Title: The Heart of the Lost Star
Author: Megan Derr
Series: Tales of the High Court #3
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.
Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom look almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.
Source: ARC provided by Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
I was starting to think there was something wrong with me or I was just too grumpy to read romances at the moment, then along comes this book, like the sweetest little hug and suddenly I feel better again. Because this is a lovely read. It has a world I can sink happily into, with high fantasy court intrigue, powerful figures, decadent clothing and plenty of political intrigue. It also has wonderful characters.
I love Jader. He’s both an outsider and an insider all at once, because on the one hand his Islander upbringing has met with racism and scorn throughout his life, while his friendships with the royals and his position as High Commander have made him a figure of envy and respect. The fact that he isn’t an Islander by birth – and looks noticeably different – just makes everything that little bit more complicated. Yet Jader himself is a pretty straightforward man. I loved how vain he was, though never in a pretentious or arrogant way. He likes pretty things and jewellery and is so appreciative of what he has. He’s strong but decent and I really like him.
I loved Kamir too, even though he’s completely different to Jader. He’s soft and sweet and quiet, and I just wanted to protect him, because he’s faced so much hardship in his life. His family are awful, the court scorn him and his ex-husband is a rat bastard. But Kamir is strong too, because he has had to be. Yes, he shakes and cries when bad things happen, but then he pulls himself together and finds a way to sort things out, because his children need him and if he doesn’t protect them all, no one else will. I loved his quiet strength and the way he handles himself. There’s nothing flashy or showy about him, but he’s so endearing. How can anyone be mean to him? (He’s also transgender, but as gender is a personal choice in this world rather than assigned at birth, this is not a concept these characters would understand. It does, however, explain how men sometimes end up pregnant.)
The romance itself is pretty slow, primarily because Jader is in another country for a lot of the book. He and Kamir do come together fairly early on, but they don’t know each other too well at this point. The majority of their romance is played out in letters, as each of them find comfort and support in writing when the rest of their lives are riddled with problems. I love an epistolary romance and found theirs very sweet, even if I wish there had been a bit more time together at the end.
However, there’s a lot of other stuff going on beyond the letters, so it never gets boring. I’ll admit I did find Kamir’s side of things to be a lot more interesting, partly because I loved seeing Kamir show his strength, even as I wanted to punch certain people (Sarrica), while poor Jader spent most of the book completely out of his element and I wanted to bang a few people’s heads together to get them to back off. I also felt things ended a little abruptly on his side, but since it meant he got to come home, I didn’t mind too much.
So overall, I really enjoyed this. It’s sweet and romantic, with a little bit of sensual heat and lots of political and familial intrigue. But mostly it was the characters – as always – that made this so lovely for me. Cute and comforting, another great addition to this wonderful series. I can’t wait to read the next one!
The Heart of the Lost Star is Out Now.
Visit Megan Derr for more details.