Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen
A Proper Romance
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.
I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.
I write clean romance. Why? Because that’s what I love to read, but over the years I’ve discovered it’s quite a challenge to find good clean romance. I believe it’s a genre that many people are looking for and too few authors are writing. My first novel, Just Ella, took me many years to write because I wanted it to be more than just a cutesy love story. I wanted it to have depth, to feel genuine. Hopefully I succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge.
My Review Ella is sick and tired of having to live her boring life of being a princess all the time, so she tries to sneak out of the castle in the back of a wagon heading to town. It's just her luck that the palace guards happen to look in there and find Ella. They are incredulous when they realize that Ella is not being kidnapped, she's there of her own free will and choice. Things get even worse when Ella realizes that she was also seen by her mother, the Queen. Trying to find just a few moments to herself and some adventure, Ella sets off into the maze, a place she hasn't been for a very long time, and it's there that she meets a young man. Gavin is the gardener in charge of the maze, he's very surprised to find Princess Ariella up a tree and watching him. But he takes it in stride. Soon Ella finds herself seeking out Gavin and going on great adventures together, their adventures seem innocent enough, usually just to the waterfall in the woods surrounding the castle. But when Ella talks Gavin into helping her get to the weekly dance in the village and they are caught by the palace guard, Ella feels terrible and wonders if she should even try to still be friends with Gavin. That choice is taken from her when he is forbidden from ever seeing Ella again and removed from his position as gardener. But what will happen to Ella now that her heart is broken?
I LOVED this book! It's part fairy tale, part clean romance, part adventure. I found myself not wanting to put it down. I loved Ella, this book is told from her perspective, and I found myself feeling as though I were the princess living in the tower. I loved how she was able to grow from the spoiled princess that Gavin thought she was into a young woman who knew what she wanted and was able to get it. I also loved that even though she had to make some hard choices and do hard things, she was able to do them and even grow from them.
Gavin was a great character too! I loved his honor and wanting to do what was right, even though it may have cost him everything. I loved that he was willing to look past Ella's title and give her jobs working in the dirt.
The plot was great too! It's full of adventure and fun. There are times that you want to reach into the book and smack a rude, self centered prince or princess. There were times in the story that I ached for Ella and all that she was going through, but the ending made all of those times worth-while. Make sure to grab this great book while you can!
I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Praise for Just Ella
"I fell in love with this book. Treat yourself to something wonderful. You can't go wrong with Just Ella!" ~Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
"By far one of the best romance novels I've ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story--plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well." ~Jana Miller
"Annette Larsen writes a love story that takes time, is complicated, and yet still sweeps you up in the romance (without the cheese, thank you). It's compelling and emotional and sweet and you will love every page." ~Kimi
Author Annette K. Larsen
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri,
the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.
I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Labels: Annette K Larsen, Clean Romance