that's not enough he's half high fae and the other half is vampire! And the words he uses and his touches have the beautiful Adara the starblessed beauty who's been promised to his brother all twisted in knots and her body on fire! The chemistry between these two lovers is darkly sensual and leads to many moments of stolen pleasure that keeps both coming back for more. I loved Evren from the very moment of his introduction!!!! I always prefer the badboys or the villains and especially when their like him. I don't know what it is about a guy that says your mine! It always gives me the feels and I like it ! And when Evren said it ,I was fuck the brother I want him! And so should you! His brother Prince Gavril while handsome is a fucking creep who I didn't care for at all and especially after what him and his bitch mother the queen did to Adara!! In this tale the true monsters are the royal family and their obsession with Adara and her curse! Her only purpose to them is taking her power to further their kingdom. Theirs a big twist at the end and a cliffhanger!! But I don't care!! I'm hooked and I'm so into seeing what's going to happen next to Evren and Adara I can't wait for book 2 coming out later this year!! Until next time Luv's💗💋
Profile Image for Kursed Reads.
499 reviews3,150 followers
July 25, 2022
According to lore, a Starblessed has the potential to unlock shrouded power within the high fae.  
Betrothed to the crowned prince of Citlali, Gavril Achlys, the Starblessed, Adara, is taken to Achlys Palace to fulfill her destiny. 
“Every Starblessed is born with the ability to awaken the dormant and lethal magic that hides within a fae. From what we’ve been told for years, you are the key to guaranteeing our safety.”  
Strong and feisty, Adara isn’t ready to accept her fate without a fight. Despite her discontent, she is, however, drawn to Evren Achlys, the bastard son of King Riven. Evren’s filthy mouth and their budding forbidden romance will draw you in and keep you captivated through the very last page. And let’s talk about that last page. WTAF?!?!?!  
Real talk: fantasy is not my go-to genre. And yet, I’m over here with a countdown clock waiting for A Kingdom of Blood and Betrayal because, is it November yet? Holly Renee has perfectly crafted a world with enough nuance to be enchanting without being overwhelming. I was lost within the pages as this world Holly has given us has all things: mystery and intrigue, angst and steam, and a myriad emotions. Without question, A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows will be living rent free for the foreseeable future.  

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Burn: 🔥🔥🔥1/2
Darkness: 🖤
Heat: 🌶
Range of Emotions: 😩😢🤬🥵🤯
Ending: 🧗🏻‍♀️ {Cliffy}
POV: 🧍🏻‍♀️{Single}

🗂 Genre: Fantasy Romance

✨ Tropes: Enemies-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriage, Royalty, Forced Proximity, Forbidden, Touch-Her-and-💀, Virgin h, One Bed

🫦 Kinks: Dirty Talk

⚠️ Safety Squad: Generally Safe

📣 Type: A Kingdom of Stars & Shadows is part of the Stars & Shadows series and ends on a cliffhanger.

🛑 Be Advised: My Goodreads shelves are … explicit in both senses. As such, they could be considered spoiler-y.
Profile Image for ✩ Yaz ✩.
522 reviews1,656 followers
July 25, 2022
3.5 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

“You may be blessed by the stars, princess, but you were fucking made for me. Fate be damned.”

A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows is a fantasy romance featuring Fae and Vampyres and it's perfect for fans of From Blood and Ash.


— Forbidden love
— Arranged marriage
— Enemies-to-Lovers
— Bodyguard/Captain of the Guard
— Chosen one
— "Touch her you die"
— Spicy
— Fae and Vampyres
— Inter-species war
— Court intrigue
— Magic
— Prophecies
— One horse

"You will determine the future of our world."
Simple words that have damned Adara Cahira, of the Starless and the chosen Starblessed whose blood is the key to unlocking the High Fae's dormant powers.

Adara's fate has never been hers, for her future was sold to the Crown Prince as his bride, but it's very well-known she would be anything but a blushing bride—she's a prized mare being exchanged for the luxuries the Citalian royal family is providing to her mother.

