His father's kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he's falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?
An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past. All she wants is to be free. What she doesn't realize is that freedom comes with a price she can't afford to pay. She's forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else... his brother.
Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king's son and Commander of the King's Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father's bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.
When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik's brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik's interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family.
©2013 Jennifer Anne Davis (P)2014 Clean Teen Publishing
Winner, Curvy Book Award: Best Overall Small Press
It took me 3 attempts to listen to this. in the end I actually really liked the story but found the narration lacked fluency.
I devoured this book but OMG that ending!!! I was left dumbstruck that it ended how it did! I hate cliffhangers in books but this book is too good to hate! Everything about it was amazing!
I'm not going to say too much about the plot for fear of ruining it so I'm going to just start with everything I loved!!
Rema was such a sweetheart and I loved her character. She is so nice and sweet but she isn't afraid to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. My heart broke for her when she was "requested" to visit the palace. She wanted a quite life and was due to marry her childhood friend when the chance encounter with Darmik changed everything. I loved that no matter what was thrown at her, she stood strong and was sure of herself. She put everyone she cared about first and was willing to sacrifice everything for her family.
I wasn't sure of Darmik at first because he is so unsure of things but I eventually grew to like him, though I did want to shake him and tell him to wake up and small the coffee!! How could he miss what was going on??
Prince Lennek is pure evil! He picks Rema simply to get one up on Darmik. He is a womaniser and all round horrible person. Then we have the King. He is as bad as Lennek and so hard to find anything nice about. Both of them treat Rema like she is nothing and poor Rema has no choice but to grin and bear it, though she is in no way passive with them!! She stands up to them many times but with the treat to her family, she has to play it safe till she can come up with a plan.
The world building was amazing. The prologue sets the scene for a plot that's very fast paced and intriguing. The book is full of treachery, heartache, betrayal, adventure, secrets and enough twists to keep your mind reeling! It has everything a great read should.
There is a little romance thrown into the mix. Rema finds herself drawn to Darmik no matter how much she tries not too. He can't stop thinking of her either but has to stay away because if his brother found out, he would be accused of treason.
Anyway, The Key was so so good. I listened to the audio and absolutely devoured it. I couldn't turn it off because I needed to see what happened next. I listened to it in 2 days and hated that it had to end. Its the type of book that once you start, you will not want to finish. Be warned though, there is a massive cliff hanger and you will need book 2 to read straight away after! I have book 2 and 3 on my kindle and just need to clear some more review books before diving back into this amazing world, believe me it's hard to stay away!!
A brilliantly written and executed book and one that everyone needs to read. The audio was fantastic and Michelle Michaels did an amazing job of bringing Rema to life. The narrator made you feel her heartache and struggle and she pulled you into the story. All the books need to be brought to audio, and for me, the sooner the better!!
"The Romance Comes to Life in the Audiobook"
I think the novel is written very well, but the audio brings it to life and gives it dimension, allowing listeners to get sucked into Rema and Darmik's love as the story unravels. The audio version provides nuances to the story, to Rema's struggles, to Darmik's pain in losing his love to his conniving brother... it's all deeply engrossing with Michelle Michaels as the entertaining narrator.
Michelle Michaels' voice has a lilting and entrancing quality to it that captivated me and made this story all the more enjoyable. With a great narrator a well-written story can come to life and she certainly did that with "The Key".
Behind every great love story is a story of hardship, struggle, romance and finding your way back to each other.
Jennifer Anne Davis is a talent author who has crafted an engaging novel that readers can sink their teeth into and get a little vicarious romance from. The writing is lush, vivid, romantic, drama-rich and deeply engrossing. Overall, this was a great story whether in audiobook or novel format.
"Fast-paced with a bone-chilling evil antagonist!"
