Paranormal Romance - Science Fiction - Anthologies
December 12th 2017
ARC Review Copy
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…
Overall Rating of Amid the Winter Snow: 4 Stars
Amid the Winter Snow features four novellas that where charming, delightful, and engaging to read. Thea Harrison is the only author in this anthology I’m familiar with, so the other three were new to me. I was drawn into the stories and taken for a whirlwind ride of heartache, conflict, healing, and love. Each novella is distinct, special, and focuses around a winter holiday. Out of all the novellas featured the only one I didn’t care for was The Snows of Windroven by Jeffe Kennedy.
Below you will find my individual reviews for each novella in this anthology.
The Darkest Midnight by Grace Draven – 5 Stars
I very much loved The Darkest Midnight. I couldn’t put the story down and devoured from begging to end.
When we first meet Jahna she is only fifteen and being tormented by a group of girls. The Delyalda celebration is never a fun time for her; because of this. As the years move on we see her learn swordsman ship along side her brother as well as becoming an accomplished scholar by writing down all the stories she is told. At the begging we also meet Radimar he is seven years older then Jahna and to be her brothers sword master teacher for four years. We see how their relationship develops over the years. How the romance blossoms between them. It’s sad and sweet.
I liked how the author made the time move on and how the characters change and grow throughout years. It was also very sweet how Radimar helped coax Jahna to be more confident and have courage.
The Darkest Midnight was a remarkable, sweet, and captivating read.
The Chosen by Thea Harrison – 4 Stars
I very much enjoy the Elder Race series and this novella was no exception.
Lily can see things and she’s been having dreams about two men battling. Now that Wulf has arrived on her doorstep she must choose sides. One will lead to happiness, while the other will lead to despair.
Wolf is a bad and good man wrapped up in one. He’s formidable and honorable too. Lily is the Chosen and leader of her people. I liked Lily and Wolf. Both knew the hardship of being leaders for their people and living with chooses that may not always turn out. Their chemistry together was wonderful, these two complemented each other, and their romance was enchanting.
The Chosen is a magical story full of confrontation and desire.
The Storm by Elizabeth Hunter – 4.5 Stars
I was a bit unsure going into The Storm, but the more I read the more interesting the novella became and now I’m curious about reading the series this one takes place in the Iron Chronicles.
Renata & Maxim from what I got are side characters in the series or so it seams to me. Since I haven’t read the series I’m not positive. A lot happens; before these two meet and after they meet as well. Their courtship spans over 18-years.
The author showcase Renata and Maxim throughout the years. We get some of their backstory as well as little parts of information on what happens in the Iron Chronicles series too. I cried in a few parts throughout this novella. It’s hard to move on when your lose is so big, but Maxim never gives up on Renata and their love is captivating.
The Storm gives us loss, heartache, healing, love, and learning to let go and move on. It keeps up with the series it’s part of, but also stands very much on it’s own.
The Snows of Windroven by Jeffe Kennedy – 2.5 Stars
This one was my least favorite. Why? Well we’re coming into the middle of this couples relationship or whatever it is between them. The backstory is lacking and from what I’ve discovered this novella is part of The Twelve Kingdoms series. Ami has her own story, The Tears of the Rose.
Ami is Queen and also an Avatar for a Goddess. She’s also got two young children from a previous marriage, not sure on how that relationship was, but we know her husband is dead. Ash is a low born, a half-blooded something, and was thrown in prison as a child for who knows what. Their relationship is push and pull. He knows deep down that he will have to let her go, even though he loves her and she loves him, but he keeps pulling away. It’s so back and forth. Also their is mention of a waking dragon at Castle Windroven, but that storyline/plot isn’t completed.
It feels like the reader is missing a lot if they haven’t read at least Ami’s book. The Snows of Windroven doesn’t feel like it can stand on it’s own. It needs the series to put things fully into view.
Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!