Preorder alert: new Epic Fantasy Romance

PATH OF THE DARK is live! I’m so excited to share Elias and Ryana’s story with you! It’s been quite a journey. I began Book #1 of the Light and Darkness three years ago, and it feels quite an achievement—and a little sad—to bring the series to its conclusion now.

Dive into Book #3 of this complete Epic Fantasy Romance trilogy: full of magic, action, romance, and complex characters.

Here’s what readers are saying so far:

★★★★★ “A riveting fantasy.”
★★★★★ “Full of great surprises and twists! Jayne has created a great world and it sucks you right in!”
★★★★★ “Another great book by a talented writer. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The characters and plot were just perfect together.”

✔️A steamy, intense romance
✔️Political intrigue
✔️Rich fantasy world
✔️High action and adventure

He’s been sent to assassinate a princess … but a beautiful sorceress threatens to ruin his plans.

Get your copy here (the Kindle edition is currently at a special launch deal of US$2.99, although it will be going up to its full price next week):

AMAZON.COM
AMAZON.CO.UK
AMAZON.COM.AU
AMAZON.CA

I would love to know what you think of the novel, so please get in touch if you download a copy!

Best wishes,
Jayne

Path of the Dark is available on preorder!

It’s been a while since I posted last—mainly because I was waiting for when I had something big to announce!

And I do!

Over the past few months I’ve been hard at work getting Book #3 in the Light and Darkness series ready for publication. We now have a release date for PATH OF THE DARK: October 17 2019. The novel’s also available on preorder (the links are below).

He’s been sent to assassinate a princess … but a beautiful sorceress threatens to ruin his plans.

Elias of Anthor failed to kill the last surviving member of an overthrown royal family when he had the chance. Now his father wants him to finish the job. Traveling north under the guise of peace, Elias’s task is straightforward: start negotiations, get close to the princess, and end her life.

It’s straightforward until he meets a woman who will challenge him on every level.

Ryana is an enchanter who prefers singing in crowded taverns to following the rules of the Order she’s sworn to. A woman with a dark past, she’s trying to keep out of trouble when she meets Elias. He’s the son of a dictator, sent to negotiate peace with her king, and she distrusts him from the first—but she can’t deny the pull between them.

The Anthor prince represents everything she’s sworn to avoid. He’s dangerous, yet she can’t keep away from him.

Time is running out for Elias. But when it comes time to kill the princess, he finds himself faced with the most difficult decision of his life. Does he do his duty, listen to his conscience, or follow his heart?
➡️Preorder your copy now and it’ll be delivered to your Kindle on October 17th!

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XYK7NNJ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XYK7NNJ
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07XYK7NNJ
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07XYK7NNJ

 
The whole Light and Darkness series is getting a ‘new look’

To coincide with the upcoming release of Book #3 in the Light and Darkness series, a new edition of RULED BY SHADOWS (Book #1) is also coming! It will be available on Amazon by the end of the month (don’t worry … those of you who already bought a copy will be able to download the new version). If you can’t wait to read the ‘new look’ story, I have a limited number of Advance Review Copies available on Booksprout!

➡️ Get your ARC of RULED BY SHADOWS now!
https://booksprout.co/arc/20779/ruled-by-shadows

What’s changed? The book is still an emotional fantasy romance adventure story, but biggest difference in this new edition is that our heroine, Lilia, is a shape-shifter! Read the new blurb to find out more:

🔥Her secret has the power to change the world.🔥

Lilia is a shifter—yet she lives in a world where her kind have been hunted to near extinction.

Desperate to escape her small-minded village, and ignoring her mother’s warnings, she moves to a bustling port for a fresh start. But her new life, and her real identity, are put at risk when an enigmatic stranger leaves a charm-stone in her safekeeping.

What appears to be a humble hag stone—used by folk to ward off evil spirits—is in reality a powerful talisman. One that a secret brotherhood has spent five-hundred years searching for.

On an epic journey into danger and discovery, Lilia flees assassins who hunt the stone.

Two men travel with her, both pledging to protect her. But which one can she trust?

The shadows are deepening and an ancient evil risks being unleashed upon the world. Lilia must face the darkness, and embrace who she really is … or there will be no going home.

➡️ Read an ARC of the new edition of RULED BY SHADOWS!
https://booksprout.co/arc/20779/ruled-by-shadows
 

Update on PATH OF THE DARK

It’s been a while since I posted an update on Book #3 of the Light and Darkness series. I’d been immersed in other projects but finally got back on track with PATH OF THE DARK a month ago … and now the first draft is done!

It’s 95,000 words, so a decent size for an Epic Fantasy Romance. I’m really pleased with the state of the first draft (often I know there’s still quite a bit of rewriting to be done … but it feels pretty cohesive this time around … famous last words!). This week I’m doing my pre-editing read-through. This is where I put on head phones and go through the whole manuscript, listening to each chapter on Word’s Text To Speech. This helps pick up errors, highlights any clunky speech, or areas that need improving. It’s a really good idea as listening to your story really makes things jump out at you. This process should take a week and then it’s off for a structural edit!

