Amid the Winter Snow
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 DravenThe 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 HarrisonIn 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 HunterWhen 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 KennedyAs 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 Details

TitleAmid the Winter Snow
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 12th, 2017
PublisherBrightlynx Publishing
Rating
GenreFantasy, Anthologies, Paranormal, Romance

Amid the Winter Snow Review

  • Elizabeth Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    YOU GUYZZZZZZ.I got to do a thing with all these authors I love! I AM SO SITTING AT THE COOL KIDS TABLE.And you can totally sit with us because on December 12th, Amid the Winter Snow is releasing! These are four brand new holiday-ish novellas and mine is set in the Irin Chronicles series featuring Max...(Hi, Maxim.)And RENATA! Who is such a badass, I just can't with her. She's amazing.So here's the expanded synopsis for THE STORM:On the darkest night of winter, can he bring light to her wounded YOU GUYZZZZZZ.I got to do a thing with all these authors I love! I AM SO SITTING AT THE COOL KIDS TABLE.And you can totally sit with us because on December 12th, Amid the Winter Snow is releasing! These are four brand new holiday-ish novellas and mine is set in the Irin Chronicles series featuring Max...(Hi, Maxim.)And RENATA! Who is such a badass, I just can't with her. She's amazing.So here's the expanded synopsis for THE STORM:On the darkest night of winter, can he bring light to her wounded heart?
Scarred by loss, Irina warrior Renata has held the world at a distance. Fighting the Grigori and protecting humanity are her goals, but her heart remains frozen to the bonds of family and love. Only one scribe, Maxim of Riga, has managed to see through Renata’s armor.Maxim may spend his days collecting intelligence for the Irin Council, but his nights are spent dreaming about a prickly Irina warrior who continues to elude his dogged pursuit. They’ve been lovers and allies for decades, but Max wants more. He knows Renata was wounded, but he also sees her capacity for love.On the darkest night of winter, in the halls of her ancestral home, Renata is forced to face her past. Can a fierce storm and a stubborn scribe coax her back to life, or will she retreat into duty forever?THE STORM is a paranormal romance novella in the Irin Chronicles.
In addition to Max and Renata's story, there's a nice little side-plot about a very INTERESTING addition to the Irin world. And for those of you wondering, I will eventually be publishing this on its own, but probably not until next holiday season. So if you're an Irin fan, grab this now! It's really a tremendous value because I know most of my readers love at least one of the other three other authors in this anthology. And if you've never read any of them before, TRUST ME, you're going to want to!
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  • RachelW (BamaGal)
    January 1, 1970
    The Darkest Midnight - Grace Draven.4.5 Stars. This is such a lovely story, as always. Draven is a wonderful fantasy storyteller who I wish put out books at a faster pace. The novella is set in the same world as ‘Master of Crows’ and ‘Wraith Kings’. Jahna is a spirited young woman with a facial disfigurement, and Lord Radimar her brother’s new sword master. An engaging, well told short story which takes place over period of years as Jahna, a young apprentice king’s chronicler, pens a record of R The Darkest Midnight - Grace Draven.4.5 Stars. This is such a lovely story, as always. Draven is a wonderful fantasy storyteller who I wish put out books at a faster pace. The novella is set in the same world as ‘Master of Crows’ and ‘Wraith Kings’. Jahna is a spirited young woman with a facial disfigurement, and Lord Radimar her brother’s new sword master. An engaging, well told short story which takes place over period of years as Jahna, a young apprentice king’s chronicler, pens a record of Radimar’s life. The ending was a tad cutesy in the rush to wrap up; but overall it was prime Draven excellence. The teaser about Megiddo left this fangirl’s heart fluttering. Le sigh...The Chosen - Thea Harrison 3 Stars. This one is part of the author’s pretty good “Elder Races” series, but takes place completely on Ys, with random mentions of the earth plane. Lily is ‘the Chosen’ of the realm, and has a vision that two warriors will battle over her home, and one will win her. That’s pretty much it for the storyline. It took place in just a couple of days; in which Wulf came, saw, and conquered. This short story suffers from the same problems as Harrison’s other between-the-books ss. There is really not much plotline, the story rambles on, and is highly over-descriptive to fill page space. As always, these ss suffer greatly from the lack of professional editing and polish that could reduce some of these glaring issues.The Storm - Elizabeth Hunter4 Stars. This short story takes place within Hunter’s “Irin Chronicles” world. Renata lost her mate to a Grigori attack, and Max has spent 18 years trying to work his way into her heart and life. Although I love Hunter’s lyrical writing style and her other books, this has not been my favorite series written by her. I did enjoy the second chance at love trope, but I’m not a fan of flashbacks; and this went even further, into timeline jumping. I found that frustrating. Other than that, this is a very enjoyable, well written story by a favorite author set in a fascinating fantasy setting.The Snows of Windroven - Jeffe KennedyWill get to this soon...
