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Publisher's Summary

Essie would do anything for her kingdom...even marry an elf prince she just met that morning.

The human kingdom of Escarland and the elven kingdom of Tarenhiel have existed in an uneasy peace after their last wars ended with both kings dead. As tensions rise once again, desperate diplomacy might be the only way to avert war. If only negotiations between elves and humans were that simple.

When a diplomatic meeting goes horribly wrong, Essie, a human princess, finds herself married to the elf prince and warrior Laesornysh. Fitting in to the serene, quiet elf culture might be a little difficult for this talkative princess, but she’s determined to make it work.

With impending war and tenuous alliances, it will be up to Essie to unite her two peoples. And maybe get her hands on elven conditioner while she’s at it.

©2019 Tara Grayce (P)2020 Tara Grayce

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What listeners say about Fierce Heart

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

FIERCE HEART 7 Stars!! Brilliant!!

Tara Grayce is simply the best author Fantasy YA. there is. Her books are emotionally charged and have you wanting more and more. Very much enjoyed! (It for sure is going on my re-listen list "This book is worth hearing multiple times") I ADORED the hero and heroine. They were both like able characters, not your typical angst rebellious heroine or brooding, borderline-mean hero. I totally neglected editing project to do it. I laughed, I cried, it moved me, They were so well written, and I LOVED the arranged marriage plot. There are not enough books about married couples, and I loved how this one played out. The Narrated (Liz Brand) was phenomenal I will be looking out more of her books. The romance was so beautifully written, so sweet, and very clean while still being deliciously swoon worthy. I haven’t listened to a whole book so quickly in FOREVER.. No, seriously, it did. And I certainly did my fair share of swooning. It was adorable and delightful and I can hardly wait to read book two!!


I would listen to Liz Brand narrate the f****** phone book. She’s incredibly talented. Thank you. THANK YOU!!!

Just Listen to it. You won’t regret it.

Plot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐stars
Story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars
Narrator.: Liz Brand ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review"

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Fluff with a side of Serious

I got this book for free. My opinions are my own.

I’ve had this book on my non-audio TBR list for awhile, but had never gotten to it. I just don’t have as much time to “read” as to listen. So, when I saw it was now available on audio I snapped it up. And I am so glad I did. Please note: I am pretty sure my rating for this book is slightly elevated because I’ve already read the 2nd book (got it right away) and absolutely loved it.

At first I thought this book was going to end up in my “mental cotton candy” (i.e. candy floss) category – light, sweet, and gone in seconds. But this book manages to mix light humor with a compassionate look at the physical & emotional impacts of war.
I enjoyed spending time with Essie and Farrendel, and can relate to Essie since I’m more than a bit of a motor mouth myself (I am always struggling to remember that I have “two ears and only one mouth….”) In her circumstances, however, it actually proves to be a blessing that helps her relationship with her mostly silent husband grow. Note: this is the slowest burn romance of it's type that I've ever read (i.e. they are married, and it was willing on both sides despite the fact that they had never met).

Highlights:
-- Fav culture shock moment: "Cannonball" (when swimming, of course)
– Although Essie is learning Elvish quickly, her accent sometimes makes her difficult to understand. (As someone who got all A’s in Spanish but spent months struggling to understand the people when I actually lived in Southern Spain, I appreciate when this kind of thing is highlighted in fiction.)
– My favorite part of their relationship is that Essie presses forward to be there for Farrendel when he needs her, but never without making it clear to him that if he truly needs space she will respect that.

Content Notes, for anyone who might care: Clean (no language; kisses only) / Violence (with blood, but minimal gore) / Illegitimacy (and the behavior that leads to it) is presented as "a mistake" that causes shame and bullying in elf culture

Narration: Male voices were non-offensive. / The elves, Farrendel especially, have a slight hint of an accent (English?) to distinguish them from the humans and indicate that this is not their native language. / It was a touch slow, I listened on 1.5 rather than my usual 1.25 speed / While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it lifted the book, the narration (and sound quality) got the job done and were not a distraction.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Realistic romance with action and intrigue

This book starts out a bit slow, but soon picks up and leaves you wanting more (without a cliff hanger). It is a clean romance between a human princess and an elven prince with an arranged marriage. It explores the idea that love is a choice and comes from small daily actions. There is enough political intrigue, action, and a few swoon-worthy moments to keep things interesting.

The author gets kudos for solid world-building in an imaginative steam-punk setting, working in the differing levels of advancing technology between the human and elven societies into the political intrigue.

It was refreshing to have a YA story where both main characters have loving, imperfect families. While other stories pull on our sympathy with the main characters being without family, that has really been done a lot. The common YA themes of finding one's self-identity and a place to belong can be even more interesting and complicated when there are families involved, as shown here. Also, in my experience, most couples when they begin a marriage have to navigate changing family relationships and this story acknowledges that in a healthy way.

The cons of this book for me were 1) the overuse of the elven shampoo joke. But, I'm in my 40's. Maybe it would appeal to teens? 2) The main character spends A LOT of time asking questions in her mind in the beginning. It would have been nice for the author to mix it up a little with how she showed us the characters' insecurities.

The narrator: I was so relieved to have a young female voice read the book. (It seems like many YA books are read by older women whose voices are lower so they can do the male parts, but it is hard for me to imagine a young woman when I hear an older one.) Liz Brand did just fine with the male voices. I was never confused on who was speaking.

