Title: The Golden Key ChroniclesAuthor: AJ Nuest
Series: The Golden Key Chronicles
Read Type: ARC for HarperImpulseStars:
You can purchase the entire Golden Key Chronicles on Amazon UK and Amazon US
To purchase an individual episode please see my Golden Key Chronicles Archive
You can find out more about the author on her Website, Blog, Facebook, Author Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
Series SynopsisThe key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…
Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!
But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.
Lost in a world she doesn't recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place.
Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don't discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall.
For two years Prince Caedmon suffered in the dungeons of Seviere’s keep, leaving him with more than just lash marks lacing his back. He now retains the secret behind the key, and is the only one who understands its grim connection to his beloved Rowena.
Torn between telling her the truth and risking their future, he agrees to join her perilous quest. But their enemies to the north are not the only menace determined to see them fail and, to prove his love, he must conquer the demons of his past.
Author BioI am a multi-published, award-winning author who lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. My loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate my lunacy.
While I spend most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed me the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.
Strong language: Yes
Violence: Yes, Graphic
Sexual content: Yes, Graphic
My previous reviews for this series can be seen at my Golden Key Chronicles Archive
I received a copy of The Golden Key Chronicles from the author in return for an unbiased review. At the author's request, I will read and review each novella separately, followed by an overview.
The story started in Rowena’s Key. This was a fun, sexy and atmospheric opening to the series. There was lots of mystery and adventure. I did however feel it was lacking in explanation, and in a couple of places, I had to reread. I think this was my favourite on the fun factor.
Next was Candra’s freedom. I found this to be very action packed and tight. This was much more adventure and far less romance compared to the first novella. I missed that aspect, and in some ways, I felt the situation had gone back to how it was at the start of Rowena’s key, with mistrust on the side of Rowena. Nevertheless it was a good novella.
Then we moved into Caedmon's Curse, hands down my favourite book of the series. Once again, there was a mixture of adventure and romance. In this book I really fell for the main male protagonist, Caedmon. He was tender and caring when Rowena was weak, but also the romantic heart every romance novel needs.
Finally, came Braedric’s Bane, an epic story of adventure, romance, fun and destiny. It was a real rollercoaster. I did however feel that Caedmon was treated badly in this story. Considering how the series started, I could have expected Rowena to have been more considerate towards him in his plight.
The epilogue was an interesting surprise I wasn’t expecting. All through the story, we heard the tale of Helios and Celine, essentially the sun and moon, who, to these medieval people, were Gods locked in an endless battle for romance. The tone and writing of the epilogue was very different. It was written in old language, very fluent and floury, but never losing the reader. Having heard shortened versions and snippets so many times, it completely drew me away with it. This epilogue gets a 5, no questions about it.
My only criticism I could make of the series, is that whether the particular novella was an adventure, romance, war or a mixture it seemed to follow a vague formula. Each novella started with distrust or confusion from one or more parties. By the end of each novella this was resolved, yet something would happen, either in the last few pages, the space until the next story, or right at the beginning of the following one, to cause a sense of distrust that had to be overcome once again. Though these occurred for a variety of reasons, it could be repetitive at times.
This series was a real rollercoaster, with many genres mixed in. I enjoyed the adventure, the romance, the excitement, and the all-round newness of the world. AJ Nuest wove the world and characters that could be frustrating, but always kept you going for the next chapter. This series was very fulfilling, and I’m glad there is a spin-off. I have no doubt her skill in storytelling will continue.
I give this series as a whole a 5.