In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh Review and Excerpt!

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: In Search of a Prince

Author: Toni Shiloh

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Smut Rating: 0/5

Diversity: Black MC and characters

Recommended For…: Christian, romance, contemporary, royalty

Publication Date: February 1, 2022

Genre: Christian Romance

Age Relevance: 15+ (romance, religion, death, grief, slavery, depression, gore, HP content)

Explanation of Above: There is romance in the book, but there is no smut. There are some light kissing and it would be defined as “clean”. The book is religious and religion is very entrenched in this book. There are mentions of death and some grief is shown in the book. There are a couple of mentions of slavery and the oppression of Black people. There are a few mentions of depression and some slight gore involving vomit and blood. There is also one HP reference in the book.

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Brielle Adebayo is fully content teaching at a New York City public school and taking annual summer vacations with her mother to Martha’s Vineyard. But everything changes when her mom drops the mother of all bombshells–Brielle is a princess in the kingdom of Ọlọrọ Ilé, Africa, and she must immediately assume her royal position, since the health of her grandfather, King Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, is failing.

Distraught by her mother’s betrayal, Brielle is further left spinning when the Ọlọrọ Ilé Royal Council brings up an old edict that states she must marry before assuming the throne or the crown will be passed to another. Uncertain who to choose from the council’s list of bachelors, she struggles with the decision along with the weight of her new role in a new country. With her world totally shaken, she must take a chance on love and brave the perils a wrong decision may bring.

Review: I really liked this story! I thought the book was absolutely beautiful and I loved the Princess Diary feel of the book! The book would be perfect for someone who is looking for smut-free romance and is wanting something that’s not white-centered. The premise is intriguing and I just had to know what was going to happen next. The book had a great story and the pacing was on point. I liked the character development and the world building was fairly well done as well.

However, I did have a couple of issues with the book. I did find one mention of HP in the book, which is a huge no-no in my reviewing process because of JKR’s stance against trans people, her active campaigning against trans people, and other issues the author has that is problematic. I also didn’t realize how religious this book was as a whole when I picked it up. The book does have progressive moments, which I highly appreciated and it made for an easier read for me, but there is a lot of religion in the book and it would be classified as a Christian Romance.

Verdict: It’s good!

Excerpt:

“Your Majesty, I am afraid the news is not good.” 

Tiwa Jimoh Adebayo, king of Ọlọrọ Ilé Ijọba of Africa, closed his eyes and lowered his chin to his chest. But even that slight movement was enough to bring a cough to his lips. His shoulders shook with the effort to expel the phlegm that did not seem to move from his lungs. He wiped his mouth, using a handkerchief embroidered with the kingdom’s crest, as his chest ached from the exertion. 

“How bad is it?” he rasped. 

The doctor sighed, lines furrowing his brow. “I am afraid there is nothing more that we can do, my king. The chemotherapy has been too taxing on your body and ineffective against the cancer.” He shifted on his feet. “All we can do now is make you as comfortable as possible.” His pause stretched heavy in the room, the only sound the king’s struggled breathing. “Dare I suggest, Your Majesty, that you present an heir to our great country?” 

Yes. Of course. The time had come for the nation to know his heir—

heiress. The granddaughter Tiwa had never met. He had wanted to remedy the situation, but regrets and pride had lengthened the time since his gross mistake and expanded the distance. 

Tiwa wiped his mouth again. “You are right, Dr. Falade.” He rose unsteadily to his feet. “Rest assured, the kingdom will continue to thrive after I am gone.”

Review:

Duet by Elise Broach

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Duet

Author: Elise Broach

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For…: middle grade readers, contemporary, music, biography-like

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Genre: MG Contemporary

Age Relevance: 8+ (death, animal violence, sickness)

Explanation of Above: There is death mentioned very briefly and sometimes vaguely in this book. There is some animal violence displayed in a little bit of a cartoonish manner in the book. Sickness is also mentioned briefly.

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Pages: 304

Synopsis: A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses

Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek’s newest pupil. Michael Jin is an eleven-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play.  With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time?  Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough—to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.

Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions.  A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.

A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young readers hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.

Review: I liked this book alright. The book contains a bird MC, which is probably the first of that I’ve read in a bit. The book does well to show the healing power of music and it’s a good little biography-like book on Chopin, a famous pianist, Sand, an author, and Delacroix, a painter. The book is fun and has good character development. The story is simple and sweet and would make a fun bedtime story to read to little ones or a good beginner book for younger middle grade readers.

However, I did think the book was a bit too slow for me personally and it was weirdly formatted. The book is like part biography, with a lot of info dumps about Chopin, Sand, and Delacroix, and part story about this bird and her love of music, but also a side story plot with the humans and their own issues. The stories didn’t really mesh well together in my opinion and there was just a lot going on. The plot is also really loose because of this.

Verdict: It was good.

Book Info:

Duet by Elise Broach

Genre: Middle Grade Mystery

Publishing Date: May 10, 2022

Synopsis:

A musically gifted bird, a piano-playing boy, and a real-life mystery involving three artistic geniuses

Welcome to the world of Mirabelle, a young goldfinch who loves to sing and dreams of becoming a musical star. She lives with her family in the backyard of a piano teacher, and she is quickly intrigued by Mr. Starek’s newest pupil. Michael Jin is an eleven-year-old keyboard sensation, but lesson after lesson, he refuses to play.  With the prestigious Chopin Festival looming at summer’s end, how will he be ready in time?  Mirabelle is responsible for Michael’s breakthrough—to her own astonishment, she sings the Chopin piece he is beginning to play at the piano. It is their first duet.

Thus begins a secret adventure that will take Mirabelle and Michael further than they ever imagined—in music, in friendship, and in solving the mystery of a lost piano that could be worth millions.  A house full of treasures holds the clues. There, Mirabelle, Michael, and their friend Emily will make an important discovery that links the great composer Frederic Chopin, the trailblazing author George Sand, and the French Romantic painter Eugene Delacroix.

A fast-paced, history-rich mystery will have young readers hooked as they root for boy and bird in this beautifully told novel, full of emotion and suspense.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58064769-duet

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_66%3A9780316311557&tag=hacboogrosit-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/duet-elise-broach/1140137071?ean=9780316311557&st=AFF&2sid=Hachette%20Book%20Group_8040641_NA&sourceId=AFFHachette%20Book%20Group

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Duet-Elise-Broach-Ziyue-Chen/9780316311359

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/duet/9780316311359-item.html?ikwid=duet+elsie+broach&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=2ecab12151efea27e90acfd8558585d9 IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316311359

About the Author:

Elise Broach is the author of more than twenty books for young readers, including board books, picture books, early readers, middle-grade mysteries, and young adult novels. Her picture book, My Pet Wants a Pet, was named Parents Magazine’s Best Picture Book of 2018. Another picture book, When Dinosaurs Came with Everything, won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award and was Time Magazine’s #1 Children’s Book of the Year. Her middle-grade novel, Masterpiece, was a New York Times bestseller and also won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award. Elise’s books have appeared on more than a dozen state reading lists. She lives in Connecticut and teaches creative writing at Yale University. 

Author Links:

Website: http://www.elisebroach.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23642.Elise_Broach

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