I did love this book and read it more than once. I've since read the next book in the series (not on audio yet), and the writing and story keep getting better. Can't wait for the 3rd installment coming out later this year!

5 people found this helpful

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Sweet and enjoyable

This book is sweet. Not a racy romance but a nice, sweet story with decent world and character building and plot.
Well narrated and likeable characters.
Only complaint is that it is book one of a series and feels a little short :)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What cost peace?

Can one marriage save two nations? Maybe if the right ones are in it. This was an interesting study in family politics, race relations and the differences that cultures can lead to just from lack of understanding and secrets being held. The characters were deep and well thought out and you felt for them as you listened. The narration was beautiful and the story was engaging. I will be picking up the sequel.

2 people found this helpful

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  • rb
  • 07-29-21

BORROWING

THIS BOOK IS SO BORROWING. I COULD NOT FORCE MY SELF TO CONTINUE LISTING. THE NARRATOR DID THE HER BEST BUT IT WAS JUST. SO BORROWING MY KIND KEEPING WONDERING. DONT WAST YOUR TIME OR MONEY.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, excellent narration!

highly recommended story. Great characters with good story and plot. Everything I could want. Tara Grayce hits this out of the park!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, could be better

This is a nice pg romance novel. There are some interesting points made between the two cultures of human and elf and it’s the arranged marriage trope but with both parties being reasonable.

I felt like it was a bit slow which I usually like but in this case we got to the end of the book and not much plot had happened in my opinion. I’m like we’re done? I feel like we are at chapter 2? Also the main character can be a bit annoying. I think a narrator would have been nice instead of just the main characters point of view. However I get that that is part of the plot is that we don’t know what the elves are thinking since they are so Vulcan like. It makes sense, but it gets a bit boring. Having lived abroad I found that I did relate to the main character as other reviewers have mentioned and there are some interesting world building concepts here that are worth expanding on.

I don’t find myself really attached to any of the characters though.

I’m still deciding if I will read the rest of the trio. I hear the second is good is really good. I did like it, the narrator does a good job. However it was nothing amazing, yet.

Also the cover art could be improved on. I realize that is shallow and shouldn’t matter, but come it’s a fun world the cover art could be more expressive.

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Pleasantly Surprised 😮

The Story has a good start and opening to set up characters, H/h. Enjoyed the first Book and read for the next.

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Engaging, sweet, clean.

Engaging Story. Sweet and clean - great for teens. I will be buying the series for my teen for Christmas.

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  • Sierra
  • 06-14-21

Awesome!

Thoroughly enjoyed this fantastical story! The narrator did a great job and the story moved with a good pace. I’m going to hunt down the next book and start it tonight!

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  • susan mckenzie
  • 04-11-21

Sexy elves and sassy heroine.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

So this book was really good, if you're a lord of the rings fan. You will definitely want to read this series, it's based around the elves and essie in book 1. Her marriage to assure peace between two nations, the elves have a well written lore and their behaviour is distinct in a way that makes it feel realistic if they existed. Farrendel is a remarkable leading character, flawed but with unforgettable strengths. A woman could fall for him easily, his pairing with essie is well matched. She's feisty and a nervous rambler, I laughed so hard at that because I'm exactly the same. The storyline is beautiful and well described, the world sounds so beautiful and interesting. I am very much looking forward to reading/listening to the next book, the adventure is something fun and hard to put down once started.

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  • Book addict
  • 09-07-20

This was a nice story

This almost had elements of a regency romance, aimed at a young girls’ romantic heart, rather than the typical elf/fantasy romance. There’s no sexy times, and instead the focus is on a building relationship between two people from very different families. This would probably be good for a teenage girl who wants to swoon, but have some action too, rather than me who is used to more adult scenes and gritty storylines. Lovely story though, and I think lots of people would enjoy it.

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  • Panos
  • 05-06-20

This was actually much better than I expected

I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

Narration 10/10
The narration is actually spot on, clear, crisp, fits the story really well, the expressions are really well done, I really didn't see any fault to it, it's a really well done narration.

Story 8/10
Well, the story starts off with an elven - human meeting, who have been at war for quite some time, in order to discuss peace terms with the outcome of a human princess, Essie, getting paired up with an elven prince, Laesornysh - the main characters of the book- for political marriage.
I will be honest, at first I thought this was a fantasy book but then I saw the "Chick Lit & Romance" tag on top of the book's Audible page and I instantly became predetermined it was going to be bad and I would definitely dislike it. However, I was wrong! The story was actually pretty good, keeping the romance only as a part of the narrative, while introducing a great and perfectly described world, without becoming boring at any point, while it also gets into politics and the ways of the elves and develops the characters really well. The sub-stories are molded pretty good to all come together in the action packed last third of the book.

Overall it was really good and enjoyable and a good start for a new fantasy story and I'd recommend it as a fun and enjoyable listen for anyone.

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  • Ian
  • 05-02-20

A brilliant 1st book

I was given a free copy of this book and I'm leaving an honest and voluntary review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's a nicely paced tale, the characters are great, the detailing and depth is superb. It's got the right amount of everything.
The narration is flawless, giving the whole experience a real feel.
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