Royal Decoy by Heather Frost
My 2022 reading has started off with a BANG! Royal Decoy by Heather Frost is an edge-of-your-seat read. I absolutely loved it, and so will you! I want you to meet Heather, but first, let’s read the synopsis for Royal Decoy:
Clare made a mistake when she saved the princess’s life . . .
In one horrible night, Clare is forced to give up her life as a kitchen maid to become the princess’s decoy. Thrust into a dangerous new world of royals and deadly politics, she must learn how to be the princess’s perfect double to ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard, Bennick. The spark between them is undeniable, though a relationship is forbidden. When a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, it becomes frighteningly clear that some will stop at nothing to end the tenuous peace—and Clare’s life.
Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. His name inspires fear in all who hear it, but no one knows his heavily guarded secret. He carries out every brutal order only because his father holds power over the one person he cares about. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested, however, when his father reveals plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.
The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.
Royal Decoy is the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and non-stop action with epic twists, then you’ll love the captivating world of Eyrinthia.
J.C. - Hi Heather. Thank you for joining in on my author interviews. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
H.F. - Hi, Jessica! Thanks for having me. A little about me: I love swoony romance, fantasy adventure, and plot twists that keep readers guessing. I live in northern Utah, surrounded by mountains, and I love to travel. But I’m also a homebody. (Not sure how that works... *shrugs*) I’m a big Harry Potter fan (Hufflepuff forever!) and I watch the Lord of the Rings more often than I should probably admit. (Extended editions, of course!)
I come from a big family, and I’ve loved stories my whole life. I was the kid who maxed out the library check-out limit every time I went, and I walked out with a stack of books taller than me. I wrote my first novel when I was twelve, and I’ve never looked back!
I published the Seers Trilogy traditionally while I was in college, and then I turned to indie publishing for my Fate of Eyrinthia series.
I have a BS in Creative Writing with a minor in Folklore (yes, it is a real degree, despite what some of my brothers think!) I got to read ghost stories and fairytales and call it homework, so it was kind of the best.
J.C. - How did you come up with the idea for Royal Decoy?
H.F. - I’d been playing around with several different ideas for a while, but the thought that brought it all together was this question: Can I tell a story from a secondary character’s POV?
I decided to put that to the test by writing a story about a princess’s decoy, rather than the princess. And the rest is history! I mean, obviously choosing to write from Clare’s POV made her the main character, but it was a fun way to think about telling a story.
The rest of the characters and plot fell into place as I wrote. Grayson came out of nowhere, but was a great addition to the book, as he has a unique perspective on things. And of course we get into Bennick’s head :D
J.C. - Put yourself in Clare’s shoes. You’re a simple kitchen maid one minute, then given an ultimatum to become the princess’s royal decoy or die the next. What would you have done? Do you think you could pull of being a decoy?
H.F. - Oh goodness! I don’t think I’d do a good job as a decoy, but I’d try. Not just to avoid dying, but because—like Clare—I’m a big sister, and I’d do anything to protect my siblings. I’m a bookish person (obviously) so I could probably learn the things I needed to, to impersonate a princess. But the intense defensive training and the assassination attempts would probably do me in!
J.C. - Captain Bennick Markham. Need I say more? No, I don’t. But I will ... DELISH! SWOONWORTHY! BOOK-BOYFRIEND MATERIAL! What or WHOM was your inspiration for writing that character?
H.F. - I’m so glad you love him! And in all caps, no less! As far as inspiration goes . . . does my imagination count? I certainly haven’t met a Bennick in real life (I wish! I’m extremely single, LOL) but I have a very active imagination, and while there are many swoony guys in this series, I really wanted Bennick to be the “good guy”; don’t get me wrong, he still has his flaws and he has some damage, but he is just good. He’s a protector—that’s a core part of who he is. And I’m so glad readers are drawn to him!
J.C. - Grayson is his father’s, King Henri’s, ruthless enforcer, also known as the Black Hand. You would think his heart was as black as his title, but it is not. He’s a complex character with many layers that readers will empathize with. Was he difficult to write?
H.F. - Grayson was actually one of the easier characters for me to write. Not sure what that says about me, but his complexities made his responses easy for me to predict. He is the ruthless Black Hand whenever he has to be, but the moment he’s not being watched, he can be himself. He’s a pretty quiet and reserved person. He can even be shy. And he is 100% devoted to protecting Mia, the only person who truly knows him.
At the end of the day, Grayson is a guy who wishes he could do the right thing. He’s just realistic enough to know that he’s not in a position to be the good guy. Not as long as his father has power over Mia, anyway.
J.C. - When you are not writing what do you like to do?
H.F. - I enjoy cooking and baking, reading, watching movies, going on walks, and spending time with family and friends. And I’m always planning my next trip!
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
H.F. - My family is super supportive. My parents always encouraged me to write, and then publish. My sister Kimberly is a HUGE support as well. She lives with me, listens to my ramblings, reads my early work (and all subsequent drafts) and she even designs my covers. She’s my cheerleader when I get discouraged and want to give up. So I’m really blessed to have her in my corner!
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to …
H.F. - Still be writing full-time! I hope to have a whole stack of books I’ve written on my bookshelf. Because writing, and sharing that work with others, truly brings me joy.
J.C. - Book three, titled Royal Captive, is on its way! What can you tell us about it?
H.F. - I am very excited to share this book! Fate of Eyrinthia will be 6 books, so we’re almost to the halfway point. I can say that the momentum of the story just keeps building. Characters we’ve wanted to meet will finally meet. (*cough* Desfan and Serene *cough*) Alliances will be tested. New friendships—some of them unlikely—will develop. And, of course, there will be new betrayals, new twists, and new romances to explore.
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
H.F. - You can find my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you like to buy your books.
You can learn all about my stories on my website, and you can stay up to date with any news and connect with me through social media, and my mailing list. Links below!
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Thank you for reading about Royal Decoy and Heather Frost! Want more Heather Frost? Listen to my podcast, The Indie Book Nook with Sarah & Jess, Season 1, Episode 3, Heather Frost.
Here’s my review of Royal Decoy:
I hate writing five star reviews because I feel that nothing I say can truly express how much I love the book. I’ll start by saying, if I could rate this book higher I would. Frost has a true gift. I was instantly captivated and pulled into the story. I devoured every word and hungered for more with each turning page. There are characters you will empathize with, characters you will fall in love with and characters you will loathe so much, you’ll want to reach your hand through the book and strangle them! I am instantly on to book two. Do yourself a favor and read Royal Decoy!