Blog Tour Book Review: A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON by Alexandra Rowland

I received an ARC from the publishers through the publicity company in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in gold on black surrounded by elaborate border
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON: title in gold on textured black with elaborate geometric

Kadou, the shy prince of Arasht, finds himself at odds with one of the most powerful ambassadors at court—the body-father of the queen’s new child—in an altercation which results in his humiliation.

To prove his loyalty to the queen, his sister, Kadou takes responsibility for the investigation of a break-in at one of their guilds, with the help of his newly appointed bodyguard, the coldly handsome Evemer, who seems to tolerate him at best. In Arasht, where princes can touch-taste precious metals with their fingers and myth runs side by side with history, counterfeiting is heresy, and the conspiracy they discover could cripple the kingdom’s financial standing and bring about its ruin.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON is a fantasy romance with a political intrigue subplot about debasing the coinage. It was pitched to me as perfect for fans of WINTER’S ORBIT and A MARVELLOUS LIGHT, and it fits perfectly in with those two books in terms of sheer fun romance full of angst due to two people never really knowing how to say what they want.

If “kiss for cover” is a favourite trope of yours, then this is a book for you. It has not one but two kiss for covers, to tip the “I really like you but I’m not going to say anything because I don’t think you live me” couple further down the path of no return. Also good for fans of “I can’t follow through on my feelings because I’m going to have to make a political marriage”, yearning (so much yearning), and kneeling.

As you might have gathered, this is an absolute romp of a story chock full of romance tropes. It also takes place over at least several months, so the slide from strangers to affection to full on romance felt much more realistic to me than if it had been over a few short days.

I raced through it, having really struggled the week before to read. But for this book, I made sure I had the time because I didn’t want to put it down. While the chapters are very long (it’s a ~460 page book with only 16 chapters), that didn’t slow me down the way it usually would and I found myself very glad of my “I read in blocks of 5 chapters” rule because it meant I got to read more in one go.

A common criticism of bodyguard romances is that they rarely tackle the power imbalance issue. I was a bit worried about that going in (the UK tagline does not help and doesn’t feel very accurate.) However, while I felt that A TASTE OF GOLD AND IRON could have gone further into it, I liked that it was clear from the start that the guards were given very firm “you don’t ever have to say yes” talks (and this was brought up by the commanding officer later when the feelings started to get real.) Plus there was a hint at the end that the pair (well, Evender being the long-term planning one) were making plans for transitioning to a future where they were both politicians rather than a prince and a guard.

Blog tour graphic with names of bloggers taking part inside border with image of book

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