Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ARC Review: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (The Order #2.5) by Kasia Bacon

Twenty-One Arrow Salute (The Order #2.5)
 An archer’s heart is a hard target to hit…

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too. 

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow. 

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark.

Todd's rating:

Kasia is a master of fantasy DONE RIGHT and she hit the target dead center yet again with this slightly-lengthier read, so yay for me and kudos to Kasia.

We first met Ervyn's cousin Verhan in "The Highlander", who kind of personified the saying "young, dumb and full of cum".

He rarely took anything too seriously, always mouthed off, got himself into one brawl after another, and allowed his dick to lead him from one conquest to the next.

In short, he was young, still fairly immature, and had a reputation as a bit of an equal opportunity man-whore.

That was, until he was blackmailed into helping train a outsider, non-Highland elf from his unit to be center shooter of the Honour Guard in the annual Queen's Namesday celebration.

Enter Hernan Seinnés. As an elf raised in the capital city of Asirhwÿn, instead of in the Highlands, the rest of the Dark Elves in the Queen's Guard weren't willing to give him a chance to truly be one of them, so he was sullen and withdrawn.

Then he's chosen to be a member of the Queen's Honour Guard. When he's never so much as held a mountain bow before.

(For a novice archer, mastering the mountain bow would be akin to yanking someone out of their automatic-transmission Toyota Camry and throwing them behind the wheel of a stick shift Ferrari. With the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car. In a hilly city. In traffic. Which was why Hernan so desperately needed Verhan's help.)

In this story, we got a great deal of longing and sexual tension, along with some snark and banter. Verhan was young, attracted to Hernan, and trying his best not to fuck up 'what might be' with the ginger city elf of his dreams.

Other than the stress of Hernan's training to be ready for his big day in front of the Queen and the *entire* city, including his disapproving father, the main drama in the story turned out to be a big misunderstanding.

Yes, I know what you're probably thinking. "God, I hate 'The Big Misunderstanding' in books." Trust me, I'm normally right there with you.

But with Verhan's complete lack of relationship experience, it actually worked here. I was jealous right alongside him, but would've probably stopped short of saying some of the immature, hurtful things that popped out of his mouth to hurt Hernan.

Thankfully, the misunderstanding was resolved fairly quickly, so I don't have to go and kill a bitch or five. Or rant like a crazed reviewer here.

#GurlDontGetMeGoing #TrustMeOnThis ;- )

The story's ending felt a bit abrupt, but I'm a greedy whore, always wanting a bit more; however, as this was a shorter story, it was sort of the way that I expected the end to wrap up.

I loved being in Verhan's conflicted, naive, horned-up mind, which was both refreshing and fun seeing him developing genuine feelings for someone (other than himself), so I'd highly recommend the story and give it around 4.5 stars.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.


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