Enemies to lovers’ hotties, remember the Bridge Kingdom novels. These books followed a trained spy, a humble king, and their arranged marriage. I LOVED these novels- but when I heard book three would follow another couple, I was weary. However, because a year has passed since I read The Bridge kingdom, I was ravenous for another glimpse of Lara and Aren. But after reading a few chapters of Inadequate Heir, I was enamored with the new IT couple, Keris and Zarrah.
Similar to the first novels in this series, Inadequate Heir is an enemies to lovers and forbidden lovers story.
To restore all our memories…In the first two novels Lara Veliant marries Aren Kertell with the intent to bring his kingdom to its knees. But Lara’s plans are disrupted when she learns that her father manipulated her into believing that Aren was starving the citizens of Maridrina, her homeland. And she also falls for him, but Lara’s realization happens too late, and her father begins a war with Ithicana. In the sequel Lara redeems herself by saving Aren, murdering her father, and liberating Ithicana. Lara also discovers that the heir to Maridrina -Keris- is her full brother, and although he aided Aren’s escape, Lara does not trust him.
Inadequate Heir, introduces Keris, a book nerd desperate to leave his responsibilities to Maridrina behind and study at university. He even has a little romance with an Ithacan soldier while traveling in the bridge. But when Keris watches his escorts murder the Ithicana soldiers, he realizes he was simply a pawn for his father’s invasion.
Keris has always resisted becoming a murderous Maridrina, and the constant fighting with Valcotta has exhausted him. Then one night, he catches a Valcottan thief (General Zarrah Anaphora) stealing his brother’s love letters and chases her throughout the city. The two continue to meet, and despite being mortal enemies, they bond over their desire for peace between their nations.
However, once they discover their true identities- everything unravels. Zarrah’s caught by Maridrina forces, and Keris has to play the role of a ruthless princeling to free her. And he is failing. Until Lara arrives to free Aren. But the lovers grow closer and decide to cherish the time they have left together. When they part, it’s with the knowledge that they deeply love each other. But if they wish to end the war between their nations, they will have to ascend their respective thrones, and established a new reign.
But things do not go as planned, and with the fight for Ithicana looming close, they have to decide if their love is greater than their desire for peace.
I knew Inadequate Heir would be good by the way Jensen wrote Lara and Aren’s story. But I had my doubts whether I would like Keris. Before reading his story arc, I had viewed him as a clever manipulator. But upon reading this novel, I’ve concluded that Keris is definitely both those things, but above else, he’s loyal to those he loves. And in this case of this novel, that loyalty to love will be his undoing.
Keris begins this novel as an unwilling participant in his father’s games and grab for power. Like Lara, he is upset his father used him as a distraction. But just a few weeks later, Keris finds an ally in a Valcottan citizen. And although he should hate her, he does not.
Keris behaves like a sulky teenager who wants to be left alone to read and look at the stars. Because of this his father gives up any attempt to shape him into the perfect heir, which works in Keris’ favor. However, once Zarrah is captured, Keris’ mind begins to work overtime as he tries to figure out how to free her.
Keris and Zarrah have a relationship that transcends any rivalry between their kingdoms. They meet as enemies, but because of their common desire to see peace between their nations, they slowly fall for each other. Despite the fact that Keris’s father murdered her mother.
As Keris begins to brew a plan for Zarrah’s escape his personality also begins to unfold. Keris is incredibly loyal and kind to his father’s haram, which consists of his (wives and children) because those women raised and loved Keris when his father refused. Keris goes the extra mile for them, protecting them from his father as much as he can. He even goes as far as to place Zarrah in their care because he knows she’ll be the most protected there.
Despite this, Keris spends a majority of this story hating Lara and the war she created. Keris has witnessed firsthand the horror and slaughter his father inflected in his stupid war. He views Lara as mirror of his father, and it isn’t until he hears her side of the story that he stops hating her. Although Keris’ aware that Lara’s actively attempting to make amends, he feels it’s too late. But his complicated feelings do not stop him from assisting Lara and Aren’s escape. Although he may no longer trust his sister, some part of him still loves her.
Zarrah also shares Keris’ loyalty. Her hatred for Silas transcends her rationality at times, but there are scenes where she allows herself to let this anger go in order to protect others. Zarrah carries the burden of not assisting Ithicana, and despite the bridge’s seizure and the king’s captured, Zarrah continues to offer Ithicana her loyalty.
I found the ending of this novel super satisfying. Well, everything except for what happens to Zarrah. This novel concludes with Keris realizing he will need to meet up with sister Lara and beg her to help him rescue Zarrah. This story builds on Zarrah and Keris’ relationship fantastically, but it also began to build a strained relationship between lost siblings. But these two blondes live rent-free in my head now, and I am eagerly awaiting their reunion. Part of me wishes the reunion comes with a sibling smackdown reminiscent of a wrestling match because I just know these two have a lot to work out.
This novel ends with a link to purchase bonus chapters of the bridge kingdom novels, but I have not read those yet. Although, I want to.
Content Warnings: sexual content, graphic violence, death of parent, suicide
This book is spicy! There are plenty of sexy scenes that were super-hot. If you’re a fan of spice in your romance novel check this one out. This scene in particular took me out.
The Bridge Kingdom novels are a must read for any enemies to lovers’ fans! If you’re thinking about starting this series, do it! All books are available on Kindle unlimited.
until next time I’ll be living in libros,
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