Book Review: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson


Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when Falcon, the prince of Summerlea, stole Wynter’s bride and murdered his young brother, Wynter vows vengeance. Calling upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart, he gathers his armies and marches against Summerlea, crushing their armies and spreading icy winter in his wake. After three long, bitter years of battle, Summerlea is defeated and Wynter comes to the heart of the kingdom to issue his terms for their surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth of love and melt the Ice Heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King. The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will turn her out in the ice and snow of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters. All the while, Wynter will enjoy the vengeance of knowing the Summer King will suffer each day without his beloved daughter(s), as Wynter suffers each day without his own beloved brother. The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of which he is not so fond. Blamed as a child for the death of her beloved mother, Khamsin Coruscate, the forgotten princess of Summerlea, has spent her life hidden from the world like an embarrassing secret. Dressed in cast-off gowns and left to her own devices, with only the determination of her loyal nursemaid to ensure she receives the education befitting an Heir to the Summer Throne, Khamsin haunts the abandoned towers and gardens of Summerlea’s royal palace, close to her beloved late mother’s treasures, and waits for the day her father will recognize her as a Princess of the Rose. But though she dreams of the valor and sacrifices of ancient Summerlea heroes and pines for paternal love that will never come, Khamsin is no sweet, gentle, helpless princess-in-a-tower. She is a fiercely passionate creature with a volatile, rebellious temper that is often as reckless and destructive as the dangerous forces of her weathergift, the power of storms. Together will their stormy personalities be able to meld or will their powers destroy not only their love but the whole world?

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 Available for purchase at Avon Romance Amazon  BN  Kobo

About the Author: cl_wilson_web

C. L. WILSON grew up camping and waterskiing across America, from Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver, CO, to Lake Gaston on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, to Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. When she wasn’t waterskiing and camping on family vacations, you could usually find her with a book in one hand and a sketch pad in the other—either reading, writing stories, or drawing. Sometime around the ninth grade, she decided she was better at drawing her pictures with words than paints and charcoals, and she set aside her sketchpad to focus entirely on writing. Wilson is active in Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA), her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys golfing, swimming, reading, playing video games with her children, and spending time with her friends and family. She is also an avid collector (her husband says pack rat!), and she’s the proud owner of an extensive collection of Dept. 56 Dickens and North Pole villages, unicorns, Lladro figurines, and mint condition comic books. Wilson currently resides with her husband, their three wonderful children, and their little black cat, Oreo, in a secluded ranch community less than thirty miles away from the crystalline waters and sugar-sand beaches of Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key on Florida’s gulf coast.

My Review:

This book was a lovely escape into a romantic fantasy world; it was kind of like a cross between Game of Thrones and a historical romance. I loved the supernatural element and the set up between the two kingdoms was almost Shakespearean.

From a writer’s perspective, it was put together beautifully and built the world around the reader without effort or force. It felt almost fairytale like in its storytelling, and drew you in really quickly. My only criticism, and this is just me, is that the relationship did the typical romance to and fro – he deceives her, she lies to him, they hate each other (a little too much) he’s a bit of a brute, she’s a bit too precious… And I’d have liked to have seen a less tired romance formula used, as the rest of the book was original and enthralling.

The front cover is beautiful too – it really sets off both characters and will do really well on the virtual and physical book shelves alike.

Overall, I’d give The Winter King, 4 out of 5 stars – feeling like reality is getting you down? Then pick up this book and sink into an epic fantasy love story.

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Book Review: Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands

VampireMostWanted mm cSynopsis:

Take a road trip with the undead . . . in this latest in the argeneau series by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands

For Basha Argeneau, anything is better than facing her estranged family. Even hiding out in sweltering southern California. But when a sexy immortal in black shows up determined to bring her back to the clan, she’ll do anything to keep far, far away from the past she can’t outrun.

Marcus Notte isn’t here to play games—especially not with someone as crazy as the infamous blonde. Asked by Lucian Argeneau to bring her back for questioning, Marcus is determined to carry out Lucian’s request—no matter how the seductive little mind-reading vamp feels about it.

Basha doesn’t mind fighting fire with fire, especially with a hot immortal involved. But if he wants to take her away, he’ll have to catch her first . . .

About the Author:author

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. For more information.

My Review:

So, when I agreed to review this book, I didn’t notice that it was book 20 in the series! Holy crap, 20 books! Well, fortunately you don’t need to read them all, or in order, to appreciate this one. I adored the idea of a vampire working as a fortune teller in a travelling carnival and found the family politics involved (that had obviously spanned the previous books) to be intruiging.

The book, although strictly a paranormal romance, was actually quite dark in its themes and included a strong emphasis on abuse, which isn’t for everyone. To be honest though, I thought the whole thing was actually done very well, and for me, it was a pleasant change from the usual sickly sweet romance. Vampires are not as ‘in’ as they used to be, but it was good to see them portrayed as intricate and dark characters – rather than moody angst filled heart throbs.

From a writer’s perspective I found the third person head swapping hard to follow (this is just me, I always find this) however with this one there were no chapter breaks between, so was more 3rd person omnipotent than limited. My biggest gripe though is that this book included the ‘soul mate’ side plot which I do find frustrating generally. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but having characters who are meant to be together is unrealistic and cheapens the plot. I know, vampires aren’t real (that we know of!) but when it comes to the paranormal having real aspects of life helps to strengthen the overal world building, and have your two main characters in love so quickly without much effort, does make me roll my eyes.

The front cover is okay, but it doesn’t include the carnival or really expresses the essence of the book. I realise that there is a branding theme at work here, but a ferris wheel in the background a slightly more playful background colour could have made all the difference.

Overall, I’d give Vampire Most Wanted 4 out of 5 stars, a dark romance you shouldn’t miss.

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