United by Their Royal Baby by Therese Beharrie
Released: December 18, 2017
Bills Moon Forever Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
Yes, the title wooed me. I love a marriage of convenience book and I liked the blurb:
When Queen Leyna of Aidara took the throne, she walked away from her first love, King Xavier of Mattan, putting duty first. Now their kingdoms are under threat, and the only way to bring stability is with a royal union.
Leyna knows the man she loved has barriers around his heart, but she can’t deny the glimmer of hope she still sees in his eyes. And knowing only an heir will save their countries, they must fight to find a way back to each other…
Leyna and Xavier grew up together and have been friends their entire lives. Just when they decide to take that tentative step towards romance, Leyna’s father dies, and her mother flees, leaving Leyna to become queen at the age of twenty-one. Overwhelmed by her new responsibilities and putting all of her focus on her people, she loses that romantic spark she had with Xavier, and throws herself fully into her role as queen.
Ten years later, Xavier is now king and his kingdom and Leyna’s kingdom are strong allies. But to stay safe from possible treachery of a neighboring land, they need more than just a strong alliance. They need to secure it. Leyna still gets butterflies when she looks at Xavier, but much has changed in the past ten years. He married someone else, who died three years ago, leaving Xavier cold and bitter. When Leyna suggests that they marry and have a child, which would unite their two lands and allow the people to feel secure, Xavier is shocked. He knows he has a duty to his people and that marriage to Leyna and a child that unites both kingdoms would be the most beneficial – but his late wife was never able to get pregnant. Along with his repressed feelings for Leyna, he doesn’t have much hope for this fake relationship. But duty calls and Xavier answers.
Friends to lovers and marriage of convenience highlights this romance book. Angst is a major player too. These two have found themselves serving their people before serving their own interests – and when the opportunity arises to bring them together, they aren’t sure how it’s all going to play out. Their feelings for each other are complicated. When they were younger they were afraid to take that romance step, for fear for losing their friendship. Now that they are older, their lives are messy and complicated. But a marriage of convenience, and a baby, seems to be the answer to keep everyone safe. Much of this book – pretty much every page, is devoted to analyzing their relationship – both past and present, which all eventually leads down the path to love. It got a little tedious. I felt like I needed something else in this book besides constant conversation about their messy feelings and what happened in the past ten years. And Xavier’s feelings for is late wife, and just ALL the angst! I appreciated the fact that this author doesn’t rush their love story. They work out their stuff! There is no magical cure for a broken heart. But at times it felt a bit repetitive.
I enjoyed this one though. Well developed characters, a nice marriage of convenience trope and strong romance.