Check out our review of Radiance by Grace Draven, a fantasy romance perfect if you want a marriage of convenience story which features a friends to lovers romance and some political intrigue and action.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.


by Grace Draven

Wraith Kings #1
Released: January 11, 2015
297 Pages | ebook

read this book if you’re in the mood for

marriage of convenience | friends to lovers | a recommended read | monster hero

Two unwanted royals, Ildiko niece of the Gauri king and Brishen prince of the Kai are to marry. Their value to their people is defined only by what benefits a political marriage will bring. But, the Gauri and Kai are two vastly different races. However, despite their differences Ildiko and Brishen manage to see beyond the superficial differences and something beautiful begins to grow. But, there is more to their marriage then just them and not everyone wishes the couple success…and they’re willing to do anything to break them apart.

Although this book has some political intrigue and some world building, at heart, this book is a romance. In Radiance, Draven concentrates on the relationship between Ildiko and Brishen. The first hurdle is their appearance: Ildiko is considered beautiful by her people, and yet a hag by Brishen’s peoples standards. And Brishen looks like a creature from a nightmare to Ildiko, but in his own culture he is considered very handsome. This book looked at the way they overcame their own perceptions of beauty to see a little deeper. The result of which was a romance that steadily developed from an unlikely friendship to something that burned a lot hotter.

Draven made the journey from strangers, to friends, to lovers a very natural transition and I couldn’t help but really love both characters. Both Ildiko and Brishen are overlooked by their own cultures and so despite their many differences, they also find they have a lot in common, making the basis of their friendship seem very real.

As this book focused on the romance and relationships, the world and story building was fairly light touch. And although it may have been nice to add a bit more politics to increase the amount of intrigue, I was absorbed enough by the romance that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. It also made Radiance quite a light and easy read leaving a lot for Draven to explore in future books in this series. Future books that I fully intend to read.

in conclusion

I highly recommend this book, especially if you already enjoy Fantasy Romance, it was an unexpected delight and I now fully plan on reading Grace Draven’s entire back list.

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  1. Thank you Suzanne! I’ve had this book on my TBR list ever since I saw Ilona Andrews give it a high rating. Now I know for sure I want to read this book

  2. So glad you loved this one too Suzanne and I’m also planning on reading her entire backlist as well!

  3. This has been on my list for-ev-a. I really need to get busy and read it. Her books all look so good to me when I read the blurbs or people’s reviews.

  4. Oh I had a blast with this book for sure!! Simply fantastic. And yeah I loved the romance here and the world building was wonderful. I couldn’t put this one down and is one of the best fantasy romances I have ever read!! Glad you liked it so much and I can’t wait to read Eidolon. 🙂