3.75 stars – This is a book I was set to five star and put on my favorites shelf until the drama-llama reared its ugly head towards the end. However, I did enjoy this and devoured it in less than 24 hours, so I will be generous.
The Athonites conquered the Vidari a hundred years ago and now they live in squalor, denied education, medicine, and forced to work all day in fields or tending to animals to meke out an existence filled with hunger, sickness, and filth.
Seri is set to wed a young man in her village, but reluctantly accepts an offer to serve as a handmaid to one of the elite Athonite women to get medicine for her father. Seri finds herself at the betrothal ball for Prince Graeme and that is when her life is turned upside down.
Prince Graeme is “of the Blood,” a line born only of men who survive on blood and live for hundreds of years, hoping to one day be blessed with an Eterna: a woman the goddess chooses to be his mate and is the only one who can provide him with daughters. Guess who the Eterna is?
The premise seems a little silly when described like that, but it worked pretty well in execution. There were a few tropes like the virginal heroine and the experienced older male… miracle babies, which is common in PNR… It was a hate-to-love romance.
(I don’t think this is really PNR though, as the vampires were never called vampires and it was more of a curse thing than them being supernatural beings. They had no powers – they just lived long, had to drink blood, and couldn’t go in the sun.)
Seri was annoying and I wanted to slap her several times. She was kind of stupid, actually. She wasn’t <i>as</i> annoying as a lot of female protagonists in books like this, though. Still, I found myself rolling my eyes at several things she did, especially towards the end. She had a few instances of being TSTL.
Graeme was AWESOME. It didn’t hurt that I was picturing him as Aidan Turner either.
He was strong and commanding but not an alpha asshole. It was refreshing. He’s going in my man dungeon.
This was almost more historical romance than anything paranormal. There is court intrigue and a lot of it also revolved around Seri’s people trying to rebel and fight against the Athonites. The Athonites were pretty shitty, but a lot of the Vidari were no better.
Anyway, this was a quick enjoyable read that had a bit too much drama for my personal tastes, but I still enjoyed it.
This was free with Kindle Unlimited.