Destined for a King by Ashlyn Macnamara
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Romance
Release date: September 6, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Though she is intended for the king, Calista Thorne picks up a crossbow to defend her ancestral home, Blackbriar Keep, from a gang of landless knights. She even manages to sink a poison-tipped arrow into their commander, who survives long enough to conquer the Keep and claim Calista for his own. Now, with her father’s life at stake, Calista must nurse the brigand back to health, and the strangest thing happens: She finds herself fascinated by his tautly muscled body, and enthralled by his hotly whispered demands.
Ever since his father’s death, the fearsome warrior they call Torch has been consumed by his quest for revenge. Taking Blackbriar Keep is the first step in that plan, and—by the three gods—it won’t be the last. But after taking one look into Calista’s smoldering gray eyes, Torch discovers a passion nobler than retribution. He will fulfill his destiny and take her from the usurper king, even in his weakened state. For with Calista’s love, no man has ever felt more powerful.”
Destined for a King is part romance, part historical fantasy, and I have to say that I preferred the parts that weren’t so much about romance. The romance between Calista and Torch is one of those super quick lusty attractions followed by a strangely quick declaration of love. That doesn’t work for me so much. The rest of the plot, though, I found really interesting. I won’t spoil the plot by saying too much, but there’s fighting and adventure and a little bit of magic.
Calista is a really strong character at times, though her personality does seem to clash a little with what we’re told she learned. If she was brought up to be a lady and a king’s wife, and supposedly wasn’t trained in fighting, how does she have so much ease with a crossbow? This bothered me, but I liked that she was always ready to jump in and defend the people she cared about.
Torch isn’t a bad character, either, and I could read a whole book just about him and his “quest for revenge,” such as it is. His band of loyal men and his determination to fulfill what he believes is his destiny contribute to the sense that this is a well-rounded character with an interesting story. He’s much more interesting than Calista, who hasn’t really faced challenges, but if this series continues and follows them, I can see her becoming much more interesting.
I really did enjoy this, though probably not enough to label it a favorite or a must-read. I’d recommend it for a quick read if you’re into this genre, though, and it’s definitely full of potential if the author continues the story.
*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley