Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Rowena's Key (The Golden Key Chronicles, Book 1) by A J Nuest - Book Review (New Release)

From the Blurb:

The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…

Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm!

But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.

The Review:

Rowena is an antiquarian known for her ability to spot the best pieces, but when she buys an armoire that won’t even open, she begins to doubt her abilities. That is, until the armoire opens in the middle of the night to reveal a magic mirror with a handsome prince on the other side.

Rowena has been hurt in the past and is tentative when it comes to giving her heart away again, and perhaps that's part of why she falls so hard for the guy on the other side of the mirror, the one she can't actually touch. Or maybe it's because he is a drop dead gorgeous fairy tale prince, who thinks she is a beautiful sorceress.

We learn that Prince Caedmon also has a troubled history, with a difficult place in the royal household, and it's easy to understand why Rowena's heart melts at his tale. Although they are damaged in their own ways, both Rowena and Caedmon are a good laugh too (I love Caedmon's terrible poetry, and Rowena's all too honest laughing response). As much as this is a fairy tale romance, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and the humor throughout this tale makes the romance all that more endearing.

I love Rowena’s friend Ollie who seems completely unconcerned about the presence of a magic mirror in his friend’s bedroom. I always enjoy stories a little more when there is a friend on the periphery to make central characters more believable and rounded, and Ollie is the perfect addition to this love story.

Given that Rowena is stuck on one side of a mirror with Caedmon on the other for most of this novella, their developing relationship is one of growing emotional connection with an increasing longing for physicality. Although both fantasize about sex with each other, they are unable to fulfill their desire for the majority of the story and, rather than being a down side to this romance, I thought this was incredibly tantalizing. Instead of slowing the romance, as Rowena and Caedmon fall in love, their inability to connect by touch builds the passion of their relationship to its extreme.

You need to realize this is a novella, because you will get to the end of this story and be desperate for more. Thankfully, HarperImpulse is releasing each novella in this series in month by month installments, so we don’t have long to wait for the next development of Rowena and Caedmon’s fantasy romance.

The first in The Golden Key Chronicles is an enchanting fairy tale for adults. If you're still in love with the Disney princes of your childhood and wish one would turn up in your bedroom late at night, you'll love Rowena's Key.

What about the rest of the series?

Rowena's Key is the first in a four part series followed by Book 2: Candra's Freedom, Book 3: Caedmon's Curse, and Book 4: Braedric's Bane. I'm already desperate to read the next. Rowena's Key ends with a cliffhanger so it looks like this is going to be one of those series that leaves us poor readers on the edge between installments, so thank goodness the wait won't be long.

Rowena's Key was published by HarperImpulse and is available from Amazon.

This book was given to Love Reading Romance in exchange for an honest review.



  1. Thank you so much Love Reading Romance for this outstanding ARC review of Rowena's Key! You have made the launch of this first book in The Golden Key Chronicles a very happy event! Whoo Hoo!

  2. Wonderful review! AJ, I can't wait for the book's release. It sounds wonderful!

  3. Can't wait to read it. Great post, guys!

  4. Thank you so much for popping over to comment, Sharon and Wendy! I'm very excited for tomorrow! Not getting much sleep! LOL xo

  5. No idea what happened to my other comments. Great review! Sounds fab.

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by! :D Rowena's Key is such a fun read and we have a preview coming tomorrow so you can check out a snippet for yourselves before grabbing a copy! Now I just have to be patient waiting for the sequel...

    Aimee - I don't know either! Very odd. I guess the Internet Goblins ate them. :/ Thanks for coming back and commenting again!

  7. Oh, I am so much a Disney prince freak. I love that! Can't wait for tomorrow! Great review. Congrats, and happy (early) release, AJ!

  8. As one of AJ's critique partners, I smiled and nodded throughout this entire lovely review, beaming with pride as if it were for something I'd written myself for I do SO love Caedmon. Oh ladies, wait until you meet him. Sigh...just sigh. AJ has a way of weaving magic for her readers with words that create vivid visuals, margaritas for the mind and chocolates for the soul. As a reader, you will adore her stories.

  9. Thank you so much Aimee and Mac! You ladies are so awesome! I'm so excited, I can tell already I'm not going to sleep tonight. I feel like a kid the day before Christmas! Love ya!

  10. Vonnie, your comment made my eyes well with tears. Words cannot express how much your constant abiding support mean to me. Thank you so much, my friend. You are truly loved. xo

  11. Awesome review sounds like an amazing book. If you're still in love with the Disney princes of your childhood and wish one would turn up in your bedroom late at night love this part sounds so magical.


  12. Toni, that was my most favorite part of this review as well! I got all warm and fuzzy inside when I read that!! Helena sooooo hit the nail on the head with this review. She's AWE-SOME! *AJ sing-song voice* :-)

  13. Fantastic review!! This is one of my favs for this book. Soooo proud of you, AJ! And Vonnie, LOVE LOVE LOVE that comment - margaritas for the mind and chocolate for the soul! OMG!!