I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Released: August 24th 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Awakened by a Kiss #2
Published by Avon
“This book is full of adventures and love.”~ Under the Covers
A fairytale story wrapped up in a historical romance setting. This book is full of adventures and love.
Isobel Tinker spent her childhood running around Europe with a crowd of other young people and little supervision. After leaving that life behind, she uses her experiences and language skills to manage the Everland Travel Shop. She never wants to leave England again and just wants an opportunity to own her own travel agency. Then Jason Beckett, Duke of Northumberland, shows up at her doorstep wanting her help. He has a final mission for the Foreign Office – rescuing his cousin from Nordic pirates. He figures that Isobel is the perfect translator and cultural attaché. If she helps him, North will give her a building, allowing her to have her own travel agency. She agrees on the condition of strict professionalism throughout their trip. But their adventures in Iceland might lead to more temptation than they can handle.
This book is based on the story of Peter Pan, and right off the bat you really get swept up into that same feeling of adventure and romance. I enjoyed the way Charis Michaels was able to twist the elements of Peter Pan to fit into the gender-bent historical setting of this book. Isobel is a complete badass, a fact that’s completely clear right from the beginning, even before we really get to know her. North is difficult to like at the start, because it’s easy to understand how Isobel feels about men who are too charming and how dangerous they are. I think that’s very relatable even today. However, he quickly loses that slick exterior and we get to know him better, making him much more likeable. Although there are definitely moments where he wants to protect Isobel because he loves her and she’s a woman, he understands that she’s a capable, independent person in her own right and tries to control his initial instincts.
There were a few moments in the middle of the book that were a bit slow because they were stuck on a boat. It was great to have an opportunity for us to get to know both Isobel and North a lot better, but reading long passages of them recalling earlier bits of their lives was not my favorite way to learn about characters. Once they got to Iceland, the pace picked up quite a bit and I enjoyed watching them figure out how to implement their rescue. Iceland provided a beautiful, atmospheric setting and it was fun to see how they explored their surroundings while also trying to get other things done. The ending was not my favorite I’ve read, but I did like how it fit so well with Isobel, North, and their relationship.
If you like fairytale retellings and historical romance, definitely give this book a try. It was a pretty quick read with a great atmosphere and a fun adventure. Although I didn’t read the first book in this series, I’m curious to go back and give it a try now. I also hope we get to see stories for North’s sisters!
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