Blog Book Tour | “Claiming the Drakos Heir” (Book Two: Greek Island Brides) by Jennifer Faye a selection of #Harlequin Romance

Posted Friday, 7 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Claiming the Drakos Heir” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoy reading Romance selections by Ms Faye:

You will find yourself smirking when you first meet Lea and Xander – mostly because he’s a bit presumptive in his business dealings and she is happily a bit reserved. Lea doesn’t want to tip her hand knowing Xander was misunderstanding the reason why he was invited here – yet, there was a draw to wanting to get to know the bloke further. You couldn’t blame the girl, not really; for a bloke in his early thirties he was charmingly handsome, posh and well put together. He had a strong mind for business but he also had a softer side which I felt he might rarely reveal except for women like Lea who might disarm him before he realised he was smitten!

Quit fittingly, Xander is a bit clueless round the edges about what he ought to be doing with a phone call he hasn’t accepted nor returnt. I was as frustrated as Lea watching him become indecisive and then just plain stubborn about why he felt he was in the right for dismissing the call. For Lea’s sake, you’d think he’d step up to the plate and do the right thing. Except in a classic case of regretting what you ask for – you had to wonder, what makes some men a bit arrogant round the edges when their honestly not generally that way? When Xander came to accept the news he was being given he didn’t exactly warm your heart with his reaction(s). If anything, he might have been better off avoiding Lea altogether!

Your heart goes out to Lea; she has found a renewed sense of pride and self – this island isn’t just a case of her striking out on her own in business she can believe has a chance to thrive but it is a place where her ancestors have lived themselves. For her, the legacy factor of finding a place rooted in family history is what draws her towards wanting to make a go of the resort she’s establishing for weddings. You can gather the gist of why this is appealling to her and why it is important; not every family is as forward with sharing information of this nature and for Lea, I felt something was missing in her previous life to where this Greek Isle renewed her body and soul.

On the other hand, Xander has this way of not revealling his inner thoughts – he speaks his mind with fierce confidence, yes, but when it comes to his emotional state of being? You’d be better off finding a telepath to tell you his thoughts because he doesn’t like to let himself become vulnerable; something Faye was hinting towards had a history of hurt behind the reaction.

Faye keeps the tension between Xander and Lea going for awhile – they both have similar personalities and attributes; stubborn to the core and find letting someone else help either of them to be a bit too much to ask. Lea has a lot of pride in what she is trying to accomplish on the island – she wants to put her mark on it, giving people a place to have a destination wedding but not have it feel like they opted to go to a destination. Rather, she wanted to keep the aesthetics of the island firmly in place which seek to highlight the island’s long history.

I truly have come to love seeing how Ms Faye puts characters together who either a) haven’t a lot in common with one another or b) are quite polar opposites in regards to what they want out of life. Faye finds a way to entreat into their lives, tuck us close to their experiences and let’s time dictate what is going to happen between them. Sometimes all romance needs is a little time to percolate and find a rhythm of its own to unite a couple.

Quite early-on what I enjoyed about how Faye was setting up this series is how we became introduced to Popi and Stasia – Popi is Lea’s best friend whereas Stasia is Xander’s sister! This is keenly intriguing as I was trying to sort out the relationship and connections between the three women when I first saw their names next to their stories on the lovely bookmark I received with my copy of Carrying the Greek Tycoon’s Baby. Faye gives you back-story on her characters whilst your reading her stories in such a way as to entice your curiosity but not in such a way as to uproot where you are in the moment of her lead character’s lives.

I am dearly eager to see what becomes of this series – especially when we get to step inside the shoes of Popi and Stasia! I have a feeling there are many more surprises in store  to be learnt and overall, I truly love where this series is set.

