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Posted January 30, 2013
I was lucky enough to receive this book for an honest review by the Author, B. Kristin McMichael. I don't think I could have loved this book any more than I did. My heart literally still hurts, from reading this. The story was brilliant and beautiful, and so amazingly well wrote. I instantly fell in love with the characters and went on an epic journey with them. I felt so emotionally vested with the characters in To Stand Beside Her.
Leila is a courier, and strives to be the best courier that she can be. Living in the North lands is great for her, no one can find her... and that's exactly how she wants it. Leila is strikingly beautiful, smart, funny, and every countries King wants her for himself. Until the day that her best friend Kay gets caught. Leila being the self sacrificing person that she is goes to rescue her best friend. While rescuing her, she gets herself caught. Freeing both Kay and herself wasn't much of an issue though, until Kay got caught again escaping from the prison. Leila then makes herself get "caught" again by the palace's gaurds. Upon reentering the palace, she meets King Nalick. Leila thinks she knows all about this King, but she could never be so wrong...
King Nalick, He has a reputation for being pretty ...mean. Leila thinks she has him pegged, until she gets to know him. In honor to free her best friend Kay, she agrees to a deal to marry King Nalick, and also agrees not to escape the kingdom. Nalick held up his end of the agreement, and then some. Nalick basically doted on Leila, making Leila [and myself] fall completely in love with him. Which is something she thought would never happen again.
Nalick will forever be one of my all time favorite book boyfriends. He was always surprising Leila with his kindness, and would go to the end of the earth to protect her. Leila will probably be one of my all time favorite Book heroines, as well.
The depth of the all characters and their interactions with eachother, blew my mind. Finishing this book was probably one of the saddest moments, but happiest moments. Bittersweet is definitely not a strong enough word for this novel. B. Kristin McMichael made me laugh, smile, cringe, and cry. Several times while reading this book I had to set it down, and take a minute to collect myself because of the potency of her words. The ending was phenomenal. Everything weaved together perfectly. Albeit I wasn't exactly happy about how it ended, it pulled the book together so fiercely and perfectly. I can't wait to read what B. Kristin publishes next. Amazing Amazing Amazing novel. A definite must read for anyone who loves strong female characters, or fantasy, or even just a love story. Once you pick this up, you'll be so grateful that you did! [Just be sure to have your tissues ready, cause this was a heartwrencher!!!]
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2013
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
K...this one is tricky and will take some time to review...
I've settled on a 3.5...
So, I finished this book almost a month ago, and I have tried to review it twice. I like the story. It is a great story with a lot of potential: a great female protagonist, interesting and deep supporting characters, a well-developed world, and a unique plot twist that re-defines "happily ever after."
I struggled with the editing in this story though - really struggled. It needed some quality time with a red pen and perhaps another revision to iron out some kinks and further develop the relationship between Leila and Nalick during her imprisonment. Also, there are issues with pacing during this time and too much awkwardness in the development of that relationship for me to be comfortable with it. I mean King Nalick is not one to be messed with; he is scary to most who have heard of him. However, Leila doesn't show her intimidation; I love her attitude toward him even in the face of what she has heard of him. On the other hand, the author doesn't see enough of the development of their relationship to really feel invested in it.
Posted May 30, 2013
I received this book for an honest review.
I was intrigued to read this book because I've not read one like it but and I didn't think I would. but I couldn't put it down. the pace and flow and the writing was perfect for me. I couldn't put this down.
I love Nalick and Leila's story I loved her attitude and the way she could outwit everyone, my favourite was when she had escaped from the palace and was asking to go back in. I loved how everyone was enchanted by her. I am finding it hard to say anything about this further because I really, really, really don't want to give anything away. My heart broke at the end and felt it ended perfect.
I am going to add B. Kristen McMichael to my list of favourite authors.
Posted May 29, 2013
Evolution of Characters and Reader.
First off, since Goodreads won't allow 1/2 stars I upped this to a 4. Personally, I feel it was a 3.5. That isn't horrible by any means, I just didn't feel it was a full 4 star read.
I went into this book looking for something a bit different than the usual read. The author had stated that ending was not typical so I was itching for the difference. Unfortunately, getting to that point was a bit bumpy.
The author provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review. It started off interesting enough, but I just couldn’t get fully into the story. The main character Leila, is a very well-known mischief maker aka “expert courier”. As stated in the book she was “a ghost to many and a legend to everyone else. “ To me she comes across as many things but I wouldn’t label her a ghost. There were parts in the book that just seemed to contradict her awareness. One example is when the king picked her up, out of her bed and took her to the boat where she continued to sleep. Honestly, I would have seen her do some serious ninja moves and give the king a few bruises before someone calmed her down. Now that would have been believable.
The story itself is laid out nicely. Plenty of description, but not in an overbearing way. Sometimes too much going on in the story, trying to figure out who was who but all in all everyone had their place. Described with beauty, she can easily fool someone who is not knowledgeable of her toughness.
As the story evolves, so does the relationship between Leila and Nalick. The story starts off as one of adventure but the true story is the bond that binds the two and just how much he loves her. Along with the evolution of the characters, I found myself changing my perspective of the story. There was a tenderness that I didn’t expect to feel. And yes, I went from cynical reader to one who rooted for the relationship and hoping that the ending wasn’t what was prophesied by the seer.