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  • Shanna Matheo
    January 1, 1970
    Thea, Grace and Jeffe in one anthology?
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    I came for the Elder Races and got sucked into all of them.The Darkest Midnight: Oh, man. Jahna and Radimar had the most wonderful slow burn romance. Part of this is because Jahna is young when they first meet and she needs to grow into herself, and part of it is because Radimar is trying to convince himself his lifestyle isn't the type that takes a wife. Yet, he still has decidedly non-brotherly thoughts about Jahna even when he's trying to think of her in that way. It was, in a word, perfect.T I came for the Elder Races and got sucked into all of them.The Darkest Midnight: Oh, man. Jahna and Radimar had the most wonderful slow burn romance. Part of this is because Jahna is young when they first meet and she needs to grow into herself, and part of it is because Radimar is trying to convince himself his lifestyle isn't the type that takes a wife. Yet, he still has decidedly non-brotherly thoughts about Jahna even when he's trying to think of her in that way. It was, in a word, perfect.The Chosen: I'm a HUGE Elder Races fan, so it should come as no surprise that I absolutely ADORED Lily and Wulf's story. Lily was just so sweet and mindful that every choice she makes will have an impact on her people. And Wulf...Wulf is everything I love about Elder Races heroes. He's crafty and forceful, but he sees that too heavy a hand will send Lily running. So he takes his time with her and it was FANTASTIC. I guess you could say Lily's sweetness brought out his lighter side. Honestly, Wulf needed that lightness. With everything he's had to deal with lately, he's buried under a cloud and the idea that he was heading to war wears on him.I just... <3 <3 <3The Storm: Renata and Max. The whole soul mate dying thing was rough. Renata was so broken after. Even when she wasn't broken-broken, she was still hanging onto her heartache so tightly she couldn't see how much Max meant to her. Finding the secret in the caverns helps her in more ways than one. Facing her pain ends up making her stronger. That said, I'm pretty sure Max would stand by her whether she was still lost or not.The Snows of Windroven: Okay. So I have the BIGGEST soft spot for damaged heroes who can't see how heroic they really are. Ash TOTALLY checks off all those boxes. The guy has a lot of baggage and his sense of self-worth is pretty tarnished after his years in prison, but he's a good one. His biggest flaw is probably his lack of communication. But, again, those years in prison can mess with a man. Good thing Ami is the sort to force a confrontation. It takes a while to drag his fears out of him, but she perseveres and gets the big guy talking and it's FANTASTIC.-Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
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  • Jeffe Kennedy
    January 1, 1970
    Loved reading the other stories!! All so delicious. You guys are gonna love it :D
  • Dmcl
    January 1, 1970
    I love to read Thea Harrison. She is the one of the most talented authors I know. She creates worlds where I want to live and characters who I want to know. Her contribution to Amid the Winter Snow is the story called The Chosen, set in the world of the Elder Races. Magic abounds in this realm and countries are at war. The priestesses of Camaeline Abbey find themselves in a standoff against the Wolf of Braugne, a powerful leader determined to take over the world of Ys. But he has never faced th I love to read Thea Harrison. She is the one of the most talented authors I know. She creates worlds where I want to live and characters who I want to know. Her contribution to Amid the Winter Snow is the story called The Chosen, set in the world of the Elder Races. Magic abounds in this realm and countries are at war. The priestesses of Camaeline Abbey find themselves in a standoff against the Wolf of Braugne, a powerful leader determined to take over the world of Ys. But he has never faced the likes of Lily, a feisty and powerful priestess who appears to be much more than she seems. Their sparring is so clever and their insights so sage, their attraction so powerful that the reader turns each page yearning for more. Soon, we get just that as they uncover the true villain in a conspiracy meant to discredit The Wolf and take down all. One doesn’t have to know the world of the Elder Races in order to appreciate this novella, but after reading this I’m sure she’ll want to.I received this anthology from the author and will update my review as I read the others. I am very familiar with their works and count myself a great fan of all. This is indeed a great gift just in time for the Christmas season and I strongly recommend to all.
