Author: Carrie Aarons
Main characters: Asher Frederick and Nora Randolph
In a world of wealth and power, the rules of love and war are nothing as they seem.
Nora Randolph never wanted a life of luxury. But when her mother falls in love with the heir to the British throne, their small-town lives are uprooted and every little girl’s fantasy becomes her reality. All too quickly, she learns the dangers of running in circles with the world’s elite, especially when she attracts the attention of Winston Academy’s resident golden boy.
Asher Frederick has known nothing but favor and fortune. The son of London’s most influential family, his future has been written in stone since infancy. But a tragic childhood loss redirects his course, and revenge has been boiling in his blood for years. When innocent and unaware Nora lands in his path, it’s as if the universe hands him the ammunition to finally drag his enemy through the mud.
But as his plan for vengeance gets more twisted, so do his feelings for Nora. And as her immersion into the upper crust dives deeper, she struggles to keep the secret she’s been guarding for eighteen years.
Heavy lies the crown, and when the ultimate betrayal blindsides her, will either of them survive the consequences that come crashing down on their heads?
I have to start with our main couple... Nora and Asher... usually I tend to stay away from *just* young adult stories... not that there's anything wrong with them, I just feel like I'm way to old to truly connect to such young characters... and no, I am not THAT old ;) turning 31 in a couple of days actually ;) but sometimes I feel like there is an abyss between me and people in high school ;) anyway... :) I don't mind as much when characters are younger in more fantasy-ish books or something like that, where there is more going on besides just the romance... but I decided to give this story a try, because I am a huge fan of Carrie and her writing style in general, and I am always willing to give one of her books a try :) so back to our main characters :) Nora is being thrown straight into a very unfamiliar situation... after her mother catches the eye of a british dignitary they move to London and she transfers schools... now a senior in a very elite Winston Academy, full of snobistic and egotistical teenagers, she needs to find her footing... which is not easy, when she's targeted by Asher... he has an agenda when it comes to her and her soon-to-be-stepfather... I don't want to go into too many details, but there is defintiely plan for revenge... ;) like I mentioned, I usually have lots of problems with such young characters... mainly because I can't relate to all the unnecessary angst and drama and all the usual miscommunication... and even though it DID appear in this book as well, I have to say that it was done actually really well... :) and yes, I am perfectly aware that I cannot expect from young adults to behave like adults, but since those are my personal preferences, I just want to be completely honest with you guys :) that's probably why I gave this book 4 stars... it was that kind of a read for me, but if you like those types of stories, you will love this one :) what I think about Nora and Asher? well... I liked her throughout the majority of the book... there were certain reactions toward the end that I wasn't the biggest fan of, but like I said... nobody is perfect ;) Asher on the other hand... well... he was a jerk... that is the nicest way I can describe him... and trust me, I have better words for him... I just can't share them in my review ;) yeah, he went through a bit of a character development in the story... but I think I would have liked him more with a few additional scenes showing that growth... I can't really explain it more, because it's all connected to his revenge plan and how he proceeds to trick Nora into falling for him... which is of course much more complicated than that, but again... due to my #NoSpoilers rule... I can't say more ;)
All in all I actually really enjoyed this story :) which was very surprising ;) it's written in 2 POVs, which means we got to see chapters from Nora's perspective, as well as Asher's :) and it's my favourite kind, so I was one happy reader ;) although there were a few moments when it felt like I missed a scene here and there... I had to check to make sure I haven't skipped a chapter or something ;) but maybe it was the late hour when I was finishing this book... we will never know... ;) even though it's a standalone, I see a few possibilities for stories, that I definitely wouldn't mind reading at some point in the future... something to think about ;) I liked the secondary characters in this book, especially Nora's mom :) it was a story filled with drama, angst, intrigue and secrets... very fast paced and supper addicting... it felt like an episode of "Gossip girl" and if we're being honest there was a time, when I was absolutely addicted to that show, sooooo... ;) if you are looking for a quick and entertaining summer read, I highly recommend you guys to check out this one :) it will keep you glued to the pages and curious to see how it all ends ;)
About the author:
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.
Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.
When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.