The Awakened Prince*
Returned Prince Fights Battles on Many Fronts
Prince Serge, the second son and prince of his land, awakens after a one-year coma to find that his younger brother has become king after the battle that placed Serge in a coma killed their elder brother, Lionus. Damien, the new king, feel guilty about taking what he sees as his brother’s position and offers Serge a new option: Marry their dead brother’s wife, Isabelle, and rule with her in her land of Barony. Serge has loved Isabelle for a long time but feels guilt about his feelings and doesn’t want to wed her, knowing that she had loved and still loves his brother.
Because of an old woman’s predictions about dire consequences and her own dreams, Isabelle after some waffling decides to marry Serge even though her heart belongs to Lionus. For a very brief time, the two are happy until Serge confesses his love for her. Isabelle does not react well to this and confesses her emotional quandary to her lady’s maid, which Serge accidentally overhears. Relations between them become strained for a long while they continue to have sexual chemistry.
But much more is going on in this book besides their personal problems. War threatens. When Serge goes off, Isabelle decides to join and train with a band of female warriors.
Will Serge and Isabelle resolve their differences? Can she–and he–move past feelings of guilt about their relationship? Will this queen of Barony fight alongside her warriors in the looming battle?
This was a page-turning read. The only part I didn’t like was that Serge and Isabelle were at odds for so long.
There were several things I loved about this book. I enjoyed the first part when Serge comes back from his coma. The author did a good job showing his disorientation and his struggles. He is haunted by the images of watching his brother be killed in battle as well as the mistreatment he had at the hands of the enemies. He struggles physically and mentally with his battle wounds, as well as mentally with the guilt for what he feels for Isabelle. Once they marry, he is blissful but just a little guilty until it all crashes around him when he overhears her. You could sense his despair at that moment. The author does an excellent job in the sections about the women warriors. It is so unusual to have female warriors in a romance in general, but I’ve rarely seen a whole regiment of them. It was lovely to see this band of strong women work together and fight with their queen beside them.
If you enjoy fantasy romance with strong female characters, you might enjoy this book.