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  • Kim Shumaker
    January 1, 1970
    Thea Harrison writes such great stories and I loved reading about Lily and Wulf in the The Chosen. I am a huge fan of her Moonshadow series and can't wait to start reading the Elder Races as I know I will not be disappointed. I was provided with a copy of this anthology by the author and will update my review as I read the other other stories.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    These short stories/novellas from 4 terrific authors was a fantastic read. Each author has written a great story that read individually can stand up to challenge but combined into this anthology it surpasses itself. Each book has a great storyline was great and the characters were engaging and interesting. A big thank you to the authors.
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  • Raluca E
    January 1, 1970
    #ARC #netgalley #winterromaceI have received an ARC of this wonderful compilation of stories via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.In the Darkest Midnight - Grace DravenIt’s been a while since I read a book by Grace Draven (I don’t know why and this is something I must rectify immediately) and had almost forgotten what a way with words she has. Her stories flow so nicely and they’re an absolute pleasure to experience. Just a few examples of her beautiful writing: “pack of silk clad wolv #ARC #netgalley #winterromaceI have received an ARC of this wonderful compilation of stories via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.In the Darkest Midnight - Grace DravenIt’s been a while since I read a book by Grace Draven (I don’t know why and this is something I must rectify immediately) and had almost forgotten what a way with words she has. Her stories flow so nicely and they’re an absolute pleasure to experience. Just a few examples of her beautiful writing: “pack of silk clad wolves” or “the feral glitter of eagerness in her eyes” Let me tell you, I have a thing for names. A name that doesn’t sound interesting can ruin a book for me. Not here though – I mean, Radimar Velus (swoon). Need I say more? I also like that some of Grace Draven’s characters are not necessarily drop-dead gorgeous, but instead have interesting facial features and sometimes even “imperfections”. This also seems to be the case here, with Radimar’s defining feature being “the most arresting pair of green eyes she’d ever beheld” and Jahna’s face marked by a stain, which, however, did not detract from her beauty and which Radimar referred to as a kiss by the god of the sun.Jahna is young at the start at of the story (15), but very bright and witty. She suffers at being mocked by her generation’s bullies for the mark on her face, but nevertheless finds ways to strike back. Luckily, her father loves her greatly and insists that she should not avoid people as she might be inclined to. Radimar is not much older (22), but has been a master swordsman for a few years and his role is to teach Jahna’s brother (and Jahna) the art of sword fighting. We are presented with snippets of their life together over a period of a few years, as their appreciation of each other grows. There is a final leap of eight years, when the story wraps up nicely in an HEA. I am giving this story 4*, but only to differentiate between this one and the next. The Chosen - Thea HarrisonThis story is set in the Elder Races universe – on the other “side” of Earth, but none of the characters we know (and love) make an appearance. My, oh, my, how I enjoyed this. There is very little I like more in a book then an ice-cold (yet also hot) hero, who is slowly thawed by a sunny heroine, and that is what I think happened here, although it didn't take long for the thawing to occur. Lily (27) is a gentle soul and a powerful witch (and overall a very nice person), while Wulfgar is a ruthless commander set on conquering the Y kingdoms. The attraction between them becomes quite obvious early on, especially as he teases her unrepentantly (any man who sensually woos a woman with chocolate has every right to be unrepentant, in my view). Lily has been having visions that have led her to believe that she will have to choose between a wolf (Wulfgar) and a tiger (Varian, King of the neighboring kingdom), to keep the Ys kingdoms safe. (view spoiler)[We only meet Varian through stories, so this is not an actual love triangle (which I, personally, am grateful for) (hide spoiler)]I won’t go into the details for fear of ruining the story for you, but I will say that everything about it was gripping, the world, the plot, the characters, all of it. While Grace Draven’s story was very sweet and romantic, this one was hot, delicious and action-packed. I probably enjoyed it more, but that’s just me and it’s probably because I don’t have a romantic bone in my body and I do like a story that keeps me enthralled and unable to focus on anything else. 5* stars as far as I am concerned (and it's no surprise, since Thea Harrison is one of my favourite authors).The Storm - Elizabeth HunterThis story takes place in the Irin Chronicles universe (for those of you who are familiar with the series, this is Max and Renata’s story) and, as was the case with all the other books I’ve read from this series, it’s very hard for me to review. I have a love/hate relationship with the Irin Chronicles and that is mostly due to