Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Unfaded Glory

Unfaded Glory (Home To Glory - Book 2) by Sara Arden

Publication Date: 01/27/2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin HQN)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Sara Arden on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series:

Home to Glory

1. Return to Glory
2. Unfaded Glory

CoverArt: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Unfaded Glory, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


In Glory, Kansas, a fairy-tale wedding has local tongues wagging. But through this false engagement, can a wounded warrior and the woman he's protecting find true love? 

Byron Hawkins doesn't want to be responsible for anyone ever again. The former Black Ops soldier is better at taking lives than saving them. But on a mission in Tunisia to deliver a package to safety, Byron is dismayed to find that the precious cargo is actually a hostage rescue, and that his orders are to take Damara Petrakis back to US soil and hide her in plain sight—as his newlywed wife. 

Back in Byron's hometown of Glory, Kansas, petite, fierce Damara keeps surprising him; she may be royalty, but she's fully trained in martial arts and will sacrifice anything for her country. As the town rallies around the returning hero and his bride-to-be, he's finding that it's way too easy to play the part, and after the hell he has seen, that terrifies him. Byron didn't want another life to save, but the passionate beauty he's sworn to protect might just turn the tables and save him instead.


Sara Arden brings readers the second book in her Home to Glory series, entitled Unfaded Glory. This novel has all the hallmarks of a fairy-tale romance, with a military flair to it. Glory, Kansas is a small mid-western town that readers will fall in love with. But Arden's real strength is in her character development. This is really a story of two troubled souls that find each other in some pretty miraculous circumstances. Readers who appreciate our service men and women will love Byron, and his approach to life. But they will also fall in love with his tough girl princess, Damara. A great addition to this series!

I have a soft spot for military romances or stories that feature a hero or heroine that is either serving their country or who have served in the past. So I knew the Home to Glory series was going to be one that I would enjoy. What I didn't count on was how much I would enjoy it. Sara Arden draws so many parallels to military families and life. From calling her fictional town, Glory to having her characters reflect the honor and character of our country. There is just something about this one that strikes a cord with me. And I think will anyone who likes a good love story.

Unfaded Glory gives readers two characters that have a lot on their plates. Byron is Black Ops Ranger that has seen some pretty horrific things in his past. He survived when no one else did. I could see signs of not only survivors guilt in his character, but it also affected his self worth in a really strong way. He was a flawed man, with a heart of gold. That is never more clear than when he realizes his latest assignment involves saving a princess, literally. I think Arden did a fantastic job with this character. The reader is able to see so many layers to Byron. He is a complicated man, but a good man and that is the strongest feeling you get from this book. This is a good man who deserves to be happy.

Damara is quite literally a crown princess. She wants to overthrow her brother the tyrant and rule in his steed. But in order to do that she has to be protected. That's where things get complicated. She needs to basically hide in plain sight. Once she is extracted by Byron, she has to play the part of his fiancee. Things get even more intense when their parts become easier and easier to play. I liked the fact that Arden uses a foreign princess in this one. She is unlike many heroine's you see in contemporary romance. She has spunk, drive and she has the elegance of a true princess.

This was really a fairy-tale like story. I enjoyed every word from Arden in this book. Readers who enjoyed the first book won't be disappointed as Glory is one of the best parts of the book. This little town is place where you'd want to settle down and raise a family. I enjoyed the small town charm and the wonderful secondary characters. Arden does a wonderful job of showing the reader what life in a small town is like and what happens when the hometown hero returns.

Bottom Line:

I liked everything about this book from the premise of the story to the well thought out plot and the exceptional characters. Byron was real and he was flawed and that made him all the better. He had issues but he was able to work through them and Damara was a good counterpart to him. She was strong and worth fighting for. A great book, you won't want to miss.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Sara Arden lives in a town very much like Glory, Kansas-- right down to Haymarket Square and the Corner Pharmacy. She started reading romance at a young age and by the time she entered high school, aced world history without ever cracking her textbook because of all the historicals she'd read. Besides reading, Sara enjoys paleo cooking, the smell of old books, tea and pedicures. She loves to hear from her readers. 


Karen B said...

I don't read many romances but your review may change that!

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great romance. With five apples, will check it out!