The Queen’s Guard, Book 1
Heat Factor: 🍆🍆 ← that’s two sexy rumpuses
Character Chemistry: It gets better
Plot: She gets forcibly married to the king and then makes the best of it. It’s good to be queen!
Overall: The opening is extremely YIKES but the second half is excellent
Stolen to Wear His Crown is part of the Harlequin Presents line, which meant that I knew to expect certain things. A tight focus on the romantic relationship. A plot that requires a certain suspension of disbelief. And an extremely innocent, emotionally open heroine who brings a strong, powerful, rich, emotionally constipated man to his knees with the strength of her inner (and outer) beauty.
We have all of that. And honestly, the relationship between Mina and Zayn is pretty compelling, especially once they start spending some quality time together. They bring out the best in each other, as Zayn pushes Mina to be more confident and Mina provides space for Zayn to be just a man. Bell writes smooth dialogue and sex scenes with just a hint of spice to keep things interesting and fabulous clothes, all of which help.
But the opening! Here’s the setup. Mina has worked her entire life to distinguish herself in her field so that she will earn a place as a science advisor on the royal council. She has put her work before everything else in her life. She hides her hot body because she wants to be taken seriously as an academic. She has never gone on a date because she spent every free moment working. And all her sacrifice has paid off! She is being interviewed by Parliament in the final step in the vetting process.
Right after the vote goes through approving her, however, a SWAT team appears, tackles her, handcuffs her, and drags her through the palace to a chapel where the King awaits. And then they get married in the weirdest non-consensual (Christian-ish?) ceremony I have ever read. The whole thing was really upsetting to read, and I was annoyed that Mina was so…accepting of the whole thing. Yes, she protests – but she protests the marriage, not the fact that she was utterly humiliated by a bunch of thugs in front of Parliament on the orders of her future husband.
I almost stopped reading. I’m glad I didn’t, but I could also see this sequence being a major deal-breaker for many readers.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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