Custom demanded that Prince Urban get a love mark tattooed to the side of his left eye as an infant, just like the rest of his people, but ...

Review || One True Love by Linda Kage

Custom demanded that Prince Urban get a love mark tattooed to the side of his left eye as an infant, just like the rest of his people, but to him, the stupid things have only brought on the scorn of his father, the misery of his siblings, and caused his entire kingdom to go broke from fighting so many wars over the irritating ink stains.

When Urban’s sister must travel to Donnelly, the kingdom within the sand, for her arranged marriage to align two realms, he goes with her. But he no sooner steps foot inside their castle than his mark starts itching like a son of a bitch, telling him his one true love is near.

It just figures, though, that the woman meant for him is completely forbidden. Now he must decide if he should ignore the persistent mark, telling him she’s the one, in order to avoid a possible war between kingdoms, or if he should discover whether she’s worth risking everything for so they can be together. Either way, his life gets sucked into chaos with threats of beheadings, dark magic lurking, castle traitors scheming, and sword fights eminent.

Who knew one little tattoo could cause so much trouble? (ONE TRUE LOVE is the author’s first attempt at a fantasy romance. Please forgive her; she might’ve read an overabundance of Cassandra Gannon, Sarah J. Maas, and Eve Langlais books, then gone off to watch too many episodes of Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Outlander, because this was the outcome.)

Isn't that cover gorgeous?!! And I love the "aside" from the author above. I may read her other books just for that!!

One True Love is a star crossed lovers kind of book. You know, the kind where everyone ends up dead. But fear not, intrepid reader! Unlike Romeo and Juliet, the author still pulls off a happy ever after. You'll have to read the book yourself to see exactly how she pulls that bit off. 

What I loathed about this book: The language. We are talking castles and moats and swords and kings. Why, oh why, are the characters using modern-day speech and slang? I get that this a fantasy as well with magical tattoos, etc. But, castles, y'all! It was distracting and annoying. So much, in fact, it was almost a DNF for me. I toughed it out, but I did a lot of mental wincing in order to finish. Also, the "villain" reveal. No super shocker on who. I mean, c'mon, who didn't see that coming? Phhht. Seriously? I could forgive that but then we had to be subjected to a monologue. A villain monologue. Ugh. No, just no. 

What I liked about this book: The main characters are surprisingly easy to like. They still have their moments where you roll your eyes; It IS a romance, for goodness sake. For the most part, though, they are characters of lawful good. They both grow in personally and humanity as any good character should. 

3.5 stars. Four stars for the story and characters with a half deducted for the incongruous language. In the end, it's a story everyone wants to believe in: One True Love. 

P.S. There's a lot of f-bombs. If that bothers you, read at your own risk. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review. 

Linda... Writes romance fiction from YA to adult, contemporary to fantasy. Most Kage stories lean more toward the lighter, sillier side with a couple meaningful moments thrown in. Focuses more on entertainment value and emotional impact.

Lives with hubby, two daughters, cat Holly, and nine cuckoo clocks in southeast Kansas, USA. Farm girl. Parents were dairy farmers. Was youngest of eight. Big family. Day job as a library assistant. Harry Potter House Gryffindor, Patronus White Stallion. Supernatural Team Dean. Game of Thrones Team Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister. The Walking Dead Team Daryl. Outlander Team Jamie Fraser. Teen Wolf Team Stiles. Avenger Team Thor...or Hulk (can't decide). Justice League Team Flash. Arrow Team Stephen Amell. Stranger Things obsessed. Heard Laurel, not Yanny. Started out reading with the Baby-Sitters Club. Then moved to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, and LaVyrle Spencer in high school. Now all over the place with romance reading.