As far as stories, this terrific intriguing plotted story kept me listening and needing to know more. Plenty of suspense, action and heart ache. The character that absolutely stands out as most abominable is Lennek, the first-born of the present king of the kingdom. He was a man who lived to hurt others and did so in a most bone-chilling manner. I wonder what his back story is, to make him be so vicious and seemingly without remorse and shame. Narrator Michelle Michaels really did a superb job making me hate him with his syrupy speech and evil intentions in his every word.
Darmik was lovable, but was caught between doing what he had promised to do (to take care of his family) and following his heart. He must have had a strong character to put up with the likes of his brother and king. I felt sorry for him, because he had been put into such a difficult, precarious position. When his heart had found the lovely Rema, he couldn’t follow it, because duty held the stronger rein on him. His weakness however, was believing the worst of Rema, not following his heart.
Rema, ah, Rema. Such a sweetheart. Here she was seventeen years old. Wild and as sweet as any flower. As a reader, we know that she is the only surviving heir to a kingdom exterminated by Darmik’s father. Very gruesome in the telling his portion of events. However, Rema doesn’t know who she is, yet the blood that flows within her body is strong and very much royal as you will see as the story progresses. I love her passion for the less fortunate and her passion for life! Personally, I believe that’s what draws Darmik to her other than her blond beauty, so unique in their society.
The biggest cruelty for me was how the story ended. Please take to heart the warning. This is not a stand-alone. My mouth hung open mouthing no-o-o-o-o! If I don’t get my hands on the second book soon, I shall be most upset! But be that as it may, I’m told that the whole series is available. (Thank you, Jennifer Davis)
Michelle Michaels' performance excellently brought to life the characters that Jennifer Ann Davis created. Her voice was easy to listen to and engaged me. Her emotional involvement in the telling of the story was quite apparent. She did something in the story that I don’t hear much in other narrations. She sighed , cried, and laughed when called for. Most of the time, it felt genuine, but there were times that it didn’t quiet ring true. That being said, I would certainly want to listen to her again in any audio she produced. I hope to hear her continuing the series. Her production carried me along on a breath-taking adventure of peril and fear
"My Yard Enjoyed . . . The Listen"
I'm a new devotee to the audio book, my maculardegeneration is beginning, to effect my favortie pasttime reading. I reluctantly made the switch, at my daughters suggestion. What a great idea she had. This was my fourth audio book, but the first one, from this author.
The great news is, I'm a series reader and this is book one in a series. I will get to the meat quickly in case you are in a hurry. With no time to read my musings. From the complex, layered characters who are filled full. Of rich subtext and pathos,to the smaller characters and those added for texture. All are unique and for lack of a better word intriguing to read.
I would also add, not a plot bunny to be found. Many times in first of series, I find the author gets ahead of their self, as they have the blueprint. The reader is left scratching their head, not with Author Davis. Her timing is controlled and her storyline movement forward, flawless.
In my opine, the dialoge was realistic with enough nuance written in, that you could hear the pauses and voice influction. I particulary enjoy, an author who has that skill. Not to many Indies do.
Overall excellent first in series, I would spend my money on book two with no thought, except the anticipation of what it holds. I also like the way my yard looked at the end of last weekend. LOL reading with no guilt it should be a sin. Great job, giving it a five star.
"A rousing medieval romance"
I'd have to put this one in the upper echelon. Both the story and the voice performance kept my attention throughout. You can't ask much more from an audiobook.
Michelle Michaels delivered a captivating voice performance that was both heartfelt and thrilling; a perfect performance for this type of book.
Trapped in a love triangle that could doom the man she loves, seventeen-year-old Rema is forced to choose between love and appeasement. Award-winning author Jennifer Anne Davis takes us into a medieval world rife with swashbuckling action and danger where loyalty to the throne and true love clash and erupt into a blaze of passion and conflict that could turn the kingdom upside down. Follow Rema on a breathtaking journey that will uncover shocking secrets and revelations as she fights for both her love and her life.