the stubbornness and single-mindedness of the Irina (the female angelic offspring). I really dislike people who hold onto a grudge, no matter how deep their hurt, and these women take grudges to a whole new level. I also dislike the idea of responding to violence with violence, for example killing your enemy’s children because your enemies killed the children of your race and because those children might turn into monsters (figuratively) when they grow up. There are a number of other traits I dislike and that the Irina embody, but I am not going to list all of them here. However, I will say that while reading about the Irina (including in this story), I often found myself wanting to strangle (or at least shake) some sense into these women. That’s how frustrated I was with them.Having said (all) that, Elizabeth Hunter is a wonderful author and the fact that a bunch of fictional characters made me feel such strong, albeit negative, emotions, is a testament to her talent. I also very much appreciate the fact that the author used this story to bring awareness to the plight of people who have to flee from conflict zones, such as Syria. This is why I am giving this story 4*. That and Max, who is a wonderful, sweet, patient and compassionate man and whose story I very much enjoyed reading.The Snows of Windroven - Jeffe KennedyThe Snows of Windroven was a very pleasant surprise for me. While I am familiar with Jeffe Kennedy's work and thoroughly enjoyed The Uncharted Realms, I have not actually read any of the books in The Twelve Kingdom trilogy. So I went into this knowing the world and a bit about the characters, but without having read how their story began, which however did not detract from the story at all. For those of you who are also familiar with the twelve kingdoms and their inhabitants, know that this is a lovely story about Queen Amelia (Ami) and her lover, the part-bllod Tala ex-convict, Ash. I very much enjoyed the story and am sure that part of it was because it was told from Ash's POV (I have a soft spot for stories told from the H's perspective). Ash has not had an easy life and has plenty of wounds and scars, both inside and out, but Ami's (and her children's) love is exactly the balm Ash needs to heal completely. And what better setting to do so than during a snow blizzard, in a castle sitting on a mountain inside of which a dragon is waking from slumber. 4.5* from me for this wonderful closure (or perhaps new beginning) to Ami's and Ash's story.
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  • E.
    January 1, 1970
    Thus far, I have only managed to read 2 of the 4 stories...I will post the rest when I finish the book.4.5 stars“The Chosen” by Thea Harrison is a fantasy novella featuring the Chosen of Camael, goddess of the Hearth, and the Wolf of Braugne, as they jockey with each other in a delicate dance that will affect the balance of power in the land of Ys. The Chosen has had multiple visions that show her choice between the two men vying for control is pivotal, now she has to figure out which is the mon Thus far, I have only managed to read 2 of the 4 stories...I will post the rest when I finish the book.4.5 stars“The Chosen” by Thea Harrison is a fantasy novella featuring the Chosen of Camael, goddess of the Hearth, and the Wolf of Braugne, as they jockey with each other in a delicate dance that will affect the balance of power in the land of Ys. The Chosen has had multiple visions that show her choice between the two men vying for control is pivotal, now she has to figure out which is the monster...the Wolf she has met, or the Tiger who has only interacted with her through correspondence. The wrong choice could result in the death and destruction of all she holds dear.I am always fascinated by the way this author integrates stories of vastly different beings into her well-built universe and balances familiar aspects with new situations. The goddess featured has been mentioned in other stories but I don’t remember reading about any of her devotees, so I was intrigued by her presence in this story. Despite the unseasonably warm weather I was enjoying, I was tempted to shiver when immersed in the tale, especially given the treacherous journeys the main characters seemed determine to undertake. I love the twists and turns that provide texture and orient one with respect to the environs of other stories, even as the mystery of the Wolf’s true character is explored and the Chosen’s powers are gradually revealed. This story serves as an introduction to a power struggle that will undoubtedly provide fodder for other tales, and ends with a happy for now resolution that whets one’s appetite for further adventures featuring these charismatic folks.4.25 stars“In the Darkest Midnight” by Grace Draven follows Jahna Ulfrida, whose birthmark has shaped her personality and made her the target of unkind assailants. When her brother’s renowned fighting instructor, Radimar Velus, becomes part of their household, she begins to absorb lessons that will change her life and shape her future.This novella gives insight into the machinations of the upper echelons of a society that values social status and fighting prowess. I was entertained by the story but am unfamiliar with the lands that are briefly described and would have liked to know more about the bigger picture since tantalizing glimpses were provided through the stories Jahna recorded or the information relayed by others. This is a new author for me, so I don’t know whether this story connects to an established series or if groundwork is being laid, but it would be nice to have more background. I enjoyed getting to know these main characters in a story that is reminiscent of a historical romance but it would be nice to get a closer look at the fantasy elements that are evidently part of this world. I definitely will be on the lookout for other works by this author and hope to see other stories featuring these characters.A copy of this book was provided to me for review
