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Publisher's Summary

Rescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded. Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. 

Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day. 

One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected - Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian King, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime's hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life. This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. 

The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected. The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love. Contains mature themes.

©2017 SJ Himes (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pure Fluff

This was exactly what I wanted and all the fluff I ever needed in the world.

Based on the description I was expecting some kind of adventure or action, which is not at all what this book is about. It's about about two very different but equally pure men falling in love as our main character, Jaime, recovers from his recent traumatic past. It's a short book, so the romance seemed a little rushed, but overall it was a great read if you're into a soft, easy love story with some actual magic involved.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sweey love story

A sweet story with likabell charachters. Only thing that was a bit dissappointing was that there wasnt any villan. Would have liked to hear more from James time before and under his slavery and how he was freed, and the first time Max saw James come to the castle. Would have made the story more interesting than the long corting we got from Max instead. Still a sweed love story with a HEA ending.
Joel Leslie was perfect for this book, his skill to narrate is just amazing!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Love's Healing Touch

It is a rare and beautiful thing when you come across a work so full of love and passion. Once discovered it burrows and takes residence in your heart.

As a reader I have a few books that no matter how many times I read them still have and retain always the power to move me. When my life gets dark I fall on them to strengthen me. I have added this beautifully told story to that list.

I have been a lover of SJ Himes' ability to tell a beautiful story full of love and magic and Maxim and Jamie's story did not disappoint. Having this story performed by Joel Leslie whose power of narration has become the hallmark by which all other narration is judged brought such depth and feeling to a story I had already fallen in love with.

Jamie's quiet strength challenges a reader to look beyond the horrifying bleakness of circumstance and through the survival of things that would fell lesser find instead a means to soar above. Hounded and enslaved, beaten and heartbroken at the sudden loss of a beloved father, Jamie finds himself sold into slavery and headed for certain death. Not because he is a criminal but instead because his healing gift marks him for death.

Fate steps in and Jamie finds himself being rescued and fear keeps him quiet about his gift. A chance meeting with the stunning Prince Maxim forever alters the narrative of Jamie's story and together Prince and healer find a love magical and able to heal each other.

Such a beautifully done work and so glad for the chance to see it performed by such an amazing talent. All the thumbs up. All.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely story with awesome narration

I loved this book and was so excited it was going to be an audio. Even more excited when I saw one of my favorite narrators was going to be doing it. I don't have a lot of narrators I love, I'm very picky, but there's something about Joel Leslie that I just love.
The Solstice Prince is a sweet, fluffy romance that will tug on all your lovey dovey heart strings. If you're looking for a book that is sweet and loving then this is one for you. Jaime and Prince Maxim are so cute together.
Joel Leslie brings them to life and I won't be able to reread this book without hearing his crisp, formal accent that is so perfect for Maxim.
I cannot wait for the next book in the Realms of Love series and hope that Joel Leslie keeps narrating the books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

adorable story ,an awesome narrator

Sj himes is one of my favorite authors and again she brings a fantastic story to life.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful fluff!

The author provided a colorful, intriguing world and culture as the backdrop for her story, and I always appreciate when an author writes a culture where a gay romance is routinely accepted. I find it exhausting to read stories where the plot centers around a lack of acceptance for gay love. It's overdone again and again, and it's exhausting to read over and over. I found the characters to be pleasing and enjoyed their story, but the story does lack some substance. The romance is very straightforward, without any real obstacles to provide plot. However, I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing with this sweet, uncomplicated fluffy romance and it's engaging setting and sweet, heartwarming main character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Too bad it’s too short, but very sweet nevertheless,..

Joel Leslie will always be one of my fav narrators on audible, and his narration on this book was quite amazing, as always.

Just too bad the overall storyline and romance just fall short of its real potential.

If given time or space, I think the romance could work better with more characters depth and more meat and sauces to each of their backgrounds.

It’s like eating a plate of really delicious pasta but lacking on the spices.

Nevertheless I highly recommended this for hopeless romantics who wants to read very sweet romance without any real angst.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Sweet, low-angst fantasy book

Story: 4.5 Stars!!!
Narration: 5 Stars!!!
Overall: 4.75 Stars!

The Solstice Prince is a very low-angst fantasy book, with some hurt/comfort elements, but overall, it was a sweet, enjoyable read/listen.

Both Jaime and Prince Maxim were very likable, adorable characters and it was lovely seeing Maxim court Jaime after pretty much falling in love with him at first sight. Maxim was very patient and determined to show Jaime how much he meant to him, despite the difference in their social status and Jaime was very willing to be swept off his feet.

As always, Joel Leslie did a fantastic job with the narration. He doesn't just narrate a book, he performs it and that comes across when you're listening to his voice. It took me about a chapter to get used to the characters' accents, but other than that, Joel did justice to all the characters and brought them to life for me. I have to admit that my favorite was his voice for Maxim, though. *swoons* It was perfect for the prince.

