Tag Archives: Jeffe Kennedy

Book Report: Oria’s Gambit by Jeffe Kennedy

When I was at the RT convention in April, I had the extremely good fortune to be introduced to Jeffe Kennedy and we became Facebook friends (look at me, name dropping). A few weeks ago, her book Oria’s Gambit was released and it sounded extremely interesting. I will buy any book at any time, but if it’s written by someone I know, it’s definitely 1-click time.

Since Oria’s Gambit was the second in a series, I had to also buy the first. OBVIOUSLY.

You should buy them both and then be happy that the third is going to be released soon, too.

Book the First


An Unquiet Heart

Alone in her tower, Princess Oria has spent too long studying her people’s barbarian enemies, the Destrye—and neglected the search for calm that will control her magic and release her to society. Her restlessness makes meditation hopeless and her fragility renders human companionship unbearable. Oria is near giving up. Then the Destrye attack, and her people’s lives depend on her handling of their prince…

A Fight Without Hope

When the cornered Destrye decided to strike back, Lonen never thought he’d live through the battle, let alone demand justice as a conqueror. And yet he must keep up his guard against the sorceress who speaks for the city. Oria’s people are devious, her claims of ignorance absurd. The frank honesty her eyes promise could be just one more layer of deception.

A Savage Bargain

Fighting for time and trust, Oria and Lonen have one final sacrifice to choose… before an even greater threat consumes them all.

Book the Second 


The Blurb

A Play For Power
Princess Oria has one chance to keep her word and stop her brother’s reign of terror: She must become queen. All she has to do is marry first. And marry Lonen, the barbarian king who defeated her city bare weeks ago, who can never join her in a marriage of minds, who can never even touch her—no matter how badly she wants him to.

A Fragile Bond
To rule is to suffer, but Lonen never thought his marriage would become a torment. Still, he’s a resourceful man. He can play the brute conqueror for Oria’s faceless officials and bide his time with his wife. And as he coaxes secrets from Oria, he may yet change their fate…

An Impossible Demand
With deception layering on deception, Lonen and Oria must claim the throne and brazen out the doubters. Failure means death— for them and their people.

But success might mean an alliance powerful beyond imagining…

The Review

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this series thus far is that Lonen and Oria are equals. She might be more physically fragile (and was treated thusly by her family and others in Bára), but their relationship is one of equals.

They have a real rapport and although trust is slow, they aren’t doing stupid things like actually refusing to share information when it could benefit the other. There are too many books out there where the main romantic protagonists waste so much time not communicating to the detriment of all when you really want to shake them both and just yell, “Talk to each other already!”

Oria and Lonen talk. She’s reluctant to share information that could mean her death if her people find out, but she ends up sharing because it makes sense! I love sensible romantic leads!

The world building is quite well done. I have such a clear picture of the lushness of Bara (built with stolen water, those bastards) with rooftop gardens and hummingbirds flitting about as well as the more desolate regions where the Destrye are trying to rebuild their lives after the brutal war ended. I like a world where there are clear magic rules that the author has obviously put some time and thought into – and the rules of sgath and grien that the residents of Bára possess.

As for the sexy-times – this is definitely an area in which Ms. Kennedy shines. Due to the nature of the magic that Oria possesses and the differences between their two peoples, Lonen and Oria cannot have skin to skin contact without causing her immense pain. This obviously makes sex extremely hard. (heh. twss.)

The sex scene, which involves no actual skin-to-skin contact, is still wicked hot. Remarkably so. I read a lot of romance books and I was impressed.

The Verdict

This was one of those books that you hate to reach the end of, because you need more, dammit! I’m hopeful that the “book three coming in September 2016” means that the wait will be extremely short. The love story of Lonen and Oria is just beginning and if I don’t get more soon, I’m going to be extremely upset.

The Disclaimer

I paid for this book with my very own cash money and Ms. Kennedy has no idea that I’m writing this review. Hopefully we’re still FB friends after this.

