As you may or may not know, I am a HUGE GEEK! And I’m known to like geek-themed romance novels every now and then.
And when I found the Gaming the System series I instantly fell in love. Here was an author who was a genuine geek and that made me excited. With every book I grew more and more attached to the series, the characters, and in the fifth installment, Brenna Aubrey has not lost her touch at all! She’s moved me with her in-depth characters and engaging storyline that glued my eyes to my e-reader every single time. This book hit a little close to home as well as moved me in very emotional ways.
If you’re into all things Renaissance, knights and ladies, and fighting for love and honour, this book is DEFINITELY for you.
William Drake is a very peculiar person. He likes things done a certain way and has a very specific routine to his life. But he’ll throw all of that out the window for a chance to be with Jenna Kovac. He missed his chance with some bad advice from his cousin’s best friend, Jordan, but now he’s trying to redeem himself by getting back something precious to her and fighting to win her affection. In order to help William with his upcoming duel against her ex, Doug, Jenna will do everything she can to teach William how to better handle being in crowds. Even though he frustrates her sometimes, Jenna tries to be patient and ends up opening her heart to him. But a difficult past something people can’t overcome very easily, and Jenna and William have to be open with each other in order to truly help one another. But secrets that define you and make you who you are, are hard to share and even harder to come to terms with.
UWAH~ I just. This book. It made me so excited. I can’t even tell you. The inner nerd in me was way too excited about this book, like I could barely contain myself. I’ll try to stick to the point and talk about the book and not just how excited I was about the Renaissance Faire bits ;).
But as a nerd, I’ve always wanted to go to a real renaissance fair, I swear I’d lose my inner geek self and just not know how to contain myself. I’ve always be fascinated by period-play, especially the gowns and clothes women wore back in the day. The chivalry the romance, the simplicity, the manners – a lot of research went into getting all the details right! (And I know too because I’ve spoken to Aubrey about all the detail that went into this book. So jealous. The closest I’ve been to anything like that is Medieval Times and that isn’t anything….really – no offence).
So aside, from the Renaissance stuff that appealed to my inner nerd, this story was extremely emotional for me in terms of the struggles the characters went through. Both characters struggled and both characters needed the other to help find a solution – whether they knew it or not. I don’t want to spoil too much but let’s just say that both characters had UNDERLYING problems aside from their surface problems, and it’s those problems that are hardest to talk about and the hardest to move forward from. My heart-ached at the end for William and Jenna, like I can’t tell you how it hit me in the feels. All I can say, hopefully without spoiling too much, is that I know how hard it is to forgive people who you felt have wronged you. THAT’S IT! THAT’S ALL I CAN SAY! I pride myself on being spoiler-free!
**I will say this, and it’s not a spoiler.
Think of William as Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy (which is where I’m guessing Aubrey got her inspiration :P), in the sense that William understands words in their most literal sense and doesn’t understand figure of speech. So it was very easy for Jenna to get frustrated with him when he didn’t understand what she was saying. It’s very difficult to communicate with someone on a literal level when we’re so used to communicating figuratively.**
What I found very interesting and a new change of pace was that the guy was actively pursuing the girl. Sure, there are books in male povs, but I find it rare that the guy is the one chasing the girl – it’s usually the other way around where the girl falls for the guy. I’m not saying this DOESN’T happen, but in most books I find it’s more common to see the girl trying to get the guy to be with her. In this case, William has deep affection for Jenna (that we learn about in For the Win), and in this book we can see how much he really wants to spend time with her and try to make her happy (to be worthy of her) – even if he’s uncomfortable with the situations she puts him in.
In a lot of ways I relate to William, but I share some similarities with Jenna so I can understand both of them on an emotional level – their fears, their anxieties and what keeps them apart. But when has the good Knight never not won the heart of the princess? 😉 I think this story opened me up just a little bit, and I think it can open readers up too to the possibility of forgiveness.
Now I just have to wait for the next book! Too long of a wait! 😛
5/5 Hearts of Love