Story Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars
Narrator: Stephanie Rose
Length: 12 hours, 30 minutes
Greer Galloway grew up surrounded by the world of politics. When her parents died when she was a child, her grandfather, a former vice-president, raised her and while political events were just a part of her life, she never saw that as a future for herself. Until she met Maxen Ashley Colchester—future president. Greer was 16 when she met the older Ash and she fell for him instantly and she fell for him hard, but one kiss was all they shared. It was not the time for them and it’s not until years later that Ash’s vice-president, Embry Moore, seeks out Greer on Ash’s behalf. Greer knows Embry, and she knows him well, but their connection is from the past and Ash is her future.
Ash and Embry have a connection that runs deeper than anyone knows. Greer recognizes the need in Embry, recognizes the bond that the men share, and recognizes her own need for not only Ash, but for Embry as well. Greer knows her desires are dangerous, but she has no idea that the three of them can bind themselves together in a relationship that Greer didn’t even know she could have. But not everyone is happy for Greer and while her life might look like a fairy tale, there are always sharp edges ready to cut her happiness away.
I read my first set of Sierra Simone books this year and, after finishing the Thornchapel series, I knew I needed to move onto the New Camelot series. Simone’s writing is almost tailored for my tastes and getting to experience the audio version added another noteworthy layer to an already intense story.
This book covers many years and we meet Greer as a young girl. Her parents died and she is then raised by her grandfather in the world of politics and political parties. It’s at one of these parties that Greer meets Merlin, a man making his way through the ranks of the political world and their meeting is one that Greer never forgets as she grows up and Merlin is someone who remains a somewhat mysterious presence in her life. Greer feels overshadowed by her cousin and best friend, Abilene, and with every hurtful word Abilene throws at her, Greer doesn’t realize that Abilene is jealous of her and Greer spends many hours trying to soothe, appease, and stay in favor with Abilene. It’s also at one of these parties that she meets Ash, the man she will fall instantly in love with and the man that will inevitably change her life.
There is an age difference working against Greer and Ash when they first meet and there are also those that don’t want them to be together. Greer then meets Embry, a man that also takes her breath away, although differently from Ash. Embry will go on to become Ash’s vice president, but the relationship between Ash and Embry goes back years and their bond is absolute. You have to go with the fact that Ash and Embry both have deep military careers and rose to the ranks of president and vice-president by their mid-30s.
There were a couple things, however, that I would have liked to see more discussion on. We only get Greer’s POV here, which is fine, as the other points of view are seen in the next books. Ash is naturally dominant to Greer’s natural submission, but when they truly get together, they barely know each other. There is no discussion of limits and Ash just feels he knows what Greer needs and a little more exploration on the intimate dynamic would have been appreciated. There is also sporadic communication between the three of them on important topics and, while it creates tension, it also creates frustration and there are things in Ash and Embry’s past that have gone unchecked for many years.
The book is written as a modern day fairy tale that follows a twisty path and the writing is gripping and evocative and enchanting. There is a rich and intricate story that unfolds here with hits of high drama and angst that is balanced by hothothot erotic scenes. The book ends on a sharp cliffhanger and there is still a lot of story ahead as familiar faces may work to take them all down both personally and professionally. The series is complete, so you can move from one book to the next with the anticipation being the sweetest form of torture and the relationship that develops between Greer, Ash, and Embry is the reason you want to read this highly intense romance.
This audio was narrated by Stephanie Rose, as Greer is the main point of view character here. Rose has a rich, warm, sultry voice that made this audio truly shine. She offered a wide range of voices and I found myself looking forward to her presentation as much as the story itself. Although her voices for Ash and Embry were lighter than a man’s voice for their age and position, she gave an excellent interpretation of every character. She understood Greer’s voice and the tone and inflection offered a perfect cadence for the narrative, as well as the erotic scenes. Both the book and the audio are highly recommended.