It takes true strength to overcome tragedy and survive.
Adora Leonnte, sister to the Uttoran emperor, endured a year trapped in a nightmarish forced marriage to a Sebboyan prince driven by a sinister prophecy to take her against her will. The war that followed destroyed the small country, but she emerges unbroken…if not unscathed. Safe again in Uttor, she vows to put the horrors she faced behind her and once again become the fearless young woman she was before her abduction.
As fate would have it, her hated kidnapper left her carrying his child, and that is a condition even she cannot wish away. Adora’s enduring hope for romance fades until a blue-eyed, self-possessed foreigner walks back into her life and reawakens feelings promising the erotic delights of which she’s always dreamed.
Vallmer Berringen, the handsome and devout prince of a country allied with conquered Sebboy, has come to Uttor for two reasons: to secure the treaty that will give his country a much needed alliance, and to fulfill his father’s orders to use the occasion to find a suitable bride. Captivated by Adora’s intelligence and courage, Vallmer is torn by the fact she is both pregnant and pagan. Her infamous reputation taints Adora, a woman that a man of his position and faith should never be tempted to woo.
Can he reconcile his vision for his country with his passion for a woman whose spirit sets his blood on fire—but for whom kingdoms have gone to war?
I’m a fan of Spencer’s work, and even this series because it was the first by Spencer that I had read. So you can image my happiness when I found out that this book was released, I couldn’t grab it up quick enough.
I do want to start off with saying that this is by no means a standalone. And honestly, even though I had read the other books in the series, that was awhile ago. So there were some times where I was a bit confused about what was going on, and all the drama that was happening.
But taking all of that out of consideration, I did still enjoy this story quite a bit. The storyline between Vallmer and Adora was just amazing. Watching their relationship form when it was a bit taboo (but not that type of taboo!), but it was one that started as a friendship and grew into something more serious. That was amazing to follow along with because it’s not something that you get to read about a lot.
Of course as with all of Spencer’s books, there is an insane amount of drama and action that kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting to read more and find out what was going to happen next.
All in all, I have to say that this series is a great read and if you enjoy cross romantic pairings books (Book 1 is MF, book 2 is MM and book 3 is MF) then I completely suggest that you grab this one!
“My father is getting old,” Vallmer said, “and I see the day coming when I must take the throne. I would like to do so with a wife at my side. My father gave Benarri three sons. Now my subjects will look to me to provide another generation of princes.”
“You know, your father didn’t do it alone.” Adora somehow made the words encouraging. “Men may require a female to bear a child, but a wife should be more than a womb.”
“Mine must bring a womb along with an alliance, and—better yet—great wealth or lands.” He sighed and looked at the city again. “What I am seeking isn’t romantic, it’s practical. As such, it should be doable. I shall not be too great a burden as a husband, and the position I offer is a good one. It’s just—”
“Have you ever had a normal relationship with a woman? Or any relationship at all?”
What did she mean? “I’ve known many women. Most politely, and some less so.”
“Less so was for sex, I take it?”
Did she really expect him to answer so personal a question? Apparently she did, because she was giving him the most provocative smile, one that said she knew she’d put him on the spot. His answer, however, would be too revealing.
She laughed again, but the sound was warm, embracing. “You know, sex doesn’t have to be impolite. It’s a little undignified, but—”
“Which is why it is private.”
“Yes,” she agreed, and cocked her head, reassessing him. “Yes, it is.”
“Why are we talking about this?”
“You tell me.”
Now that would be dangerous. He was talking to her about sex because she made him think of it. Because Adora looked and sounded and smelled like a woman who might enjoy being with a man. Lorant had called her a slut, but Vallmer had never been fool enough to believe it. He had known all along Lorant could not abide being rejected by a woman who found him wanting. Vallmer liked that about Adora, that she was fearless about her opinions. He met too many women who were so completely deferential to men their thoughts could not be trusted.
“I talk to you this way because I feel I can talk with you about anything, anything at all. And because I feel this way, you can steer me into talking about anything you wish.”
Her smile beckoned him to thoughts he would do better to avoid. “Are you calling me artful, Prince Vallmer?”
“I am calling you fascinating.”
Their bodies were close enough he had but to turn his hand and he would feel her. As it was, oil lamps burned overhead and lent such warmth to the beckoning green depths of Adora’s eyes that he found it impossible to look away from them. From her. He watched the way her expression softened, rose-tinted lips parting with a pleasure that invited him to continue. Realizing he was wondering what it might be like to kiss her, he moved to extricate himself.
“If I may ask a favor, Lady?”
“A favor?” Her necklace of gold and lapis lazuli beads led his eye from her shoulders down to the soft cleft between her mounded breasts. Now he must force from his mind the idea of kissing those, too.
Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian-American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com