“Trust me, princess. It took everything inside of me not to fall to my knees before you.”

A great obstacle came to Adara in the form of a wicked Captain of the Guard, Evren.

The sparks immediately flew between Adara and Evren upon their first meeting, but what future is there for the promised bride of the Crown Prince and a Captain of the Guards.

“That’s it, princess. Scream my name while they eagerly await you. You are their savior but my demise. You are to ruin every part of me.”

Adara and Evren could not help but to surrender to the blazing passion between them. I was entertained by the chemistry and the banter between them.

This book would've been a 4⭐️ read but I had to deduct half a star because it felt a bit insta-lovey for me.

The romance happened too quickly for me, while yes I understand it's not a big book and things are bound to happen at a faster pace, but I just wish there was more build-up to make the romance at the beginning a bit more believable to me. "Believable" is a silly word it's a fantasy book, but like, I just wanted it to feel organic because it felt like once Evren set his sights on her the first time he was a goner.

I also hope the world-building and magic system is more fleshed out in the next book, I think the author managed to create an intriguing world and it made me want more.

I still think this book is enjoyable and it's a quick read so it's perfect for those that are in the mood for a fantasy romance to read in one-sitting. The sequel is coming out in November and I'll definitely pick that one up.

The book does end in a cliffhanger, it's not a bad one but it managed to hook me.

Trigger Warnings: sexually explicit scenes, violence, assault, and sexual assault.
388 reviews9 followers
July 18, 2022
UGH. WHY? Why are so many recommending this? As a person whose favorite mix is fantasy romance (with or without spice) from enemies to lovers, I know we are searching for the next best thing to fill that hole after moving through what's already out there...but this, this is not it. There can be standards. It's clearly a mash-up of every similar book that's ever been recommended but poorly done. And if you couldn't see where this was going from page 15, then, I guess maybe this worked for you. Nothing was shocking, or new. The "love" aspect was awkward and in no way built up. Cracked me up the words "bummer" and "dumb" were filtered in. You should play a drinking game with how many times the FMC pleads or warns using the MMC's name, might make it more fun. This is for those that somehow liked City of Thorns or Ruin of Roses and recommend those with sincerity.
Profile Image for Carla Bulian.
1,325 reviews290 followers
August 11, 2022
This story is amazing, with a lot of action and romance.
It’s worth the reading!
Profile Image for ⊹ Gabriela | asternyx ⊹.
518 reviews305 followers
March 4, 2023
Actual Rating: 3.75🌟

What to expect:
∘ NA Fantasy
∘ Romance
∘ Fae/Vampyres
∘ Royals
∘ Morally Grey Characters
∘ Arranged Marriage
∘ Enemies to Lovers
∘ Forbidden Romance
∘ "Touch her and you die"
∘ Cliffhanger

Trigger Warnings: assault, sexual assault, violence

Adara is a Starblessed human who's promised to the Fae prince and it's said that their union will determine the fate of their kingdom.
Even though her future had been decided for her, she will not cover and accept it so willingly.
And when Adara meets Evren, their attraction is instantaneous, but their relationship is forbidden.

The plot took a back seat to the romance and its progress is slow. However, we still have lots of action, tension filled moments and suspense.
The writing is easy to get into and given the fact that it's fast-paced and short, one could easily read it in one sitting.

We were given a few details about the world & the magic, but I wish they will more developed in the future because I'm interested in finding more about this world.

Adara is a strong character, I like her determination and the fact that she wasn't ready to go down without a fight. I wish we'll see more character development in the next books.
I fell in love with him from their first encounter. He's the Captain of the Guard — mysterious, dark and intriguing who hides a possessive, caring and intense man and has such a dirty mouth ...
He's a psycopath who cares about nothing but power and would do anything to get it. I hated him from the beginning and I doubt this will change.

The forbidden relationship between Adara & Evren is filled with sexual tension, angst and stolen moments of pleasure. We have the insta-lust and enemies-to-lovers tropes (my favorite). Evren's really protective of Adara, but he's also limited and in many cases his hands are tied. However, he does give off "Touch her and you die" vibes.

