When Queen Samara Rani fulfills the promise she made to Emperor Valentin Kos to visit his court and meet with his advisors, she knows they won’t welcome her with open arms, especially when she’s been tasked with discovering the traitors within their ranks—traitors she tricked out of five million credits.
As soon as Samara begins her investigation it becomes clear that Valentin’s advisors want her gone and they aren’t picky about how. After their tactics turn violent, Samara and Valentin race to unravel the web of treachery and lies before the next attack ends in tragedy.
When the conflict escalates in ferocity and rumors start blaming Samara, she is forced to continue her hunt alone. Uncovering traitors is difficult when courtiers learn to lie before they learn to walk, and one misstep could cost her life. However, Rogue Queens aren’t easy to kill and Samara has more than a few tricks of her own.
Oh, I really liked this one. This is second novella in the Rogue Queen series by Jessie Mihalik. Lately I’ve really been enjoying novellas–when they’re competently written then they’re like a perfect little amuse-bouche of fiction. Well, maybe not because they’re still longer than short stories, but you get the idea. I’m very much enjoying the serial nature of this story. 🙂
This novella continues and expands the story of Samara, elected Queen of a coalition of refugees, and Valentin, Emperor of the powerful Kos Empire. Samara visits Valentin at his home this time around to help investigate his advisers and see who is working against him. There is a lot of political intrigue in this book, which I absolutely loved. We get fancy parties where everyone is smiling but secretly might want to kill each other, we get backstabbing, we get betrayal… *sings* …these are a few of my favorite things. I love watching Samara investigate and all of her interactions navigating the court of the Kos Empire. We also get a fair amount of action in this one. Not quite as much as the previous novella, but enough to satisfy and keep things exciting. Also, as per usual, money and power are the roots of all evil.
We also get a good amount of advancement with the relationship between Samara and Valentin. When we left them at the end of the last book, things were progressing slowly despite their chemistry and how much they obviously like each other. They’re both keenly aware that they’re leaders of factions that aren’t allies, and that their first priorities must be to their people. Still, they grow a lot closer during this book. I really love their relationship. Valentin is good looking, really smart, super rich, and also an Emperor–it was be so easy for him to be one of those overbearing alphaholes….but he’s not. He’s caring and kind and he puts other’s needs before his own. *swoon* Can I get more heroes like this in romance, please? I love that they’re still kind of taking things slow-ish, thinking about everything that would be involved if they were to formally enter into a relationship, even though feelings have clearly been engaged at this point.
Overall, had a lot of fun with this one. I know the serial nature may not appeal to everyone, but I sure am enjoying the heck out of it. Definitely looking forward to the next one. 4/5 stars.