Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ok, I know that I’m way behind everyone else in reading this series, so the last thing you want to do is read another review about this book, but WOW! I loved this book. In it’s simplest form, you can call this book a YA Fantasy Romance. And yeah, it is. But it also has a load of fighting, paranormal elements, magic, and court intrigue.

Poppy is the maiden in the kingdom of Solis. The maiden is to be kept pure; never to be touched, never to be spoken to, and never to have a life. She is critical in the kingdom’s future on the day of her Ascension. But, Poppy isn’t a meek, demure girl. She’s smart, determined and a total bad-ass. She’s formed a connection with some of her guards, one of which trains her in self-defense and fighting.

She has a sense of adventure and sneaks out of the castle to experience life. During one of these outings, she meets Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension. They have an intense chemistry that can’t be denied, but not all is at it seems. Before she knows it, the castle is under siege and Hawke has kidnapped her and swept her away. He tells her about a fallen kingdom that is determined to take back what was lost, and she plays in role in that. Just what that may be is up for debate.

I listened to this book and the narrator did a fantastic job. The book is fast paced and well-written. At 622 pages, I thought for sure there would be sections of the book that dragged, but nope, didn’t happen. Poppy and Hawke are well developed characters and their chemistry is insane. The spicy scenes are scattered throughout the book and make sense in the story. There are a lot of minor characters that add depth to the story as well as humor and lightness.

I devoured this book and immediately started the next one. I can’t wait to see how the series eventually ends.