Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon – Book Review

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In this sequel to the young adult fantasy novel Doon, Mackenna Reed is pursuing her dream of life on Broadway. But even though a year has passed, she can’t forget the prince she abandoned in the magical country of Doon. When he suddenly appears in her dressing room and informs her that she is needed to stop the spread of a terrible evil, she realizes that he is only here because the kingdom needs her.

Meanwhile in Doon, Mackenna’s best friend Veronica is struggling to hold on to her place as queen. With evil crossing the border and her people inclined to treat her with suspicion, she will need the support of both her handsome prince and her best friend to save the day.

Much of the plot revolves around Mackenna realizing that she pushed her one true love away a year ago and that it is most likely impossible for them to ever be together. And in the other POV, Veronica is struggling with her relationship with Prince Jamie. Because of this, the book is heavy on the romance and includes a lot of kissing – more so than I would have expected in a book that is marketed as Christian.

Because the country of Doon is basically a fantasy version of old Scotland, there are some cultural differences and fantasy elements that parents might find disturbing. For example, an eighteen-year-old gets drunk, and the book’s villains practice witchcraft. While there are some “spiritual” themes (a divine protector, spiritual gifts, etc.) they make up only a small portion of the book and are overshadowed by the romantic tensions between the characters.
While I did feel that Destined for Doon fell somewhat short of being described as a Christian novel, there were several elements that I liked. Mackenna is into theater, and I found her frequent references to Broadway shows entertaining. The characters who have come to Doon from the modern world were also diverse and interesting – especially the street-wise London thief.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but its likely not one that I will read again. If you enjoy young adult romances or fantasy and are a fan of Broadway you might want to give this a try.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This post contains affiliate links.

 

Duty: a novel of Rhynan – Book Review

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Tomas Dyrease, the newly made Earl of Irvaine and the village of Wisenvale, owes his good fortune to his king and the recent civil war. When his benefactor demands Tomas marry the cousin of a noble, he obeys. However, no one warned him that she wasn’t a typical noblewoman.

Brielle Solarius struggles to keep her village from starvation under the new Lord Wisten, her cousin. The men rode off to war and never returned. The remaining women and children face a dire winter if they do not find a solution soon. When she learns her cousin sold her into marriage to save his life, she isn’t surprised. However, she is taken aback by Lord Irvaine’s unpolished ways. Was this man a noble or a foot soldier?

Bound by the words of their vows, they face a rough future. They must forge a marriage while battling betrayal, accusations of treason, and villains from the past. Survival depends on their precarious trust in each other. Failure could mean death.

Rachel Rossano is one of the authors that I have randomly discovered through social media. To this day I have no idea who first recommended her, but after reading and enjoying one of her novellas and a short story, I am glad that I found her work.

Duty is an adventurous fantasy story with danger, adventure, and romance. From the very first page I found myself drawn into this world, cheering for Brielle in the difficult circumstances in which she finds herself. What I liked most about this book was the level of description. All the senses are engages as you hear the sounds, see the sights, and smell the smells of Rhynan. And while this is a fantasy book set in a well-developed world, it does not include any of the magic elements that can be controversial for some readers.

The plot, the characters, and the setting were great. There were only a few minor things that I did not like about this novel. The main issue is that, with so many characters, it is hard to keep track of them – especially as the characters travel a lot and separate into different groups. Also, at the very beginning I wondered what direction the story was headed. (The book begins with the main character discovering that her hand has been given in marriage to a man she has never met, so you can imagine where that could go…) Thankfully, the author is careful in her descriptions and “fades to black” at the appropriate moments.

If you are looking for a new fantasy read with adventure and romance, Duty is a great beginning. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

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