Not once in the past five years has Castle Warden Sho Renjimantoro regretted following his best friend to Aart. How can he regret it when he finds open acceptance regarding his sexuality from everyone around him (even if they don’t understand it), and he gets to be with the man most important to him?
No, finding someone in this country is a fantasy best forgotten.
General Arman Brahms, finally home from deployment, has waited over two years to show Ren he's wrong, that fantasies can come true. Unfortunately, his plans get put on hold to help Ren solve the crisis unfolding in the castle.
Someone is doing their level best to make sure the engagement of Prince Charles and Princess Alexandria of Scovia falls through—by fair means or foul. In addition, they’re trying to make Ren deemed incompetent and dismissed from his position. While hunting for the perpetrator, Ren and Arman do everything in their power to protect those they’re sworn to before the irredeemable occurs.
And along the way, prove that even an ordinary life can become extraordinary.
- 2 To Be Read lists
- 3 Read lists
Ren’s head snapped up, as Brahms only used his full name when being completely serious.
Those dark blue eyes met his levelly, penetratingly, as if he could see every thought going through Ren’s head. And he likely could. The man was exceptionally good at seeing through people. “Come with me.”
Oh hell. He really had no defenses against that plea. Brahms rarely asked anything of him, and every time he had, it turned out to be for Ren’s own good. “You realize that if I go, your reputation is never going to recover. People assume I’ve seduced you over to my side as it is.”
Brahms just stared at him.READ MORE
“Right, you don’t care. Of course you don’t, silly me, why am I worrying about it?” Relief filled him, making him a little giddy with it, and he had the strangest urge to giggle. Which wasn’t manly, he stamped that out immediately, but still a grin took over his face. “Alright, alright, I’ll go home with you.”COLLAPSE
I adore fantasy books, they are my first love and still ones I turn for comfort read most times. This one ticked all the marks when the request came in so I grabbed it.
The writing is fluid, segueing naturally from one event to another, with solid world building, amusing supporting characters and snarky interaction between two heroes. I relished every page! It’s nicely paced, with slowly developing plot allowing reader to relax and sink into the story. It builds on best friends turned lovers trope with just enough quirks to make the story its own and engaging from beginning to end.
After the end of the war, Ren is without options in his home country so he takes up his best friend Arman’s offer to follow him home. Once in Aart, the friends are separated but Ren manages to build nice life there. There is only one thing amiss, or rather two: his love life is sorely lacking, and Arman is away from him. He is not expecting the two to have the same solution, despite his lingering crush on his best friend.
I liked the way Arman’s devised and stuck to his plan of action. It’s very well explained making him more sympathetic. He is determined to back his friend up and it’s easy to see how platonic love shifted into romantic. Ren is attracted to Arman from the outset, but he is not sure if it’s worth the risk of losing Arman. He appreciates the man’s friendship to much to lose him and hurt him in any way.
As trouble converges on them they manage to forge new path and find happiness together.
It reminded me why I like fantasy: bad guys are death with, heroes rejoice at the end and friends help them unquestioningly. I can see myself reading the book again and was happy to discover author plans another book with same characters!