Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell

Date of publication: March 14th, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Historical, LGBT, Fiction, Queer, Adult, Historical Romance, M M Romance

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two destined rivals fall desperately in love—but the fate of medieval Europe hangs in the balance.

“A pair of thrones between us, and my heart clutched like a rosary within his hands …”

Twelfth-century Europe. Newly-crowned King Philip of France is determined to restore his nation to its former empire and bring glory to his name. But when his greatest enemy, King Henry of England, threatens to end his reign before it can even begin, Philip is forced to make a precarious alliance with Henry’s volatile son—risking both his throne, and his heart.

Richard, Duke of Aquitaine, never thought he would be King. But when an unexpected tragedy makes him heir to England, he finally has an opportunity to overthrow the father he despises. At first, Philip is a useful tool in his quest for vengeance… until passion and politics collide, and Richard begins to question whether the crown is worth the cost.

When Philip and Richard find themselves staring down an impending war, they must choose between their desire for one another and their grand ambitions. Will their love prevail, if it calls to them from across the battlefield? Teeming with royal intrigue and betrayal, this epic romance reimagines two real-life kings ensnared by an impossible choice: Follow their hearts, or earn their place in history.

First Line:

Mine was an easy birth. It was a birth my mother would later tell me was fit for glory, fit for a prince.

Solomon’s Crown by Natasha Siegel

Philip is the newly crowned king of France and is determined to bring his nation back to its former glory. King Henry, his greatest enemy, has other plans. Philip must reach out to Henry’s second son, Richard, and form an unsteady alliance. He never thought that he would fall desperately in love with Richard.

Richard never thought he would be king. He thought he would forever be on the outside after staging a failed rebellion. He also never thought that he would fall in love with Philip. But everything changes when his brother (the heir to England) dies. He is now heir and can use Philip to help him destroy his father.

When war threatens, Philip and Richard must choose between their love and ambitions. Can their love survive? Or will the war end it?

I have always been fascinated with Medieval England. So, I was thrilled when I saw that Solomon’s Crown was set in this period. I also loved learning about Richard and Philip’s lives and their love story. The author notes at the beginning and end of the book that she took liberties with battles and other historical events. What I found intriguing was that there was a possibility that Philip and Richard were lovers when they were alive. The author states her reasons (her research), and I found it fascinating that it could be true.

Solomon’s Crown is told from dual 1st person point of view. The author labeled each chapter with either Philip or Richard. That made it so much easier to keep track of.

The main characters in Solomon’s Crown were Richard and Philip. I liked that they were complete opposites of each other. Richard was a bit of a mess. He was disorganized, quick to anger (oh so quick), and held grudges. Meanwhile, Philip was quiet, slow to anger, made informed decisions, and didn’t jump into things feet first (which Richard did). At first, I thought they weren’t compatible, but as they interacted, I could see how they complimented each other.

The main storyline was Richard and Philip’s love story and the intrigue of being king. This period was brutal, and the author didn’t dumb it down. She stated that Philip and Richard had to get their hands dirty (killing traitors/enemies) to win over their people. What surprised me (because I didn’t know this) was that being in a homosexual relationship back then wasn’t frowned upon. Did people not care for it? Yes, Henry made that very clear towards the end of the book. But they didn’t freak out when Philip and Richard stopped hiding. It was refreshing to read.

I mentioned intrigue in the paragraph above. This book was full of it, mainly on Richard’s side. Honestly, I couldn’t keep everything straight.

Solomon’s Crown isn’t a fast-paced book. It is slow to medium-paced. The author laid the background and groundwork for Richard and Philip’s romance, and it took time. While it worked for me, it might not work for some people.

The romance angle of Solomon’s Crown was cute. It wasn’t graphic (there were some kissing scenes) and was mostly left up to my imagination.

I wasn’t too fond of the end of Solomon’s Crown. I wish the author could have gone on a tangent and kept Philip and Richard together, but unfortunately, she couldn’t.

I would recommend Solomon’s Crown to anyone over 16. There is no language, non-graphic sex scenes, and moderate violence.

Many thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell, NetGalley, and Natasha Siegel for allowing me to read and review Solomon’s Crown. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

If you enjoyed reading this review of Solomon’s Crown, then you will enjoy these books:

March 2023 TBR

February has flown by for me (I don’t know about you guys).

