Romance reads are a guilty pleasure for me, except I don’t feel that guilty about it anymore. I love the expectations that come with the genre, and I love seeing how writers subvert or meet those expectations. It’s not my first love, when it comes to writing and reading—but a well-crafted romance can drop me into a new and absorbing world and usually knows how to elicit emotions, which is my favorite thing about writing in general.
This first installment of the Summoning series hits all the right romance notes you would expect, but does it in a fantasy world that is strange and wonderful. You can tell there’s a lot of thought that went into the world and the culture that the protagonist gets dropped into (sorry, Summoned, into). There are flying horses! And monsters to fight, which help put you into the through-line of the series, so that even as this novel wraps up Alexa’s part of the story, it still makes you want to pick up book two.
Alexa, the protagonist of this first book, is fiery and passionate, an ex-lawyer, and a damn good fighter (verbally and physically!). She’s headstrong and emotionally strong, and I admire her in a lot of ways. That’s the best kind of romance—when the protagonist is someone you could see yourself being friends with, or someone you want to be like.
This is my second time through, reading this series, and I really enjoy it. Fans of romance, fantasy, and strong female protagonists would enjoy these books. The prose is sometimes more purple than I’m personally a fan of, but it’s still done well and fits with the culture and world, so it isn’t just gratuitous. I keep this series around in physical books, because I know I’m going to want to revisit it periodically. 🙂