-quoted from my review of Carrying the Greek Tycoon’s Baby

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This marks my fourth story by Harlequin Romance I’ve read by Ms Faye – the first two were part of a duology series where she re-spun classical fairy tales and inserted us into realistic Contemporary settings where the fairy tale aesthetic was uniquely used to tell a compelling romantic tale! I truly admired how she instinctively made each ‘origin story’ her own and kept enough of the ‘classic’ tale inclusive to where you could ‘see the past’ but felt comfortable embracing her ‘future’ of breathing in a new life to the older tales. The third story I read was actually a second in a series called the Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles whilst this fourth one is happily launching a new series set around the Greek Islands!

a bit of an update from Jorie,.. about migraines and blog tours,…

I did want to make a small announcement about why this review is being featured on FRIDAY rather than WEDNESDAY as it was originally scheduled to run on Jorie Loves A Story. Unfortunately, May concluded with a fifth migraine – which I truly buckled under as I had four migraines throughout May and had considered myself blessed during the final week of the month where I was resuming to read the stories I had earmarked to enjoy during #WyrdAndWonder whilst trying to rest quite a heap to overcome the fatigue I had succumbed to after those migraines. The batch of migraines I was experiencing were some of the worst I had in quite a long while and as such, my short term memories were a bit dodgy at best. I honestly forgot about when this blog tour was scheduled, however, more to the point, the books were slightly delayed reaching those of us who read print for blog tours.

If I had remembered, I would have offered a spotlight talking about why I love reading the romances Jennifer Faye is publishing as she’s become one of my favourite Harlequin authors over the past several years since I’ve been hosting with PRISM. Instead, I re-scheduled this review for Friday as I needed an extra day to get it ready inasmuch as I needed to read the book! I am sure my fellow book bloggers know how life can intervene on our blogging lives but I did feel a bit guilty this last migraine just disrupted what I was remembering as I honestly thought my first blog tour after this fifth migraine was going to be for The Medallion which is coming up this Sunday – kicking off a new focused feature I’m calling #INSPYSundays.

I have a true passion for INSPY Lit and I wanted to start showcasing the authors I am enjoying who are writing the kinds of inspiring and motivating INSPY stories across the genres you really see me reviewing on the mainstream side of the ledger.

I’m just thankful I could reschedule this review for Claiming the Drakos Heir to be featured whilst the tour was still on-going as I am truly thankful for being able to host Ms Faye and Harlequin’s stories on Jorie Loves A Story! Thank you to my readers and visitors alike who have been patient with me as I start to resume where I left off with things before that fifth migraine took hold of me! You’ll start to notice some showcases being promoted which are still attached to #WyrdAndWonder whilst I also start to begin my Summer Reads this June. May everyone have more bookishly delightful days than adverse ones where reading has to be placed on hold.

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Blog Book Tour | “Claiming the Drakos Heir” (Book Two: Greek Island Brides) by Jennifer Faye a selection of #Harlequin RomanceClaiming the Drakos Heir
Subtitle: Greek Island Brides
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

The rebel bachelor is back… To claim her baby!

In this Greek Island Brides story, pregnant surrogate Popi Costas is faced with raising her late sister’s child alone, until the baby’s wealthy uncle arrives to take charge! Apollo Drakos is distractingly handsome, but Popi won’t let that stop her from fighting to keep the baby. Yet as she gets to know the man behind the wild card reputation, Popi’s reconsidering welcoming Apollo into her new little family…

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335499400

Also by this author: Beauty and Her Boss, Miss White and the Seventh Heir, Heiress's Royal Baby Bombshell, Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby, Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring (Spotlight), Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring , Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise, The Prince and the Wedding Planner, Christmas in Bayberry, Love Blooms

Also in this series: Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby, Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring (Spotlight), Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring

Published by Harlequin Books

on 4th June, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 250

Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Carrying The Greek Tycoon's Baby - promo badge provied by Prism Book Tours.

Greek Island Brides | Finding love that lasts to infinity!

All marriages that take place on renowned wedding destination Infinity Island are guaranteed to last forever!

And the picturesque Greek island is about to weave its magic for friends Lea, Popi and Stasia. They dream of finding their own happy-ever-afters… And they’re about to meet three billionaires who will sweep them off their feet—and down the aisle!

