Author: Isabella Carter
Length: Novel (208pgs)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (19th June 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Ingram is a coward and weakling—at least according to his father, the king, and the royal court. He cannot use a sword, he faints at the sight of blood, and even his brilliant abilities as a strategist are not enough to overcome his failings. When his father loses a bet to the notorious Lord Mallory over the matter of a dragon slaying, he pays his debt by ordering Ingram to marry him.
Then his father reveals that he is putting Ingram to a greater purpose, giving Ingram one last chance to prove he is not worthless. All it requires is betraying his new husband.
Review: Ingram is seen by his father, the king Roderick, as a weakling because he can’t wield a sword and the sight of blood makes his queasy and faint. Not even Ingram’s brilliant strategists mind can make up for those failings and his father has little time for him, until Lord Mallory walks into the banquet hall. Roderick laid down a challenge and Lord Mallory met it, Ingram has to pay the price by marrying Mallory, but his father makes his plans clear and Ingram will have a choice to make, either make his father proud and betray his new husband or forever be a failure in his father’s eyes.
This story is a about a prince who just wants his father to be proud of him, but he becomes torn when he discovers what a good man his new husband really is. Both Ingram and Mallory are good characters and we get a very good feel for both of them, because of the circumstances it takes them time to really get to know each other, so it is a very slow progressing relationship. They both go into the marriage with an ulterior motive, and they both soon discover the truth of character about the other and while Mallory’s acceptance of Ingram is easier, Ingram’s causes him trouble by an ultimatum laid down by his father.
The fantasy storyline is intriguing as it unfolds, with dragons and magic and long-buried secrets coming out. We get some general background and world building, which gives us enough to grasp the unfolding story, and we discover manipulations and plans for a coup. Ingram comes into his own when he is with Mallory, he finally accepts his own worth, and stands up for what he wants. Mallory has to reveal all his secrets to Ingram, but he has come to realize that Ingram will protect them with his life. Ingram’s brother and sister also play a good part and are vital in stopping the destruction of the kingdom, we meet many other characters who you can see will play major parts in future books and the book is definitely just the beginning of something much bigger.
I will recommend this to those who want a great fantasy, intrigue, secrets, dragons, manipulation, magic, a homicidal dragon bent on revenge, magic users who want power, shifters and a happy for now ending.