Indie Authors/Publishers

From Author
From Author
From Author

A Paroxysm of Fear by Chad Miller

From Author


From Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
From St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
From St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books
From St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
From St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
From Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell
From St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
From Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks
From St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
From SMP, Wednesday Books

Reading Challenges:

Cover Scavenger Hunt 2023
Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge
Scavenger Hunt
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023
2023 Monthly Themes
2023 TBR Toppler
2023 Reading Challenge
Buzzword Reading Challenge 2023
2023 Sami Parker Reads Title Challenge
The StoryGraph’s OnBoarding Reading Challenge 2023
The StoryGraph Reads the World 2023
The StoryGraph’s Genre Challange
Beat the Backlist 2023
2023 ABC Challenge
2023 TBR Prompts

Sullivan’s Promise (Bitter Creek: Book 12) by Joan Johnston

Sullivan's Promise: A Bitter Creek Novel by [Johnston, Joan]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Dell

Date of publication: April 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Bitter Creek

The Men of Bitter Creek: Two Complete Novels—Book 0.5

The Cowboy—Book 1

The Texan—Book 2

The Loner—Book 3

The Price—Book 4

The Rivals—Book 5

The Next Mrs. Blackthorne—Book 6

A Stranger’s Game—Book 7

Shattered—Book 8

A Bitter Creek Christmas—Book 8.5

Sinful—Book 9

Shameless—Book 10

Surrender—Book 11

Sullivan’s Promise—Book 12

Where you can find Sullivan’s Promise: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis:

Two unforgiving lovers reunite for the sake of their child in this fiery contemporary romance from Joan Johnston, the New York Times bestselling author of Surrender.

Facing the unexpected consequences of a life-altering night of passion with a cowboy she met in a Jackson Hole bar, and with her life committed to protecting endangered species, Victoria Grayhawk does what she believes is the right thing. She hunts down the cowboy, seeking his agreement that their baby should be adopted by a loving family.

Montana rancher Ryan Sullivan has no intention of giving away his own flesh and blood, and takes their son to raise himself. When Vick realizes what a horrible mistake she’s made, and wants back into their child’s life, Rye remains inflexible—because once trust is lost there are no second chances—until an attack by one of the grizzlies Vick has spent her life protecting changes everything and Rye learns that sometimes love can heal all wounds.

The passionate Westerns in Joan Johnston’s Bitter Creek series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

My Review:

When I started reading Sullivan’s Promise, I was under the impression that it could be construed as a stand-alone book. The blurb states that it can (look above). Having finished the book, I ‘ll say that you need to read the other books before reading this one. There were parts of the book where I was left wondering what the heck was going on or why do people feel that way. I do not like feeling like that, and it factored into my rating.

The plotline was alright. The author did a fantastic job of taking a sensitive subject and showing both sides to it. She was able to explain what Vick went through without taking away from why Ryan was so upset. She also was able to show both sides of conservation. She was able to show the fine lines that ranchers have to walk when it came to protecting their land. My issue with the plotline was that it seemed like the author had to stretch it if that makes sense.

I wasn’t a fan of Ryan. I did admire him for stepping up. It was everything after that I didn’t like. He had a black and white view of the world. He was also unbendable with his opinions of people and events. His treatment of Vick is a great example. I get that he was mad, but she proved over and over that she was a devoted mother. But he refused to bend for five freaking years. That drove me nuts whenever it came up. What drove me nuts was that he wasn’t going to ask his mother about why he had a different blood type than her and his father. Instead, he stewed in it and made up scenarios in his head. Realistic but drove me up a wall.

I did like Vick. Her reactions to finding out that she was pregnant were realistic. She wasn’t happy about being pregnant. When she gave birth, she left the baby with Ryan. But, after six months, she decided she wanted a relationship with her son and got stonewalled by Ryan. I am not going to defend her actions. What she did was wrong. But, she wanted to make it right. Everything she did from that point forward was above board and honest. So, Ryan’s treatment of her was ridiculous. She was more patient than I would have been.

The romance between Vick and Ryan seemed forced. The sex scenes didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t get past Ryan’s treatment of Vick for the first half of the book. What irked me was that when Vick decided to start dating, Ryan ruined it for her. I wanted to pull my hair out at that point.

The last half of the book confused the heck out of me. Instead of being about Ryan and Vick, it was about their extended families, which confused the heck out of me. Other than Ryan’s parentage, I couldn’t understand why the other people were in the book. There were tie ins towards the end, but there were a few chapters where I was going “Why is this in the book? What does this have to do with Vick and Ryan’s story?” I did appreciate those updates, but I haven’t read the other books. So it annoyed me too.

The end of Sullivan’s Promise was your typical romance novel ending. Ryan and Vick’s storyline was wrapped up. It ended like I thought it would of. I did enjoy the epilogue. I liked seeing where Ryan and Vick were a few years later.

Would I have enjoyed Sullivan’s Promise more if I had read the other books in the series. Absolutely. I would have gotten a better grasp of the family dynamics.

I would give Sullivan’s Promise an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread Sullivan’s Promise. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Have you read Sullivan’s Promise?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!