Family of Lies: Sebastian

(No Series)

Sebastian Orwell did the only thing a smart wizard could do when he stumbled upon the wounded Crown Prince: he healed him and dumped him in a tavern where he could continue not being Sebastian's problem. Unfortunately, the prince isn’t content with being alive, and he hunts Sebastian down to thank him personally. Not only is Sebastian stuck with the prince's unwanted affections, he's also confronted by growing evidence linking the assassination attempt to someone from his father's past.

Lord Orwell is a lot of things: thief, liar, drunk, and all around horrible father, but Sebastian knows he's no murderer. In order to prove it, Sebastian has to keep the prince alive long enough to discover the truth—a task made considerably harder because the idiot prince prefers wooing Sebastian over securing his own survival. On top of everything, Sebastian needs to save the day without revealing his magical powers and the real reason he hides his appearance.

Sebastian had no intention of playing the hero, but whoever is stirring up shit in his country will pay for destroying his quiet life.

"My family is dinner theater at its worst. "

Sebastian Orwell already has a small history with Prince Turren from when they were children and brawled over a book of all things, but he can't resist saving the Prince from death when he finds hims injured and dying. Not wanting to be recognized or associated with his heroics, he dumps the recovering Prince off at the local tavern, dusts his hands off at the whole ordeal, and calls it a day. Or so he thinks. Because Prince Turren knows enough to go by to find Sebastian - and from there we get hilarity, weird families, obsession with books, an enemy people come together to fight, and of course a sweet love story.

First, Sebastian is awesome. He hides behind a cloak from the world and has since childhood. It's a magically conceived cloak hiding just one of his many secrets. He's a sarcastic loner who finds joy in books and has the dream of opening up his own bookstore. He's cursed with a truly weird, hilarious family that thankfully makes up a large amount of the book. Oh, how I loved that strange gang of misfits and troublemakers! At first they were annoying and I sort of resented them, but trust me when I say that they grow on you.

Prince Turren is also awesome. He does a steady, determined pursuit of the reluctant and seemingly off-hands Sebastian. His personality is playful, fun, and annoying (in a good way.)

From sarcastic fighting to awkward blushing, to funny overheard conversations and morbid family members, this book was hard to put down. Arsten's writing style rocks too, especially with dialogue and making well-rounded characters come alive. There's definitely steamy scenes that are as endearing as they are awkward. The love story between the two isn't even describable.

Definitely one of my top five favorite romances, although the romance in the book took a back-burner some of the time for the family's antics and the bigger picture. The world-building is complex and stylish with all sorts of commonplace magic floating around.

I will say I found the big reveal of his secret under the cloak to the prince to be anti-climactic though. Still more than worth a read for fans of this stuff.

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