Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #1
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: self purchase
Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that life was meant to be lived, 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 when she’s fifteen. 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 see her parents again and have the adventure of a lifetime.
But nearly upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin of the alternate universe and shortly finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.
Instantly thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice (she did, of course, survive that elephant stampede, if she could do that, she can do anything), 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 (intensely) but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him (not to mention she is his destiny), without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.
I held off on reading this series because it was the last of my Kristen Ashley stash. Once I finish this I’ll be all caught up and I’ll have to wait for something new. As much as it’s been killing me, I’ve waited. Held off. Saved this one for a book/reading slump. Well let me tell you – I’ve been in one recently…a big one, like questioning my ability to keep at this whole blog thing slump. So I had to pull out the big guns. I’m glad I waited because I kicked that silly slump and my blog hesitations to the curb bitchslap style and now I have two more new to me ones in this series just waiting for me but I’m kinda’ pissed at myself for waiting so long! Geez, I could’ve had Frey goodness so many months ago! And Appolo, and Thaddeus…and so much more! I know some people have been a little hesitant to read this series. I was not..not at all, for I believe this statement from Wildest Dreams to be absolutely true:
“It is far from insane. Magic is entirely natural it is not insane.”
I love magic and dragons and elves and witches and all things mystical. I love that shit – it seriously makes me feel all warm and snuggly inside. It’s comfort food for me, if it’s done right. Of course Kristen Ashley does it right…she does all kinds of right (Date Night reference).
In true KA form, we get a super alpha, badass, sexy, slightly grumpy hero. And a seriously courageous, kick ass, smart and sassy heroine…Frey and Finnie. Even in a parallel universe, KA’s hot guys are not afraid to spell out exactly what they want and even in a parallel universe, the woman is highly perplexed and a little upset with herself by being so turned on by his bossy. What is it with the bossy being such a fucking turn on?
“Wife, arse over here.” Hmm. Not sure I liked that. Nope, I was wrong. I was sure I didn’t like that.
If you’ve not read the book, the Liner Notes do a great job getting you up to speed. The book doesn’t feel surreal at all. I mean they are riding horses and living by candle light but they are far from roughing it so that’s nice. The attraction between Finnie and Frey is actually kind of immediate and it completely catches both of them unawares. For their own reasons, they had no reason to even like each other going into their “first” meeting. Lucky for us, we get to watch them sort their feelings out. And let me tell you, when they finally come together, in the complete sense of coming together…holy shit, hot damn, whoa nelly. I read this in a bit of a buddy read situation with some Facebook friends and all I could type was…43% mark…did you read that yet?!!? Holy Hell 43% mark!! I’m not going to post the whole thing but here’s the end…
“He stayed inside me and took my mouth in a kiss as slow, sweet, deep and wet as how he just made love to me then he released my mouth but stayed close and slid his nose along mine.”
Ba-BAM! Panties melted. And later, when they drink the tea together…and then again after that. Man, there is nothing like a big strong man giving you what you want, just the way you want it. Amiright?!!? Frey knows his way around pleasing a woman, that Finnie is a lucky lass. But it’s not just the scandalicious sex with these two. Despite the odd circumstances, they genuinely fall in love with each other. And Frey is one smooth operator…not only does he do amazing things with his mouth, fucking legendary things with his mouth…but he says the sweetest stuff, too and not just to Finnie, but about her. I love a big alpha man who isn’t shy with the adoration he feels for his woman. He gets her, he feels her in his bones and it shows.
“She waits for me at windows and buys me dragons. There are reasons we walk this earth, I’m coming to realize mine.”
“I told him you have the spirit of the sea, the spirit of a Raider. I told him you’re a Voyager like him and like me. The Voyager doesn’t settle, his feet itch to move…”
I wasn’t sure how to work this quote in but deep in my heart I want it in this post so silly segue aside, here goes…Finnie does a remarkable thing to get to a place where she can be with her “parents”. They were adventurers just like her and I have to say, her Dad’s words of advice are fucking awesome and totally worthy of note.
“Dad always said, never look back. Always look forward. Always look where you’re going; never waste time on where you’ve been. You’ve been there…”
I love how open and honest Finnie is with everyone, especially Frey. She tells him he’s big and scary and no dead animals on her table. When he acts like an ass, she is hurt but she calls him on it. Finnie might be in a foreign land, but she’s no shrinking violet. She’s so brave and strong and smart and sassy, man I want to be Finnie’s best friend, especially if she can score me some of that special tea! Dayum.
So the book is chugging along and I’m thinking hmmm, as usual, Kristen Ashley has used her breathtaking words and descriptive talents to transport me to a world that should be completely strange but she makes it beautiful and real. I mean really beautiful imagery. She’s created these beautiful, strong characters that I had no choice but to fall in love with. We’ve had a little bit of angst but nothing too great to handle, no huge turmoil…maybe this is going to be a true fantastical, magical sweet romantical, it’s all good kind of story and then FUCK ME!! 89% hits my Kindle like a fucking freight train. So close to the end, I was lulled into a sense of calm. Well slap my ass and call me silly for thinking Kit would let me off that easily. The last 10% of Wildest Dreams is the proverbial money shot baby. Shit goes down. BIG shit goes down…tears and snot happened on my couch. And the epilogue…I can’t believe we have to wait for the story that’s hinted at in the epilogue. I’m totally scrunching up my face and shaking my fist at you Kit…in a lovingly way of course!
Fantasyland Series Reading Order
The Golden Dynasty
Untitled #4 – coming soon