Review: Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen

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This review was written for a blog tour. I received the book for free in exchange for an honest review. Stick around until the end and enter the giveaway!

Just EllaTitle: Just Ella
Author: Annette K. Larson
Genre: Historical romance, YA
Series: N/A
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A Proper, Clean Romance.
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.

“I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.”


I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve read any historical fiction and I haven’t realized how much I’ve missed it. This book is a really fast, really sweet read.

You have Ariella, who is a princess, and because of her status she feels she’s quite alone. All she wants is a friend. And she finds that friend in the gardener–Gavin. It’s not love at first. The two know their statuses, but because Ariella wants to know what life is like for commoners and because she wants to forget everything that being a princess is entitled to, she tells Gavin to call her a name that only her family calls her: Ella. Their relationship starts out slow, but there are all of these little moments between them that shows the spark and how right for each other they are. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the two seem to keep denying their affection toward one another, until of course, Ariella’s father learns of their relationship…

I loved Ariella as a character. For a princess, she was very level-headed and wanted nothing more than the best for the people. But she was also a romantic. Despite knowing that she was a princess, she didn’t want to get married for the sake of strengthening bonds between families; she insisted on being able to choose who she marry. And when she finally came to terms with her love for a commoner, she did everything she could to protect him, even if it meant sacrificing her own happiness and I couldn’t help but really admire her.

The author, I feel, really achieved everything she wanted to achieve in this novel. It’s clean, it’s sweet, and there are layers to the story beyond that. You have, of course, the main drama of Ariella and Gavin, but then you have these wonderful little subplots that go together so well and blend into a seamless story. And when you’re done with the story, you can’t help but feel satisfied with the outcome of everything.


Anyone who enjoys stories with happy endings and Disney movies. Seriously, I feel like it could be a Disney movie sans animal sidekicks.

Last Words

I really enjoyed the little moments between Ariella and Gavin the most. The two just really came to life whenever they were around each other. It’s a wonder how they could ever deny their feelings for one another.

Book Blast/Blog Tour Special

Grab your copy of Just Ella for just $4.99!


annetteAuthor Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.

I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.

I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/5/13


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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