*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for participating in the blog tour and a review. All opinions are my own.*
Royal Decoy by Heather Frost
A Non-Spoilery Review by The Nature of Pages
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
The view of the northern mountains, covered in dark pines perpetually tipped with snow, was always impressive. It whispered of freedom, and even if he would never experience such a thing, the mere ghost of it never failed to catch his eye.
A SERVANT blackmailed into becoming a princess’s decoy.
A BODYGUARD determined to keep her alive.
A PRINCE forced to execute his father’s brutal laws.
A PRISONER used to keep him compliant.
A WORLD on the brink of war.
In one horrible night, Clare goes from kitchen maid to royal decoy. She has three months to become the princess’s perfect double so she can ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard. The danger increases when a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, intent on ending the tenuous peace.
Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. He carries out the king’s harsh orders because the one person he cares about is his father’s prisoner. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested when his father plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.
The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.
What Made This Book Unique:
Royal Decoy had some amazing characters and I really enjoyed the dynamics of their relationships. To be honest, Clare and Bennick’s witty banter was absolutely my favorite part. Slow burn (and at least at the beginning, enemies at first from my point of view) is one of my favorite plot lines and Heather did a such a great job with it!
And oh my goodness, Grayson was such a delight to read – right off the bat his storyline is so intriguing and I quickly found myself needing to find answers about his motivations and character arc. I can’t wait for book 2!
Geek moment: I got to interview Heather Frost herself!!! Thank you so so much for your time, Heather, I’m so glad I got to ask you a few questions! I’ll get right into it –
Q: Who was your favorite character to write?
A: Probably Grayson. His story is tragic and beautiful and horrible and wonderful, and I’ve never written a character quite like him. (Or his despicable, evil family.) That being said, I also loved writing any scene with Clare and Bennick. I love their witty banter, especially in the beginning when Clare isn’t sure that she trusts him—or even likes him—and then I also loved writing their transition to friends, and then exploring the beginnings of something more.
Q: What was your writing process like? (Ie characters first or plot)
A: Mostly character, then plot. The first seeds of the story came when I had two questions pop into my head. First, “What if the main character in a story was the decoy, rather than the princess?” and then it was rapidly followed by, “What if that decoy was forced into the role?” Clare immediately took shape in my mind, and I dropped her into the beginning ideas of that plot. The other characters followed, and their growth helped flesh out the rest of the plot.
Q: How long did it take you to write Royal Decoy?
A: Writing the first draft took me about 3 months, and it was quite a bit longer than the Royal Decoy we have today ☺ Revisions is what really took time. I chose to end the book sooner in an effort to get it to a more sell-able length, and then I worked on the plot and characters to make their story arcs solid. I love how it turned out!
Q: What was your favorite part of writing this book?
A: Discovering the characters. I am a very character-driven writer, so getting to know the main characters—as well as the secondary characters—was so much fun. Plus this book just has so many different fun elements to play with! I got to create a new world, new kingdoms, new cultures (though we don’t get to fully enjoy until future books ☺ ). I got to play with two storylines, which meant two different romances, and they are both so different. Clare and Bennick and slow-burn, and Grayson is just head over heels in love with Mia, but feels like they can only ever possibly be friends. Throw in assassination attempts, humorous dialogue, mystery, and some moral dilemmas, and Royal Decoy was just plain fun to write.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
A: When I was 11, almost 12. I was working on my first novel. I had written short stories before then, and I had always adored books. But until I started writing my novel, I hadn’t realized that a person could just decide to become an author. I kind of thought they were more like superheroes, and you had to have super powers to be one. Because let’s face it, books are magical! I am so grateful I can live my dream and weave my author-magic. For me, the best part of being an author is hearing that a reader loved my story.
Royal Decoy by Heather Frost comes out June 18th and I for one can’t wait to see what happens next. Make sure to grab your copy and add it to Goodreads- you’ll definitely want to come along on this grand adventure!
Pre-order ROYAL DECOY and you can receive an exclusive bonus short story!
Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon–but he wasn’t always. THE PRINCE AND THE PRISONER is the story of how a young Grayson met the little girl who would change his life forever.
To claim your gift, simply pre-order ROYAL DECOY and fill out the form linked below. (You will need to upload an image of your pre-order receipt.) After ROYAL DECOY releases, you will receive via email THE PRINCE AND THE PRISONER!
NOTE: Since you can only pre-order the Kindle edition of ROYAL DECOY at this time, the author will also extend this to any physical copy purchases made on release day, June 18th!
Claim your pre-order gift here: https://forms.gle/u3PpeGAU5KPLFxKEA