In the remote village of Sevens, the Fareview family live a fearful existence. In the kingdom of Kaloma, women are little more than property, the wards of their fathers or husbands. And with four daughters all railing against the restraints put upon them by their frightened family and the world at large, the Fareviews have plenty on their plate.
Yet hope may be on the horizon. There’s talk of a treaty with the neighbouring kingdom of Jast, who have taken in Kaloma’s fleeing refugees, women who have run rather than be bound to men or sent to a suspicious convent that seems to deal more in selling than saving.
But when the delegation from Jast is attacked on the road to Kaloma, and Crown Prince Lachlan goes missing, negotiations stall.
Meanwhile, hiding in the forest after a nasty encounter in the local tavern, Tarley Fareview waits for the all-clear from her brother. Quick and capable, she’s been here before, surviving off the land and keeping herself safe. But when she stumbles across a dying stranger, Tarley faces a choice. Save a life or risk her own.
The second in the Fareview Fairytales series, In the Shadow of a Hoax is an exciting and engaging fantasy romance. Tropes of mistaken identity, close proximity, and marriages of convenience are delightfully explored, bolstered by a wonderful chemistry between leads Tarley and Lachlan.
The pacing is slow but perfectly suited to the growing relationship, as Tarley nurses an injured Lachlan back to health and as he, hiding his identity, discovers more about Kaloma, the woman who saved him, and what it really means to be a prince. The action leans more towards the spice rather than the sword variety and it is, happily, well written and well timed.
Though it’s the second in a series, you won’t need to track down book one – In the Shadow of a Wish – to understand what’s at play here. While I’m certain there’ll be an Easter egg or five for dedicated readers, author Maci Aurora‘s world is well crafted and her explanation of back story strong enough that first time readers can make this their first trip to Kaloma without any issue. That being said, I have a feeling you’ll want to go back either way – I know I will be!
If you like your fairytale romances with a side of political intrigue and a healthy smattering of spice, you’d do well to pick up In the Shadow of a Hoax when it reaches bookstores later this month.