Author: Heather Frost
Published: May 20th, 2021
FTC FYI: I received an ARC from the author. All views and opinions expressed are my own.
A DECOY recruited to be a spy.
A PRINCE compelled to become an assassin.
A SERJAH pressured by an unwanted crown.
A WORLD covered in shadows.
Mere months ago, Clare was just a kitchen maid. Now, she is a decoy for Princess Serene and a novice spy, caught in the royal family's web of secrets. While journeying to Mortise to finalize the princess’s betrothal to Serjah Desfan, Clare lives for the stolen moments she has with Bennick, the bodyguard who is quickly claiming her heart. But when a notorious assassin is hired to kill her, Clare’s life and the alliance hang in the balance.
In Ryden, Grayson prepares to leave for Mortise with his brother, Liam. Their orders are to ignite a war between their enemies, and Grayson has been tasked with assassinating Princess Serene. It may cost his soul, but he is ready to comply, as long as he gets something in return: freedom for Mia, the girl he loves. But the more time he spends with his brother, the more he begins to wonder if Liam is what Grayson wishes he had the courage to be . . . a traitor.
Desfan feels trapped. By his disapproving council, his impending marriage to a stranger, and the imminent arrival of enemy princes who may not want the peace they profess. When a dangerous drug threatens his people, Desfan jumps at the chance to rely on his swords instead of politics. But his investigation uncovers more than he bargained for--a plot that may destroy Mortise from within.
Eyrinthia hovers on the edge of war. Spies. Rebels. Traitors. All must choose a side.
|Royal Spy is a gripping story with strong, powerful characters. There is excitement, betrayal, love with every turn of the page in this heart-pounding adventure. I couldn't put it down!|
Each character is beautifully written and you care for each good guy and despise the bad guys. At times I was frustrated with Clare, but quickly understood her motive to protect and help those she cares about and loves. I was surprised by many turn of events. The characters I cheered for in the first book, earned my respect again and again in this book. Desfan and Imara quickly become favorites. One thing that happened that I was not surprised by, but their motives were shocking. I loved this book! And wow, what an ending!
Although the author does a great job of subtly catching the reader up on previous events, you will definitely want to read Royal Decoy so you appreciate the characters and the setting so much more. Heads up, this is a book about warring countries, so there is violence and talk of blood shed. (Nothing I felt uneasy about though.)
5 out of 5 stars!
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Bennick nodded to the wooden blade in Clare’s hand. “Let’s test your offensive skills, then we’ll go back to the garrote.”
Her sore body wanted to refuse, but she ignored that and lunged. Bennick dodged the training blade, but kept striking. He did not make things easy for her, and she appreciated that. She had been in enough dangerous situations to know that an attacker would not make things easy for her. Besides, it gave her deeper satisfaction when she did manage to hit him.
They spun and twisted around each other on the grass, and Clare saw a perfect opening. She kicked out, aiming for his unguarded middle, but Bennick snatched hold of her ankle and jerked her off-balance. Her arms swung out, strangling her wooden knife as she fought the pull to topple.
Bennick still held her ankle and he smiled as she hopped on one foot to keep her balance. “You should definitely approach all attackers like this. You are utterly disarming.”
She exhaled sharply, wisps of loose hair fluttering around her flushed face. “And you’re utterly annoying.”
His features softened as he continued to view her. “On second thought, I want to keep this image for myself.”
Pleasure spread warmth through her chest. “Clearly, you’re also ridiculous.”
He grinned. His hold was firm, but still managed to be gentle.
She arched a brow, very much like Serene. “Are you going to let go?”
His head tipped to one side, blue eyes calculating as he studied her. “Maybe. For a price.”
His flirtation sparked tingles all over her body, tightening her flushed skin. “What price?”
His fingers flexed around her ankle as he leaned in, his voice dropping. “A kiss.”
She fought a shiver, even though she was flushed from training. She dropped her own voice, though it came out a little too thready—she had yet to catch her breath from their sparring, and the way he looked at her wasn’t helping. “You do realize if you want a kiss, you’ll have to release me.”
“Hmm. But I don’t think I should just let you go. You’re looking rather unsteady on your, well, foot.”
Before she could toss a retort, he shifted his hold on her ankle and slowly, measuredly, sank to his haunches before her.
Her breath caught. Her pulse pounded fast as she locked eyes with him. His neck was craned back, his intense gaze never leaving her face as he gently shifted her captive foot to the ground. “I wouldn’t want you to fall,” he said, his voice deeper than before.
A shiver danced up her spine when he eased back to his feet, his hands trailing up her body as he rose. Her skirt rippled from his gliding touch and she could feel the heat of his fingers through the layers of cloth.
Her chest rose sharply as his hands rounded her hips and hesitated at her waist, his thumbs pressing low against her stomach. “I will never let you fall,” he promised softly, before leaning in to press his mouth against hers.
She kissed him, her skin flushed and her heart racing. Her palms were against his chest, her fingers curling into his loose white shirt, dragging him impossibly closer.
One of his hands lifted, callused fingertips brushing her cheek. Her hair was done in a braided crown, though loose tendrils of dark hair had escaped and now curled against her jaw. He thumbed her smooth skin, cradling her head as he changed the angle of their kiss. His touch was a careful exploration, a caressing gentleness that threatened to melt her.