“Another sip, Your majesty,” I pleaded, holding out the golden chalice of raspberry-leaf tea.”Opening lines of Always by Jody Hedlund
Whilst novellas are not my forte, a well-developed world most definitely is and Always sets the scene for Jody Hedlund’s new Young Adult series. It’s also a great story in and of itself! Fast-paced and action-packed, I read it straight through.
As a war closes, the losing royals struggle to protect their infant children and thrust them into the arms of Lance, a highly trained knight, and Felicia, a friend of the Queen and the race to safety begins.
Using all his skills and wits, Lance battles the odds and is grateful for Felicia’s help with the babies saying “I stepped back, uneasiness swirling around my gut. I could handle the most vicious of Saracens, and the toughest Dane. But manage a newborn babe?”. Humour runs throughout as the two come to trust one another.
To give more a way would spoil the adventure but, the ending is satisfying whilst setting the stage for the full series! I look forward to seeing the three daughters grow up and challenge the throne! It’s going to be exciting! I highly recommend it and it’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale!
From the back cover
A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.
On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.
Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.
With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives—and hearts—forever.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Jody Hedlund. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.