That ending? I saw RED.
This book is perfect for fans of From Blood and Ash and What Lies Beyond the Veil.
If you're looking for a short, fast-paced, romance-fantasy book, give this one a go!

«⋯ Stars and Shadows series ⋯»
#1 A Kingdom of Stars and Shadows — 3.75🌟
#2 A Kingdom of Blood and Betrayal — 3🌟
#3 A Kingdom of Venom & Vows — *tbr
Profile Image for Samantha (bookgramsaga reviews).
536 reviews451 followers
March 28, 2023
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

''You are their savior but my demise''

Safety warnings:
- No cheating
- No OW drama
- OM drama
- Violence/d*ath
- Assault
- Cliffhanger





I put off reading this series until it was complete so here we are!

There are some elements to this book that are a bit unique and some other elements that are your typical fantasy. Girl is destined for a greater purpose and betrothed to the wrong brother. The bastard son is her mate and love while her betrothed is the villain we believed all along despite his ''kindness''.

I saw the twists coming from a mile away, but it was still interesting to get through them to see how Adara would react as she was the one that was completely clueless while for the readers the clues were laid out for us throughout the book.

Adara is Starblessed and fated to be the savior of the world and marry Gavril who is the crown prince of the Fae. However, it is Evren his half older brother (also captain of the guard) who she is connected to and falls for...and we find out that Evren is half fae from his father and half vampyre from his mothers side.

If you thought the Fae King would of had relations with a lowly vampyre to have Evren then you are mistaken but more on that later.

Now what is Starblessed? Well, it means her blood is filled with power and whoever drinks from her will be able to take that power and use it to their advantage which after many Starblessed have come and gone nobody was able to be as powerful as Adara....they need her power to protect the world from the Blood Court aka Vampyres.

Gavril is presented to us as if he is kind and wants to really help Adara adjust to the life she will live with him but in reality, you can see the red flags from the get-go. He is horrible deep down and only craves power, he could care less about Adara and it is evident in the way he forces her to be held by his guards as he feeds from her after he promised it would only happen AFTER they got married. It was assault and the fact his mother (the Queen) was present in the room and has absolutely no remorse for doing any of this speaks volume.

Evren is tasked to take her away from the Castle to another place to protect her from the threats they received, and he does so but I knew, I fucking knew that he would not be doing so. They are captured by the Blood Court guards and Queen who reveals that Evren is her son and the crown prince of the Blood Court and the best reveal during this entire adventure. Evren and Adara are MATES. Well, I was not surprised by either of these things, but Adara was lol

Adara feels betrayed by his lies and I get her feelings about it but how could he had revealed these things to her in fear she would tell someone else, and his plans for years would be destroyed? He is a traitor to the Fae court; he is a spy and has access to so much information and resources that losing it all would be costly and destroy whatever it is they wanted to accomplish.

There were elements of FBAA, Red Queen and ACOTAR in this book which is why I was able to decipher the clues and find out the truth long before it was revealed but that doesn't mean it is a copy nor straight idea stealing but rather the formula that works for fantasy books and what readers tend to love to read about, it's filled with angst and a forbidden feeling.

I am really intrigued to find out HOW the Blood Court Queen and the Fae King got together in the first place as we find out that he was with her before he became King and Evren was born right around the time he was crowned King. Was it love that turned sour? Was it just a ONS? I need answers and I hope we find out more as the series progresses.
Profile Image for Jan Agaton.
771 reviews490 followers
February 28, 2023
i should've dnf'd. idk how i dealt with Princess Nub for 250+ pages. hooowww is this almost at a 4.0 average rating..are y'all okay??
Profile Image for Morgann Book.
197 reviews889 followers
January 12, 2023
The romance in this... chefs kiss <333

“Trust me, princess. It took everything inside of me not to fall to my knees before you.”

“I think we both know that I could do things to you that my brother would never dream of.”

