Saturday, June 2, 2018

One True Love by Linda Kage ~ Review

One True LoveSource: e-ARC provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

One True Love by Linda Kage

Custom demanded that Prince Urban get a love mark tattooed to the side of his left eye as an infant, just like the rest of his people, but to him, the stupid things have only brought on the scorn of his father, the misery of his siblings, and caused his entire kingdom to go broke from fighting so many wars over the irritating ink stains.

When Urban’s sister must travel to Donnelly, the kingdom within the sand, for her arranged marriage to align two realms, he goes with her. But he no sooner steps foot inside their castle than his mark starts itching like a son of a bitch, telling him his one true love is near.

It just figures, though, that the woman meant for him is completely forbidden. Now he must decide if he should ignore the persistent mark, telling him she's the one, in order to avoid a possible war between kingdoms, or if he should discover whether she's worth risking everything for so they can be together. Either way, his life gets sucked into chaos with threats of beheadings, dark magic lurking, castle traitors scheming, and sword fights eminent.

Who knew one little tattoo could cause so much trouble?

Releases June 6th, 2018!

I've been a fan of Linda Kage for a good long while now -- ever since Val got me to read A Perfect Ten and I subsequently fell head over heels for the Forbidden Men series. Other than the FM, though, I'm not sure I've read any of her other books, so I was so excited to finally branch out with One True Love. As I should have been because this book was so utterly enjoyable!

First and foremost, the premise is top notch. Like, seriously it's right up my alley -- soulmates! One of the main characters has a mark that lets him know when he's meeting his true love; it's a custom where he comes from for everyone to get the marks at birth. So we start the book with him meeting his true love and then alllllllll of the thingssssss unravel from there.

The characters were fleshed out well. We have the two MCs, Urban and Vienne. But we also have an entire cast of characters that are interesting that I grew so fond of -- Nicolette and Allera and the prince and....well. I could go on, but I'll leave it there. Even the characters I wasn't so fond of (whom I shall not name for the sake of being non-spoilery) were written well enough that I enjoyed their involvement in the story.

As for writing of the overall story, I must say it was very well done. Most importantly, I was pulled into the novel and enthralled the entire way through. I read it in, what? A day? I couldn't put it down for too long in between reading, I know that for sure. But a few comments about specific aspects of the plot:

- Insta-love? So technically there is, since Urban is instantly obsessed with his true love the moment he sees her. However, I feel like it was handled well to show while he acknowledged his love, he also had to get to know her to understand it. Therefore, there was solid relationship growth.
- World-building? I don't read a LOT of fantasy myself, so I can't comment on anything other than the fact that I thought it was sufficient. I especially liked how common things in life today were the big trade items in this fantasy world (clear rock, lol). I can definitely say I didn't get bored due to too much wordiness.
- Romance? Okay, so this somewhat goes hand in hand with the insta-love thing. There was solid, well done relationship growth. That said, I wanted MORE. Because I'm a greedy reader. I loved (L O V E D) Urban's devotion -- and man was he devoted. It was amazing. But gosh darn it, I wish we'd gotten more couple time.
- Plot? Here's my only big critique of the novel: it was predictable. I figured out the enemy veeerrryyy early on. But I enjoyed the rest of the aspects of the book (Urban and everything involving him, basically)! So it didn't ruin the book or anything. Just took away from the impact later on.

Overall, One True Love is an enthralling romantic fantasy that I really hope kicks off a series! I need more from this world. Most especially Nicolette's story! But really, I'm always here for soulmates and true love. If you are too, then definitely pick this beauty up!!

4 stars - An enthralling romantic fantasy!

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