Book Review: Secret Heir by M.J. Prince

Title: Secret Heir (Dynasty #1)
Author: M.J. Prince
Star Rating: ★★★★

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Synopsis:

Since the beginning of time, tales have been told about Eden. But all the stories are wrong.

Running parallel alongside Earth, but never touching, there exists not just a garden, but an entire world of vivid colours and breathtaking beauty where the Seraph reside.

Jazmine has lived in ten different foster homes, in ten different towns and all her life she has felt like she doesn’t belong – not in the trailer park which happens to be foster home number ten, not anywhere on Earth. 

After a universe shattering revelation, she discovers why. Far from being the nothing and no one, with no past and no future, that Jazmine had always believed herself to be, she discovers that she is in fact an heir to one of the seven remaining Seraph Dynasties. 

She is Jazmine Evenstar, the last heir to the sovereign Evenstar Dynasty.

Thrust into the world of wealth and privilege in which the impossibly beautiful and equally cruel Dynasty heirs reside, Jazmine is forced to manoeuvre the tangled web that holds the Dynasties together.

Against the backdrop of breathtaking star filled nights, sweeping coastlines, grand marble halls and decadent palaces, Jazmine tries to find her place in this beautiful new world whilst fighting not to lose herself in the process.

But the fairy tale quickly unravels. 

Half human and the illegitimate daughter of the late suicide King of Eden, the other Dynasty heirs make it clear that Jazmine does not belong in their world. 

Raphael St. Tristan, heir to the rival sovereign St. Tristan Dynasty and next in line to the throne of Eden, the guy with the face of an angel but who is as wicked as the devil himself, promises to break her. 

Jazmine quickly learns that the beauty of Eden is nothing but a deception as she uncovers the secrets festering at the heart of it. But can she disentangle herself from the web of deception and intrigue that the Dynasty heirs have spun? Can she stop herself from falling into Raphael St. Tristan’s trap before he can fulfil his promise to shatter her completely? Or are those stories about Eden true after all and will she be foolish enough to taste the forbidden fruit that is Eden itself?

My Review: 

I received an ARC ebook copy of this personally from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This is the first book of a trilogy, and I have to say that it’s a great start!

When I first read the synopsis of the book, I was immediately intrigued with it and compelled to read it as soon as possible because I first thought that it might be a new adult paranormal romance about angels and these angels having a royal hierarchy and all that. I’m a such a sucker for angel romances, forbidden romances, and the royal hierarchy lineages and whatnot. But most of my first impressions of the book were not right – but I loved every bit of it.

Oh, also, if you’re a huge fan of the enemies-turned-lovers romance trope, then this one is definitely for you. I’m not that huge of a fan of the trope, but I liked the spitfire battle between Jazmine and Ralph using their harsh words and even meaner wits. I did ship them hard af though. I’m used to reading guys like Raphael in other books, but Jazmine’s character was a breath of fresh air. She’s also my most favorite character in the book – and it comes with good reasons! 

A few chapters in, I thought this was going to be some sort of “Princess Diaries” thing where Jazmine suddenly becomes the queen of Eden as soon as her grandfather finds her and wants her to ascend the throne. But imagine to my surprise that she’s suddenly thrusted back again into high school complete with the popular clique lead by the asshole-ish but devilishly handsome Raphael St. Tristan, the loyal sidekick Dani, and the constant aches and challenges that a new student usually faces in a brand new school – but for powerful Seraphs like her. But like the synopsis suggests, there is deceit, politics, mystery, forbidden love, scandals, and power struggles that just keeps you flipping the pages until you get to know what happens next. 

I actually love the most about this book is the narration and the world-building. The storytelling at Jazmine’s point of view was so beautifully done that I was immediately able to put myself in her shoes and get sucked in the story. I always look for that power when it comes to new stories. Also, the world-building using an already famous concept of the Garden of Eden is splendid! I really liked the parallel worlds idea, so it wasn’t that hard to imagine how Eden would look like. Two thumbs up for the author for doing such an amazing job. 

While I loved the book, I couldn’t give it the perfect 5 star rating like I want to because of one small reasons. There were a few writing flaws that I found rather redundant and unnecessary, such as the repetitive description of Raphael and the circling problem between Raphael and Jazmine’s arguments about their relationship. It was a bit annoying to find those two minute problems again in the succeeding chapters. Whenever I encounter them again, I was like “yeah yeah, I know blah blah,” and then I’ll skim through it. The first time it appeared was more than enough to let me know how the story would go. I’m sure most readers wouldn’t have noticed this, but I unfortunately did. 

But aside from that minor detail, I still really loved the book! I can’t wait to get my hands on the second one, especially with the cliffhanger at the end. OH YES! IT HAS A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER THAT DESTROYED ME!

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