Common by Laurie Lucking – Book Review, Preview

Posted December 31, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Guest Post /

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Common by Laurie Lucking - Book Review, Preview

Common by Laurie Lucking – Book Review, Preview

Common

by Laurie Lucking

four-half-stars
Series: Tales of the Mystics #1
Publication Date February 14, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Clean Romance
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: High-School/Young Adult, Middle School
Pages: 299

Synopsis:

One person knows of the plot against the royal familyand cares enough to try to stop it -- the servant girl they banished.

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah's safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe's safety before it's too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


Purchase Links

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Ooh! I’m so excited to have found Common! I really enjoy reading well-written young adult stories and this certainly fits the bill.

Leah was such a great heroine! She was humble and never thought her work was beneath her. In fact, her only reason for seeking a position as lady’s maid to the princess was incredibly self-sacrificing and noble. Then, when she was banished, she still cared so much for the future of the kingdom (okay, she cared what happened to Rafe as well!), she was willing to risk everything to gather the evidence needed to foil the nefarious plot.

Rafe was so adorably clueless. Though he tried to understand Leah’s concerns, he really didn’t. His surprise at her reaction to the gift he gave her made me laugh. I enjoyed how in love with Leah he was.

I can’t think of anything that I didn’t enjoy about the story. It was compelling, romantic, and sweet with plenty of intrigue and conflict. I have noticed over the years that some authors seem to dumb down young adult books to the point that they are boring. The content here is completely appropriate for a middle-school level and the language is still full of rich descriptions and vocabulary appropriate for the intended audience.

Young adults and older adults who enjoy romantic fantasy will want to be sure to read Common!

More from Laurie

Common started with the simple premise that I wanted to write a friendship-first romance that would be innocent enough for pre-teen readers, but complex enough for teens and adults to enjoy it, too! My love for fairy tales soon kicked in, inspiring a Cinderella-type dynamic of a secret friendship between a maid and a prince. Then came the “what if” questions. What if the king and queen arranged a betrothal between the prince and a foreign princess? What if the maid tried to help the prince find happiness with his new fiancée, but accidentally made things worse? What if she then discovered a plot against the royal family and was the only one who could stop it?

Looking back, it’s fascinating to see how my story expanded from a sweet romance to so much more. The romance is still there, prominent enough to satisfy any reader who loves rooting for a fun couple. But there’s also so much personal growth for my main character, who learns though her journey that even a lowly maid is anything but common and that the biggest challenges and disappointments we must overcome are preparing us for something better. I didn’t set out to include a spiritual thread, but my protagonist kept contemplating and reaching out to God until I finally realized her story wouldn’t work without a faith component. And that faith component led to an entire group of characters – spunky, mysterious nuns who now form the backbone of my entire Tales of the Mystics series.

The end result is an inspirational, romantic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Melanie Dickerson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Jody Hedlund’s new Lost Princesses series. Book Two is in progress, and I can’t wait to see how much it will change and develop along the way!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, December 31

Books, Life, and Christ, December 31

My Devotional Thoughts, January 1

For the Love of Literature, January 2

Rory Lemond, January 2

Pause for Tales, January 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 3

Through the Fire Blogs, January 4

Texas Book-aholic, January 5

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 6

Rebecca Tews, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 7

Emily Yager, January 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 9

Avid Reader Nurse, January 9

janicesbookreviews, January 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 11

For Him and My Family, January 11

Inklings and notions, January 12

A Reader’s Brain, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Laurie is giving away a themed basket with

  • a signed paperback copy of Common
  • a beaded velvet bookmark
  • a handmade book sleeve
  • a wooden “Have courage & be kind” sign!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f38c/common-celebration-tour-giveaway

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four-half-stars

About Laurie Lucking

An avid reader practically since birth, Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. When she gets a break from playing board games and finding lost toys, she writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of fairy tale romance. Her debut novel, Common, won the Christian Editor Connection’s Excellence in Editing Award, placed third in the Christian Women Reader’s Club Literary Lighthouse Awards, and is a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. She has short stories published in Mythical Doorways, Encircled, and the upcoming Christmas Fiction off the Beaten Path. Laurie is the Secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of Lands Uncharted, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children.

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