Follow Lea’s journey from surprise pregnancy to dream proposal in

Carrying the Greek Tycoon’s Baby

Carrying the Greek Tycoon’s Baby (book one) | Lea’s story (see also Review)

Claiming the Drakos Heir (book two) | Popi’s story

Wearing the Greek Millonaire’s Ring (book three) | Stasia’s story
→ forthcoming September, 2019

A convenient engagement…

An inconvenient attraction!

In this Greek Island Brides story, widow Stasia Marinakos is learning to enjoy life again aboard a Mediterranean cruise. Her chemistry with gorgeous Greek tycoon Roberto Carrass is a pleasant surprise—until she’s mistaken for his fiancée! Nevertheless, the guarded bachelor asks Stasia to continue the charade to stop his family from matchmaking. As their attraction grows, their fake romance feels ever more real…but what will happen when the vacation ends?

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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my review of claiming the drakos heir:

I had a good chuckle realising it was Apollo (the uncle of the child she was carrying) at the door when Popi rather happily was oblivious to who or whom he could be and rather absentmindedly just dismissed him off as one of the movers! Quite the classic move if you ask me! It also gave him time to ruminate over what he was doing here and why he felt it was so dire to stumble into Popi’s life and assert his own agenda in regards to the unbourne babe. It was the kind of story whose beginning gave you a firm clue about how sometimes people go off on a tangent of authority without taking other people into consideration as they just attempt to steamroll their way into their lives. Lives which are already set in motion and are doing just fine without their interference but of course, who takes the time to sort through their emotions before they go off to wreck someone’s belief in their future? Surely not this Apollo bloke! Oy!

I think what really burned though is how he was so closed-off to the possibility that Popi actually deserved to be in this child’s life – as if being the surrogate Mum wasn’t as good as being the biological Uncle? I mean, where do people get off thinking like that? She literally carried this child through to term and was going to deliver a healthy baby – boy or girl and all this Apollo can think about is how this child is the heir to his family’s estate and thereby he’s automatically entitled to everything connected to said child? Oy.

Apparently Apollo has spent so much time in bachelorhood he’s forgetting one important factor with women: never underestimate them and don’t try to push off your own sense of reasoning before you understand where they are coming from themselves. The interesting bit is that he is pre-judging everything about Popi without the definitions – he sees what he wants to see about her life and through that ironic observation he believes he knows what is best for her and the child. Technically too, his anguish and guilt over the loss of his brother is what is driving him – which gives him a few points towards his overly macho self-assuring manner of thinking he’ll get his way but what he fails to see is that sometimes the past cannot be healed through future impulsive choices that have far more lasting effects than the mistakes already made.

The closer Lea came to marrying Xander, the harder it was for Popi to sort through her feelings – you could see why she was a sea of anxiety and nerves. The final conversations we all have with our loved ones are the hardest to reconcile if you felt there was a lot left unsaid or if the circumstances of their passing was not of the natural variety. For Popi, I felt she was blaming herself for things that were truly outside the scope of her control but that is how grief attacks your conscience. You start to second guess everything and the things that might not have bothered you have deeper claws into your guilt. The hardest part about losing your loved ones is acknowledging that although you’ve lost the time with them in the present, whatever time you had with them was good enough. They knew your real feelings for them and whatever happened at the end of their lives, that couldn’t hold a candle against what you shared previously because of how strong the bonds are with those you love; they simply understand but its the living who have to process their emotions in the wake of whom they lose.

The more you see Apollo interacting with Popi the more you lean in support of her reasons to keep her sister’s child. He’s such an arrogant man – from how his presumptions lead his conversations and how he hasn’t even considered yet why Popi offered to adopt her sister’s child. He just wants what he wants and when he wants it – which in theory is quite the concerning behaviour to have when your considering what he wants the most in this moment is full custody of a child he’s not entirely ready to parent! Of all the nerve, eh?

