Kill the beast. Win the girl.
A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.
Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.
Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.
Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.
In his eyes lived something deep, dark, and untold. Something that frightened her.
But it didn’t scare her enough to make her want to stay away from him. Not nearly enough.
Oh god. I wouldn’t recommend this book to the girl who ratted me out to my crush in 9th grade.
If you love love, and if you think being the helpless damsel in distress is THE GREATEST THING EVAR!!!11ONE!, then you may enjoy this book. Me? Not so much. Oh, and the “princess willing to risk all to save her people” thing in the blurb? I mean, if you consider giving up whom you thought was your One Twoo Wuv to marry your Real One Twoo Wuv a sacrifice then sure, I guess.
What can I say? This book was terrible. It’s an old-fashioned teenaged girl’s wet dream of the purest sort, and clichéd as all hell. Beautiful princess falls into insta-love with disrespectful asshole.
Still holding her hand, he dropped his gaze down to the swell of fabric at her chest, and kept it there too long, his hand tightening and seeming even hotter around hers.
Who is turned into a prince charming by her love. Not even the earliest Disney movies were this bad. If you want feminism and strength, you will not find it here.
This is a story about a fairy tale kingdom ruled by a kind king and his loving family, under the shadow of a Beast that has ravaged the countryside and killed numerous people. The kingdom is broke, unable to fund further efforts to kill the Beast. As a last resort, the king offers the hand of his beautiful eldest daughter, Princess Aerity (good lord, even the name makes me want to throw up in my mouth) to anyone who can kill the beast.
If you’re hoping that the princess will rise to the occasion and kill the beast herself, you’d be wrong. She spends the entire fucking book dressing up, practicing aerial silks (I’m not fucking kidding), checking out hot, conveniently half-dressed guys and that’s pretty much it.
The hunter looked down at his abdomen and then back up at the princess. He rubbed a hand down his stomach. “I’m not sure where my tunic’s gone . . . it was bloodied.”
Aerity waved off his comment with a shaking hand and said, “It’s all right.” As if she were used to being in the presence of half-naked, attractive men.
Do not look at his chest . . . or his stomach. . . .
Aerity gets to have her ego stroked and lives in the safety of her castle while a host of extremely hot men vie for her hands under the guise of killing the Beast. She meets many handsome, distinguished, gentlemanly men…
He wore a leather kilt to his knees, fur-lined leather boots, and a sleeveless tunic with a burnished breastplate over it.
His arms . . . seas almighty. His arms were all muscle, bulging without even flexing. Same with his calves. And his face was chiseled as in the coldlands tales of old.
While falling for the rude commoner asshole.
Given all of that, the princess was surprised she did not feel the same heat course through her that she’d felt for the rude commoner moments before.
And as assholish and rude and MACHO as the main love interest, Paxton is, he seems to have…awfully emotional and flowery thoughts.
Paxton spared his last look for Princess Aerity. Even from afar she seemed to be looking right at him. She brought her slender fingertips to her lips and left them there, as if her hand could keep her emotions from escaping.
Now, the myriad of things wrong in the book.
Paxton knew his behavior had been inappropriate, but it was her own fault.
Oh, it’s her fault that he was attracted, was it? It was HER FAULT that he had to act like an asshole to her, is it? Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you.
Paxton is an douchenozzle. He is verbally abusive and mentally manipulative. Aerity doesn’t seem to care. In fact, the worse Paxton treats her, the more Aerity seems to fall for him.
“Is it so hard to believe I’d prefer to be alone? I’m certain every eligible man in the kingdom would fall over his boot strings for a chance to ride behind your royal arse, but I am not one of them.”
Well, that settled it, the swine. Now Aerity would walk at his side for the simple pleasure of not giving him what he wanted. If he thought he could frighten her away with his words and intimidate her, he was wrong.
It’s a terrible message to send to young women.
The book slut-shames.
He’s simply not the marrying type. The women he’s been known to fraternize with are . . . well . . .” She looked back and forth between the royal girls’ waiting faces. “Not exactly innocents.”
Save yourself the headache and frustration.