Rating 2.5 stars
To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn’t follow her own advice.
Leila is a courier.
To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.
Nalick is your typical king.
He’s rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.
Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize. Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.
for the most part this did not read like the first book of a self published author. From the beginning we are thrown into the action as Kay is trying to escape from the guards, this immediately caught my attention and i connected with her almost straight away, however this was not her story. it was Leila’s cue her arriving in the next scene in a comparably dull entrance and unfortunately in my opinion this did not change all that much through out the book. Leila was the quintessential “perfect” character that i must say i kind of hate, although this somehow was contradicted many times as well. she was the “best” courier seen as the “ghost courier” (that even while Kay was running for her life in the first scene, she still found the time to look up to) and yet she has apparently been caught so many times ( … once costing her fiance his life), and apparently has 0 awareness i was expecting some sought of reaction when the king moved her when she was sleeping but nup nada nothing. . however when she is caught she always manages to escape… usually with her feminine wiles, because despite being able to blend in she apparently seems to be the most beautiful girl any of these men have ever seen, and i am still wondering what is so special about her?
Then we come to King Nalick… who while i think he is charming and all the rest i don’t see what Leila thought was different about him compared to all the other kings vying for her hand in marriage, this i think is where this novel fell down for me one of the big requirements Leila said about marrying him is there would have to be love… and i was waiting for them to actually fall in love i wanted some courtship, instead the next day she tattoos herself (which basically seems to be the human version of branding in this book) into his family. it is because of me not believing in this relationship that the ending which while admittedly was bittersweet i did not find to be the sad ending i was warned about.
this all in all was just not what i was expecting i was expecting a kick ass heroine with great fight scenes ala Yelena in poison study… which may have been the problem … i was comparing it to one of my favorite books. i found the fight scenes lacking and clinical simply telling us what she did without any sought of description into how and they became almost non events.
Finally i would like to say something about the writing style, which while original i am starting to see more of at the moment. the writing style was a weird mix of 3rd person and 1st person, with it being written in the 3rd person as if you were a mind reader. This is not a writing style that i personally choose to read as i feel it lends itself to a story being told and not experienced, however i can understand why she did this as the story has so much to do with what characters are thinking.
while this book was not quite what i was expecting and not exactly my cup of tea i see potential in McMichael and i imagine this book will be enjoyed by many people.
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