Read The Solstice Prince by S.J. Himes Online


Rescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded. Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in tRescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded. Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day. One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected—Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime’s hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life.This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected. The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love....

Title : The Solstice Prince
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781979321433
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 182 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Solstice Prince Reviews

  • Shin Mon Thway
    2019-04-08 13:05

    First of all, I can’t even say how much I’m grateful that I was presented with the opportunity to review this novella in advance. 💗💜💗 Everyone knows that I’m a diehard fan ofS.J. Himes and I got giggly and excited like a 5 years old in a candy shop every time she comes out with a new book. 😁 I mean her works are just exceptional. 👏 However, you can be assured that my reviews always are and will be unbiased. 😌 Anyhow, let’s get to the actual reviewing. Jaime was once a student learning to be a healer in his country but unfortunately fell into slavery upon his father’s death. However, he got really lucky and was rescued by the palace guards while the slave ship was docked in Pyderi and now working as a kitchen servant in Angharad palace, the heart of Taliesin city in Pyderi kingdom. The term of the slavery was short but the wounds, physically and mentally ran deep. And things started to get really messy for better or for worse when he met the sweet, handsome prince Maxim of Pyderi and the whole palace learnt his abilty as the gifted healer. Prince Maxim is the youngest and the third son of king of Pyderi. He’s the sword master in all of Taliesin city before the age of 25 and he’s strong, passionate, sweet, charming and kind. And he felt a very strong particular attraction and pull to timid and shy Jaime when he came to Prince’s bedroom to deliver breakfast for the first time. You can say it was love at first sight .. or is there a twist? 😉Maxim has to work real hard to heal the beautiful and timid healer’s heart and soul. Meanwhile, our healer is surely and gradually falling in love with the prince charming. 😍 And he also learnt that under the façade of a brave young man, Maxim has the vulnerability that he never shared with anyone and it’s up to Jaime to help him overcome the agony which will be one of the hardest things he has to endure in life. This is the story about love, family, being there for each other when one is most vulnerable and the ability to forgive, forget and move on. It was so beautifully written and the storyline is really unique. It’s a novella in Himes’ standard but it’s over 25000 words and contains 14 chapters. I don’t wanna spoil too much since it’s not officially out yet but let me just say, this is one of the best .. BEST holiday novellas for this year. 👏 And you are in for a real treat my friends. 😉 You will be surprised by how much effort the author has put into this book when you have the chance to read it. I loved how Jaime and Maxim found each other, finally able to heal their hearts and souls, how they are with each other through thick and thin and the power of their love - simple, charming and absolutely heartwarming. 😍❤️😘 And my god, sooooo many swoon worthy moments!!! 😁 You are going to be like “Awwnnn” all the time. 😍 The novella will be out on 24th and my friends, let’s count until then. 😌Favorite excerpts from the novella: 💜🧡💚💙❤️“Falling in love felt like learning how to live again.”“fear is senseless, cruel, and, sometimes, necessary.”“This prince is yours, forever, if you’ll have him.” “Maxim.” Jaime breathed out, lifting his chin, asking without words for something he wanted desperately. “Jaime, my love,” Maxim said, his words as soft as his kiss.”“I would claim nowhere but here, but you. This is home now. You make this home.”I love you so very much. I love you more than I did yesterday, and tomorrow, I will love you more than I do today. My love for you will never end, always growing, always true and certain.”Mmmmm ~ *happy sigh* ~ 😌💜😌 5 dreamy fairytale prince charming stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Barbara➰
    2019-04-11 07:33

    What a sweet winter solstice read! I loved both characters. Jaime grew as a person to become who he was meant to be. And Maxim was patient, kind and helped him to grow. I loved the world building and I can't wait for more in the series for sure. And I LOVED the drawings within.I have to agree with other reviewers that not much really happens. There is potential in several places for some drama or angst. I appreciate that it was a sweet, easy read and was just what I needed. But I think a little something extra would have pushed this to 5 stars for me. I don't need a lot of angst and really prefer no relationship drama. But it needed just a little "oomph".

  • S.J. Himes
    2019-04-18 07:28

    Book will be released Nov. 24th, 2017. Exclusive to Amazon through Kindle Unlimited.

  • Jenni Lea
    2019-04-09 07:09

    This was such a sweet, sweet story. A deviation from her usual paranormal action/adventure, SJ Himes delivers a gentle, quiet tale of a remarkable boy and the prince who loved him.To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like this. It was so far removed from what I've come to expect from this author that I felt a bit off-kilter when I started reading. But, as I got further into the story, I found myself smiling more and more. I should have known that I needn't have worried; I have yet to read a story by Himes that I haven't loved. The same great writing was there and the world-building was exemplary (as usual); it was just toned down a bit. OK, a lot. There was virtually no angst in this book.Jaime was adorable AF and Maxim, a complete charmer. All of the secondary characters were fully-fleshed and played their respective roles well. I could have gone for a tad bit of angst, but for what it was, I enjoyed it immensely.Recommended for readers who are looking for a light, sweet, no-angst story reminiscent of a fairy tale to pass a rainy Saturday afternoon or to cleanse the palate after a heavy read.

