❝ A tainted legacy.
A torrid throne.❞
Emilia Lancaster is now the Crown Princess of a country where anti-monarchy factions roam and burn and ravage. She's lost her path, her formel self, and she struggles to find balance in a life full of vultures, adversaries and assassination attempts. The fate of monarchy lies in her shoulders. Her soul aches for the one man she can never have, the man who makes her molecules burn with a seering gaze that rattles her to the core. Emilia Lancaster is deprived of her choices in the name of her country. Will she find a way to fit in, to shape her world without losing her identity? Without breaking herself? Or the phantom threat that has eradicated her family will get to her before her legacy even begins?
❝ Take me in your arms and hold my tattered soul together. Even if it's only for a moment.❞
Through little moments, Julie Johnson offers small infinities. In this web of lust, passion, loathing, need, resentment and pain, in this whirlwind of conspiracies, murder attempts and manipulation, she creates her own legacy. Julie's legacy is a complex one. From second-chance romances that melt your insides to sweeping illicit affairs, every love story she weaves with her talented hands leaves its own unique mark. Carter and Emilia, the desperation, the ache and the connection that's associated with their midnight trysts, their cruel words and nerve-wrecking fights, give the definition to angst. Chemistry like you've never experienced, heat that makes your brain fog, yearning that punches you in the gut, they promise sin and redemption, and you simply can't decide which one you prefer.
❝ For what it's worth...I would've given you all my infinities.❞
But romance is not all you get in the second installment of Forbidden Royals. It's primarily a story of self-discovery, of finding your purpose, escaping from your gilded cage and opening your wings. Emilia was hopeless because she lost her path, but when the oppurtunity appears, she is determined to follow the path they chose for her on her own terms. And let me tell you this: it was empowering. She is advocate for feminism, for fighting against oppression, for changing tradition when it no longer serves. And it was deeply refreshing.
I only refrain from giving the fifth star because Torrid Throne felt like a bridge between the explosive introduction and the sweeping finale I'm 100% Julie will deliver in Sordid Empire, and it was rather slow compared with the previous instalment. However, from terrorism attacks (that are more devastating the more you think of the tragedies of present day) to both malicious and benevolent backstabbings, from traitorous friends to forbidden lovers, Torrid Throne is an engaging, delicious tale that basks in a combination of light and darkness and strays far from Cinderella with her happily ever after but you prefer it nonetheless.
*ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*