*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*
As much as I enjoyed the original House of Royals books (Alivia’s story), I was ready for it to end. But then this one came out, and I figured I’d give it a go since I did enjoy the original and this one was about a different main character (Elle, Alivia’s sister-in-law). Unfortunately it fell flat for me.
Even though I could understand why Elle was the way she was after all that she’d been through, I still couldn’t connect with her. Withdrawn would probably be a good word to describe her. She was badass in her own way though, I’ll give her that. She wasn’t an expert fighter, but she was an expert with botany and chemistry and creating toxins and weapons to use against the vampires. She also had some more conventional weapons, like stakes and hand guns. And despite the dangers, she wasn’t afraid to be around vampires when she felt it was the right thing to do, like when she was administering cures to the Bitten. So I can see people liking her and maybe connecting with her better than I did.
Another problem I had though was that I felt like not much happened in the plot, then it ended on a cliffhanger, still without anything really having happened. There wasn’t a climax, or maybe that scene would’ve been it, but it was cut short because the book ended. And when Allaway’s plan was fully revealed, it didn’t make sense in that it was just a bad plan and I didn’t see how it connected to the “a sister for a sister” revenge thing.
Lastly, there was a lot of talk about the chemistry between Elle and Lexington, but I never felt it. And because of that, even though it wasn’t instalove, the love still felt kind of sudden. But they had cute moments together, and I did think it was sweet and hilarious when she poured some blood into the batter and made him blood waffles.
So overall this book was too subdued for my taste, I didn’t connect with the characters, and it seemed like it mostly set things up without having much plot of its own. Even though Keary Taylor has created an interesting take on vampire society in her House of Royals series, sometimes you’re just ready to say goodbye to a series, and maybe I’d have enjoyed the book more if that weren’t the case for me. If you still want more House of Royals after finishing Alivia’s story though, or if you were interested in getting to know Elle, you might like this book more than I did.
*Note: Even though this book has a different protag and storyline, I recommend starting this series with Book 1. It might be possible to start here since there are brief explanations for most things, but you might still be confused by terminology and side characters.*
Fans of Books 1-5 in Keary Taylor's House of Royals Series. Anyone looking for a subdued kind of vampire romance/urban fantasy with a protag who's badass in a quieter kind of way.
More Books in the Series:
It’s easy to blend in and disappear on the streets of Boston. Elle Ward has finally taken control of her own destiny—away from the dark shadow of her family’s reputation. Putting her botany and chemistry degree to work, she’s the successful owner of her own apothecary. But she lives by a secret identity. Curing innocent Bitten in the basement, she flies under the radar, risking her life, and risking punishment from King Cyrus.
But being raised in this world means she can never truly get away from the Houses and their politics. She lives under the rule of the House of Allaway, and Charles is out to avenge the brutal murder of his twin: a sister for a sister.
Elle has fought tooth and nail to claim her own life, and she’s not about to let it be ripped away. But her brother demands a Born move in to protect her, someone who knows how the enemy thinks. Elle has live in a House with Lexington Dawes before, but she’s no longer a fragile girl, and he’s not the bitter, sarcastic man she remembers…
The House of Royals world continues with Garden of Thorns.