Thursday, 15 September 2016

Review: Destined for a King by Ashlyn McNamara

DESTINED FOR A KING
by Ashlyn McNamara
Series: The Bastard Brotherhood #1
Genres: Historical, Fantasy
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Source: ARC received for review
Rating: ★★
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Though she is intended for the king, Calista Thorne picks up a crossbow to defend her ancestral home, Blackbriar Keep, from a gang of landless knights. She even manages to sink a poison-tipped arrow into their commander, who survives long enough to conquer the Keep and claim Calista for his own. Now, with her father’s life at stake, Calista must nurse the brigand back to health, and the strangest thing happens: She finds herself fascinated by his tautly muscled body, and enthralled by his hotly whispered demands.

Ever since his father’s death, the fearsome warrior they call Torch has been consumed by his quest for revenge. Taking Blackbriar Keep is the first step in that plan, and—by the three gods—it won’t be the last. But after taking one look into Calista’s smoldering gray eyes, Torch discovers a passion nobler than retribution. He will fulfill his destiny and take her from the usurper king, even in his weakened state. For with Calista’s love, no man has ever felt more powerful.

Destined for a King was a book that came highly recommended by Alyssa at The Eater of Books. I was eager to pick this one up, especially because it's a fantasy romance. It turned out to be an entertaining book full of romance, and though I was a bit taken aback by the fact that the story wasn't wrapped up here, I am eager to pick up the next books in the series when they release.

Destined for a King tells the story of Calista and Torch, two characters that are utterly enchanting. I fell in love with both of them so easily, especially Calista. As a daughter of the Blackbriar Keep, she has been promised to King Magnus, until Torch comes along and demands her hand in marriage. Calista was a really fierce heroine. In the opening scenes of the book, she shoots the hero, Torch, dressed as a guy. She's definitely tough, but I loved that she was also gentle and sweet too. She had an innocence to her that made her different from other typical fiesty and fiery heroines. I loved that she was so kind and loyal. For most of her life she has known that she would marry King Magnus, but Torch's sudden bursting into her life really puts her through the emotional wringer and it's a delight watching her confusion at the intense attraction she feels for him. I loved that she was the kind of character who wasn't afraid to go into a fight with her head held high. Torch, himself, was a character I adored too. He was arrogant, flirty and entirely too charming for words. It's really hard for me to resist heroes who are hell-bent on showing heroines just how good they would be together and Torch was one of those kinds of heroes. We learn a lot about his backstory here and his true role in the kingdom and though not every secret of his was revealed here, I'm excited to see how that particular story line of his progresses in the next book.

Torch and Calista are connected in many ways, but I loved how slow and subtle their romance was. Torch flusters Calista and it's so much fun to watch him get under skin. The attraction and lust was there between them, but I loved even more how they connected outside of the physical aspects of their relationship. The romantic progression was sweet, scorching and swoony and I couldn't get enough of it! Because Destined for a King is a fantasy novel, there's a bit of world building going on. For the most part, I was satisfied with how Ashlyn McNamara went about depicting the world, its history and its foundations, but I'm eager to learn more in the next books. There are magical elements to the story too, that I would have preferred more of that, particularly when it comes to Torch's stone that gives him visions. I thought the balance between the actual plot and the romance was really well-done. The secondary cast here was also pretty fantastic. This is a companion series, so no doubt we'll be seeing lots of the faces we meet here in the future again. I'm particularly intrigued by Torch's brother and sister, as well as Calista's maid. I'm eager to find out what roles they'll play in the future books and in Torch's journey to reaching his goal.

In the end, I was very much satisfied with Destined for a King. It was a blast to read and I especially loved all the romantic elements in the story. Ashlyn McNamara is an author to watch out for with this thrilling and addicting series!

What are some of your favorite fantasy romances?
Let me know in the comments below!