When a Princess Proposes by Kerrelyn Sparks
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Embraced by Magic, #3 (Embraced, #6)
Release Date: April 26, 2022
Since the fall of the Circle of Five peace has reigned on Aerthlan, but now twenty years later, the Seer, Queen Maeve has been having haunting dreams and visions that foretell trouble brewing, especially for the Embraced and King Leo of Eberon. So she sends the royal messenger, an eagle shifter named Quentin to warn King Leo of Maeve’s dreams.
Quentin is both excited and dreads his trip to Eberon because it will bring him in the proximity of the one and only woman who owns his heart – Princess Eviana. Someone who could never be his as he a nobody, an illegitimate sone of servants, but that doesn’t stop his heart from longing for her. He arrives at the castle during King Leo’s birthday celebration and sees Eviana dancing with one of her many suitors. Quen is jealous, but stays in the shadows just watching her – until his friend and fellow Embraced, Lady Olana finds him. Olana’s gift is to make people confess their secrets with just a touch and is the only person who knows Quen is in love with Eviana. She urges him to dance with Eviana, but instead, Quen decides to show Eviana that none of her suitors are worthy of her and convinces Olana to help him, they dance and she “accidentally” touches the would-be suitors and they confess their secrets in front of the entire gathering. But things don’t go as planned when Eviana rushes out of the room.
Eviana has led a very sheltered life and feels trapped. When her suitors begin confessing their secrets, she uses the commotion to run to her sanctuary and escape the pressure to find a husband. When Quentin comes looking for her to apologize, she is drawn to him and asks him to be her friend, a request he immediately rejects and takes off. Later her parents decide after the fiasco at the ball, that it might be best for Eviana to leave for a bit and send her off to visit Norveshka. But when her barge is attacked and she uses her Embraced gift, it is Quen who comes to her rescue.
Quen has learned some disturbing news, someone is killing the Embraced and he is going to inform King Leo when he sees the royal barge under attack. When he finds Eviana, it is clear someone was trying to capture her and he is sure it is the same people killing the Embraced. Despite his misgivings, he and the princess must work together to find out who is targeting the Embraced and stop them. He just hopes he can work closely with her without revealing his secret love. For her part, Eviana is excited to use this time with Quen to convince him they are perfect for each other and protect her family from this new threat.
This is yet another well-written, fabulous installment of the Embraced/Embraced by Magic saga, filled with familiar faces and lots of new ones. The story is filled with intrigue, magic, dragons, shifters, great secondary characters, as well as a secondary romance, a great setup for future books, some extremely nasty villains, and finally a very sweet HEA. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to more installments featuring the next generation of Embraced. This book is the Third (or Sixth, depending on your POV) but it is more like the beginning of a new series and can easily be read as a standalone title. If you enjoy the Fantasy/Paranormal Historical sub-genre, I highly recommend this book and the whole series.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*