  • R * A Reader Obsessed *
    2019-04-12 08:21

    4 Hearts! - Group Review with JL and Lost in a Book!SJ Himes is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, and I really can’t find much fault at all with her newest release. Markedly different from her Beacon Hills Sorcerer series, this was simply a feel good love story blending historical, magical, and fantasy elements that will surely pique many a reader’s interest. Kind Jamie, is rescued from a cruel fate, and though he’s scared and damaged, he finds some measure of comfort in the place he’s now in, a country that is most disbelieving for its benevolence and acceptance regarding all things. Making that transition easier is Prince Maxim who takes an interest in Jamie, and soon learns to his delight that there’s more than meets the eye to the timid young man. What unfolds is a seriously sweet slow burn as Jamie and his prince get to know each other, ultimately, falling easily in love.Low on the angst with great hurt comfort tones that goes both ways, this is surely an unbelievably perfect kingdom Jamie finds himself thriving in. Himes creates a world with many facets since not all realms are as open minded as Pyrderi. Luckily, this is just the beginning, and I for one will not be saying no to more stories from this interesting fictional world!Thanks to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest reviewFor more, please check out the blog!

  • Susan
    2019-04-12 09:13

    This started out really great. We had lots of hurt/comfort and I couldn’t wait for the rest of the story. But unfortunately I kept waiting for something to happen and it never did. This fantasy story starts with Jaime at work in the big kitchen of the palace. He has been brought there several weeks ago when he was rescued from a slave ship. Jaime has no idea in what kingdom he is, but he knows he has to keep his healer magic a secret or he will be punished.When his gift is accidentally discovered he is not sent away though, but praised for his abilities. The kingdom he is at cherishes healers, especially ones with the gift.Jaime doesn’t quite know what to do with all these people who are so kind to him. Especially the youngest prince, Maxim, who seems to be very enamored by him…I absolutely loved the first 25%, where Jaime and the prince meet and we get to know shy Jaime and all he has been through. Unfortunately the rest of the book consists of Maxim and Jaime holding hands, sharing some kisses, Jaime blushing a lot, and the every day life of the castle. That was about it. Oh, we do get a nice sex scene at the end, so that was good. But I kept waiting for something to happen. For some villain to come out of the woodwork and kidnap Jaime or something like that. But nooooo, everyone was just so freaking nice all the time. I love a good sweet and tender love story, but this almost put me to sleep. Too bad, because I really did like Jaime. I just wanted something to actually happen.

  • Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
    2019-04-04 14:14

    ⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*I tried loving it though...*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱Not too bad, but far from great. It tended to be quite boring, but S.J. Himes didn't fail in making me smile. The Solstice Prince was a cute, fast forward story with little depth and little action. Meaning; not much happened expect for healer novice James ‘Jaime’ Buchanan (19) and youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man, Prince Maxim Amalsan Angharad (25) finding love in each other. Overall, it's not a book to write home about, yet it's alright read to make the time past and probably easily forgotten.“Fear is nothing to be ashamed of. It keeps us alive more often than not. Gives us caution, spares us pain. It can also hold us back. Wisdom comes from knowing the difference between listening to our fear, and when to be brave. And sometimes fear settles in us so deeply, the wounds so raw and horrible, that it never truly leaves.”Quick basic facts:Genre: - (New Adult?) Paranormal Romance (M/M)Series: - Series, Book One.Love triangle? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]Cheating? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]HEA? - (view spoiler)[Yes, for now?. (hide spoiler)]Favorite character? - Prince Maxim Amalsan Angharad.Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Yes.Would I recommend this book/series? - Unsure.Will I read this again in the future? - No. Rating - 2.5 stars.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jennifer☠Pher☠
    2019-04-15 10:04

    I think this book cast a spell on me.S.J. Himes has seriously climbed up my favorite author list, no doubt about it.I feel like I want to complain about a lot of things but I just can't. When I start to think about something that I didn't like or something that totally shouldn't work for me I can't voice it. Spell work for sure.This book did work for me even when it shouldn't. There was just something so easy about it even when it was difficult. It read to me so lovely and hopeful and just made me feel full of joy.I really can't explain it. It should not have worked the way it did.I really can't wait for more and hope to God that 2018 and 2019 are incorrect and the next installments will be quicker than that.

  • Al *the serial series skipper*
    2019-03-29 14:17

    DNF @ 78%So, I have been reading this for weeks now and I just can't get into it. The characters are too perfect and yes, I know whatshisname was a slave and was free, still. Their relationship just fell into place, everyone is happy for them, I can't believe I'm saying this, but where is the angst? I am so bored,I'm waiting for some battle,someone almost dying, some big misunderstanding, something to spice the book up a little bit.I want to say i'll try some other time but I very much doubt it. This is my first book by the author and i'm willing to try another because several of my friends love him/her.

