** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
My first impression after reading the synopsis for For King and Country was that it seemed like it would be a fun, exciting read, maybe with a little intrigue. And I was definitely curious about these secrets that would be revealed. This story seemed to be different than a lot of the books I've been reading lately and I was in the mood for something different. I was hoping for/expecting a sexier version of the super sweet Cinderella/royalty meets real life stories that are out there. They're a guilty pleasure of mine and I couldn't wait to dive into this "grown-up" version. Also, I'm kind of in love with the cover!
For the girls who need a new fairytale.
Clara, who has just recently graduated from Oxford, is only interested in forging ahead in her career. She's definitely not interested in marrying for status, like so many others that surround her. She's too concerned with her future, and is anxious to be branching out into adult life. She has no time for a man. When she first meets Alexander, he's standing in a darkened room, emanating a confident and sexy air, that had Clara, and me, hooked from the start. You can tell straight away that he's not one to play by the rules, and has no desire to do so. And when he called her "poppet," I think I died and went to hot Brit heaven!
I looked up, realizing a bit late that the smoke meant I wasn't alone, and my hand clutched my chest reflexively when I caught sight of him. Where there's smoke there's fire, and good lord, was he smokin'.
One steamy, surprise encounter with this mysterious stranger, who looks just a little familiar, doesn't only cause her stomach to flip, but turns her life upside down as well. Because it turns out he's a prince *gasp* and that private moment wasn't all that private at all. But, despite the complications he brings, his warnings, and her own reservations, Clara is drawn to Alexander like a moth to a dangerous flame.
It wasn't until he was out of sight, freeing me from the heady affect of his presence, that I realized I'd kissed a man without knowing his name.
Alexander is a man haunted. He has had a troubled past, despite his privileged life, that much is clear from the beginning. But he's used to getting what he wants, and he wants Clara. Despite his better judgment. Unfortunately, their pasts and his fame and secrets, not to mention his preferences in the bedroom, make being together a struggle and leave Clara frightened. The last thing she wants to do is repeat her past mistakes. Clara hasn't had an easy go of things either, and so she can empathize with Alexander's reluctance to revisit his past. Of course, by dating someone in the public eye, the risk of having your past struggles splashed all over a tabloid cover runs high.
Clara struck me as extremely resilient. She never let anything keep her down for long and she did what she had to do to overcome her issues. She was very level headed, except, of course, when it came to her prince. Aside from making quite a few brash assumptions, she was a great character and I really enjoyed her story. She was a bit of a complex character. She was a strong girl, but still very fragile and vulnerable on the inside. She had quite a few insecurities, though she hid them well most of the time. She was a lot like Alexander in this way, I think they fit each other quite well.
I absolutely loved the supporting characters. Especially quirky Aunt Jane! She was always available for a laugh or kind word. And she gave the best advice. Something Clara was lacking from her own mother most times.
"Enjoy yourself," she said, "and remember your heart."
Bella was another great character and brought a lot to the story. She was supportive, up front, and lots of fun. I definitely wouldn't mind a spin-off focusing on her!
Up until halfway through the book, I had a bit of an issue with the emotional "connection" the characters were supposed to have shared. Right when I felt like they were finally getting somewhere, finally opening up to each other, they seemed to hit a dead end and tried to solve it with sex. Clara would notice that Alexander was hurting, wouldn't know what to do to help, so she would just initiate sex instead... That didn't sit well with me and didn't ring true to this inexplicable emotional connection that they supposedly shared. Their relationship was supposed to be so much more than sex, yet, for a lot of the book, it wasn't explored. All we got was the sex. Hot sex, sure, Steamy, intense sex, definitely. But the emotional connection just wasn't clear most of the time, and I wanted it so badly for these characters. Fortunately, at about the halfway mark, this became a non-issue for me, because the characters finally began to connect on a deeper level. So, although I do feel this was worth a mention, don't fret-- it doesn't last forever!
Another thing I feel is worth mentioning, are the many similarities of the charaters to another royal family we all know. Was this intentional? Probably. Two brothers, a mother who has passed away, a family tragedy involving a car accident... Sounds familiar, doesn't it? This didn't take away from the story for me by any means, but I know some readers aren't fans of this.
Although I devoured this story and loved all of the characters, I was very disappointed in Alexander in the end! I understood his struggles, but boy was he frustrating. I think I just expected more from him. Clara, however, made me proud! I'm so glad she stuck to her guns and did what was best for her. For King and Country ends quite abruptly and painfully. It got extremely emotional for me there at the end and I'm already impatient for the next book. I need to know how Clara and Alexander's story will unfold. Overall, this was a fast paced, fun and entertaining read and I would definitely recommend it!
" You are my beautiful, Clara. That's why I want to protect you from the world. That's why I want to protect you from me."
Geneva Lee prefers fantasy to reality, especially fantasies involving powerful, dangerous, and sexy men. You can find her devouring a good romance while avoiding the laundry and the children. She lives in Seattle with her family.
Connect with Geneva:
Twitter / Goodreads / Website