Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #5
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Fantasy
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
And then make her want to stay.
Title: Midnight Soul
Series: Fantasyland #5
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2016
I remembered that look.
I relished that look.
Not only on my Antoine but any lover I’d had (but, obviously, getting it from Antione was far more rewarding).
It was a look I worked toward, putting great energy and imagination into it, losing myself in these endeavors, feeling free of my name, my history, my secrets, my responsibilities, and reveling in my success as if I’d scaled mountains.
It was my greatest talent outside, of course (as any good Drakkar would excel), honing in on any vulnerability and manipulating it for the greatest possible gain—coin, jewels, furs, favors, silence, information, or simply for amusement.
Seeing the look on Noctorno at that moment, I knew Circe too had performed well (admirably well, I might add, considering her dismal past).
I also recognized—focusing on it keenly—what Circe might have missed, or perhaps what Noctorno hid from her understanding, or simply just sensing, how she came to him.
He was not done.
If she had not given indication she wished him out of her bedchamber, he’d still be in it.
Indeed, he might be in it all night, and not to sleep.
He might have been in it, perhaps, for days.
As these thoughts flitted in my mind, I became aware he’d fully entered the room, was stopped not far from my chair, and was standing, chin tipped down, eyes regarding me with a scrutiny that I found so uncomfortable I actually shifted in my seat.
I ceased this reaction the instant I became aware of it, appalled at myself.
Giving something away so easily? Especially something like discomfiture?
You’ve ruined me, I snapped silently at Antoine.
My dead lover had no rejoinder.
“You okay?” Noctorno asked.
“Am I what?” I asked in return.
His head gave a slight twitch before he went on, “You okay? All right?” His voice lowered. “It’s been a tough day, babe, for all of us. Including you.”
I looked beyond him to the fire, lifting my wine to my lips but not sipping it until after I murmured, “I’m perfectly fine.”
“Yeah, right,” he stated, and the disbelief veritably dripping from his tone made my gaze flick immediately back to him.
This meant I watched as he sauntered right in front of me to the chair accompanying mine, threw his lengthy frame in it and reached for the wine at the table that separated our seats.
He also reached for the extra glass.
These were seats, I shall add, that were turned at corners to each other with a small, round table in between, so my knee was nearly touching his.
It was on the tip of my tongue to share that I had not invited him to attend me.
Alas, I became distracted by his long fingers, and the words died in my mouth.
This story had every facet I’ve come to love and expect from a Kristen Ashley book. Masculine, unwavering and heroic Alphas. Heroines with strength and grace I cannot fathom how one person possesses. Adventure the likes of which I’ve never read. Heartache and strife that cuts so deep you feel as if your soul is bleeding. Happily ever after that bring tears pouring down your face. So with all of that, what makes it stand out you ask? Beauty. Pure beauty. From the first page until the last, this is above and beyond her most beautiful book to date. And this comes from a character we’ve all but despised for four long books. Only the Queen could accomplish such a feat, and she did so flawlessly. Bravo.
From near the beginning there was a crucial character twist that in my wildest dreams, I never would have seen coming. It not only changed all my beliefs of many characters, but it set the somber yet hopeful tone for the remainder of the story. Franka and Noc’s story was slow building, a fire always just barely burning beneath the surface. But it was constant. It was consistent. And above all, it was true to the characters. Believable to its core, I felt myself growing and falling in love right along with them. And what a beautiful journey it was. I love that this book featured a formula not used in the other four; a heroine from the Fantastical world and a hero from our world. Not only that, but as most of the story was told from Frank’s POV, we were able to experience everything in our world through her eyes. And let me tell you, that’s where all of KA’s classic comedy comes into play. Never have I wanted to eat pizza more than while reading this book.
I especially love how true to the characters Ashley stayed. Though there were revelations, at their core they stayed true to themselves. They shed the masks the world saw and let their light shine through. Be it golden or midnight, their light shone true and it was breathtaking nonetheless. Whereas the other book in the series are full of danger and suspense, that wasn’t really what this book was about. And while you may be discouraged about that, don’t be. Because for these two characters, settling into normal was exactly what their relationship needed. There was never a moment that I doubted they were 100% meant for each other, body and soul, and I love that I never doubted what I felt towards them. I loved all the friendships that developed in this book, most especially the realization that Franka had about Josette and what was built from there. Through the hilarity and touching moments that ensued, it truly was heartbreaking to see just how alone she was before this book began.
If you’re looking for an epic series and an even more breathtaking love story, look no further than Kristen Ashley’s Fantastical series and its conclusion, Midnight Soul. Never have I ever seen a book so perfectly wrap up a series yet do it in a way that it was still its own story. We were given a chance to heal past transgressions and even see where our other couples were currently headed. I finished this book and was left with so much love and hope in my heart. So full, it was close to bursting and I was literally in tears from the beauty. The only question I have now is… will we be seeing a story for Valentine sometime in the future?! Hey, a girl can hope…
The Fantasyland Series is a series of five novels that take place in our world and a parellel universe where fantasies are true… but perhaps not all you would expect.
Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can have the adventure of a lifetime.
But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.
Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.
But at the same time Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and… dragons.
Circe Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire – and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she’s not having a wild dream, she’s living a frightening nightmare where she’s been transported to a barren land populated by a primitive people and in short order, she’s installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen.
Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend.
Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she’s from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.
Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats and furniture zigs, zags and whirls in miracles of construction.
The problem is, she thinks she’s in a dream but she’s actually taken the place of the parallel universe Cora and without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva.
At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare.
Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn’t like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won’t be convinced.
But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.
Far too young, Apollo Ulfr lost Ilsa, his wife, the love of his life and the mother of his two children. The grief of her loss does not settle in his soul, it solders to it. But when he discovers there is a parallel universe where his wife may have a twin, he feels there’s hope and sets about bringing her to his world so he can have her back.
But Ilsa Ulfr of our world is married to the parallel universe’s twin, Pol, who is not a good man. Not in any way. She’s on the run from him and the last thing she wants is to be transported to a fantastical world and be forced to take his side as his wife, even if he is not Pol. And Apollo finds the broken, bitter Ilsa nothing like his beloved and he further wants nothing to do with her.
But darkness is looming and evil is amassing. Apollo must protect his land and keep his family safe, including the new Ilsa.