Afternoon Delight: Rowena’s Key by A.J. Nuest

Afternoon Delight: Rowena’s Key by A.J. NuestRowena’s Key by A.J. Nuest

Series: #1 The Golden Key Chronicles
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Published by Harper Impulse on November 7, 2013
Pages: 109
Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
four-stars

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For a delightful chance, I occasionally immerse myself in a nice medieval fantasy romance.  I love the mysterious nature, the fairy tale feel and the enchanting world building.  This one has the added element of being a time travel story as well.

This is a shorter piece that ends abruptly on a cliff hanger setting things up for the next portion in the series.  Fortunately, I did my homework so I was ready for this to happen.

The first stage of the story introduces lonely antique’s restorer, Rowena Lindstrom.  She has experienced the double tragedy of her parents’ recent deaths and her ex-boyfriend cheating on her multiple times.  Her guilt over her dad’s death is still with her even as she has built up a wall against enjoying any new relationships of a romantic sort.  She lives for her work and time with her two friends that work with her, Ollie and Violet.  This makes her ripe for an adventure one would say.  The adventure begins in the unlikely form of an old dilapidated wardrobe that refuses to open.  Rowena bought in at on-line auction because she discovered that it had been in the family and this would have pleased her dad to own it and restore it.  But staring at the stinking beat up thing makes her shake her head at her own naïveté, but then she discovers a secret compartment and a golden key.  Then the mirror…

Caedmon is startled when the beautiful sorceress appears to him.  He is consternated when she doesn’t seem to take him seriously and believes he is a hoax.  This is no hoax and the lives of his people depend on the sorceress’ cooperation.  Caedmon is saddened that it is his older half-brother with the pure bloodline who has been chosen for the honor of being with the sorceress during the ‘gleaning’.  But then she confounds the wizard, his father, his brother and the council when she asks for him.  He hopes he will be worthy in his quest.

Rowena doesn’t know what to believe at first.  Someone must be playing with her, surely.  This other world in the mirror and Caedmon can’t be real.  Deep down she wants it to be real.  Time with Caedmon is become the most precious thing to her.  But in the end, will he betray her too?  Is he only playing her to get the Key?

This one was half-in and half-out of contemporary and fantasy which made things interesting.  The plot drew me in from the beginning.  Information was dolloped out a bit at a time and it is only near the end when things come to a head that all the cards are on the table and it leaves Rowena with a big decision.  I liked the handsome prince wooing the fair maiden bit that was going on between Caedmon and Rowena.  It was neat how the romance progressed as they got to know each other and built common ground and sympathy.  This one heats up reminding me that this is not the fairy tale of my childhood.  They barely had a chance to enjoy the culmination of their hard-won time in each other’s arms when something catastrophic happens and I was left staring at the last page.

I would suggest being prepared to grab up the next book immediately if you find yourself into this story as much as I was.  This is a good match for fantasy romance lovers who don’t mind a bit of crossover with the contemporary.  I look forward to continuing on with this engaging series to see what happens next with Caedmon and Rowena.  I suspect this was only the beginning of their adventures.

Delighted Reader Afternoon Delight

About A.J. Nuest

Multi-published, award winning author, AJ Nuest resides in a small farming community in NW Indiana. A wife, mother and freelance editor, she shares her home with a variety of spoiled-rotten pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Oh nice. I don’t read that time period often but do enjoy it. And fun that it has elements in contemp too. Thanks for the warning on the cliffhanger!

    • Yes, it was a refreshing change between my usual reads to keep things from going stale. I like to warn folk when I know there’s a cliffhanger so it doesn’t cause freak outs and gnashing of teeth. Haha! (Okay, maybe that’s only me who reacts that way)

      • ajnuest

        Oh no, I totally react that way too, Sophia! I’m a reader of fantasy and those stories ALWAYS end in cliff hangers. And then I usually have to wait a year or more for the next book! It’s tough! LOL Thank you so much for stopping by Anna! This series was definitely a blast to write! x

  • hmm…a lil history and contemporary. Sounds good Sophia 🙂

    • It was fun glimpses at medieval castle and fantasy stuff on Caedmon’s side of the mirror and modern Chicago on hers. I look forward to what is coming next since it will mostly be told in the fantasy medieval side.

      • I don’t think I ever read a fantasy romance before. Hmmm, I’m adding this to my wishlist…I like your review Sophia 🙂

        • ajnuest

          Sharonda, that was one of the things I heard from quite a few folks after I’d finished this series and people started talking about it. They had never read fantasy romance. I’m definitely a cross-genre writer, so we got contemporary, fantasy, time travel, action, adventure, danger, romance…LOL I am hard to pin down, that’s for sure. Thanks so much for adding Rowena’s Key to your wish list! xx

  • ajnuest

    Oh my goodness, Sophia, I am so embarrassed I am just now seeing this review! I’m frantically going through your site, looking for everything I’ve missed! Gah! I’m so sorry! What a dork I am! Thank you for this outstanding post and review! And you’re lovely commenters! How wonderful! I’m going to catch up!! x