When an assassination attempt pushes Lachlan into uncharted territory hurt and without any royal defences, Tarley and Lachlan’s lives are brought together. Fortunately, Tarley Fareview saves Prince Lachlan of Jast’s life. Tarley works at the local inn in Sevens, Kaloma. Tarley runs away to the woods where she meets Lachlan after being harassed by a guest at the inn.
Tarley and Lachlan must choose whether it is worthwhile to trust one another as they spend time together. She lives in Kaloma and adores spending time in the woods, even when it puts her in danger. He is a prince with a strong sense of justice. My conclusion is: give me more of Tarley and Lachlan’s smouldering romance! Within the context of the tale of In the Shadow of a Hoax, they are the power couple I live for!
I adore how their relationship progresses; despite their physical attraction, they also fall for one other’s personalities and quirks while trying to fight the feelings as they arise. In light of the unlikely circumstances that bring them together, their love story seems to have come naturally. They respect each other by seeking sexual consent, and I agree with that!
The world-building is remarkable and immersive, and the names of the locations and people are all catchy. For the way the characters grow and their love story, as well as how the narrative enthrals the reader, I would give this five stars. I can’t ignore how the novel starts to alter quickly near the finish, though. Even though this is categorised as a fantasy romance novel, by the end of the book everything feels too hurriedly thrown together.
I enjoy how Tarley and Lachlan’s push-and-pull adventure takes up the majority of the book. But it would have been better if the magical and mythical components had been introduced earlier. There isn’t much of a buildup to a rapid escalation and explosion of mystical or magical aspects, aside from the crimson threads and enigmatic auras visible on some persons.
There are a few typos, such “every brought,” which should be “ever brought,” etc. Overall, I really loved reading this book, and I think that readers who appreciate Holly Black and Jennifer L. Armentrout and fantasy romance in general would really like it.
About The Book
Tarley Fareview, idealistic and stubborn, does what she can to support herself in spite of an unjust Kaloma law that says she’s beholden to a man’s keeping. When she defends herself after being harassed by a man, she is forced to flee into the woods disguised as a boy.
She happens upon a dying man and must decide if she will risk her life to save him. Unable to walk away, Tarley chooses to intervene and saves the stranger, only little does she know that by doing so, she’s risking the heart she promised herself she’d never give to anyone.
When the Crown Prince of Jast, Lachlan Nikolas—forced by his father to attend treaty negotiations with the kingdom of Kaloma in disguise—is attacked, his horse bolts, and they both careen over a cliff, falling into a raging river and their untimely deaths.
Only, miracle of miracles, Lachlan doesn’t perish and instead is given a second chance at life, but at a price. When he wakes, he’s not only been stripped of his clothes but also his identity. Saved by a strange woman, Lachlan is forced to reinvent himself, open his heart to discover the truth about worthiness, and discover what it means to sacrifice oneself for true love.
In the Shadow of a Hoax
I read the first book a few months ago and was delighted to see I wouldn't have to wait long for the next book. I was immediately reminded of why I liked this authors writing so much. The world building is very deep but you are only getting the tiniest tip as the MC's don't know that much about what is going on. There have been lots of foreshadowing and I think there will be lots of new information in the next book. But the romance in this book was top notch. Maci Aurora is excellent at building the sexual tension. The romance was believable and there are some very spicy open door scenes. I also loved the female MC. She was incredibly relatable.
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