Malicious Prince by Mary E Twomey – ARC Review

Arc provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

✰✰✰

My anticipation for the final instalment in the reverse-harem Territorial Mates series was high and the book (mostly) did not disappoint! The love matches still had that tantalising slow-burn appeal while the political machinations and plot-line kept me completely engaged! I read this book all in one sitting. Despite my overall enjoyment there were a few issues I had with the development of their reverse-harem relationship considering this was the final book. If you’re looking for a slow-burn paranormal reverse-harem romance though, you’re in the right place!

Blurb:

Sometimes sacrificing your heart isn’t enough.

Lily escapes with Salem and Destino to shifter territory, where deception lurks around every corner. With the Queen of Jacoba unable to rule, too much responsibility falls to Lily, who realizes she will never be the princess the shifters want. However, she quickly learns that she might just be the ruler they need.

Mating with Prince Salem wasn’t in the plan, but now that Lily’s fallen for him, her marriages to Prince Destino and Prince Alexavier are put to the test. Sharing seemed like a good idea in the beginning, but when passions run high and the stakes are higher, the Territorial Princes have to decide if they want Lily for themselves or peace for the nation.

My Thoughts:

The political build up between the Vampire, Shifter and Fae Kingdoms reached an all-time high in Malicious Prince. I absolutely loved it and this was the best part of the book, if I’m being honest. The unexpected ending of Wicked Prince had set this book up for a political climate that was not only founded on prejudice but bursting at the seams with anger from the swift, unpopular changes the main characters had instigated. I loved how Twomey incorporated more of the back story and world-building in to this third book. Most of the questions regarding the hatred between the Kingdoms were (finally) answered. Everything was culminating to a final political climatic event and I was right there along with it.

That said, the reverse-harem relationship in the third book needed a bit more OOMPH. Everything seemed to be super slow and still unsolved near the ending of the book. I had expected more growth, communication and understanding between the four of them and this just didn’t seem to be the case. Perhaps there is another book in the series I’m unaware about that targets some of the big-ticket communication issues they’re still experiencing but if there is, I don’t know of it yet. Taking it as a finale in the series, I was expecting a hell of a lot more in regards to their strategies for making everything work between them.

The insight in to the shifter world marked the final piece of the puzzle regarding the three Kingdoms. We were gifted with a privileged look inside the Shifter strong-hold and as I mentioned earlier, things started to finally make sense. That said, my previous adoration for Prince Salem and Prince Alexavier were pretty much dried up in this book. The lack of communication and strategies for building a strong, healthy relationship really got on my nerves. These are men who run whole nations. How was it impossible for them to negotiate with each other and communicate? It’s practically their job descriptions!

Despite these issues, this series is still one of my favourites. The first book was a really strong start to the series and the unique take Twomey has placed on the warring Kingdoms was fascinating to read about. I really enjoyed the world-building, side characters and majority of the reverse-harem (pretty much everything from the first two books). If you’re in the mood for a paranormal reverse-harem romance, I’d definitely recommend you try this!

Jen

Vengeful Prince: a heart-warming reverse harem paranormal romance.

Arc provided by LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review. Buy it here on: AMAZON

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FOUR STARS

I ADORED the slow-burn love that happened in this story. The friendships between the fae, shifter and vampire princes immediately drew me in. Who can resist a bromance of that calibre? Certainly not me. Add in a lively, moral and considerate kick-ass female lead and I was highly enjoying the story from the beginning.

What really separated this book from many others in its genre, of which I would classify as reverse harem romance, was the slow nature of the relationships building between the characters. Especially the romantic relations. In a story that’s openly classified as a harem I was expecting insta-love, alpha males, jealousy and steamy scenes. A lot of steamy scenes. This book did not have that and I was unexpectedly pleased with it. The budding affection that each character had for each other was so sweet. It melted my heart and was the main reason for my rating.

I was conflicted when having to review this book. Partly because when you’re reviewing you have to keep in mind that not everyone loves the same things as you do. So, full disclaimer: this rating is purely concerning my personal enjoyment factor of the book and hasn’t taken in to account some of the issues that the book has, which weren’t too big of a deal for me but can be for others. I couldn’t help but feel the need to justify my rating, as I’m aware that a book that pulls on my sappy heart strings will always be rated higher

Things to note about this book: it’s relatively short, has multiple points of view and the steam level was much lower than expected.

Characters:

Lilya – A lively, kick-ass heroine that displayed a strong moral compass as well as the compassion for those in need. The contradiction between the strong and more vulnerable sides of her personality made her an interesting character to read. At times, her naivete was frustrating but she genuinely meant well which made up for a lot of my frustration at times. Considering her troubled past she was unexpectedly kind to people, yet this did not mean she was unable to stand up for herself. She wasn’t a hardened, cynical character that I had been expecting from the book blurb. Rather, she came across as genuine in her assessment of others and reactions to them.

Alexavier – Prince of the Fae. My second favourite character. Partly because so much about him is still unknown after reading the first book. He’s loyal, responsible, considerate and protective. His quiet support of Lilya and his friends in this story captured my heart. I can’t wait to learn more about him and his culture in the sequel!

Destino – Prince of the Vampires. A laid-back, witty guy Destino was a guy that could charm just about everyone. He was instantly likeable and his consideration of others gained my respect.

Salem – Prince of the Shifters. A contradiction between a strong, experienced warrior and an incredibly protective, shy man desperately in love. He was by far my favourite character. I can’t wait to see where the next story takes him!

On another note:

There were quite a few aspects of this book that would have decreased my rating considerably if I hadn’t caught all the FEELS for their slow-burn romance. These included the lack of action or events. This story was mainly character driven and slow. There was not a lot of action or plot to keep readers on the edge of their seats. If you’re more of an emotional reader though (like me) then this probably won’t bother you much. Also, there was not a lot of world-building despite the unique potential the author had in this book. There was a lot of potential there for this to be a focal point of the book. With the exception of stating the hatred between the races, there was no explanation of how this came to be or much interaction with each race.

Additionally, the reason this story wasn’t five stars is that I was expecting a misunderstanding (I’m trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible) between Prince Salem of the shifters and Lilya to be addressed before the ending. I kept getting closer to the end and was waiting and waiting for a scene between them. When none came I was disappointed. I’m sure it will be covered in the sequel but I would have liked it to be addressed even remotely in the ending of Vengeful Prince.

// which do you prefer: character-driven or action-filled reads? //

Jen