By Annette K. LarsonBlurb: “You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: May 15, 2014
Series: Sequel to Just Ella
This book made me have mixed feelings. On one hand, I really enjoyed this story, but on the other hand, I could never fully get into it because of things that bugged me. Also, everyone should know that technically, this is a sequel, and though it is by no means necessary to read the first book in order to get to this one (I didn't) the first is alluded to a couple times. This isn't something that bothered me, but since it isn't marked as such on Goodreads, I thought I should say something.
That aside, I did have a fun time reading this. The fairy tale quality of the book is really what drew me in to the story. It's not a retold fairy tale, but there are many aspects that give off that feeling. Princesses...complicated romance...plus a really interesting villain. I am a sucker for that sort of tale, and that is really a big reason I liked this one.
The antagonist of this story was a pretty well crafted character. He's the kind of character you really don't like but at the same time you kind of feel bad for him. Tobias, who started off as simply an unpleasant brother of Rhys, became more and more complex, and despite the fact that he was a horrible human being, he may have been one of my favorite characters in the whole thing. I'm sure that some people will consider that crazy, but I'm supposed to be honest in this review, so too bad.
Lily and Rhys' romance was something that I was on the fence about. I mean, yes, for the most part I thought it was sweet and cute, and the letters were a really nice touch to the story, but at the same time, I felt that it happened a bit quickly. It wasn't a huge annoyance, because hey, fairy tales usually rush the romance, and this one was actually pretty drawn out in comparison to Cinderella (One night dancing and you marry the guy? I'm not buying that that was a 'happily ever after' kind of situation) but at the same time, I would have liked them to fall in love at a slower rate. I think it's always sweeter and just more realistic that way.
Another thing I wish would have gotten more detail was the OTHER romance in the story...I won't give anything away, but I felt like it could have gotten such a bigger backstory than it did. And it would have been a VERY interesting backstory, in my opinion.
Despite a few reservations on my part, Finding Lily was on the whole a pleasant read, and I would recommend it to those who are fans of a sweet romance or fairy tales in general.
Author Annette K. Larsen I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
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