TOIFD! – Four Things Freya’s Day

Happy May, and even more importantly, happy Friday!


I hope everyone survived Cinco de Mayo (i.e. the day that even Trump likes “the Hispanics”) and Star Wars Day.

I’ve been trying to blog post all week but have mostly come up with such scintillating topics as:

  1. Editing sucks,
  2. Writing synopses sucks,
  3. Spreadsheeting for 8+ hours a day without food or pee breaks sucks, and my favorite:

4. IMG_5683


But since none of those topics are either interesting or in need of great elaboration (except maybe the last, and I really need someone to cross-stitch that for me), I discarded each of those topics. Instead you get four potentially amusing anecdotes.


  1. I am bad at poker. I always, always lose. Part of this is probably because I’m actually bad at it, and part of it might be my rather abysmal poker fae. (Heh. Typo, but I’m leaving it. My poker fae sucks!) I was talking about poker a while back with a friend and mentioned that the only time I’d ever won big at poker was when I was playing strip poker on a bus in England. We’d altered the rules so that the person with the best hand removed an article of clothing. I won most of the hands! By the time we arrived at our destination, I believe I was only wearing my t-shirt. As I reached the conclusion of this story, it occurred to me that maybe the other people were losing deliberately so they could keep their clothes on. Literally in 19 years, that was the first time I ever contemplated the fact that I’d really not had a legit winning streak.
Mr. Rogers says my poker-playing partners were not very good neighbours.

Mr. Rogers says my poker playing partners were not very good neighbours.

  1. I spend about one evening a week watching too much Criminal Minds and then reading a bit before bed. Earlier this week, I really wanted some comfort reading, so picked out some Stephen King. The next night, the serial killer in Criminal Minds was Tim Curry! My scary evening pastime came full circle.
Sewer Clown is Soothing

Sewer Clown want to sing you a lullaby


  1. I know I mentioned a Romantic Times convention summary, but you know what? That’s so last month. I will give you the highlights, though. I attended some good session, met with an editor and an agent, and got to meet some really fantastic people. On the afternoon I arrived, I met up with Elizabeth Hunter (every time I type her name, I type Hunger…do not know what that’s about) for gin o’clock. Elizabeth introduced me to Jeffe Kennedy, who introduced me to Jeni Burns and Shaila Patel. There was gin and champagne and cover models and a distinct lack of edibles (not including the cover models). So very much fun.


me and Elizabeth

me and Elizabeth

Champagne with Jeni and Shaila

Champagne with Jeni and Shaila


  1. Speaking of RT…the last full day I was there I had the opportunity to attend a panel on writing serials. It was the best author-led session that I attended. All of the speakers were very good and had excellent things to say on the whys and hows of writing a book in serial format. In addition to Elizabeth Hunter, the speakers were the aforementioned Jeffe Kennedy, the hilarious Killian McRae, and one of my favorite fantasy writers (and almost-neighbor) Meljean Brook. I’ve been interacting with Elizabeth for quite some time, so even though it was our first face-to-face, it didn’t feel like a new meeting, so I managed to not squee in front of her when we met. However, I’ve never had any interaction with Meljean, and I regard her as highly as I do Elizabeth. When I went to introduce myself, I completely lost my head, you guys. I started to hyperventilate a little and I think my voice might have hit a register that only dogs and vampires can hear. She looked a little concerned, and I have to thank Elizabeth for stepping in to say the things I was unable to say. Things like “my name is Amy” and “I also live in the Portland area.” That was even more squee action than happened when I met James Marsters. (I’m now having to cross a few people off my “I want to meet” list, because I don’t actually want to pass out on them. Sorry, Neil, Margaret, and Madeleine…it just wasn’t meant to be. We can’t even talk about what would happen if I happened across Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, or Tennant.)
Jeffe, Meljean, Killian & Elizabeth...

Jeffe, Meljean, Killian & Elizabeth…


I’ll have more book reviews up in the next weeks – I just need to sit myself down and write. And read. And write some more.

Happy weekend!