Stitches - Amanda Meuwissen

The second book in the fantasy Gemstone Kingdoms series, Stitches is a fairytale-like story with found family, sweet romance and surprising twists. 

From the blurb:

Created by the alchemist Braxton, Levi was “born” fully grown and spends his early days learning about the monster-filled kingdom he calls home.

Even though he is just a construct pieced together from cloned parts, Levi longs to fit in with his mythical neighbors, but more than that, he wishes he could say two words to the Shadow King without stuttering.

Ashmedai has been king of what was once the Amethyst Kingdom since it was cursed a thousand years ago. Only he and Braxton know what truly happened the night of the curse, and Ash’s secret makes walking among his beloved people painful, so he rarely leaves his castle. However, with Festival Day approaching, Ash wouldn’t mind going out more often... if it means seeing more of Levi.

Ash wishes he deserved the longing looks from those strangely familiar violet eyes. He knows no one could love him after learning the truth of the curse. But if anyone can change his mind, it is the sweetly stitched young man who looks at him like he hung the moon.

SNik's Review:

Second in series (Gemstone Kingdoms), Stitches can be read as a standalone. Paranormal fantasy. Found family. Hurt/comfort. Slow burn. 

Amethyst is a cursed shadow kingdom, led by Ashmedai for the last thousand years, Ash is a guilt ridden lonely king. When he begins a friendship with the alchemist’s newly created construct Levi, Ash does not realize that Levi will become more than a friend and he may possibly be the answer to the kingdom’s curse. This story is mainly one of finding family and building relationships, and the slow, sweet love that grows between Ash and Levi. This is a fairytale-like book, and there are parts that touch on acceptance, bravery, loyalty, caring, sacrifice, and unrequited love. There are unexpected story twists, with suspense, and the Gemstone Kingdoms series has been in impressive world build so far. I really enjoyed every interaction between Ash and Levi and the wondrous and supportive secondary cast of characters that are more family than friends. Really fun read. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sheena's Review:

Stitches is the second in the gemstone kingdoms series, I picked this up as I remembered reading and liking the first book a while back (I had to re-read my review to remind myself, it's been a while!).  I loved the teaser at the end of the first book for this so was happy to finally get Levi and Ash's story.

I love the writing in this series, the author has created a rich world full of interesting characters and it's so well written I can imagine and see them all in my head, along with the shadow kingdom and I love that I can see it so clearly.  Once I started this, I couldn't put it down, I had to know how Levi and Ash's story would unfold. 

I loved Levi's character arc, at the start he's so shy and hesitant about the world - no surprise as he's little more than a newborn, really in the beginning.  It was wonderful to see him blossom and come into his own and see his character develop as the story moved along.  Ash too grows over the course of the story from being almost a hermit and it's wonderful to see.  The love between Ash and Levi too never feels rushed, or too soon, it's given time to grow and develop between them even though it's in a relatively short space of time.  I never felt things were rushed and I loved that.

There's also a fair bit of heat between the two but again it all felt right.  The story fairly moves along and kept me with it the entire way, this is essentially a fairytale and there are all sorts of fairytale elements and I got Sleeping Beauty vibes with the cursed hidden kingdom, along with beauty and the beast vibes too, all of which I'm assuming are intentional.

Again there was a twist at the end, just when I thought it was all done and it was great.  This whole book was a joy to read and now knowing how closely it tied to the first, I am keen to go back and read that too.

Love the little snippets the author gives us for the next book and protagonist, even though this one doesn't seem to have as pure intentions as either Levi in this book, or Reardon in the previous.  If it's nearly as good as either of these though, I'll be there for it.  I hope to spend more time in the gemstone kingdoms. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

Amanda Weuwisson jumps around and writes multiple series at once instead of completing one and then moving on to another. Hey whatever works for their muse they must follow. However, that means it's been 8 months since I read that little snippet so when I saw this one come up for review I was definitely excited.

Levi was such an innocent little sweetie pie. He may have been made up of stitched together parts, but he was his own person and he had a huge heart. I love how he would get all shy around Ash, whom is King of the Dark Kingdom. The Dark Kingdom was formally known as the Amethyst Kingdom and in this book we find out the truth of what happened to curse all it's inhabitants into looking like Monsters all while plunging their world into darkness.

I enjoyed the romance between Ash and Levi and I loved all the fun townspeople. You would think after what happened to them the inhabitants would be unhappy and bitter, yet they persevered. Some even found love and had children. It's a testament to the kind of people they were before being cursed. Though they were cursed into darkness, they held onto their light.

As with book one there were secrets to discover in Stitches. I did see one of them coming, but it did not take away my enjoyment. The author was clever in their foreshadowing and even when I thought they were done there was one more surprise to be had near the end.

It seems curses are a running theme in this series and world. Also Like book 1, the end of this one gives a sneak peek at the next. However unlike the first 2, it doesn't appear our MC has good intentions in his heart. My interest is piqued and I can't wait to discover which theme and Kingdom we get to visit next.

Rating: 4 Stars

Miki.J's Review:

I love a good fantasy novel, and this one certainly did not disappoint.  The way the author has blended the “monster” characters in this book and the world building - brilliant.  Told from two POV’s – Levi, “new” person in town (hehehehe) who is a gentle and determined soul and Ash, who took on mantle of “King” in Amethyst Kingdom as an atonement of an incident that occurred….well, that’d spoil it !!  It’s a very sweet story of monsters in love (slow burn), but in no way is this a dark/pain type of story.  Good, old fashioned fantasy kingdom with plot twists and revelations and a surprising ending.  Very enjoyable book to read !! 

Rating: 4 Stars

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