  • Joyfully Jay
    2019-03-31 07:14

    A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 starsThe Solstice Prince is the first book in the new Realms of Love series by S.J. Himes and it introduces a lovely couple in Jaime and Maxim. They are just both such nice, good people, you can’t help but root for them. Himes has clearly taken care setting up this series and building not just the palace and the capital city, but giving us a bigger picture of some of the surrounding countries and their politics, including Jaime’s native land. And this is just a sweet, easy story of two men falling in love.The issue I had here is that things just felt a little too simple for a novel-length book. There just really isn’t any conflict here. Maxim sees Jaime briefly when Jaime delivers his food, and then apparently decides to court him because suddenly he is visiting Jaime, taking him on tours of the castle, etc. And then they are just together. We get no real relationship development here, no sense of what is drawing these men together other than the fact that both of them are incredibly lovely and kind people. They are together almost from the start of the book and there is never any relationship conflict they face, or even any chance to see them really getting to know one another. We are also all in Jaime’s head, and so I really never felt like I knew Maxim beyond his basic biography, as we don’t really see them getting to know one another themselves.Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

  • Cadiva
    2019-03-28 07:25

    Gorgeous illustrations perfectly capture the very sweet nature of the novel which lies within the pages. This really is a lovely fantasy where there is only a small amount of angst which is mostly over before the real narrative begins.While there is an element of insta love in the way Maxim falls for Jaime, it didn't really bother me as this is a world of magic where griffons fly free in the skies and a prince is free to give his heart to an apprentice healer with a great gift.I loved the setting, the richly drawn world and the rest of the secondary characters, particularly the old King and Maxim's siblings, as well as Cook and the healers who help Jaime navigate his way into a new life.Looking forward to more in this series which is to be set in the same world but a different country.#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.Cover illustrations are by artist Sarah Jo Chreene.

  • Bo
    2019-04-25 14:23

    3.75 STARSI really enjoyed the world building in this novel. It was a sweet and often fluffy read. There were times I wish more was happening in the story. However, I waited with bated breath because I didn't want anything to disturb the blossoming young love. I did feel like I was reading a teen book, until the last several pages. I anticipate the next novel with great excitement. The country they were in seemed sort of a utopia. It seemed a wonderful world to grow and be unafraid to love. Spoilers ahead....I'm still wondering why the healers didn't heal Jaime's scars when they rescued him? Maybe they couldn't heal them fully, but anything would've helped. Maybe it was a permission thing.

  • Lost in a Book
    2019-04-23 14:24

    Group review with JL and R4 Stars*takes sip*Ahhh, yes. This book went down like hot chocolate on a cold winter day with tons of marshmallowly fluffy goodness. I’m all warm and fuzzy thinking about the absolute sweetness that was The Solstice Prince.I’ll provide full disclosure and admit that I chose to read this because the cover reminded me of a M/M Harry Potter. Not. Even. Lying. *shrug* I’m weak when it comes to that series. While it wasn’t similar to HP, it held its own special place in my heart with its loving kingdom, drama free plot, gifted healer, and a fierce but kind prince.We are introduced to a broken down Jaime who had been taken from his home after the death of his father, sold into slavery to pay debt, and rescued by Pyrderi guards and brought to the palace. He doesn’t know where he is or the rules of the land so he keeps his head down and works the kitchens. Jaime’s very skittish from abuse and hides that he’s a healer until he heals the Captain of the Guard. This revelation leads to a whirlwind life change where he becomes properly acquainted with the dashing Prince Maxim.Prince Maxim is the youngest of his siblings and absolutely smitten with the man he saw rescued from the slave ship. He makes his intentions known towards Jaime quickly and begins to court the shy healer. Prince Maxim is large, a hunter, and the best swordsman in all the land. But, he approaches Jaime like he would a skittish animal until he can coax him out of hiding. He shows Jaime that he is worthy, kind, gifted, and desirable. *swoon*Guys!!! This book is drama free. It’s sugary sweet and Prince Maxim with Jaime is absolutely adorable. There aren’t any relational issues so the men are able to organically grow together in friendship and affections without the lack of communication blah blah blah hurdles. Although this book has a lighthearted fluffy feel, it’s not without minor angst and strong feels. Jaime’s prior circumstances and Prince Maxim’s impending heartbreak provide obstacles and instead of acting as a deterrent, it brings the men together. The palace has clouds of sorrow hanging over it and Jaime provides rays of sunlight to all.I loved the Pyrderi people and its royalty. It’s an accepting land that shows love instead of scorn. The inhabitants of the castle from the King to servants were friendly, loving, and understanding of a man that was utterly broken and needed a place to feel safe and find himself again. They all celebrated the young Prince and his love to the blushing Jaime.The Solstice Prince is a feel good HEA read that provided the warmth I was looking for. Could there have been more relationship development on page? Yep, but I just didn’t care. Sweet story. Lovable secondary characters. Swoontastic MCs. Fabulous cover. Definitely recommended.https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.comCopy provided for honest review.

