Reviewed by Caroline
TITLE: The Solstice Prince
SERIES: Realms of Love Book 1
AUTHOR: S J Himes
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 182 Pages
RELEASE DATE: November 24, 2017
Rescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded.
Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day.
One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected—Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime’s hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life.
This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected.
The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love.
The Solstice Prince is the first book in a new series for author SJ Himes and moves away from her usual gritty ways to something much gentler and slower paced.
This is the story of Jaime and Prince Maxim. Jaime has his life snatched away from him in a series of unfortunate events and ends up on a slave ship. Luck is on his side when the ship is stopped and he and his fellow prisoners are found and freed. Jaime ends up working in the kitchens of a nearby royal castle and it’s not long before he catches the eye of a young Prince and Jaime’s identity and gifts are revealed.
The story is a slow burn romance with no real angst and is quite slow to get started – the second part of the book picks up the pace slightly and by the end I definitely wanted to know more. There is no cliffhanger as such but there are certainly unanswered questions at the end that whet my appetite for the next book in the series.
If you are a fan of SJ Himes, as I most certainly am, this book will feel very different to what you have read previously. If gentle romance is your thing this one is very definitely a winner as there is hand holding, blushing and quickly declared love a plenty with two very easy to like characters.