Title: The Bridge Kingdom
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Pub. Date: August 13, 2019
What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?
This will be a spoiler free review.
Rivals to lovers?
Contractual marriage that no one wants?
Falling for each other despite their plans?
I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting to read this. I’ve been out on Audible for ages now, but for whatever reason, I refused to listen to it. I wanted a physical copy. I have one, but now I have to wait for September to read a physical copy of book 2…
Guess who is going to be downloading the Audible version?
It’s a good thing I have a bunch of free credits.
I loved every minute of this book. I could not put it down, and really hate the fact that I have to wait to find out next. I wish the whole series was already out.
I will say that I found it a bit predictable, but I didn’t mind. Enough happened that I wasn’t expecting, and enough happened that filled me with dread, excitement and giddiness, that it all kind of balanced out.
I also read a lot (if that’s not obvious) and I find reading plots to be easy a lot of the time. But if you read the synopsis, I’m sure you can piece together how this book plays out.
Though, with that being said, you could be like me, and not actually read the synopsis and just dive into the book, not knowing or expecting anything. I think the last time I read the synopsis, was probably when this book first came across my radar.
I loved this book. I loved the characters, and the world. Oh my god, the world. The only thing I had trouble picturing was the bridge. Like, I have this fuzzy image, but I’m still not 100% sure of what it’s supposed to look like. Everything else…oh boy. I kind of want to step inside this book and see it all. I can’t wait to explore more of it in the next books. We only get to see a small slice of it, and there is so much more I want to see.
I’m really excited to dive into book 2, next month. For sure, I’m listening to it. I can’t wait. The wait for book 3 is going to be torture.
Ugh, I’m a sucker for rivals/enemies to lovers.
Give me that tension!
The chemistry between Lara and Aren is * chef’s kiss * perfect in my opinion. I loved how they played with each other and got on each other’s nerves. I also really loved how their relationship progressed. I love watching characters learn to trust one another.
Basically, the whole cast of characters were great, and I can’t wait to have more of them as well – especially with how this book ended. I’m so ready for that tension. If I didn’t have a few other books ahead on my TBR, I’d jump to book 2 right now. I’m anticipating it that much.
This was my first Danielle L. Jensen book, and I think I picked a good one. I’ve been dying to read Dark Shores and having read The Bridge Kingdom has amplified that. I like her writing style – full of snarky dialogue, gorgeous descriptions and some pretty steamy scenes. This is definitely Upper YA/New Adult – if you’re good with Sarah J. Maas, then you shouldn’t think that this is too scandalous.
I don’t think this book is indie or self pubbed, but it kind of feels like it is. I don’t mean that as a bad thing! Recently a lot of my favorite fantasy has been coming from self pubbed authors or indie pubbed. It doesn’t feel as mainstream or as formulaic. Yeah, I read the plot of this one, but it doesn’t feel like the standard YA fantasy and I love that. This book starts off with a bang – I wasn’t expecting it – and it just keeps going. You see this new world through Lara’s eyes, and watch her understanding change and grow. You see Aren’s world for what it is, and not what the world thinks it is. You get to be with these characters and go on their journey with them, feeling what they feel. This is definitely a new favorite – something I know I’m saying a lot in 2020 – and I’m so excited to see what happens next. I need to know what happens next.