Review for Tested by the Night (Academy #5) by Maxine Mansfield
This story has everything any fantasy lover would dream of: dragons, castles, elves, knights, gnomes, monsters, wizards, and of course a gorgeous barbarian warrior and a determined princess. It all sounded too good to be true, and however sadly, it was.
The premise of the story sounded amazing. A princess on a quest to prove she can rightfully take her place as ruler of the land; a strong and honorable barbarian sent to protect her along the way, and a group of loyal friends always willing to protect her with their life. Alas, none of these elements were able to rescue the story.
As we know, this is the 5th book in The Academy series, so of course our heroine, Princess Mia had to be sent to school to finish some sort of training. Once her school days began, I wasn’t sure if I was reading a bad chapter of some kind of YA what with all the high school drama. Uhm, sorry, I thought this was an adult book since it was described to me as an erotic read, it contained graphic sexual scenes in every chapter, and made sexual innuendos on almost every other page. The relationship between the hero and heroine was fine but the fact that she kept using HIM for sex made me like her less and less as the story progressed. I mean, I get that their society embraced their sexual needs as part of their daily life but that just felt wrong. And the emotional connection…what emotional connection? Again, I get that this is an erotic read but the love story is not built, it’s just thrown in for you to believe they just happen to fall in love.
The dialogue didn’t help one bit. One minute they were using very here-and-now vocabulary, the next they were using a very romantic prose and Medieval references.
There was the “Wow,” “whoa,” “wait just a moment” and the use of panties, among many others. And then suddenly we had “it wasn’t to be borne,” “break my fast,” “turn of the hourglass,” “frightened lass,” and then they were using undergarments. It felt as if the author couldn’t make up her mind as to what language to use for her story, archaic or modern. I know, I know, I’m being nitpicky here but I feel the story didn’t have a smooth flow because of these issues. Also, some scenes sounded a bit repetitive, especially when the characters got to question their actions. If I got to see another “What was s/he thinking,” “what had possessed him/her?” “what was wrong with him/her?” or anything along those lines, it would have been the start of a serious relationship between my e-reader and the wall. Lucky for my e-reader, I just skimmed through a lot of pages to avoid any damaged done to it.
I wanted to like this story, I truly did but I just couldn’t do it. Now I will say that it has its funny moments and had it been the first book in the series I’d have probably liked it more since I would have thought the author was still trying to find her own voice and pace as the series progressed but being that it’s already the fifth installment, I don’t think it’s going to be any changes in the future. As it is, if you’re looking for a book with an endless supply of sex, silly characters with no depth, and you’re not as finicky as me with the way a book is written, this book may be right for you. 2 stars.
** I received this book from the author in exchange from an honest review **