This is another excellent adult fairy tale that has left me utterly bewitched and wishing that the story never ended. Megan Hart's typical sanguine story crafting is at its best and most engaging. I felt for both Jarron and Notsah. I recognized their insecurities and desires. I also longed for their sex scenes (but that is a completely different story). Her characters have an incredible depth to them and by the end of the first chapter I was completely invested in their story.
I think one of the main reasons that I cannot give this a perfect 5 rating is the simple fact that Notsah's reasoning for keeping her identity a secret seems a little silly and her actions are occasionally emotionally immature for a woman who prides herself on her service with the Order of Solace. Yet, I found myself both sympathetic and slightly annoyed with Notsah, which in the long run is a good thing. I think Notsah has got to be the most relatable of all the Handmaidens. She is occasionally vulgar, selfish and cowardly. She is also caring and has the capacity to embrace others thoughts and emotions to the point where she could suffer from a martyr complex. She openly acknowledges some of her flaws and can learn to admit when she is wrong.
I loved that King Jarron is not the typical alpha male who growls every other word and treats everyone like crap right up until the last ten pages of the story. He is a complex individual with believable reactions to his ailment. This may be a sick thing to say but Jarron's imperfections were the most endearing thing about him. You sympathize with him without viewing his as a weakling and still find him sexy. His precarious state as the newly crowned King and the even more volatile state of his people are at the forefront of his mind and he handles his duties with the aplomb and dexterity of any great leader, with a little twist that I enjoyed immensely. There are points in the story where I wanted to backhand him a couple of times for his behavior, but they were forgiven by the end of the novel.
The sign of a good writer is that they make you feel for their imaginary characters, they evoke irrational anger or unbelievable happiness all in one story. I have to say that Megan Hart had me on both ends of the spectrum by the end of the book but am more gratified by it than anything else. At this point my two little criticisms could be considered nit picking but that is my prerogative.
Overall this is an excellent story that everyone should read as soon as possible.
A national bestselling author introduces a woman versed in the erotic who discovers the one thing she hasn't trained for: true love.
Years ago, while lowly kitchen maid Notsah was fleeing the king's guard, she burst into the private chambers of the very man she was stealing from: Prince Jarron Bydelay. But he showed her mercy and dismissed her pursuer, Erekon, Captain of the King's Guard. Ten years later, Notsah has returned as Handmaiden to the new king. He might not remember her past, but Erekon does-and is determined to use her to get what he wants from his new king. Now, if Jarron learns her secret, she'll lose the only man she's ever loved-and if she doesn't tell him, he'll never truly love her back...