Blog Tour: Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
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Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.
Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what's best for her country, she isn't about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn't hesitate to tell him there's no way she's marrying him.
Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can't fall for her, because royal or not, they're not meant for each other.
Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.
Royal Marriage Market was such a fun read! I loved both Chris and Elsa and together they were perfect. I had high hopes for the story since I love the authors other books, but wasn't quite sure about this modern royalty. Prior to this the only stories with royalty I have read were historical, but I shouldn't have hesitated as I actually loved the modern royalty plot line. It was quite fascinating to read since I never gave it much thought before.
Elsa is the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia and as such she cares greatly for her fellow countrymen. She definitely wants what is best for her people, but she doesn't want to be forced into an arranged marriage with someone she does not love. She has been trying to keep from having that happen, but the dreaded day is drawing near. She has finally received the invitation to the Summit where, as they call it, the Royal Marriage Market takes place. This is the time for all of the current leaders to make deals for marriages between their children to gain power, land, money, whatever they need and will help their people most. The time that different countries forge alliances that will help their people and Elsa wants nothing to do with it. She is forced to go, but she is not happy about it. She wants to marry for love or not at all.
Christian is the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland and is not happy about the prospect of an arranged marriage either. He is hoping to get through the Summit without coming out engaged to someone he didn't choose. It is not likely that he will be able to do so since his mother, who is not a nice person and doesn't really care for anyone but herself, won't let that be. She is determined that he will marry someone she chooses.
When Elsa and Chris first meet it was so cute! Oh I just loved both of these characters. Elsa is so determined to not get married, to not come out of this Summit with an engagement, and she will not sleep around either like most of the young royalty seem to do at such things. She speaks her mind and says what she thinks without regard to how she might come across. Oh she was fun! That first meeting she comes across a little crazy and I loved it! And Chris, well he is just drawn in by her even if he doesn't want to be. He loves the fact that she will just say what she means and not try to be someone she is not. The two of them were perfect for each other, but even if they decided they did want to be together, if they did fall in love, they wouldn't be allowed to marry. Since they are both the hereditary leaders of their country one of them would have to give up their title, give up their lives, to be with the other. It is just not done and the powers that be do not allow it.
Chris and Elsa spend way too much time together during the Summit. It was so cute watching them fall in love, watching them grow closer and I just loved them. From all of their late night firsts to their various organizations they become apart of they were just too cute. Ah these two really just made me fall in love with them. It was so sweet and cute and amusing and just wonderful. While reading it is hard to see how they will be able to figure everything out in such a way that everyone will be happy. How can they both keep their positions, yet still be together? How can they make it so they are not blackmailed into marrying someone else? Why are some of the people involved so determined to see these marriages through? How can they be together and still serve their country and their people they care so much about? It was a really great read. Elsa and Chris were just lots of fun and add in a bit of mystery, some cavorting and running amuck, a bit of determination and you have a wonderful story. I highly recommend this one. Such fun!
*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2
A sly grin is thrown my way. “Luk got in even later than I did, looking like he’d been at the party of the century.”
“Ah. How very interesting. Who do you think he was cavorting with at such a late hour?”
“I think the better question is, who wasn’t he cavorting around with?”
“Me.” I smile brightly. “And you. Our cavorting was limited to a very exclusive party of two.”
“Is that what we were doing? Were we cavorting?”
We were falling in love, I think. Wonderfully, miserably, tragically, beautifully falling in love. Or at least, I was. But I say, “Of course. You and I are natural cavorters.”
Bittersweet amusement sparkles in his eyes. “I thought our thing was to run amuck.”
“That, too.” I gently touch the back of his hand. “We run amuck and cavort.”
The smile on his face softens. “Only with each other, though. We cavort best when it’s with the other.”
“Shall we make a deal then? Shall we swear to the other that, when it comes time to cavort, we must only do it together?” My words are light, so is my tone, but part of me crumbles within, knowing what I jokingly request will never come to be.
Gravity invades his face as he shifts on the seat toward me, knees brushing up against one another. I am trapped by his gaze, motionless with his leg pressed against mine. “That’s a promise I can easily make.”
I am still as the golden princess before us when he slowly, gently pushes stray hairs freshly escaped from my ponytail behind my ears. The feel of his fingers, light as breezes against my cheeks, leaves me hot and desperate.
“Shall we shake on it?” I whisper.
The muscle within my chest ceases its rhythm when he shakes his head. He stares at me then, as if he is unraveling all my atoms, rendering me exposed and vulnerable.
But then he leans forward, lips caressing one corner of my mouth and then the other. “All the best agreements,” he murmurs, words just as soft as mine, “are sealed with a kiss.”
I consist only of nothing but exposed nerve endings when I replicate his promise. My lips tingle, my heart hammers, and tears swarm my closed eyes. “You have my promise in return.”
He tilts his head up, mouth pressing against my temple before resting his forehead against mine. “I’m going to hold you to that, Els.”
About the Author:
Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.
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