This was my first Audiobook purchase and I have to admit that it took me a few chapters to engage. I cannot contribute this in any way with the book, but rather the fact that I have become accustomed to reading and narrating (in my head) the characters for myself. After I got over this little change in the way that I do things, I began to settle in and really fall into the world the narrator and Jennifer Davis meticulously created in The Key, guided by the very talented performance of Michelle Michaels.
The Key is sincere and captivating leap into the dreams, disappointments and trials of a very spontaneous and free spirited peasant girl named Rema. I related to Rema as a character because she represents that part in me that searches for change, opportunity and new experiences. She has a joyfully wild spirit and willingness to do anything within her power to support those she loves, even at the expense of her own hearts desire.
No, and the entire story and performancewas memorable, and much like a roller coaster ride you don’t want to get off of. This was my first time listening to any of Michelle Michaels’s performances and I was entirely entertained. I listened from start to finish as the story unfolded.
With a deliciously written plot, well defined and relatable characters and Michaels keen ability to web a world that captivates your full attention, you will fall in love with this books as much as I did. I look forward to next. Oh the torture!
"Fast talking narrator, but good story"
This is book 1 of 3 and is not a standalone book. The entire series is available so there’s no waiting for the next in the series!
I listened to this book on audio and the first thing that I noticed about the book is that I had to slow down the narration speed to half-speed. The narrator, Michelle Michaels, was speaking pretty fast and I had a hard time keeping up with her at first. She has a very good accent for this story, just talks fast.
The book starts right into the middle of a big, bad situation. You have a King dying, a Queen sending her daughter away to try to survive while she loses her life, a trusted man of the court running off with the infant Princess. It is pretty much off and running from the beginning. Things slow down a bit after the book jumps 17 years to the future.
We now have a young woman who has a life with her Aunt and Uncle and her best friend, Bren that she can out race on a horse every time. I’m not going to put any spoilers in here, since I hate it when people do that to me, but things start to go up and downhill quickly for Rima.
She then meets a couple of Princes, one of which is awesome for a time, the other is a jerk from the get-go. At this point, there is love, betrayal, political games, dismissals, dungens, rebels, and a cliff-hanger ending. Thankfully, book 2 “Red” is already out and we won’t have to be beating our head against the wall over the cliffhanger, but it is still there. Fair warning! Buy book 2 before finishing book 1.
When it comes to rating, I rate the narration of the story about 3.5 STARS but the story overall I will give a GOOD 4 STARS!!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
"Poor narration and ends on a ciffhanger "
The narrator often sounded stilted and out of breath. A few characters were constantly read as yelling. I found it annoying and chose to read the book instead of finishing the audiobook.
The story ends suddenly with a cliffhanger. The second book in the series does as well.
"A great story!"
My first story that I've listened to by author Jennifer Anne Davies but it was written extremely well. When I first started the story I stopped and you'll find out why later in m y review but I gave it another go and I was am pleased that I did. I found the storyline perfect but I really do hate cliffhangers just to throw that out there. The story is filled with action, love, suspense, and intrigue from start to finish. I'm looking forward to listening to the next story and thankfully the narrator is different.
Narrator, Michelle Michaels made me feel like there was nails going down a chalkboard when I listened to that baby cry. This is why I stopped listening to the story and I barely could find away to get past that. I could not stand to hear the cries from the baby and the narrator could've made this easier but instead the cries made me want to throw my phone, is was awful and narrating a story you don't want the listener to feel that way. You want them to feel at ease with the story, content, and bring the story to life and she just didn't do that for me. I'm sorry but I'm just being honest. I will listen to the next book because thankfully it has a different narrator. I know it's a man but anyone would be better. The narrator really killed the story, especially in the first 5-10 minutes into the story. I'm thankful that the author has chosen someone different and I hope I can enjoy the next story.
"A pretty good book with an engaging narrator."
I really enjoyed the narrator's voice, the beginning was rough, but further in was great!
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