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(4.5 / 5) Loved it! I listened to this last June and I found myself thinking about it after I was done. I decided to reread it and get it on my site. Also, book 2 is coming out at the end of the month, and it’s only being released in audio.
Overall, it’s a great story. Moral dilemma, weighty decisions, enemies-to-lovers and more. You hear from Lara and Aren who are married for an alliance between kingdoms. Lara is trained to steal his kingdom secrets, find ways to bring him down and kill him. Their marriage very much begins this way, but she sees different sides of him and his kingdom, that she was never taught. She finds herself torn between being the spy, and being the person to bring the two kingdoms together. The writing is done well, with beautiful descriptions and in-depth characters. I admire this author’s writing and will read more of her novels.
The content is a lot for intimacy. Aren and Lara are very passionate characters and bring that into their marriage. The sex is very detailed at times. Violence is quite a bit also due to battles and a lot of fighting. It is not excessive, but there are a lot of details. Language is high, also with two F words. This is an adult fantasy and I recommend it for adults who like romance, enemies-to-lovers, and fantasy.
The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1)
Danielle L. Jensen
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A man feeds an elixir to his new wife, making her pass out.
A woman plans to have a hangover and takes a drink. Another drinks with her. Wine is served in abundance at dinner. One places sleeping elixirs in two drinks.
A couple drink brandy.
A woman drink beer.
A group drink wine.
A group drink ale.
A woman drinks whiskey.
A woman is drunk and drinking from a bottle.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
“With tits like that, I suggest bedding her.”
A woman drops her dress as she is changing. A young woman is in the room. The woman is naked. She notices her small, pert breasts.
A man comes out of a room in just a towel. A young woman is there with a wet silk gown clinging to her breasts. She drops her gown and jumps in the water for a bath. Then asks him to leave the towel so he drops the towel and leaves naked.
A married woman goes into a pool to bathe. She is naked and goes looking around her surroundings outside of the pool while naked, climbing into her husband’s room. She sees him sleeping in just undershorts. She admires his body. He wakes and looks over her body. She sees arousal in him. She struts to him, straddles and kisses him. He grazes her breast and strokes her inner thigh. He pins her and kisses her.
“Built for bedding, if not breeding.” A woman remarks on another woman’s hips.
Talk of a couple not consummating their marriage yet is brought up a few times.
A grandmother tells a man to keep her grandson safe or she’ll “cut off his balls and feed them to her snake.”
A man tells a man to keep his cock in his pants.
A man makes a toast wishing for women with perfect tits. A woman says he needs to add men with perfect cocks.
A woman takes off her wet shirt to reveal only undergarments which are silky and wet. They show her nipples point out and the color underneath.
Two people hear banging from a couple who are “warming each other up.”
A woman wears a dress that is sheer and see-through at some angles.
There is a lot of talk about their wants and desires for each other, to feel the others hands on them.
**DETAILED SCENE** A man and woman kiss passionately, using their tongues. He picks her up and carries her inside, crashing against the wall. She wants nothing between them. His belt buckle placement against her causes her to moan. Her dress bottom is cinched up and the top pulled down to expose part of her breast. She can feel the hardness of him. She discards her dress, climbs on bed and opens her knees. She took in “the length of him” with desire. He licks inside her, she bucks, then does the same with his fingers. She experiences “waves of pleasure” that leave her “gasping and trembling.” Her body resisted him on her, then gave. The tip of him brushed her, his cock “teasing” inside of her. He sucks her nipples. He lowered her “onto his length.” Bodies rocking. He buried himself to the hilt, her tightness “undoing him.”
A man grazes his wife’s breasts.
A husband relishes in waking to his wife’s hand on his “cock.”
A woman kisses a man with her tongue. Her husband grabs her breasts.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
***SPOILER***A father means to kill each of his many daughters, leaving only one to survive. One of his daughters poisons each sister so she is the sole survivor. The father demands killing every cook and maid and anyone present. The head guard even slit his own throat.
As training, a young woman is asked to kill a man. She throws a knife into his throat as his blood spills.
A father threatens to kill his daughter.
For a wedding vow, the husband and wife each have their hands sliced then combined.
Raiders attack. They are shot upon, their ship being hit, dumping men into the water. Sharks attack, leaving the water red.
A woman is water boarded, sand thrown in her face multiple times while being questioned, burying her and burning her. She was lashed when she tried to escape.
A ship attacks. Soldiers attack with an explosives then attack the people fighting. One uses a machete. Screams are heard. Another throws knives, killing two and slashing one in the gut, one in the chest. She cuts a hand off, slices many throats. She stabs another. Many are dead. Children also. A pyre is built for the bodies. Burnt hair and flesh smells now fills the air.
A woman hits a man’s face with a box, a man stabs him with a sword. Blood covers clothes. There’s a battle. Soldiers cut down intruders. The waves are more blood than water. A woman grabs the injured and transports them. She has to pick those that have a chance of surviving. The battle rages on top of bodies piling up. She shatters a man’s face with a rock. Gore covers a woman’s shirt.
A man punches a man in the face.
A group comes back from battle covered in blood. One has an arrow in his shoulder. Blood splatters when they take it out. One woman holds her hand to a man’s gut trying to hold his insides. The man dies.
A woman holds a knife to a man’s throat. A young boy’s hand is seen with blood. A snake bites a woman. Two women and a man fight, a woman snaps the other woman’s neck.
A woman kills many soldiers.
A woman takes a man’s hand and stabs a knife through it. She punches another in the nose, kicks another in the groin. She twists the knife.
A man is taken captive.
A woman is yanked up by her hair and dragged then kicked.
Potentially Intense Themes
A king requires his daughters to be trained as killers and all spying matters, even in the bedroom.
A woman runs into a large snake, it goes to attack and it is shot with an arrow.
A group of young girls are taken from their mothers and taken away to train. They are abused, beaten and put in holes in the ground for weeks. All for training. They also are required to kill men. Sometimes they are tasked with trying to bandage and save them, only to kill them again.
There is a kill order for two 15yo girls who tried to leave a city. It has happened a lot in this city.
A man’s parents have died, drowning.
A woman is knocked over and falls into the water, almost drowning. Sharks are circling. It’s an intense situation as odds are fully against them.
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