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  • Books In Brogan
    January 1, 1970
     I loved the anthology, the stories by Thea Harrison, Grace Draven, Elizabeth Hunter are standalone but the one by Jeffe Kennedy is set in her Twelve Kingdoms world.   All the stories are full of exciting adventures with unforgettable characters.  This review was originally posted on Books In Brogan
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    I did get approve for this via netgalley and I'm saying this now. The ONLY story that I'm reading is Grace Draven's cause it's the only reason why I requested it. I love Grace and I know she's going to bring the slow burn sensual romance cause she's the queen of it. So my review of this will probably be only based on Grace's. lol
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  • Mskychick
    January 1, 1970
    In the Darkest Midnight by Grave Draven: 5 starsThe Chosen by Thea Harrison: 6+ starsThe Storm by Elizabeth Hunter: 3 starsThe Snows of Windroven by Jeffe Kennedy: 4-1/2 starsI cannot say enough great things about this anthology!!
  • Carol Heisz
    January 1, 1970
    I read The Chosen by Thea Harrison and loved it. I was captivated by Wolf and Lily’s story! I can’t wait to read more!!!
  • Blodeuedd Finland
    January 1, 1970
    The Darkest Midnight by Grace DravenOh it took me a while to realise where the story took place. It has been too long since I read that awesome book of hers! And this takes place in the same world, but another country.I like Jahna, I felt sorry for her too, but she was great and knew what she wanted. To be a chronicler, you go girl.And yes it is a romance, even if there is not a lot of romance. Just a dance between two people, but there will be a happy ending even if I could not see it. But then The Darkest Midnight by Grace DravenOh it took me a while to realise where the story took place. It has been too long since I read that awesome book of hers! And this takes place in the same world, but another country.I like Jahna, I felt sorry for her too, but she was great and knew what she wanted. To be a chronicler, you go girl.And yes it is a romance, even if there is not a lot of romance. Just a dance between two people, but there will be a happy ending even if I could not see it. But then, oh perfect for sure.
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  • Kaetrin
    January 1, 1970
    pre-ordered from Amazon.
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Edited the stories "The Storm" by Elizabeth Hunter and "The Chosen" by Thea Harrison
  • The Word Nerd Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Overall book rating: 4.5 starsAmid the Winter Snow is a beautiful anthology of stories by well-known authors: Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy. Of the four I had only previously read titles by Grace Draven and Elizabeth Hunter. Although now I will certainly be checking out Thea Harrison’s other titles.The Darkest Midnight – Grace DravenFor fans of Grace Draven this novella is everything that you would expect, maybe not as steamy as her full length novels, but the Overall book rating: 4.5 starsAmid the Winter Snow is a beautiful anthology of stories by well-known authors: Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy. Of the four I had only previously read titles by Grace Draven and Elizabeth Hunter. Although now I will certainly be checking out Thea Harrison’s other titles.The Darkest Midnight – Grace DravenFor fans of Grace Draven this novella is everything that you would expect, maybe not as steamy as her full length novels, but the emotion more than makes up for it!Grace has this magical way of writing her stories. Her prose is almost lyrical and often hypnotic in a way that you just can’t stop reading. It’s always ‘just one more page, one more chapter….’ Her characters are always well developed; you will not find any unrealistic paragons of virtue in her stories, all characters have their strengths and weaknesses and are more real, and so more likeable, because of it.It’s difficult to talk about this story without giving away any spoilers. But in a nutshell, it is a critique of the petty mindedness of the ‘herd mentality’ where to be different means to be shunned and excluded. It is a story of strength and resilience and it was a joy to watch Jahna grow from the young girl hiding in the shadows to the strong and confident woman she becomes, thanks in part, to her relationship with the sword master, Radimar.This story is connected to the Wraith Kings series, but it can be read as a standalone as the connections are very minor. Although I highly recommend reading the Wraith Kings it is a brilliant series!!The Chosen – Thea HarrisonThea Harrison is a new author for me, but I enjoyed The Chosen so much that