  • Eugenia
    2019-03-26 15:18

    3.5 Stars.Let me say that I truly liked the story. There. This read more like a YA novel save for one scene. I kept expecting something bad to happen. Some sort of climax. I guess that’s for the next novel, maybe? Zero bad. Nada Zip. OK, Jaime was rescued off a slave ship and he refers to his time there, but other than that? Happy times indeed. I thought that was kind of odd. I kept waiting for some sort of complication in the storyline. Silly me. I swiped and got to the review page instead.Lack of conflict aside, what truly put me off this book were the illustrations. No, no, NO! They looked like little teenagers. Odd looking ones at that. This is not how I imagined these men and every time one popped up *ewwwww...swipe page NOW*.That’s it. It’s a sweet story, but that’s ALL it is, a sweet....wait, is it a story if there is no buildup, conflict, climax and resolution? Well, it was sweet, with odd illustrations. And yes, I’ll likely read the next one.

  • Mike
    2019-04-23 12:34

    Fairy-tale Prince Charming to the rescue story (but the sizzle really didn’t work for me)The first part of this book was the strongest, detailing an abused young man recently liberated from slavery meeting the prince of his new home (as a kitchen aide at a palace in a new country). The hesitation, fear, and uncertainty early on worked well, but then the story fell into relatively pat and conflict-free reltionship building with only the tiniest bit of UST.I’m a sucker for a wounded dude-in-distress rescued by a shining knight, so despite the pat nature of the story, it mostly worked for me. However, I did not find the final, culminating heat at the end to be as satisfying as expected (although I expect most fans of this genre will find the sizzle to be plenty satisfying). In short, it read much more like male/female sex to me, rather than man-on-man action (or even Big stud topping twinky bottom action). I expect most readers won’t agree, notice, and/or care about my pet peeve, but it turned an “o.k. to good” reading experience to “just kind of o.k.” for me.I liked the illustrations (although the characters as drawn came across as rather younger than their still-young-but-not-quite-so-young characters in the book).Characters & chemistry - 3.5 starsOverall plot/relationship development - 2.5 starsSizzle - 2.5 stars (for me)

  • Rachel Emily
    2019-04-02 07:06

    Well! This was the sweetest, most old-school-woo-ing-est, ridiculously romantic stories that I have read in a while! And I loved it! Just what I needed!I adored Maxim and Jaime together - my heart broke for everything that Jaime had endured in his past and how hesitant he was towards having anything good in his life. And boy, Maxim sure brought a lot of good to his life! They were so sweet, I loved how Maxim took his time in making Jaime comfortable being around him as he totally wooed him. Loved the side characters, too, and how great Maxim's family was. I also loved the world building - complex and very real, but not boring in how details and info were given. Sometimes in sci fi and fantasy romance I get overwhelmed by the facts and the history/geography/etc. but this didn't detract from the romance at all. Love this author, she can do no wrong. I look forward to more in this series and more of Jaime and Maxim!

  • JenMcJ
    2019-03-30 13:24

    This is a well written book but after the first few chapters of hurt/ just rambles along with no purpose. It's a long book of princely courtship and maidenly (yes, this feels very m/f) modesty. This could very easily be confused with an old Regency romance. It was very long for how boring it was. The insta-love didn't even leave any room for does he/doesn't he angst. There's no palace intrigue. There is no difficulty that must be surmounted except maybe a little PTSD that is overcome pretty quickly. Most of this book is hand holding and kissing and looking longingly at each other. Even the "tragedy" hinted at in the blurb is simply....not. It's one (too) long book watching Prince Maxim court Jaime and Jaime charm everyone with his modest blushes, make friends and embark on the rest of his healing career.

