Review: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (The Order #2.5) by Kasia Bacon

An archer’s heart is a hard target to hit…

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark.

I don’t know how she does it but Kasia Bacon shreds my heart over and over again and I only want to beg her for more. She has become the queen of the stories that are short on pages but heavy on angst, UST and a fantastic payout. You get her very own version of an HEA that is never quite finished because her characters are so complex, a single moment or even a dramatic declaration is never an end, it’s just a pause for something even better.

As this is book 2.5 in The Order series, I do recommend reading the first two books so you get a feel for this world and the characters involved. The author does an amazing job with bringing you into the Highlands and the world of Dark Elves, assassins, archers and unmistakable gorgeous attraction, lust and yes love that demands every ounce of your attention so skipping anything in this series would be a disservice.

Now, having said that… OMG! This book just about did me in! Who knew that a horny brat named Verhan would work his way under my skin and have me rooting for his happiness? Well, I do have a soft spot for redeemable jerks but Verhan isn’t a jerk, he’s just young and upfront and not used to emotions that overwhelm him when he least expects it, but someone should have warned him about the innocent seduction of a ginger; its sharper than any archers arrow… even cupids.

I loved the hell out of this story. There is always something about the reluctance of someone who is asked to teach another how to do, anything and find love through it. Though way off the subject, I kept thinking of Dirty Dancing while reading this through on the third time and how Johnny Fell hard for Baby when he wasn’t looking for it, but through his teaching her how to dance, he fell and fell hard. Verhan isn’t looking for love, he’s fine hopping from bed to bed regardless of gender getting off but Hernan isn’t just another archer who needs help, he needs to train on the mountain bow to be the center shooter for the twenty-one arrow salute during the celebration of the Queen’s Namesday. Hernan is this fresh faced redhead who is willing to learn anything from Verhan and I do mean anything.

Goodness. I really don’t know how to review this without being all fangirl about it. This has a lovely slow burn to the romance and it gives you enough details about the training for the twenty-one arrow salute without knocking you over the head with the details. Kasia Bacon knows how to effortlessly blend the fantasy world with imparting modern language to make this fresh and exciting. I am not one who knows a lot about archery and yet I can see every bit of this training on the mountain bow and then the actual event? Stunning. Just stunning.

But the slow burn between Verhan and Hernan is what I came for and I got everything I ordered. I just loved watch Verhan try to stay professional with his student all while learning that he wants no one but this redhead who makes him feel lust and love and want a future together. Of course, these feelings are so new to Verhan that when he thinks he’s lost his chance, he reverts back to his old ways but good lord does he know how to make things right.

Now, I have to say as per the norm with these stories, I want more. The end? It left my romantic heart sighing but also flipping off my Nook that it was over. But good books do that, make you feel all the emotions right?

Um, have I said anything? Have I said how adorable Hernan is and how I just want to hug him as he rambles his stories to Verhan when he gets comfortable and how responsive he is to a first kiss? Have I said how the end made me gasp while Hernan fixed himself properly and the reveal… I acted just like Verhan because I wanted it just as bad? How the cover of this book is perfection and when you get why, goosebumps. Seriously.

Ugh. This book. Three times reading it wasn’t enough that I think I need to go back and read all the books again just to get lost in this world and hope that we see these two again in the next series installment.

Can you tell this was a good book? No? Well, read it and see for yourself. In fact, read the whole series and everything by the author and then come join me in the mezzanine of the Kasia Bacon fangirl section.


1 comment:

  1. You guys rock. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing my story. I'm ecstatic it was to the Unicorn's taste. Hehe. ❤