2017, 365p, YA Adventure/Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not affect my review in any way
It has been seventeen years since the Asterian Revolution, and all eyes are on Princess Aria and the long expected royal wedding. Having grown up in a world of royalty and wealth, Aria has been unable to imagine anything less than perfect for her life. But when an indiscretion threatens to ruin her reputation, the princess finds herself cast into a world of scandal.
As rumors and heartbreak threaten to destroy her, Aria journeys to a distant seaport and sets sail on a merchant ship, hoping the voyage will give her the freedom she craves. Though the ocean holds promises of adventure and intrigue, the world may be too small for a royal to truly disappear. With her family desperately searching the kingdoms for her, Aria finds herself surrounded by strangers and realizes that her brashness may have been a deadly mistake…
This is the second book in this trilogy (you can learn more about the first book, Sapphire, and read my review here). It takes place 17 years after the first book and is about Layla's daughter, Aria. Layla is married to James, who is the king. He is also Aria's stepfather, and loves and treats her as his own child.
Aria is excited about the plans she is making for her future. Something happens which changes everything, and Aria needs to get away. She secures passage on a merchant ship and quickly realizes that she might have made a mistake. She needs to find her way back to her family, where she will be safe.
Aria is young and, while she was hurting over someone else's choices, she made a rash decision which drastically changed her life. She made new friends on her journey, some who were likable and others who were creepy. (Content note: There is an attempted rape.) She also was able to face up to a situation from her past. It was a convenient situation which didn't seem completely realistic, but it added a lot to the story. I was a little surprised by her love interest. I thought he was shady at first and didn't trust him. I did warm up to him, though, and will be interested to see where that relationship ends up.
The story is told from both James and Aria's points of view and I liked that. We were able to get insight into what was happening back home when Aria left and how much James truly cared for her. We also got to see more of James and Layla and what was happening in their lives.
This was another fun read! It started a little bit slow to me, but didn't take too long to get going, at which point it was hard to put down. I enjoyed the twists that this story took and the ending definitely left me wanting more!