  • JadeSarah.
    2019-03-26 15:30

    “I don’t want the world,” Jaime said. Maxim lifted his eyes, and Jaime’s heart exalted at the hope he saw there. “I just want you. Is a prince too much to ask for?” “Not this prince, and not here,” Maxim replied, and he pushed back from the table and stood, rounding the table to Jaime’s side. Jaime stood, his hands lifting to circle Maxim’s neck. “This prince is yours, forever, if you’ll have him.”A fantasy romance a young guy with the gift to heal that fell into the wrong hands once upon a time and punished for his gift so when he's rescued and given a second chance and now working for the royal family in the palace, he's scared, guarded but determined.Then he and Prince Maxim meet and it's all courting, learning to trust again, finding your home and falling in love. “...My point, young man, is fear is senseless, cruel, and, sometimes, necessary.”Jaime, the healer, is precious. GAWD. He killed me, melted my heart, even broke it a little and I just wanted to squish him in my arms and protect him. He's known pain and grief and he's just so respectful, polite and all flustering and blushing, HE'S FREAKING ADORABLE. And it made me so happy that he found himself with the right people. That accept him with open arms, love and friendship. Prince Maxim was a gentleman! Smitten with Jaime but taking his time, courting Jaime and giving him room to grow and feel comfortable. Maxim is the youngest sibling so he is not in line next to be the King but he's still all princely. A warrior, a gentleman with a heart of gold, and lots of love for Jaime and his family. They are precious together. It's so sweet. My only problem is it bordered on too sweet. It's sweet with a pinch of steam. The lack of sexy times isn't my problem, I'm so happy they were so cute but it just sometimes bordered on too nice and polite between the two all the time. But honestly I think it did suit them. They start off more slow burn but once they do start to cross the line, the feelings go at a rapid speed and I personally have no problem with that but it does happen fast. It's adorable and sweet and has the holiday vibe since they have festivities happening and a Solstice ball to attend. Really enjoyed the set of characters but it was hard to truly get to know them. I loved Cook and actually, it saddens me that Jaime didn't really give much thought to Cook or make time for him, I feel like Jaime should've been doing that. I'm really hoping we get to see more from Maxim's trouble making brother. Hopefully he gets his own book! The details of setting and the imagery come to life for sure but I just don't feel the world building and development is quite where it should be for a fantasy book but maybe that will come more and more as the series continues. I certainly hope so. Also some minor typos. Doesn't usually bother me tbh. I'm not that kind of reviewer but they bothered me enough to mention this time. All in all I enjoyed this. Romantical and I'm interested in how this fantasy series will develop. A little underwhelmed if I'm completely honest but definitely waiting for the next one. 3.5 Stars.

  • Diverse
    2019-03-31 11:08

    I love a good fantasy. I love it even more when an author writes amazing world building and outstanding characters. The Solstice Prince is an absolute delight. I suspected angst but got none. I will admit to a few tear jerking moments but at the same time, they were beautiful too.Jaime was a slave, rescued when the ship he was in hit a storm and needed help. He enters a land where slavery is forbidden and kindness is everywhere. I admit I was just as suspicious as Jaime when everyone was respectful and nice. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was so happy with his story. It’s told completely in his POV so we literally discover things and wonder things right along with him.When you were a kid and you dreamed of a prince to take you away and make everything better and love you like no other, it was Maxim you were dreaming of. He is everything and what he does and is for Jaime made him that much more amazing.Throughout the book I was on edge wondering when something horrible was going to happen. This is typical if you’ve read this author before. But it’s book one of the series and suspect all the trouble will be coming later. She took this time to create the world, introduce us to the players, and start an amazing story arc.Great read!

  • Carra
    2019-04-22 15:26

    SJ Himes once again puts her incredible writing talent on display here in The Solstice Prince. In this story that takes place in Himes’ carefully crafted fantasy world, I found a slow-burn romance between two young men who are in some ways at opposite ends of the spectrum—one being royal and the other a commoner—and it others quite alike…namely in that they both have very special skills that they are both tremendously talented at wielding. One of the things i loved about this story is how open, accepting, and just the kingdom of Pyrderi is—a stark contrast to its neighboring countries, a situation that in many ways parallels our own world. Though this is the first story in this new series, readers are not inundated with pages and pages of world building, instead it is presented throughout the book in the necessary portions of the story, with some aspects still left open to discover in subsequent installments (which I am excitedly looking forward to reading!).Though it is obvious Prince Maxim is entirely smitten with Jaime from the start, things between them move slowly growing from friendship to courting to a deeply intense relationship without rushing, even if the time period covered in the story might indicate otherwise. It didn’t feel fast at all to me, with the story concentrating equally on Jaime’s situation as he returns to a more normal life after being enslaved and resumes his training, the ailing King and the affect of his poor condition on his family, and the developing connection forming between Jaime and Maxim. I read this book in one sitting, as I was fully entranced and didn’t want to put it down. While it does contain a complete story in itself, there is the promise of much more to come; my curiosity is definitely piqued for more of Jaime and Maxim, but also to see what other stories come out of this world with either the characters already introduced or others to come. Jaime and Maxim are very strong main characters, but they are also surround by a well-rounded cast of supporting characters, and I found myself invested in all of them and can’t wait to read more.Jaime and Maxim’s tale leans much more to the sweet side, with a gradual building toward much more near the end once their intimacy finally spills over. This perfectly fits the two of them, and their story wound up being a 5-star read for me…with special bonus points for the wonderful illustrations by Sarah Jo Chreene that can be found in special scenes of the book. I highly recommend this story to all M/M romance fans, and M/M fantasy romance fans in particular. I can’t wait to read more in this series, and especially to get back to Jaime and Maxim to see where they go from here. While the majority of this book is relatively tame in regards to intimate scenes, there does come a point where it moves into more and therefore it is meant for readers 18+ for some sexual content.

