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Category: Fantasy Romance
Tags: Fantasy, Slow Burn, Strong Heroine, Alpha Male
Series: Blood and Ash
Published March 2020
Boyfriend Rating: 💍💍💍💍
Poppy’s life has never been her own. As the Maiden, the future of the kingdom rests on her shoulders, and she is to remain untouched, in solitary, until the day of her Ascension.
But when Hawke takes up the post as her Royal Guard, she begins to question her duty and her desire that he has awoken.
As tensions among the Desenters rise and attacks on the kingdom increase, Poppy is at risk of failing the gods, denying her destiny and possibly losing her life or her heart.
Why did I wait so long to read this book?!
I devoured it from the word go despite being intimidated by the longer page length. But honestly, it was just so good that I would have read even more if it was possible, so you can bet I’ll be onto book two in this series!
Armentrout captivated me with this romance with amazing characters, a subtle tension and suspense propelling the storyline, and a wonderful slow burn romance that tugged on all of my heart strings.
This book is definitely deserving of it’s win as the Best Romance Book in the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards!
Characters to Love
First off, I adored Poppy. There’s nothing better than a strong heroine and she is all that and more.
Poppy is an 18 year-old who’s been cloistered away and prevented from talking to anyone, reading anything enjoyable and doing anything remotely fun because she’s the Maiden.
Her life is one big prison cell if you ask me but she has found ways to rebel and try and LIVE despite the burdens upon her.
The one night she sneaks out of the castle to a bar of questionable taste, she runs into Hawke, a new guard to the city’s whose reputation precedes him and whose talents back it up. It doesn’t hurt that he is a looker so I understand how Poppy is wanting to “live a little” and push the boundaries on her maiden status.
Hawke I loved equally as much. He just had this air of charisma about him and his chemistry with Poppy was off the charts. Despite the circumstances – he being her guard and she the Maiden – he treated her and liked her for who she was and not what she was and that never wavered.
His alpha tendencies definitely came out toward the end of the book, making their banter all the more exciting and heated.
For Fantasy Lovers and Even Those Who Aren’t
This book is definitely a must read for any fantasy romance book lovers and even those who aren’t. You can bet it’s going on my list of best fantasy romance books.
This was my first Armentrout book and her skill at writing showed from the start, with great character development, great world building and a story that intrigued without being overly dramatic.
As with most fantasy romance books there is a clash between good and evil and this one is no exception.
I really liked the story about a prince looking to reclaim his kingdom, a group of dissenters supporting his cause and a group of people holding secrets to who and what they really are with Poppy thrust in the middle trying to figure out fact from fiction.
While the slow burn romance between Poppy and Hawke is what kept me glued to the pages, I really enjoyed the plot line of discord among and between kingdoms and what that might mean for Poppy’s future.
I also loved how this felt like a complete book in and of itself without a major cliffhanger but with so much left to the story, I’m already onto book two!
I highly recommend this book for it’s exquisite writing, amazing characters and perfect slow burn romance. You won’t regret it.
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