Saturday, September 21, 2019

Book reviews: Always and Evermore by Jody Hedlund

About the Book

A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.

On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.

Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.

With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives—and hearts—forever.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

A strong, handsome knight and a beautiful lady-in-waiting, thrown together to flee and protect the infant princesses?  Yes!  The prequel to Jody Hedlund's latest YA series, The Lost Princesses, is an exciting book!  I loved the story and was disappointed when it ended, but it gave the necessary back story for the series.  In spite of its length, this novella gives its readers well-developed characters in a medieval world, and lots of action!  It's a clean read, appropriate for its audience, and I recommend it for readers of medieval romance and Young Adult literature.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Book

An ancient key. A secret treasure. And a princess destined to use them both to fight evil and restore peace.

Raised by a noble family, Lady Adelaide has always known she’s an orphan. Little does she realize she’s one of the lost princesses and the true heir to Mercia’s throne…until a visitor arrives at her family estate, reveals her birthright as queen, and thrusts her into a quest for the throne whether she’s ready or not.

Unable to tolerate King Ethelwulf’s cruelty and lawlessness, Christopher Langley left Mercia years earlier, training a group of rebels in neighboring Norland. When he returns home after his mother’s death, he discovers that not only is Adelaide all grown up, but she’s also the rightful queen of Mercia.

When King Ethelwulf discovers Adelaide’s location, he’ll stop at nothing to capture her and the key she holds to the ancient treasure. Christopher is just as determined to protect Adelaide so she can lead the growing rebellion. When feelings ignite between the two old friends, forces threaten to destroy their love and rip them apart forever.

This book is available here.

My Review

Book One of The Lost Princesses series, Evermore, is another great YA novel by Jody Hedlund.  Adelaide has grown up in a noble family, and her education has included combat skills as well as book learning, all to make her strong and well-rounded.  It was easy to like her, because she had a keen sense of justice and kindness.

Like the prequel, this book was action packed, with knights and fighting, a quest and pursuit, betrayal and loyalty.  Yet it was also pensive in that the characters had to find whom they were in new roles and in relationships redefined.

Young Adult readers will enjoy this book, told from both Adelaide's and Christopher's perspectives.  Anyone who appreciates a clean medieval romance will want to pick this up.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

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