“I can walk.” “It’s easier and faster if I carry you,” he grumbled without stopping, and I winced as my leg jostled against his chest. “I can still walk.” “Fuck, Adara,” he hissed my name. “Can’t you just let me take care of you?"

I'm still going strong on kindle unlimited and couldn't resist reading this when it was recommended to me. Adara is betrothed to a prince in another kingdom, but as she's supposed to be connecting with her future husband, she begins to fall for his brother. Evren is the prince's half-brother and represents everything his family isn't.

The synopsis of this book doesn't really encompass the book that well. It makes it seem like Evren is the villain and that this will be an enemies to lovers romance, but that really isn't true. Yes, he dabbles in the darkness and is set apart from his family, he has a huge heart. The way he protects Adara and cares for the kingdom perfectly represents this. He and Adara had a connection from the first moment they met so it's definitely not enemies to lovers. It's more: I like you, I feel a connection but I don't want to betray my kingdom or my future husband. That latter part doesn't last long when her betrothed shows his true colours.

I feel like I'm struggling to find a good fantasy romance book these days - I feel like either the romance is good and the fantasy sucks or vice versa. The romance in this book had me on the edge of my seat and I constantly wanted more. GOD I LOVED EVREN. Butttt, romance was a bit quick for me and I would've loved some more build up!!!! But considering the book is fairly short, I get it.

The fantasy aspect in this book fell short - I don't even know what kind of world this is/how to understand it. The romance was so prevalent that we didn't get a whole lot on the fantasy side. We've got fae and vampyres and that is about all I remember.

Although I still enjoyed reading this, it was one of the most predictable books I've ever read... The ending did not have any shock factor at all. I felt like I already knew the twist at the end, leaving me feeling crazy... Maybe I saw a review or tiktok about it but I just wasn't surprised at all. I am still debating whether or not I'll read the next book in the series.

3.75/5 stars
Profile Image for Morgan.
412 reviews
November 8, 2022
5 🌟 - 3 .5 🌶️

I’m sorry my love for this book took me by COMPLETE surprise! Like I loved this fantasy romance… good characters, interesting plot that was super easy to get hooked into, HELLA spice and tension, and Evren🥵

Y’all go read this book please… I’m begging you
February 16, 2023
I mean, it's eerily close to From Blood and Ash (book 1) if you substitute the word "Maiden" with "Starblessed." The plots are basically the same, down to the exact same cliffhanger ending.

But...I still loved it. I read a lot of FBAA and ACOTAR rip-offs, but this was one of the few that i really liked enough to still give 4.5 (rounded up to 5) stars. It's different enough, the characters are well-developed, and I read it in one sitting. The spice is also really, really good in book 1.

The world-building could use some work because it's been pretty glossed over so far, but I think because it was just a short book in general. Hopefully the world-building will be further developed in book 2. I also hope our FMC doesn't forgive Evren too quickly.

Also, why does there have to be an Evren and a Ren? Why do fantasy books always have characters with very similar names? It drives me nuts.

On to book 2...
Profile Image for Rachel.
1 review3 followers
July 25, 2022
Main character felt very juvenile

If you are in it for the smut, I say go for it. It’s one of those books that escalates ridiculously quickly and relies on sweeping proclamations to build any kind of tension. Lots of “the hands of my enemy” etc.

Also, the mindset of the main character vacillates between extremes. She goes from “I’ll never be yours” to “you’re the only one I want” and then right back to “no, never!” It’s a lot. It makes the narrative voice feel very childish. Childish doesn’t work with the level of smut here.

The magic doesn’t feel well described and it lacks for world-building. Overall, it’s a quick read that’s mildly entertaining but I would not compare it at all to ACOTAR or Blood and Ash as some of the other reviews do.
August 28, 2022
3.5 stars

I can see the appeal. The smut is btw beyond my expectations. It was quite refreshing. The plot however, is so generic and cliche as it can gets. I feel like I've read ten books with the same plot over and over again lately.

But like I said, I get why. Some people find comfort in something familiar. I just hope the next book can do something unexpected for me and made it stand out from the rest of the books like its kind.
Profile Image for Isabel.
241 reviews32 followers
March 2, 2023
“You heard what your brother said before.”

