What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?
Content Warning: Profanity, explicit sexual content, alcohol consumption, and violence (provided by the author)
This book starts out with a bang! I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this enemies to lovers book, but it sure wasn’t that start – and once I started the book there was no way I was putting it down. Jensen’s writing is so accessible and easily devoured that it was definitely not one that I was going to put down at any point (which was a nice change from my reading slump I have been experiencing.
I listened to the audiobook while following along and I’d say that’s the way to go. The beginning of each chapter started with a thunderstorm – which matches beautifully with the gorgeous chapter pages 💕. The two narrators (Lauren Fortgang for Lara’s chapters and James Patrick Cronin for Aren’s chapters) did a great job acting out the story.
Lara as a character was interesting. At first you think she traitorous and a heartless spy, but you learn more and more about her as you get further in the book. You find that she’s a caring person and you grow to care for her. Aren, I wasn’t sure about at first. He didn’t seem to show much feeling toward Lara, but you can expect that being a ruler with untrustworthy “allies”. I enjoyed the interactions between these two characters and finding out bits of information along with them. Seeing Aren’s kindness peak out from time to time while still trying to maintain distance made Aren more relatable. Finding out Lara’s secrets made her more relatable too, but finding out more about her family and her realm is what made me feel for her as a character.
The overall plot of the story was interesting. This was a very political-based fantasy, but managed to keep me interested (a hard thing to do and not always accomplished). The plot does have a continuing thread that will continue in the other books, so it didn’t wrap up all nicely in a bow, which I’m ok with. The way the plot concluded was well done, but open enough that I wanted more (enough to get me to order the next in the series!).
Overall, this was a great political-fantasy romance. I had expected more smut based on what I had heard from other reviewers; however, I felt this had a good amount – nothing explicit, but still had a scene or two that would have you blushing if you were listening to it in public. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoyed the politics in Descendent of the Crane by Joan He, the romance in The Shadow Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (a little more steamy in this book), and the bad ass female lead in Born at Dawn by Christina Davis or Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin (and the romance/banter in this one too). I can’t wait to continue the series (hopefully this year).