Title: The Merchant’s Love (Chronicles of Tournai #6)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Page Count: 106,100 Word Count
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Faelen, cousin to the prince and son of a diplomat, has finally come home to Tournai after years away. The pull to return was almost tangible, and the sense of rightness at being back is absolute. He wants nothing more than to put down roots and build a life among family while pursuing his linguistic studies. Becoming involved in magic meant to protect Tournai isn’t part of his plans…but falling in love is even more unexpected and unfamiliar, but he finds himself doing just that as his friendship with Maxen deepens into something more.
Maxen, second son of a wealthy merchant family, longs to leave Tournai and see everywhere he can. All his life, he’s found places on maps and dreamed, planning out routes to get to them. For now, he’s tied to Tournai’s capital city by family obligations and his position in their shipping business. Someday, though, he’ll be able to travel. His sudden attraction to Faelen shocks him, but their friendship soon becomes a necessary part of his life. Love, however, has no place in his plans, especially not love for a royal cousin with secrets who wants nothing more than to stay in one place.
For Faelen and Maxen to build something real between them, they must resolve their differences, but when magic goes awry and all Faelen’s secrets are revealed, will Maxen remain at his side?
This story tempted me from the beginning. I did read two previous books in the series and liked them, but this one had special attraction: it’s idea of two people who fall in love while having fundamentally different ideas about what they want from life. I wondered how they will come to their happy end. Either way, it promised to be enjoyable experience.
The story has a very slow development, as it’s mainly a sweet romance story set in a fantasy world. We have time to get to know both men, Faelen and Maxen. Heroes from the other books also make an appearance and it does seem like at least some of the stories ran concurrently. (Might want to do a re-read.)
Maxen is courting Faelen in the truest sense of the world. IT was interesting seeing how different life experiences influenced both characters but they still have similarities. They both like to read, are not enamored with society but conscious of their duty to family and society they belong.
They are not in a hurry and allow themselves to bask in relationship. They do run into problems here and there but for the most part it’s nothing overly dramatic or upsetting. The story has nice cozy feel.
The story finishes with lead in for another. I’m hoping there will be more and I’m torn about which of the characters should be next. ( I’m curious about Maxen’s friend, Valentin!)
This book makes a lovely companion for long evening.
As an aside, it looks like first book in series is discounted. Haven’t read it, bit it might be a way to get a taste of the series for less money.
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