By Michelle Dare
One touch, one spark, two lives forever changed.
Pine and Azure. The war between the two kingdoms lasted far too long. Peace was finally established, but the survivors would never forget who fought on the front lines. Oliver Sage had a reputation for being a ruthless knight. He’d seen enough death to last a lifetime and worked on putting the past behind him, although not all would let him forget.
Addison was the only daughter of King and Queen Azure. With three brothers, she knew she’d always be protected, but she also wanted to learn how to take care of herself. She was strong, had a good heart, and wanted to be treated as an equal. Magical abilities ran in her family, and she had one no one knew of.
Oliver had given his heart to one princess, until the night he dreamed of another. Addison was the last woman he should desire, especially given who she was. However, what if she wanted him as well? They’d hated each other their entire lives, but suddenly couldn’t resist the desire which built between them. There were also those who didn’t think they should be together. Forbidden romance could only stay hidden for so long in the dark depths of the Pine Forest.
I’ve had a soft spot for Oliver since meeting him in THE AZURE KINGDOM. It was so sad to see the woman he was promised, the woman he’d sworn to protect, the woman he was in love with, fall in love with someone else, and I really wanted him to get his own HEA. THE PINE FOREST did not disappoint.
I really liked Oliver, who is the Pine Kingdom’s fiercest knight and the King’s most trusted friend. He’s cool under pressure and strong in battle. He’s kind, loyal, honest and has a good sense of humour. I liked Addison and thought her magical abilities were interesting, but I felt those abilities were not displayed to their full potential. I was also disappointed that, for a woman who trains with soldiers and was constantly saying she could protect herself, we never saw her showcase her fighting skills. I was waiting for her to go all badass on someone, but that didn’t happen.
As bad as this will sound, not a great deal happens in this book. Oliver and Addison meet, they touch and feel a spark, they communicate in their dreams, they fall in love, her life is threatened, they defeat the threat, the end. But you know what? I think that’s a good thing, because sometimes there can be so much going on in a story that the relationship takes a backseat. Here though, their relationship was front and centre. Despite the connection they feel to each other, they don’t rush things. Instead, their relationship builds up slowly and they get to know each other over several weeks while they come to terms with the fact that only a few months earlier, they were at war.
THE PINE FOREST is told in dual POVs, with the epilogue being told in Elliott Azure’s (Addison’s brother) POV, who I assume will get the next book in the series. He is very hateful of the Pine Kingdom despite his family’s desire to put the past behind them, and I hope to see him come around in his own book.
The Pine Forest (The Iridescent Realm # 2)
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