What I liked most about how Faye set the drama to curl into this story is how she truly roots you into the heartache on both sides of the situation – from Apollo’s self-recriminations and the guilt Popi has with unresolved emotions from her last conversation with her sister. They both are moving through their grief in different intervals and their both having trouble moving into the future without the past gripping them in a lock-stop motion of regret.

I have to admit, Popi had more patience than I would have had in her condition. In fact, the moment Apollo had strong-armed his way into her life on the island, I would have taken Lea’s offer to force his removal from my living space. He just had a bullish mentality and each time she tried to defect what he was doing out of bull-headedness and an ego to match his muscles, he just couldn’t change his attitude. She had this whole life she enjoyed on the island, a rhythm if you will to her hours and having Apollo around was like having an untrained puppy who didn’t know what to do with himself. He was overly aggressive I felt in trying to prove his points but without listening to the opposing views which he definitely needed to take into account.

I felt it was best when Popi wanted their lawyers to work through things but I also realised Faye wanted this to cultivate a pot boiler of a situation where both Popi and Apollo would be forced to face the facts and the realities of their situations head-on. This was foreshadowed quite a bit because they are both passionate characters who lead with their hearts not their heads and they both had a lot at stake in regards to why this child was of importance to each of them. Sadly, you would have felt Apollo would have seen this a bit sooner without trying to leverage his own rights as the biological Uncle onto Popi – that just was bad karma as much as it was bad form. Why he felt he had more interest in an unbourne child than the woman carrying the child is beyond me. In this regard, this is one of those moments where the surrogate mother needs more actual rights because of what is involved and what can happen unexpectedly. I’ve heard about stories IRL about surrogacy and I still believe the rights are not entirely in favour of the woman withchild inasmuch as they are with people like Apollo. In some regards, this story re-highlights the needs for surrogate parenthood rights and a firmer legal ground in which to benefit both sides of the argument over custody.

There were a few moments where I felt Popi had the shorter end of the stick in regards to being able to assert her rights and have a part in Sebastian’s life (the name given to the child). However, I also felt the growth Apollo needed to go through in order to emerge a healthier version of himself was only possible because of the influences of Popi. She had a way of understanding things he kept deeply guarded and he wasn’t the kind who readily shared what was weighing on his heart or on his conscience. With Popi, Apollo found his equal but there were moments in the story-line where I felt he had more of the control on the outcome of the story than Popi did herself. There were a few instances where I felt Popi compromised a bit too much to Apollo and where I felt Apollo was given a bit too much leverage against Popi.

Despite those choices where the story continues to play out between two people who are in the height of a fierce custody battle there is also a slow burning romance playing out in the background. Part of that romance felt organic and true and other aspects of it felt a bit forced round the edges as part of me questioned if the romance was accelerating a bit too fast within the scope of the novel. I think I would have felt this was slightly more believable if Popi and Apollo had had equal say in the custody discussion rather than Apollo just asserting his right as the biological heir – as that part of the story grew a bit old for me because he had been inserting that clause of protection on Sebastian since the very first scene where we saw him interloping into Popi’s life.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about the story as I think this one parlays a bit closer to my own interests regarding adoption. I am a prospective adoptive Mum who will be seeking to adopt children out of foster care which is why I was reading intuitively towards how this story was being dealt with from the angle of intention with surrogacy pregnancy and non-custodial parent adoption – I think Faye made a critical case for this kind of family being brought together but there were a few exchanges of dialogue and scenes where I felt she gave too much control and leverage to Apollo which really started to take me out of the scope of the romance. It was just difficult to read those passages because he was starting to come-off too much like an alpha male and too much like a bloke who believed he was entitled to everything simply due to his family’s coffers.

