Royal Dragons of Alaska, Book #3
Heat Factor: Not closed door, but not very intense or explicit
Character Chemistry: The way they go through their captivity together is just absolutely charming
Plot: You think it’s going to be an angsty, pining, stealing-the-fiancée kind of a thing, but then they get kidnapped and everything goes sideways
Overall: My favorite so far in this series. SO FUN.
The Dragon Prince’s Bride is the third in the Royal Dragons of Alaska series, and my oh my has the plot thickened. Each book is its own story about one of six brothers finding his mate, but there is an underlying sinister plot that, once resolved, will reveal to us why all of these brothers keep finding mates when it’s normally only supposed to be one mated royal to identify who will rule in that generation. Each book ends with a teaser for who’s going to find his mate next, AND I WANT THE NEXT BOOK NOW. Why is it not ready for me to put it in my eyeballs?!
Book one was about the baby of the six brothers. Book two was about the scholarly brother, who is a twin. And book three is about the other twin, Tray, who has found his space as the family jock and goofball. So is it any surprise that the mess that is Tray ends up ruining a diplomatic arranged marriage for his older brother, Fask? An arranged marriage that is meant to solve the whole family’s magical problems and ensure that the correct king is on the throne? Poor Fask. Dude can’t catch a break. Though he also needs to unbend, like, a lot, so I hope when he finally gets his story his mate messes him up but good.
The thing is, Tray doesn’t intend to mess up the marriage. The mating bond is unpredictable and uncontrollable, so when Leinani arrives in Alaska to attend the littlest brother’s wedding and do the magic for her own engagement to Fask, both Leilani and Tray are shocked to discover that the mating bond is WRONG. It’s wrong, dangit!
Except it is so not. Leinani and Tray are just the absolute sweetest together. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Everything is shaping up to be an extremely angsty, I-can’t-stay-but-I-can’t-stay-away dramatic romance until these two finally figure out that the mating bond wasn’t wrong, you can’t trick it into turning off, and Leinani and Fask will have to call the whole thing off. This was stressing me out a little, because OMG there is so much room for a super public royal engagement to go super wrong when they finally figure out that no, Leinani will not be marrying Fask….
…and then Leinani and Tray get kidnapped by the baddies!
I did not see that twist coming. I hope you don’t see it as a spoiler, because it happens very early in the book, and it’s important to know because the relationship that Tray and Leinani build while they’re trapped together in this hotel room, trying to do everything right and be nothing more than friends while only able to rely on the other person for support and conversation and play is oh so good. I think “we’re trapped in a room together” might be my new favorite forced proximity.
I’ve said before that I like the way that Birch is playing with the Fated Mates trope in this series, specifically because it works on the free will question of the trope as each pair tries to figure out their relationship, but this one is the best of the bunch. Leinani has agreed to an arranged marriage with Fask because she has no reason not to. One of her brothers is already mated, so although she was trained to rule, she will not rule her family’s kingdom. The point of activating the spell that will bind Fask and Leinani is to allow Fask to be the mated brother who rules Alaska. The other mated brothers and their partners really do not want that responsibility, and since there’s already more than one mated pair, then obviously they can just get Fask mated and everything will be fiiiiiine. When the mating spell is activated, Leinani and Fask will be able to fall in love, so there’s no concern about having a bad arranged marriage either. There’s no reason for Leinani not to marry Fask. Until she meets Tray.
But Leinani and Tray have only just met, same as Leinani and Fask. And everyone knows that the mating spell that fades after a few weeks only shows the mated pair what their love could be. It doesn’t make them fall in love, though it does seem to make it much easier to fall in love what with all the reading each other’s feelings going on. Leinani has every reason to marry Fask and no reason at all to marry Tray. But she wants Tray. But is it the spell or something else? I loved that there was this ambiguity about what Leinani really wanted juxtaposed with what was the appropriate choice for her.
Long story short: I had so much fun reading this book. I love this series, and I want to know what happens to the mysterious Kenth right now.
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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