on January 24, 2013
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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To be the best courier in the world, eighteen-year-old Benét Leila follows three simple rules: always work alone, never stay in one place too long, and never fall in love. Too bad she didn't follow her own advice.
Leila is a courier. To the people she takes from, she is seen as a common thief; to the people she helps, she is a savior.
Nalick is your typical king. He's rich, powerful, and always assumed to be right. When Leila crosses paths with King Nalick, she finds herself trapped. In a rush to save her best friend Kay from a prison sentence for a crime Leila committed, Leila trades her hand in marriage in exchange for Kay’s freedom.
Tomboy Leila does not want to grow up, but in three months’ time, she will be married to King Nalick, if Nalick can keep his end of the bargain. First, Nalick must make Leila fall in love with him, a hard task since Leila is not ready to love again after losing her first love to a greedy king. Second, Nalick must keep her safe. He is not the only king trying to hold onto her. Leila has made many enemies over the years, and even more admirers that want her as a prize. Lastly, Nalick must convince Leila that ten years of love is better than a lifetime without. Unless Leila can trust her destiny, she might not reach her wedding day at all.
To Stand Beside Her was described to me as a YA Paranormal Fantasy, but to me, historical/fantasy romance would be more accurate. The start of the novel started off with a bang as we meet Leila, a courier and a thief who is also known as a ghost, as she’s never been caught before. Leila is beautiful, a skilled fighter, and also spirited and fiesty. She has men wrapped around her little finger but also knows how to stand on her own two feet. She definitely isn’t the type that would let someone like a King sweep her off her feet.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what King Nalick did, which seemed incredibly uncharacteristic of the character that was set up. Nalick apparently isn’t like all the other Kings, not letting social class get in the way of love or acceptance, much to the nobles contempt. He’s noble, honourable, and protective, but Leila still manages to mesmerise him, much like she’s mesmerised every single male that she encounters.
While To Stand Beside Her had an interesting premise, Leila seemed a bit too unrealistic and perfect to be believable. Kings around the world want her, men will grovel at her feet and she’s falls in love with not one, but two men. She just doesn’t seem the type to settle into the court as comfortably as implied, taken care by a man.
The writing was also unnecessarily difficult to get into. It described every single minute detail about things that were seemingly unimportant, such as Leila’s leg injury yet would skip over things like the wedding and a competition between the kingdom’s best fighters. Throughout the course of the novel, we’re introduced to so many characters that aren’t an important part of the plot. We’re simply experiencing Leila and Nalick’s journey together after they meet, which certainly was not a journey I expected after the start of the novel.
There also didn’t seem to be any particular plot until late in the book, when the whole story title suddenly clicks and before you know it, it’s all over. With a bit of editing, polish and retweaking, I think To Stand Beside Her would be a much better title.
I received a review copy from the author and Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Originally from Wisconsin, B. Kristin currently resides in Ohio with her husband, two small children, and three cats. When not doing the mom thing of chasing kids, baking cookies, and playing outside, she is using her PhD in Biology working as a scientist. In her free time she is hard at work on multiple novels; as each day passes, she has more ideas for both current and future novels.
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