  • Lee Todd
    2019-04-06 07:33

    Beautifully written story, slow burn, low on angst. Jaime and Maxim's story is sweet and sensual (not usually my cup of tea) but the pacing was good and held my attention to the end.Really enjoyable read.

  • Neta
    2019-04-24 11:31

    Fairytale gay Cinderella that did not work for me scarfI had very high hopes for this book, because I adored The Sorcerer of Beacon Hill series and felt it had a great magical and fantastical world. To me this book was a bit of a letdown, for a few reasons but mostly because there wasn’t much going on in it and it felt flat and simplified. I do not mind, and actually like Insta-Love stories but they need to have a relationship after that. I know this was a hurt-comfort trope but it honestly disappointed me when they just fell in love without seeming to have any king of connection, friendship or otherwise. I would have loved to see them growing into love from the infatuation at first sight stage. I just didn’t get them, could not relate or understand why they did anything.It also bothered me Maxim had much more control and power over Jamie, as a prince, and even thought Jaime is treated well there seemed to be an unbalance to the whole thing that was off-putting. Jaime is clearly hurt, was abused and captured for slavery for 6 months, and when he sees Maxime he is scared (understandably), but the next day Maxim shows up and just sweeps him off his feet, kissing him without having any indication Jaime even feels the same. It kept Jaime in an obvious disadvantage and I could not believe the romance blooming between them, as sweet and lovely as it was, to be possible. That edge of helplessness, Jaime in a new place without anything to his name, suddenly getting recognition and a place not as a slave/ servant when he is discovered as a talented healer with the healing gift, was almost disturbing. What could he do but go with the flow? accept the affections of the prince and the royal family. Also, he was in such a bad state in his captivity, as it is mentioned a few times in the book, but we don’t really see him dealing with it. As damaged as he should be, the relationship with Maxim seems more like Stockholm syndrome to me, and the fast and simple way it just happens only emphasizes it. I also felt like the characters themselves were flat, I did not feel like I knew why the behaved one way or another, and the attraction Maxim feel for Jaime, being “brave and kind and selfless” seemed more like a list of characteristics then actual qualities we could see him have, too sweet without enough complexity to make it interesting.It was also apparent how much Jaime was treated in a feminine fashion, Maxime holding his hand, leading him and basically behaving as a Victorian Romance Gentleman would to the blushing simpering heroine. And while I liked that same sex relationships are accepted in Pirdery, the Kingdome Jaime finds himself at after he is freed from slavery, the way it was portrayed is exactly like any historical romance would a relationship between a defenseless woman and dashing heroic man. It grated on me, there are so many ways to portray a gay relationship and the feminization of Jaime by Maxim was almost annoying at times. Jaime had no backbone or mind of his own and even thought they keep telling him he can choose what he wants they still lead him, physically and metaphorically, through the story. World believability is key in Fantasy, and while the detailed were abundant I felt like most of them were a modern convenience utilized in a “magical” way that was hard to believe. The world seemed like a non-technological middle-ages vibe, yet they have some form of electricity, running water, elevators and more. I almost felt like the author was being lazy, in making them lead almost modern lives with a “magical” excuse. Something I am most disappointed by because, as I said before, I know what S.J. Himes is capable of, and it’s hard for me to say it because I felt like she could do so much better. It was also hard to accept the easiness in which the royal family accepts Jamie is too easy. They don’t have to be snobbish and cruel, but they did need more, emotions, to it not be like a warm family reunion. I don’t know, I just feel like it was a mix between an old fairytale and a gay relationship that did not work for me. Some parts were almost a Teen fantasy novella and others, mature erotic romance, the time Jaime and Maxim spend together is naively and innocent, but then they have sex. I just feel this book had many good things in an unfitting setting, unappealing characters and almost no development and am sorry to say I did not like it much.