I recommend this to anyone who likes a good love story with a touch of toughness that round out the characters. I recommend this to anyone who has felt a loss but has come out stronger. This is a book that will tear at your heartstrings but in a way that doesn’t leave you devastated.
Posted May 24, 2013
I would like to thank the Author for gifting me this book for a honest review!!!
This book was very interesting, it was different. Leila is Courier and shes very good at it. Probably the best. Shes known for her work and never getting caught. Shes a very a independent woman, she knows how to defend herself and knows how to get out of alot of bad situations. But then her best friend Kay gets captured on one of her runs and to free her she agrees to marry King Nalick. Leila has heard bad things about all the kings and is upset about what
she must do. Leilas also not looking to fall in love again. After spending more time with King Nalick, she starts to have feelings for him and actually wants to marry him. King Nalick has always loved Leila and had been searching for her for a very long time. Alot of the other ruling Kings and nobles dislike that Leila and the King are to get married and there are several times she gets captured or almosts gets captured. Leila could never get a break it was like almost everytime she steps outside she gets taken captive.
When I started reading this book, I just couldnt get into it. It took me longer to read this book. I had to stop several times and take a break from reading. I did enjoy this book. I loved how she was able to move on and fall
for King Nalick. Toward the end of the book, when you finally find out what King Nalick was hiding I was shocked, upset. To me the ending was sad. I would of wanted to see more of their life after they finally get married.
Posted May 12, 2013
SPOILERS! DON'T READ IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED
I expected a much more upsetting ending after I was (rather forcefully) warned that this didn't have a happy ever after, but I'll get to that in a bit.
To Stand Beside Her is this in a nutshell: badass courier who can do basically everything willingly gets captured by a king to save her friend, then falls in love with said king.
I liked this story. Leila's skills were impressive and I think the best parts were the ones where we got to see her in action. There's not as much of that as I would have liked, but I can overlook that. She has expert training in battle both with weapons and without, with escaping, with camouflage, etc. She finds that everywhere she goes people align themselves to her because she's so honest and beautiful. And I stress that because it's very fair to say that people like to help pretty people. Especially if it's a pretty girl with a knockout bod (this was described to us every time a different guy kidnapped her) that's asking for the help.
The relationship between Leila and Nalick just didn't work for me at first. It was too quick of a turn around. She absolutely despises this guy, has heard numerous stories of his ruthlessness, and forces her to his kingdom (which basically every king has tried to kidnap her) by taking her friend. And within a very short span of time she's dropped all reservations. It was too sudden, as if she totally forgot the fact that he placed one of her loved ones in peril. While I can argue that all he did was throw her in jail, again, Leila supposedly heard all kinds of rumors about his ruthlessness, and yet this doesn't worry her one bit. I know she's confident about her escaping ability but her entire mood changed when it was Philip who was taken, not Kay.
That aside, though, I really like the relationship between the two of them after that beginning point. It wasn't so gushy and annoying as many romance books, and I was appreciative that it managed to be romantic without shoving the gooey down my throat.
As a general rule I tend to like minor characters in novels more than the main characters, and that was the case here again. I always enjoyed anytime the children, Roger, Theo or Anatolio were in the scene. They were always supportive of Leila and Nalick and ready to help at a moment's notice. It was pleasant to learn more about these characters as the novel progressed.
Okay, now I'm going to talk about the ending...
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
I really don't get it. I was expressly warned that this did not have a happy ending, but that's exactly what it was. I mean yeah, Nalick dies after only 10 years of them being together, but really, come on. He's going to die saving his child. And he knows, thanks to the seer, that his family will be successful and well taken care of thanks to him and Leila and Anatolio and all the others. I don't see how this is a bad ending. Especially for Leila. She's had a million (exaggerating I know) marriage proposals and had countless men in love with her, so that's nothing new. But she gets to love three men in her life without having to deal with jealousy or bitterness. Come on now, I don't think that's bad at all! I mean sure two out of three died and that's why she moves on, but it's still pretty damn good luck to have so many men willing to love her and that she loves in return. And Anatalio gets to have his time with her, so he's happy. Nalick has babies with her, so he's happy. Erich I assume was happy because he was the one who was originally going to be with her forever til he died.
I just don't see how it's a bad ending. I kept waiting to see that Leila would die from the poison stones in her back or that Nalick would die because of some twist or something.
Okay now that that's out of the way... I really enjoyed this novel. The characters were fleshed out enough that I had no problem with development, and I was pleased with the scenes of Leila teaching others the skills she had. The villains were especially villainy, essentially dirty old pervy men.
With the exception of quite a few missing words and wrong words, it's well written. I would definitely read this author again.
Posted April 23, 2013
Posted March 28, 2013
This book was very interesting, I have not read anything quite like it which made it so much more exciting. It picks up pretty quickly and is easy and fun to read. The main character is funny and easy to relate to and the other characters are just as loveable. There is also a surprising twist at the end that caught me by surprise. I think this is a great book and would recommend it to others!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 9, 2013
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Posted March 13, 2013
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Posted March 5, 2013
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