Wicked Crown (City Owl Press)
by Joya Luna
If you like steamy romances as part of your fantasy reading, and enjoy stories involving the court intrigue of non-human and supernatural beings, then you’ll love Wicked Crown.
The crown of the title is a cursed object, and the heir to the goblin throne, who certainly does not look like a goblin—she’s a supermodel in her human form—wants no part of ruling the goblin realm if she has to wear it. Vori’s father, while wearing this crown, had been driven mad and killed her mother and nearly killed her… and had killed some, if not all, of her sisters. But she escaped, made a blood vow to get protection, and now the vow has come due. She has to go back to the realm while pursuing the various gems that go into the broken wicked crown, but there is no way Vori will wear that crown or be forced into an arranged marriage once she’s there.
She decides to bring along a fake husband to deflect an arranged marriage, and what better patsy than the guy who broke her heart? She’ll get Perry—a lawyer who’d made a deal with demons—out of prison if he promises to accompany her, but she won’t be too upset if that causes his demise. Yes, he’d done her wrong and she was still furious with him.
This is basically the story of two flawed people riddled with guilt: a man and a woman who made wrong choices, don’t trust themselves, and are looking for some sort of redemption. As they start falling for each other all over again there’s the tension of the relationship, yes, but there are also other vivid characters and a really great mystery plot. What I found interesting was Perry was an hereditary male witch, and witch males don’t have powers—only the witch females do. So he went through the sorts of demeaning experiences and belittling most women go through for just being female, which was fascinating. But he did have a power (gifted him by the fae) that would help Vori, the fading goblin realm, the human world, the witches he’d targeted under a compulsion caused by demons, and, aided with his proving his case to the goblin court, might defuse the wicked crown itself.