Be it if you decide to read it or listen to it, I think you'll find Jaime and Maxim's story very romantic and entertaining and I have no trouble recommending it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Incredible performance-5 stars and more!

SJ Himes once again puts her incredible writing talent on display here in The Solstice Prince. In this story that takes place in Himes’ carefully crafted fantasy world, I found a slow-burn romance between two young men who are in some ways at opposite ends of the spectrum—one being royal and the other a commoner—and it others quite alike…namely in that they both have very special skills that they are both tremendously talented at wielding.

One of the things i loved about this story is how open, accepting, and just the kingdom of Pyrderi is—a stark contrast to its neighboring countries, a situation that in many ways parallels our own world. Though this is the first story in this new series, readers are not inundated with pages and pages of world building, instead it is presented throughout the book in the necessary portions of the story, with some aspects still left open to discover in subsequent installments (which I am excitedly looking forward to reading!).

Though it is obvious Prince Maxim is entirely smitten with Jaime from the start, things between them move slowly growing from friendship to courting to a deeply intense relationship without rushing, even if the time period covered in the story might indicate otherwise. It didn’t feel fast at all to me, with the story concentrating equally on Jaime’s situation as he returns to a more normal life after being enslaved and resumes his training, the ailing King and the affect of his poor condition on his family, and the developing connection forming between Jaime and Maxim.

I read this book in one sitting, as I was fully entranced and didn’t want to put it down. While it does contain a complete story in itself, there is the promise of much more to come; my curiosity is definitely piqued for more of Jaime and Maxim, but also to see what other stories come out of this world with either the characters already introduced or others to come. Jaime and Maxim are very strong main characters, but they are also surround by a well-rounded cast of supporting characters, and I found myself invested in all of them and can’t wait to read more.

Jaime and Maxim’s tale leans much more to the sweet side, with a gradual building toward much more near the end once their intimacy finally spills over. This perfectly fits the two of them, and their story wound up being a 5-star read for me…with special bonus points for the wonderful illustrations by Sarah Jo Chreene that can be found in special scenes of the book. I highly recommend this story to all M/M romance fans, and M/M fantasy romance fans in particular. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and especially to get back to Jaime and Maxim to see where they go from here. While the majority of this book is relatively tame in regards to intimate scenes, there does come a point where it moves into more and therefore it is meant for readers 18+ for some sexual content.

The narration: There are a lot of reasons Joel Leslie is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, and his performance of The Solstice Prince is a stunning example of so many of those reasons. First, there’s the reliably steady pacing; next, there’s the amazing accents—oh, so many beautiful, trilling accents…and each one individual to a specific character making it easy to know who is speaking; then there’s the way he injected such emotion into the characters’ dialogue, allowing the listener to really feel how the characters do throughout the story; and finally, his overall performance just really pulled me into the story even more so than when I was reading the ebook. But it really was all of those truly remarkable voices that did it for me. 5 stars for the narration, and where the ebook got bonus points for the fantastic illustrations, Joel’s voices get a whole bunch of bonus points from me as well—definitely one of those times where I wish there were more than 5 stars to award…I’ll just award them anyway here in my review :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

One of my favorite audiobooks this year!

Where has this audiobook been all my life?! Okay, I know it's not as if this has been out for years, and I'm only now discovering it, but seriously, listening to The Solstice Prince has been one of the highlights of my being an audiobook listener and a book blogger this year. S.J. Himes, who is a new-to-me author, has weaved a fantastical tale of love, acceptance, and coming into your own. In turn, Joel Leslie, one of my favorite narrators, made the story even more enchanting with his gift for giving each of the characters here a distinct voice. I've loved many of Leslie's narrating accomplishments in the past, but if pressed to choose my favorite, it would have to be his performance here in the Realms of Love series starter. This gem of a listen does have a happy ending for Jaime and Maxim, although Himes does mention a sequel for these two later in the series. Now if only I knew when THAT was set for release and whose story would be up next. There are certainly quite a few supporting characters from here that I wouldn't mind getting to know even better; I'll be ready and waiting. Five-plus stars go to The Solstice Prince. ♥

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L&Tforthewin
  • 06-14-18

Pure enjoyment.

Having read the book I was aware of the story and was keen to listen to the audio book. Once again Joel Leslie Froom has done an amazing job narrating. His warmth and humour shining through the performance and script. I particular enjoyed the use of Welsh accents! Something i wasn't anticipating at all but made the book particularly cosy.

This is a lovely fantasy mm novel that is written well and weaves a wonderful tale around a new but familiar world.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caz Pedroso
  • 06-08-18

Loved it, I can't wait until the next book

I own this book on kindle and was ecstatic when the author asked for people willing to listen to and review the audible book.

Joel Leslie was also the narrator for other of this author's books and did wonderful on them. This book is no different.

The story comes to life under his voice and makes the book even better.

The story is loving and sweet and will keep the reader/listener tuning in until the very end.