Lose a Princess, Lose Your Head *****
By Alex Avrio

Regina, Jaeger, and company are back in the second Merchant Blades book. This time, Jaeger is leading the team and Regina is his second in command. Some of the details of their strange curse come to light, and also their supernatural destinies are revealed. We get to meet plenty of strange new characters and spend some time with the ones we’ve already grown fond of.

Avrio shows her prowess at intrigue and plot twists once again as the Merchant Blades struggle to deliver their princess and discover where alliances truly lie. All of the players in this adventure have their own hidden motive and if the mercenaries don’t untwine the truth fast enough, they will lose more than just their paycheck.

The Merchant Blade series is perfect for those who must steal reading time from other life distractions. The chapters fly along and I felt quite accomplished finishing three or four in one sitting. The pace of the story likely pulled me into more reading time than I set out for, since I could just tell myself, “One more chapter will only take a couple minutes!”

The blend of Napoleonic era military action and the supernatural makes this a wonderful world. I also really enjoy Regina’s struggle to be seen as equal to some of her male counterparts. Not her team, though. They know that anyone in a Merchant Blade coat bleeds the same and can be trusted to protect your back.

I read an only draft of this book, but I’ve got my paperback on order. The cover art for the Merchant Blades series is just stunning! I can’t wait to dig into the third book.

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