About the Book:
Author: Elodie Rowan
Series: Tales of the Lost Kingdoms #1
Publication Date: March 1, 2023
Synopsis: Cannetella is doomed to marry. As the only child of the bankrupted King of High-Hill, her twentieth birthday spells the end of life as she knows it. Cannetella dreams of adventure, not refilling the kingdom’s coffers. Determined to keep her freedom, she hatches a plan: Cannetella announces she will only marry a man with a face of pure gold. Pleased with her impossible standards, she prepares for a life unburdened by a husband.
But on the night of her birthday, a mysterious man appears. On his face is a mask made of the finest gold. The relieved King declares Cannetella will marry the man with enough wealth to save the heirless and penniless Kingdom of High-Hill. Cannetella is forced to wed and whisked away from the only home she has ever known. But the gilded gentleman is none other than her father’s most bitter nemesis, Enzo Fioravante, an infamous and feared Stregone, a dark Sorceror.
Tied to Enzo with no way of returning home, Cannetella learns she is a pawn in a game of revenge between the two families, and that Fioravante will do anything to gain what was stolen from him five years ago. But as Cannetella delves into her captor’s past, she uncovers a devious plot burrowed in both of their kingdoms, one of magic, murder, and lust. And worst of all, she learns Fioravante is not the villain he appears to be.
Together with her greatest enemy, Canetella and Enzo must break a curse that has claimed the lives of six others, or become the next victims. And as the unlikely pair grows closer, a dark and undeniable attraction blooms. But when magic is involved, no one’s heart will remain unscathed.
The first book in the Tales of the Lost Kingdom series, Cannetella is an entertaining read, and I liked the character growth and world-building. The author created a rich and complex fantasy world that was vividly described and well thought-out. From the unique magic to the political systems, the world was immersive and vivid.
Cannetella is fierce, fiery, and stubborn. She stands up for herself and doesn’t let anyone push her around. Ultimately, she is a little immature at the start of the story, but she proves to be a strong and loyal protagonist. Cannetella also has a vulnerable side. Her fierce independence and determination make her a force to be reckoned with, but her heart and compassion shine. And I love a dark and brooding MMC, so I found Enzo really intriguing. I wanted to know more about his backstory! He and Cannetella change and grow throughout the story, and though there was a little too much back and forth between them, the angst was top-notch!
If you like fantasies with spice, dirty talk, and sex, you’ll enjoy this sexually charged enemies-to-lovers romance, which is super steamy and complicated. Cannetella is married to the sorcerer she believes murdered her mother, so their relationship doesn’t start off well. However, it changes from loathsome rage to something else. There’s so much tension between Cannetella and Enzo, and their slow-building relationship has total “touch her and die,” and “who did this to you” vibes.
I enjoyed Cannetella. The fierce and stubborn female protagonist, the spicy enemies-to-lovers romance, and the strong world-building make for an engaging and satisfying read. However, the twist was a bit predictable, and I would definitely recommend checking out the content warnings before starting the story. Some parts may trigger readers, including attempted sexual assault, physical assault, violence, and more. Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the author for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- enemies to lovers
- forced proximity
- who did this to you
- political intrigue
- The romance! Steamy and spicy and a lot of dirty talk!
- The world-building