In the Shadow of a Hoax


Loved it! 😍

A surefire hit fantasy romance about a lost headstrong prince and a self-protective woman afraid to lose her heart to him.

Tarley and Lachlan’s lives collide when an assasination attempt sends Lachlan into unfamiliar territory, injured and without any royal defenses. Luckily for Prince Lachlan of Jast, it is Tarley Fareview who saves his life. Tarley works at the local inn in Sevens, Kaloma. When Tarley is harassed by a visitor to the inn she flees to the woods where she encounters Lachlan. As Tarley and Lachlan spend time with one another, they must decide whether it is worth trusting each other. She is a Kaloma resident, who loves and cherishes being in the woods, even if it means danger. He is a headstrong prince with a fighting spirit. 

My verdict: sizzle me more of the hot romance between Tarley and Lachlan! They are the power couple I live for within the story of In the Shadow of a Hoax! I love how their romance develops, though they are attracted to each other physically, they also fall in love for each other’s personality and quirks, yet trying to resist the feelings as they come. Their love story feels as if it’s the most natural thing, considering the unnatural circumstances where they get thrown together. I approve of their respecting each other by asking for sexual consent too! 

The names for places and people all sound cool and the world-building is immersive and impressive. I would give this five stars for the development of the characters and their love story, and for the way the plot pulls the reader in for the ride.

However, I cannot overlook the way the book begins to change rapidly towards the end. Granted, this is classified as a fantasy romance story but everything seems too squished together by the end of the book to fully match the genre. I like how most of the book is about the sweet adventure of the push and pull between Tarley and Lachlan. But the magical and fantastical elements could be brought in a little more evidently from the start. Aside from the red threads and mysterious auras being seen on certain people, there is not much buildup to a sudden escalation and explosion of mystical or magical elements. There is a typo or two, for example, “every brought” should be “ever brought” etc. 

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book and I believe that this would be very popular with fantasy romance readers alike, such as those who love Holly Black and Jennifer L. Armentrout. 

Reviewed by

I am a self-published author from Hong Kong. I am currently a postgraduate literature student. In my free time, I love reading and reviewing books. If you enjoy my reviews and would like to support me, please consider using the tips function! Thank you so much!


About the author

Maci Aurora fell in love with reading romance novels when she was a teen. Since then, she’s been forever lost between the pages of a book. In the Shadow of a Hoax is her 2nd novel in the Fareview Fairytales series and her 9th novel overall. view profile

Published on January 24, 2023

110000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Romance

Reviewed by