One True Love

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#OneTrueLove #NetGalley

publisher synopsis: Custom demanded that Prince Urban get a love mark tattooed to the side of his left eye as an infant, just like the rest of his people, but to him, the stupid things have only brought on the scorn of his father, the misery of his siblings, and caused his entire kingdom to go broke from fighting so many wars over the irritating ink stains.

When Urban’s sister must travel to Donnelly, the kingdom within the sand, for her arranged marriage to align two realms, he goes with her. But he no sooner steps foot inside their castle than his mark starts itching like a son of a bitch, telling him his one true love is near.

It just figures, though, that the woman meant for him is completely forbidden. Now he must decide if he should ignore the persistent mark, telling him she's the one, in order to avoid a possible war between kingdoms, or if he should discover whether she's worth risking everything for so they can be together. Either way, his life gets sucked into chaos with threats of beheadings, dark magic lurking, castle traitors scheming, and sword fights eminent.

Who knew one little tattoo could cause so much trouble?

I was very excited to get and begin reading this book.  The cover is beautiful and the synopsis... awesome! When I actually started reading the book I became discouraged, and I am probably the minority. But all the Insta love and expressiveness of the beginning of the book was a lot and where do you build up to from there? Also there was a lot of conflicting aspects of the book, some of it was modern and some not. It didn't make since how or why one thing would be the way it is. The book also used a lot of reality and it took away from the fantasy of the novel.  So I really wanted to love the novel, and I really think most people will, I just didn't.

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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3.5 stars - Fun read and great effort for the author's first fantasy novel. Arranged marriages, deadly court intrigue, and a dash of magic make this NA fantasy debut a wild and fun ride.
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One True Love is a star crossed lovers kind of book. You know, the kind where everyone ends up dead. But fear not, intrepid reader! Unlike Romeo and Juliet, the author still pulls off a happy ever after.  You'll have to read the book yourself to see exactly how she pulls that bit off.

What I liked about this book: The main characters are surprisingly easy to like. They still have their moments where you roll your eyes; It IS a romance, for goodness sakes. For the most part though, they are characters of lawful good. They both grow in personally and humanity as any good character should. 

What I loathed about this book: The language. We are talking castles and moats and swords and kings. Why, oh why, are the characters using modern day speech and slang? I get that this a fantasy as well with magical tattoos, etc. But, castles, y'all! It was distracting and annoying. So much, in fact, it was almost a dnf for me. I toughed it out, but I did a lot of mental wincing in order to finish. 

Also, the "villain" reveal. No super shocker on who. I mean, c'mon, who didn't see that coming? Phhht. Seriously? I could forgive that but then we had to be subjected to a monologue.  A villain monologue. Ugh. No, just no. 

3.5 stars. Four stars for the story and characters with a half deducted for the incongruous language. In the end, it's a story everyone wants to believe in: One True Love. 
P.S. There's a lot of f bombs. If that bothers you, read at your own risk. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review.
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I did not finish because of the vulgar language and it seems like it's more explicit than I like. I would have preferred to not rate it since I didn't go far but I'm going to leave it as 3 stars to represent indifference.
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