Author: Cheryl Headford
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/17/2015
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Young Adult
When Astrin Raphael finds himself held hostage in an unfamiliar place, he has no option but to try to have faith in someone who seems to despise him. Little does he know his captor is his nemesis, Rowan Gabriel, whose disdain for Astrin all started with a misunderstanding years ago.
The kidnapping of Astrin’s father and Rowan’s uncle leaves the two princes with no choice but to form a precarious alliance. Rowan casts off his hatred and reaches out to Astrin, but Astrin’s doubt and insecurity run too deep to let go of easily. It’s not until Astrin almost loses his life that he’s able to acknowledge what Rowan means to him and admit to the love forming between them.
Their struggle doesn’t end when they return home and their Houses attempt to broker a deal to determine their future together. Each prince might face a choice between keeping his title and finding happiness with the man he loves.
Rowan Gabriel has always blamed and despised House Raphael for the death of his parents, this extends even to Astrin Raphael, who was only a child when Rowan’s parents died. Astrin, also a prince, is the hostage and helpless prisoner given to Rowan’s less than gentle care. The opening chapters where we are introduced to Rowan make him seem a spoiled and even sadistic brat, and it seemed unreasoning to blame Astrin for the possible actions of his House.
I can’t say I warmed to either Rowan or his family in the beginning. My sympathies were with Astrin who was robbed of his memories, subjected to painful procedures, and kept helpless and dependent.
After the uncomfortable opening however the tone of the book changes, and it becomes a more of a straightforward fantasy with adventure and romance. With both of their Houses threatened Rowan and Astrin are bound together by circumstances, and set out to rescue Rowan’s uncle and Astrin’s father.
Of course Rowan also changes his behaviour and his attitude to Astrin. There is romance, magic and conspiracies, with the two princes not only having to work together, but work out their feelings for one another – and what that might mean for their futures.
While I had a hard time liking Rowan for a while, I did warm to him, he grew as a character, as the author clearly intended. Astrin too had his own journey, and his own struggles to overcome.
All in all Hostage ended as a satisfying read.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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