  • Erin
    2019-04-17 07:09

    16 must be my lucky number because here I am, abandoning another book a mere 16% in. I was all ready to dive headfirst into a fantasy-based gay romance, with knights and magic! And then I got about three pages in. And I became sad. Mark another tally for R-A-W S-E-X-U-A-L T-E-N-S-I-O-N (if you said that in your head like a WWE announcer, don’t worry, I did too) that comes out of nowhere and makes no fucking sense. Lemme set up the scenario for you: Waif ex-slave kitchen boy delivers breakfast to Hawt Prince, notices his Lush Lips and Manly Smell, is flustered. Prince, instead of treating servants like royalty would, is super touchy-feely and intrigued. Additionally, Handsome Guard Captain who saved Waif from slavery has a crush on him for some unexplained reason, is possessive? Waif gets sick, is saved, carried Bridal Style, and healed. Don’t forget he’s flustered too! And smelling the Prince more! Throughout these long 16%, Waif also cries about three separate times. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the rest of the book more once we got into the swing of things, but I didn’t want to swing anywhere with this novel or these characters. I don’t really sympathize with Waif or understand why the Hawt Prince or Handsome Guard Captain are intrigued by him. His appearance isn’t described except his hair, which is a “boring” brown. He’s a nervous little fuck and cries a lot. What about this character is compelling or interesting, especially to the other characters? I got EXTREMELY strong yaoi manga vibes from the set-up and characters. I don’t hate yaoi manga, not by a long shot, but I do find a lot of aspects of it quite problematic. That I felt these characters echoed a very stereotypical yaoi set-up was not a good thing. I think this particularly came through regarding our two main characters: in yaoi terms, you know Hawt Prince is the black-haired tough one and Waif is the small, slender one with light-colored hair that’s gonna bottom. I hate that they're so predictable. Of course, I don't know they'll follow these roles for sure because I didn't finish the book, but I'm willing to risk being wrong for getting the time I would've spent reading this back to use for other things. Like eating. Or watching Youtube. Or sleeping. Hopefully the next gay romance novel I pick up won’t be such an off-putting, clichéd, disappointment.

  • Ivy
    2019-04-18 14:07

    Sheena is back guys !!! Jaimie is a young man, 19 years old, and traumatized. After 6 months in slavery, he was rescued and works in the kitchen at the Castle of Pyderi. He tries to forget his past, and move on with his life, until one day, he heals the Captain of the royal guard, with his hands.Maxim is the youngest of the king's sons. He is a sword master, kind, honest and loyal. One day, a young servant came in his room to delivering his breakfast, and Maxim his hooked by the young man.When he heard about his ability to heal with his hands, Maxim wants to meet him.Jaimie is terrified, Maxim only wants to help him. These 2 young men, have more in common than what they think, but they'll have to fight their personnal issues and fears if they want to find peace and love.It was a sweet peaceful love story.We follow Jaimie's recovery step by step, how he heals with Maxim by his side. How his love, his kindness, his trust in Jaimie, help him to overcome his horrible past. Jaimie helps Maxim too, he's here for him and supported him.They are absolutely sweet and adorable.It's the first book one of the series, If it's was a TV Show, it would have been the pilot. And Sheena did her jobs well. As every good pilot (emphasis on good), she put a solid background. Who the characters are, what they are, where they are. She also describe very well their surrounding, the kingdom, the magical side of their universe.She built everything from scratch , just like if she was building a house, or a Castle here.I can't wait for the next book. Now that everything is settled, I'm sure, knowing her way, she has more for us and reserve for us some surprises.

  • Anita Bianchi
    2019-03-30 07:09 volte sento proprio la necessità di evadere completamente leggendomi un bel romanzo fantasy; la Himes mi aveva convinta con il suo "Silas" e ho deciso di provare anche questa lettura. Jaime, il giovane protagonista, è un apprendista guaritore che possiede un prezioso dono per aiutare gli altri, ma viene venduto come schiavo a causa dell'ignoranza e della superstizione dei suoi concittadini; solo grazie ad un pizzico di fortuna e ad una tempesta, approda al regno di Pyrderi dove viene salvato. Nessuno sospetta le sue capacità e il giovane traumatizzato lavora nella cucina del palazzo reale, finchè non incotra il bel principe Maxim...Come nella novella che avevo letto precedentemente di questa autrice c'è l'insta-love, ma proprio come in "Silas", ciò non mi ha minimamente infastidita. Ho trovato molto dolci l'avvicinamento tra Jamie e il suo principe, ed ho apprezzato molto il tatto e la delicatezza di Maxim nel corteggiare il giovane guaritore."The Solstice Prince" è solo il primo romanzo di quella che diventerà una serie, e ciò si sente. Nonostante sia già "completo" così, si capisce infatti che la vicenda avrà nuovi ed interessanti sviluppi nei capitoli sucessivi.Un appunto? Jaime e il suo continuo mutismo: soprattutto nella prima parte del romanzo il guaritore tende a fuggire, a nascondersi e a stare in silenzio anche quando gli viene rivolta direttamente la parola. Ora, se il suo comportamento è sicuramente in parte comprensibile con i traumi che ha subito, devo ammettere che, a tratti, l'ho trovato eccessivo.Voto: 8

  • Caroline Brand
    2019-04-17 11:04

    REVIEWED FOR LOVE BYTESThe Solstice Prince is the first book in a new series for author SJ Himes and moves away from her usual gritty ways to something much gentler and slower paced.This is the story of Jaime and Prince Maxim. Jaime has his life snatched away from him in a series of unfortunate events and ends up on a slave ship. Luck is on his side when the ship is stopped and he and his fellow prisoners are found and freed. Jaime ends up working in the kitchens of a nearby royal castle and it’s not long before he catches the eye of a young Prince and Jaime’s identity and gifts are revealed.The story is a slow burn romance with no real angst and is quite slow to get started – the second part of the book picks up the pace slightly and by the end I definitely wanted to know more. There is no cliffhanger as such but there are certainly unanswered questions at the end that whet my appetite for the next book in the series.If you are a fan of SJ Himes, as I most certainly am, this book will feel very different to what you have read previously. If gentle romance is your thing this one is very definitely a winner as there is hand holding, blushing and quickly declared love a plenty with two very easy to like characters.

