The Rose and the Briar ~ Review

The Rose and the Briar
Faraway Castle #3
By J.M. Stengl

Rosa Bravo is the head gardener at Faraway Castle who uses her magical skills to give a special touch to all her work. But she also uses her skills to hide away a secret one that has been kept by her family for one hundred years. A secret that has given her a dread and distrust of princes for hidden within her garden sleeps the Princess Zafira. A princess cursed by her own ambitions to sleep until awakened by the kiss of a prince.

When Geoff Bryant takes over the now open position of Magical-Creature Controller Rosa has an almost instant dislike of the young man. For some reason, she just doesn't trust him especially as he has the ability to see past her magic. But Geoff is more than he seems and when Rosa discovers just who he is she's is not going to be happy at all!

When Prince Javier of Evora comes to Faraway Castle Rosa is worried - could he know her family's secret? And will he reveal her true identity to her friends? As Javier works to discover just what Rosa knows Geoff does his best to keep Rosa safe from the Prince's devious schemes, schemes that just might unleash Princess Zafira on an unsuspecting world if he succeeds.

The Rose and the Briar is an all-new twist on the tale of Sleeping Beauty which readers will love. A prince in disguise, a power-hungry princess hid away in an endless sleep, magical creatures and an old nemesis - what's not to love?  Get ready to see this sleeping beauty get what she truly deserves!

This is an appropriate read for middle grade and up. There are no inappropriate scenes to make readers or parents cringe. I would classify this as a gentle read and a fairy tale. It is an easy read that can be enjoyed over a weekend with a pot of tea and comfortable corner to curl up in.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but my honest review - all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Power-hungry princes are Rosa's greatest dread.

Deep within the gardens of Faraway Castle sleeps a secret Rosa the gardener has sworn to protect with her life--the legendary princess Zafira. For three years she has hidden the princess almost in plain sight. But two nosy princes threaten to undo the work of a century.

When asked to take his sister's old job as Faraway Castle's Magical-Creature Controller, Prince Briar leaps at the chance to disguise himself as a commoner, earn a place in the magical world, and be trained by the mysterious Gamekeeper. Nothing works out the way he'd expected, and he is far too busy working to gain Rosa's trust to bother about uncovering her secrets. 

Until dashing Prince Javier of Evora pursues Rosa . . . and Briar suspects the rival prince of dark motives. Can Rosa and Briar learn to trust each other soon enough to prevent a magical disaster? 

Will the kiss of a prince really awaken true love?

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~ Blooming with Books