“What was it that he said?” He cocked his head to the side as he watched my lips open in a sigh. “That no one else can touch you.” He pressed the book harder against me, and my back straightened against the chair. “Technically, I’m not laying a single finger on you, princess.”

this fae trash is entertaining at best. but it’s not gonna save itself from all the cliche dialogues, bad writing, underdeveloped plot (?), lack of character depth, and the unhealthy amount the fmc says “Please”. 😇
Profile Image for Kim.
708 reviews1,717 followers
November 20, 2022
4.5 stars

The relationship between the two main characters would have been better if it was drawn out a little more but hell, I had loads of fun while reading this.

This is great for From Blood And Ash fans I believe (at least in the beginning when it was still a fun series…)

Thank god book two is already out because I am not happy about that cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Ashley.
149 reviews585 followers
May 16, 2023
4.5 ⭐️
Okay, I devoured this. This was really freaking good and such a quick read! The tension was 🥵🥵

I’ll probably start the second book tonight, that’s how hooked I am right now on this story.

Enemies to lovers
Arranged marriage
Forbidden romance
Morally gray MMC
Magic & vampires
Profile Image for Mikky.
785 reviews192 followers
July 5, 2023
This is yet another one of those books that are in the same vein as the Blood And Ash series AND I LOVED EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF IT! Romantasy (romantic fantasy) seems to be my newest obsession and may be on its way to become my favorite genre. Maybe surpassing paranormal romance?! GASP I KNOW! We'll see as time progresses.

It has a steady enough pace that didn't make me bored out of my mind. There's always something happening or a worry for the future to keep me preoccupied. The chemistry between the heroine and the hero was off the charts. It definitely has the spice factor down pat. The cliffhanger was something I saw coming but it was by no means less impactful. I was still on the edge of my seat (more like wide awake in my bed at midnight) when the cliffhanger finally hit.
Profile Image for Brittany.
80 reviews512 followers
October 2, 2022
5 STARS IS NOT ENOUGH FOR HOW AMAZING THIS WAS!!! Holy sh*tt . Perfect blend of plot, character and spice. Oh my god, the spice. Probably the hottest book I’ve ever read. I AM UNWELLLLLLLLL
Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,565 reviews1,248 followers
September 17, 2023
After reading several positive reviews about this book, I knew I was going to read it some day. Well, some day came and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I know I'm in the minority with not loving it. However, I didn't hate it either. I just wish I became more invested in what was happening.

Adara is starblessed and it seems that she is the key to unlocking a destined greater power. She's promised to the future king of the fae, but she's instantly drawn to his brother. I thought these facts would give me more drama, more intrigue, but I got a lot of inner tormoil from a girl who didn't know her own mind. Please save me from single perspective strories told by immature, innocent, impulsive, insecure people. PLEASE!!

The end grabbed me so the next book is already loaded up.
Profile Image for Parker Kenney.
25 reviews2 followers
June 14, 2023
I’m going to get right to the point here. My issues are as follows:

1. Where is the world building? We are thrown into this narrative with no idea at ALL of what’s happening.

2. MC who hates faeries falls in lust with Dollar Tree Rhysand 1.3 seconds after meeting him.

3. Please provide me the page number where I can find even a hint of character development. I’ll wait.

4. No one speaks like that. The dialogue is horrendous.

5. Proper sentence structure? We don’t know her.

6. Super special chosen one with special blood has one brown eye and one blue, naturally.

7. MC does not make decisions with her brain. Instead she uses her vagina.

8. “Please” is the only word FMC can say during sex. Don’t write smut if you can’t write smut.

9. Lastly, and most importantly, this is an obvious ripoff of several different series. After doing some research, I discovered the obvious “copy and paste” in the third book. Stealing intellectual property is shameful. Usually I don’t judge an author’s character, even they write a shitty book. But after learning that, I have lost all respect for this author.

Literally 0 stars. DNF about halfway through. The cover is pretty though?

Do better.

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