  • Kate
    2019-04-04 10:25

    This took me awhile to get through. Not because it was long, but because it didn't convey very much. I kept hoping for something to happen, or at least some character development, but found none. So what did it mostly consist of? A lot of the main characters courting each other, which is fine, but it lacked substance, even the relationship between them. I felt like someone was repeatedly screaming at me "look at these two, so perfect, so shy, so in love with each other, yet they don't know each other at all." on every page until the end.

  • Jenny Koch
    2019-04-25 11:10

    DNF ~50%The plot is a bit dull and the characters are flat.

  • Susana
    2019-04-02 13:26

    4.5 starsMagic happens when young healer learns of the ultimate healing power of love...After being rescued from slave traders, healer novice Jaime Buchanan is trying to find his footing in a foreign land, but his months of captivity and abuse have left deep scars which make it very difficult for him to trust again. A casual encounter with a handsome prince may be what he needs to mend his wounded soul…Prince Maxim of Angharad is taken with young Jaime from the very first moment he sees him. He decides to court the skittish healer, not knowing that the sweetness and kindness of Jaime’s soul will become the perfect balm Maxim is going to need to ease his sorrow..The first book of the Realms of Love series introduces us to a world where magic is commonplace, but approached differently by the kingdoms it is divided into. In Eistrea, the kingdom where Jamie is from, magic is controlled by the government, and feared by the population, that’s why Jamie finds himself in the hands of slave traders, after his father’s demise. On the other hand Pirdery, the kingdom where Jaime ends, is a country where magicians are treated with respect, and free to choose their trade. There are hints at more kingdoms and places I am looking forward to explore. Magical beings, unexplored lands, dangerous seas, faraway countries… A new and enticing mosaic which deserves more stories to completely uncover it.As for the romance itself, it follows the lines of the hurt-comfort trope. The story is one of insta-love between Jaime and Maxim, and there is a sort of naivety and innocence to it. Jaime’s soul needs time and affection to heal, and Maxim is willing to give him all the love he may need. But on the other hand, Maxim is going to need all of Jaime’s support and affection to deal with the tragedy in his future. In that sense, their relationship is beautifully balanced, like an emotional yin yang.This book is a joy to read, not only because of the smooth flow of Sheena’s narrative, but also for the beautiful illustrations which decorate its pages. In short, I love the world created by Sheena in this book, and I am so intrigued by the future that awaits these two in the future, that it is going to be very difficult to wait for the next book to come… Very recommendable.I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review

  • Prentice
    2019-04-26 10:07

    What you should expect from The Solstice Prince: *Sweet if simplistic romance.*Pleasant characters.*No hardcore angst.*Hurt/comfort with off-screen hurt and a heavy emphasis on comfort.*Love-at-first-sight with ensuing courtship.*Fairly uncomplicated but tender romance.*Light world-building.What you shouldn't expect from The Solstice Prince:*An elaborate plot that diverges in any way from the book synopsis.*Action/Adventure.*Realistic portrayal of trauma recovery. *Female characters (that standout in anyway).*Thorough world-building or heavy characterization. *Drama.Overall, this is a pleasant read that never quite manages to rise above being exactly that. Which, strictly speaking, isn't necessarily a bad thing; for the first 25-30% of the book, I really enjoyed its simplicity. Unfortunately, after that far, I kept waiting for something to happen.Not necessarily drama or (more) trauma, but just - something. Anything that would propel the story and its characters forward or in a direction that was - productive (if that's even the right word for it)..? Sadly, that never really happened.Not only is Jaime's traumatic past (six months of slavery that left him scarred and, at the start of the story, skittish) never really dealt with - something I can (somewhat) forgive since nothing in this book is ever really dealt with in-depth - but the main focus of the book, the romance between Jaime and Prince Maxim, is...I don't want to say unrealistic since nothing about this book is realistic - it's a fantasy, after all - but it was just a tad too - pleasant (yes, that word again) - for me. Not to say that I wanted unnecessary drama but I wanted something more than I got. Instead, it was all sweetness and light and though neither of those are a bad thing, they're not realistic (to me). That said, the only real problem I had with this book was that I could've just as easily read the synopsis and been done with it because it never really grows beyond it. Which is a shame because I did enjoy it and am actually planning to check out some of this author's other works.