I will be going back to her other titles. Wulf is absolutely gorgeous and together with Lily they make a good pair. This novella had so much potential to be expanded to a full book. I hope we’ll get to opportunity to meet up again with these characters in another series.The writing was smooth and flowing, world building was excellent, and all characters, including those in the periphery, were well developed.This was a lovely fast paced romance. Highly Recommended.The Storm – Elizabeth HunterThis story is a novella of the Irin Chronicles, but it can be read as a standalone as enough information is given to follow along. You may not completely understand the wider scope of the relationships between the secondary characters and who they are, but it’s not really important to this story.This story is ultimately about tragedy and letting go. It was lovely. I’d quite happily take Maxim home myself, such a lovely character. There was certainly chemistry between Maxim and Renata and I found myself cheering for a happy ending.I’ve read a couple of Elizabeth Hunter’s books and I enjoy her writing style. Her world building and characterisations are always consistent and she has that extra something that makes you want to turn the pages.The Snows of Windroven – Jeffe KennedyThe Snows of Windroven is a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms Series. Jeffe Kennedy is another new author to me, but unfortunately this was my least favourite of the anthology but not because of any deficits in Ms Kennedy’s writing. This was the only novella in the anthology where I felt I needed to read the other stories in the series to get more information.This story read like it was the final chapters, or an extended epilogue, of the main book. Although attempts were made to explain characters, situations, and concepts I felt that it left the reader with only a surface understanding of who was who and what was happening.For me, this was a shame because the novella has a lot of potential. I liked the characters, they seemed like they would have been well developed and so easy to like, if not love, if you’d read the earlier book(s).This story has piqued my interest enough that I will put this series on by TBR pile and see if I can catch up with these characters and understand more fully where they are coming from.If you’ve read the other books in this series I’m sure you’ll love this novella. I very much enjoyed Ms Kennedy’s writing style, I just found myself floundering to keep up with the characters.
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  • Kindling Micky
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars overall In the Darkest Midnight - Grace Draven 4.5 starsGrace Draven delivered on a novella with the fullest sense of story, characterisation and completion. It had a seasonal feel in terms of some key moments in the story, though of course not traditional Christmas. This is a story told over more than a decade that is set in a world tenuously connected to Bast Haradis with a cameo from a character from Radiance and Eidolon. Jahna was a wonderful character, with that departure from tradi 4 stars overall In the Darkest Midnight - Grace Draven 4.5 starsGrace Draven delivered on a novella with the fullest sense of story, characterisation and completion. It had a seasonal feel in terms of some key moments in the story, though of course not traditional Christmas. This is a story told over more than a decade that is set in a world tenuously connected to Bast Haradis with a cameo from a character from Radiance and Eidolon. Jahna was a wonderful character, with that departure from traditional beauty that Grace Draven is so good at. Her admiration for Radimar is something to behold, young crush at first and over time their connection was beautiful. The world and the characters pulled me in so completely, the writing slipped into my imagination with ease. This winter anthology started off in the best way possible.The Chosen - Thea Harrison 4 starsThis is my first read by Thea Harrison and I can say I’m infected in the best way by the story and characters that she weaved. This magical story of war, confrontation, leadership, desire and connection was superb. Wulf was both a bad and good man wrapped up in one, formidable and yet honourable. Lily was the chosen one, leader of her people at the abbey. She was a very interesting character to get to know and I loved their chemistry together. I would have to say that I came to this anthology for Grace Draven and found Thea Harrison of a similar style, so I’ll be checking out her work.The Storm - Elizabeth Hunter 2.5 starsMy least favourite of the anthology, partly because angel stories aren’t really my bag (despite the subtlety of the context) and partly because I just didn’t gel with the storyline. I think this is because it is a novella from a wider series and I lacked knowledge of the world building necessary to appreciate it fully.The Snows of Windoven - Jeffe Kennedy 3.5 starsWhilst this book is a novella from a series I’ve not read, I did not feel disadvantaged. It was cleverly written so I could understand everything I needed for the purposes of this story and it’s world. The focus was a relationship of some longevity, a queen and consort and their battle to keep or lose what they had. It was sensual and riveting with a fantasy world that piqued my interest. A copy of this anthology was provided by the publisher through netgalley in return for a honest review.Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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  • Make Kay