This surprised me in a lot of ways because Apollo was the opposite of the traditional heir of a family’s business and estate. In fact, he as a character refuted half of that legacy whilst he interacted with Popi and some of the ways he was made to assert his own agenda with Popi felt more like it was out of sequence with how Apollo was being projected earlier in the novel. It was almost like his period of growth was now being exchanged for proving his right as a parent due to his biological connection to the child but without the fuller empathy of what he had learnt on the island. That is where the rub lay for me – the story anchoured to the island felt a bit removed from the story anchoured to the Drakos estate. There were a lot of changes between the two settings and if Anna (the housekeeper) hadn’t intervened on Popi’s behalf I am uncertain if I would have felt Popi had received an ending she deserved.

on the contemporary writing styling of ms faye:

I liked how Faye re-inserts us directly into the story-line we previously left – where we find Lea and Xander about reading to exchange their vows and see how their lives are continuing to knit together. Theirs was an interesting romance and I had a feeling Faye was going to continue the legacy of how this Greek island brings unsuspecting people together at a point in their lives where they aren’t entirely ready to commit to a relationship much less consider a marriage! Sometimes life is like that though – you find yourself caught up in the tides of fate and despite your best intentions, things really do work out the way they were always meant to even if the timing of it all is not your own choosing.

Although I know Faye might have intended to write a light-hearted passionate romance involving two stubbornly determined characters – what I found inside Claiming the Drakos Heir was also a critical look at the short-comings of the legal protections for surrogate mothers and how sometimes such as what was happening to Popi in this novel, there needs to be consideration and accountability for surrogate mothers as much as the blood heirs to the child they are carrying. You truly can see where there are pitfalls in this arrangement – how the mother with the child is almost cut out legally from claiming anything at all and how those rights should be hers as despite the fact the child has two biological parents, there is a newer argument (IRL) which discusses how the surrogate mother also has a claim on the child as she is partially related by proxy due to how the child was carried in her womb. Again, I think the adoption laws and the custody laws for children should make more exceptions and rulings in favour of surrogate mothers in situations like this one where there is not a definitive ‘parent’ by the end of the pregnancy due to circumstances not foreseen.

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A note of gratitude to the author:

Ms Faye is a delight to receive #bookmail from as she includes a bit of swag with the books she sends out for review considerations! This is my fifth book parcel to receive from her & I was equally delighted finding what awaited me as I opened her trademark pink baggie! Inside I found a lovely book cover magnet (love these!) – the lovely bookmark you’ll see featured in the banner below for her personal giveaway (its lovingly double-sided!) and a pen! I love when authors find clever ways to SURPRISE us as book bloggers – not every writer includes swag, but this reader is joyfully delighted by what she finds whenever something is ‘tucked into’ a book or hidden inside the parcel it arrives in – little gestures of grace and bookish joy. Thank you, again Ms Faye for giving me loads of SMILES by your kindness!

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Special Announcement:

As you know, this is a giveaway-free book blog – as I do not host giveaways here on Jorie Loves A Story (per my Review Policy) however, there is one exception to the rule – I love to talk about and happily promote authors who are hosting a giveaway on *their website or blog!* whilst my review is posting via a blog tour! For this reason, it is with a joy and pleasure to bring this to your attention:

Bookmark offer from Jennifer Faye.

All you have to do is go to Jennifer’s Contact Page

and let her know your physical mailing address*.

NOTE: Please state the quantity you desire and which bookmarks/titles you are interested in. And remember you can order extra to share with your favorite bookstore, library and family/friends. *for readers in the continental USA

You can have your very *own!* Claiming the Drakos Heir bookmark if you follow the steps outlined the author provided to receive one! I realise my blog is read internationally, but this is unfortunately only for those readers and visitors of mine stateside. I truly think you will be charmed by the eloquence of her bookmarks and the way in which they are lovingly sturdy and the perfect length for keeping your spot in whichever book your #currentlyreading!

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Claiming the Drakos Heir blog tour via Prism Book Tours

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End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursBy clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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Reading this story counted towards my 2019 reading challenges, specifically:

2019 New Release Challenge created by for and is used with permission.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Carrying the Greek Tycoon’s Baby”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Jennifer Faye, the bookmark giveaway badge and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 7 June, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

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