As the snows fall and hearths burn, four stories of Midwinter beginnings prove that love can fight its way through the chillest night…
THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace Draven
The mark Jahna Ulfrida was born with has made her a target of the cruel and idle all her life. During the long, crowded festivities of Deyalda, there’s nowhere to escape. Until a handsome stranger promises to teach her to save herself…
THE CHOSEN, by Thea Harrison
In her visions, Lily sees two men fighting for her tiny country’s allegiance: the wolf and the tiger, each deadly, each cunning. One will bring Ys chaos and death, one a gentler path—but she’s destined to love whichever she chooses. The midwinter Masque is upon them, and the wolf is at her door…
THE STORM, by Elizabeth Hunter
When her soul mate died in a massacre of the half-angelic Irin people, Renata thought she’d never feel happiness again. She’s retreated to the snowy Dolomites to remember her hurts—until determined, irrepressible Maxim arrives to insist on joy, too. And before she can throw him out, they discover a secret the Irin have to know…
THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, by Jeffe Kennedy
As a blizzard threatens their mountain keep, the new Queen Amelia of the Twelve Kingdoms and her unofficial consort Ash face their own storm. Ash knows a scarred, jumpy ex-convict isn’t the companion his queen needs. But when a surprise attack confines them together in their isolated sanctuary, the feast of midwinter might tempt even Ash into childlike hope…
Amid the Winter Snow caught my attention quickly when I saw it was a fantasy anthology with winter holiday as the them. All these worthy authors have been on my wish list to try their books for some time, and, what a rush, here their writings are all collected together in one book. I know better than to get my expectations too high, but somehow, I don’t think I’ll be doomed to disappointment.
The Darkest Midnight by Grace Draven
This was my first encounter with this author’s work. I’ve anticipated them after reading the blurbs and the reviews. Oh yes, this story more than proved it was worth my excitement. It is a standalone story that I understand may have loose connections to the Wraith Kings series. It was rich in characters, plotting, and description. It elicited my feelings from the beginning and I loved everything about Jahna’s tale of triumph over her bullies and her sweet secret love for the handsome swordmaster who taught her to value herself and stand alone.
The Chosen by Thea Harrison
An Elder Races Novella
This one was another sparkling encounter for me. I still haven’t picked up the Elder Races series yet- and I will, but this one showed me what I’ve been missing. Lily is The Chosen and her vision seeing ability has left her worried about having to make a huge choice for her country. Wulf is on a mission of vengeance and to protect his people.
I enjoyed their strong sense of duty and loyalty, but openness and playfulness with each other. The growing romance was a lovely one.
The story does feel that it is part of a greater group of ongoing storyworld, but I got into it quickly. I did feel it left things open at the end, but not in a bad way and the romance is definitely tied up.
The Storm by Elizabeth Hunter
An Irin Chronicles Novella
And, we continue with my love fest as I was wowed by the Irin Chronicles world and the deep pain in Renata that made her push away Max. He faithfully ran her down for eighteen years proving to her he wanted her no matter what. This one is framed with a present scene, dips into the past to bring the reader up to speed on their long history, and then continues on with the current time of the story. Thankfully, after all his pursuit, Max got through her grief and pain even as a little surprise adventure finishes up her healing. The darker, gritty world of this series definitely has me wanting to go back for the full thing.
The Snows of Windroven by Jeffe Kennedy
A Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms Novella
Ash feels he isn’t good enough for Ami who is a queen and he a former ex-convict. They snarl and rage, ice each other out and smolder with passion through a snowstorm, danger, and a castle winter festival.
Ah yes, my second venture into the Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms world and it reminded me why I need to get on the ball about starting the series from the beginning. Great world building and spicy passion, winning characters who have their flaws, and a solid plot.
So, four fabulous winter celebration fantasies that showcase magnificent storytelling that make me want more. A definite must-read for the fantasy romance lovers.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.
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