    January 1, 1970
    AMID THE WINTER SNOW is an anthology that showcases some of my very favorite fantasy/paranormal romance authors. The theme underpinning the anthology is that of romance blooming during the stark beauty of a snowy winter season. Coming during the last month of the year, this book quite easily makes my personal Top 10 Books of the 2017 Year list. Y'all, get this book and dive in to these breathtaking stories containing lush descriptions, sumptuous worldbuilding, and satisfying romance.There are fo AMID THE WINTER SNOW is an anthology that showcases some of my very favorite fantasy/paranormal romance authors. The theme underpinning the anthology is that of romance blooming during the stark beauty of a snowy winter season. Coming during the last month of the year, this book quite easily makes my personal Top 10 Books of the 2017 Year list. Y'all, get this book and dive in to these breathtaking stories containing lush descriptions, sumptuous worldbuilding, and satisfying romance.There are four stories of Midwinter feature here. The first is THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT by Grace Draven. Jahna was born with a large red facial birthmark that makes her a target of others. The handsomeman who protects her from her tormenters turns out to be the swordmaster hired to train her brother to fight. Over the years, the swordmaster teaches Jahna to fight as well, and teaches her to trust and believe in herself. It’s an empowering story told with unbelievable richness of detail and in feeling, too. This is easily a 5 out of 5 star read.The second story is THE CHOSEN by Thea Harrison. This is set in her Elder Races. The gods and goddesses of the Elder play a part in this tale, and there is reference to the Wyr, (beings that have a human form and a second animal form, many of whom are immortal). However, no prior exposure to the Elders Races world is necessary. Lily is the head priestess at the abbey in Calles. She’s had visions showing she must pick between the tiger and the wolf to save her tiny country. Then Wulfgar of Guerlan shows up at her gate. Forced to work with Wulf to defend her abbey, the two are soon beguiled by each other as dangers surround them at every turn. I adore Lily, with her quick wit and her keen intelligence. I love that Wulf gives her the respect she is due and allows her to do what she needs to do, even if it hurts his heart, because he truly grows to love her. This story blew past my usual ratings, ranking well above 5 out of 5 stars.THE STORM by Elizabeth Hunter is set in her Irin Chronicles world. I have not read any other books in this particular series of Hunter's, so I did feel a little lost. Grigori killed Renata’s parents and her lifemate during a wholesale slaughter of an Irin scholar community. Renata taught herself to kill Grigori, and mets Maxim, a Watcher. Renata fled Maxim 18 years ago after he asked her to be his mate, and now Max has finally found her again. Max is absolutely lovely. He’s steadfast and compassionate. Renata is prickly and closed off, and kudos to Max for hanging in there with her! I give this story 3.5 out of 5 stars.The final novella is THE SNOWS OF WINDROVER by Jeffe Kennedy. This is set in Kennedy's Twelve Kingdoms world, which I love, so I happily fell into this tale. New Queen Amelia and her unofficial consort Ash hole up to survive a blizzard at their mountain keep. Poor Ash has PTSD from prior captivity and torture, and Amelia must heal his wounded heart before he can take a chance on their love and step up to govern with her. I adore this whole series, including TSOW. This gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.AMID THE WINTER SNOW is a fantastic collection of winter stories that transport us to other worlds and other winters, where love overcomes all. If you can only buy one more book this year, this is the one you want to pick up. I have submitted this review to Fresh Fiction on 12/3/17. Once it have been published at FreshFiction.com, I will modify this review to include just an excerpt, with a link to the full review at FreshFiction.com
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 starsTHE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace DravenThe 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 herselfTHE CHOSEN, by Thea HarrisonIn 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’ 4.25 starsTHE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace DravenThe 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 herselfTHE CHOSEN, by Thea HarrisonIn 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 doorTHE STORM, by Elizabeth HunterWhen 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 knowTHE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, by Jeffe KennedyAs 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 hopeI thoroughly enjoyed these short stories especially as they were completely different from my usual reads. All of the authors are new to me & so these novellas were a great introduction & I’ll certainly be reading more of their works. These are ideal for reading in a couple of hours.My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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