To Target the Heart

A Tale of Two Princes #1

Romance - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
550 Pages
Reviewed on 12/06/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

To Target the Heart: A Tale of Two Princes #1 by Aldrea Alien sees Hamish introduced to the Udynean ambassador. He was expecting a woman that his mother could pressure him to marry, but Darshan is a man. Hamish’s older brother Gordon sympathetically anticipates the direction this relationship will take. When Darshan reveals his attraction to men, the Queen attempts to prevent fraternization, but Gordon is instrumental in creating opportunities and covering up trysts. Upon returning from the cloister that confines his "spellster" sister, Hamish discovers the union contest has been launched. He despairs because refusing the winner could result in a civil war. Gordon’s next suggestion is bold and dangerous. Can Hamish and Darshan survive defying the queen?

To Target the Heart by Aldrea Alien was an inclusive romance that celebrated choice. I liked the way the characterization defied stereotype, introducing Hamish in the ultra-masculine act of hunting a rogue boar. His toughness was then balanced by the gift of meat to feed hungry families. Throughout the story, his character was established as honorable and not defined by sexual preference. All the harassment and pressure placed upon Hamish and Darshan earned my sympathy. I felt the two men had the right to be with someone they loved. I was shocked by the lack of acceptable options available in Tirglas, and also recognized a parallel in the seclusion of his sister with healing abilities. While I was astounded by the Queen’s behavior, I appreciated the support offered by other members of his family. This was a male-on-male fantasy that featured plotlines readers could enjoy.