Between Wrath and Mercy by: Jess Wisecup

A mother will do anything to save her child, no matter the cost.

After her daughter is kidnapped, Emmeline Highclere—a thirty-four-year-old mother living in isolation with memories and grief her only companion—must do everything in her limited power and divine abilities to get the girl back.

Emmeline believes her daughter, Elora, is the Beloved—the conduit with goddess-granted divine abilities prophesied to bring peace to the Three Kingdoms. Because the last person thought to be the Beloved was brutally murdered by the enemy kingdom of Folterra, Emmeline has dedicated the last sixteen years to hiding her daughter and keeping her safe. When Elora is kidnapped by a Folterran prince, Emmeline must leave her place of hiding, resolving to do anything to rescue her daughter. But to have any chance against those who took the girl, Emmeline must call upon one of the most powerful conduits in the Three Kingdoms, the Crown Prince of Vesta—the man who broke her heart—and hope he helps her despite their estrangement.

With the weight of his father’s impending death hanging over his head, Crown Prince Rainier has begun to make moves to prove his dedication to assume the role of king. When he is visiting the estate that was once a second home to him, the woman who has long haunted his dreams and consumed his thoughts appears before him, asking for his help to find the child she had with another man. Now, he must decide: does he drop what he is doing to help Emmeline, or does he maintain his unwavering duty to the Crown?

Now, Emmeline and Rainier must work together to find the Beloved—to save the girl from the Folterrans and fulfill the prophecy of peace—while they both battle feelings of remorse, grief, and heartbreak, trying to ignore the heated desire and simmering attraction between them that never left.

Content Warnings: Alcohol, attempted murder, attempted rape, blood, bones, branding, child death, childbirth, death, depression, grief, gore (mild), infidelity, kidnapping, loss of a loved one, miscarriage, misogyny, murder, profanity, sex work, PTSD, sexual assault, sexually explicit scenes, slavery, suicidal ideations, and violence.

-Most of these are from the authors’ site, with a few additions from me.

Book playlist by Jess Wisecup

Around the end of February, my wonderful bookish friend Janessa started hyping this book up. Always trusting Janessa, and her Trifecta recommendations, I knew that it was one I wanted to get my hands on, especially when I found out the main character was over thirty and a mother trying to rescue her child. Anytime I messaged her about debating on a new book purchase she’d ask if I’d gotten to read this one yet and I kept saying soon…well that time finally came!

For Janessa’s glowing review… watch the Tiktok below. 💜

As Janessa said this book is the perfect combination of high fantasy, spice, and romance…the three components required to create the perfect trifecta.

Now it is on Kindle Unlimited, and the Kindle version isn’t expensive, but Janessa has never steered me wrong so I decided to order a physical copy. When I read fantasy books it’s just easier to have a physical copy to annotate, stick notes in, etc. Depending on the level of world-building I flip back through books a lot and I’ve found that easier to do with a physical copy rather than a digital one.

Emmeline is a mother, whose adult life has revolved around hiding and protecting her daughter. Ever since Elora was born, looking so much like the last Beloved, Emmeline was determined to do whatever it took to protect her. Having witnessed the death of the last person thought to be the Beloved, Emmeline has worked hard to keep them away from anyone who might recognize Elora’s potential to be the Beloved.

When faced with the news of her daughters’ kidnapping Emmeline will do whatever it takes to get her back. Although it will hurt, to see the man that broke her heart so many years ago, she knows that Prince Rainer is her best bet to ensure the safe rescue of her daughter. Determined to keep emotional distance, and avoid rehashing the past, Emmeline sets out with friends, both old and new, on a mission to find her daughter.

As a huge sucker for second chance romances, especially between people who were childhood friends, I adored seeing Emmeline and Rainer go from being irritated with each other, to understanding, and then finally opening back up to their feelings for each other. The banter between Emmeline and, both new and old, friends had me cackling constantly. Emmeline feels no need to change who she is to impress anyone and I love her for that.

So you can decide, when you want to start this book, know that it does end on a cliffhanger, and book two doesn’t release until August 2022. Upon finishing the book and realizing I was going to have to wait months [I know I’m being dramatic it’s less than 4 months away] until book two releases…I might have sent some all-caps texts to Janessa…to which she still hasn’t responded. Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to get my hands on book two! It looks like this series is going to be at least four books long, at least according to the front pages of book one, and I can’t wait to see what all happens.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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