In the meantime, I’ve been busy getting other aspects of the book ready for publication. I’ve had a new cover designed (the previous one wasn’t quite right) and am really happy with this new version. Here it is:

Path_of_the_Dark_4

I’ve also been working on the blurb/Amazon description:

Can she follow her heart without betraying her people?

Ryana, an enchanter of the Order of Light and Darkness, has given her life to serving others. However, when she meets the son of a dictator sent to negotiate peace with her king she realizes that there’s something important missing from her life: love.

Elias of Anthor’s mission isn’t one of peace—he’s been sent to kill the king of Rithmar. But once his assassination attempt goes awry, Elias soon sees that the only one who actually cares if he lives or dies is an enigmatic sorceress: one who both tempts and frustrates him.

As a great battle between their kingdoms looms, Ryana and Elias both find themselves at a cross-roads. If they survive the coming war, a chance for a new life beckons. However, it will require them to have the courage to give up their old identities forever.


In addition to focusing on PATH OF THE DARK, I’ve been looking at the series as a whole. It has been a couple of years since Book #1, RULED BY SHADOWS, came out. Since then I’ve had feedback about RULED BY SHADOWS. The consensus is that although readers have enjoyed it, the heroine, Lilia, is a bit tOo fearful and timid for most readers. With that in mind, I’m doing a second edition of Book #1 (yes, I know that’s a lot of work!). I’m currently half-way through edits and am delighted with how it’s shaping up. I’m planning a relaunch to coincide with the launch of PATH OF THE DARK. This should be mid-September 2019 … so not far away!

Back soon with a pre-order link and launch date for PATH OF THE DARK!

More Epic Fantasy with great romance!

One of my most popular posts on this blog is Looking for Epic Fantasy with great romance? This being the case I thought it was time I did an update post … as I’ve read some more Epic Fantasy Romances since then.

Over the last year, while working on my own Epic Fantasy Romance series, I’ve read three romantic fantasy adventures which were really stand-out for me. I’d like to share them with you (along with my reviews) here.

Epic Fantasy Romance is a sub-genre of Epic Fantasy, but one where the romance and developing love story needs to be ‘as important’ as the adventure story. Many Epic Fantasy novels have love interests or romantic subplots. However, Epic Fantasy Romance takes the romance one step further. Although these stories often have plenty of high-stakes adventure, magic and the forces of good and evil, they are also hugely character driven—which is what makes them so much fun to read (and write!).

Here are three Epic Fantasy Romances you don’t want to miss:

515gDyrTZ8L._SY346_Blade and Rose (Blade and Rose series, Book 1) by Miranda Honfleur

An excellent start to an exciting Epic Fantasy Romance series. It’s often hard to find good Fantasy Romances which aren’t Young Adult or Paranormal. But there’s nothing better than a sword and sorcery adventure with an emotional love story woven through it!

Definitely a five-star read. Here’s what I loved about it:

Blade and Rose is an epic novel – both in size (it’s over 700 pages long!) and in scope. Miranda Honfleur builds a credible world built on European civilisations and an exciting magic system. The characters are well-drawn and with enough flaws to make them seem real. Rielle is a complicated heroine, a mix of strong kick-ass sorceress and painful insecurity. She doesn’t have any trouble attracting men into her life, only she has been terribly hurt by them. When she meets Jon, a man she has sworn to protect, she struggles between her attraction to someone she can’t have, and her own fears of being hurt or hurting those she loves.

My favourite character in the book though (and I’m not sure if the author intended this) is the werewolf, Brennan. He’s a really mixed-up guy, and does some dispicable things during the story, yet we never totally lose sympathy for him. He is conflicted and as the story progresses starts to gain a little self-knowledge. As the series progresses, I imagine he will have a pivotal role … well, I hope so.

The writing flows smoothly and is highly readable. The author doesn’t get bogged down in lengthy description but at the same time manages to create a richly-drawn world that fantasy readers expect!

Any niggles? Only a couple of tiny ones that didn’t detract from my rating. The book was very long … and could have been trimmed in a couple of places without affecting the story. Rielle and Jon’s relationship sometimes felt a little bit like ‘instalove’. I would have liked to have seen a bit more angst and conflict between them in the beginning. However, their emotional journey was depicted well and leaves plenty of scope for the next book in the series.

An engrossing Epic Fantasy Romance read!

Check out this book on Amazon.com.


41181130Eye of Truth (Agents of the Crown #1) by Lindsay Buroker

A fun, lighthearted Epic Fantasy Romance read!

This is the first book I’ve picked up by Lindsay Buroker. I really enjoyed her fluid, fast-paced writing style and the humor that’s laced through the book. The main characters, Jev and Zenia are both fun, flawed and interesting. They kept my attention throughout and the chemistry between them was great.

Although this is definitely a romance, the actually romantic story (sorry, Spoiler!) doesn’t get resolved at the end of this book. We’ll have to read the next one to find out how the relationship develops. I thought I’d be irritated by this but I think that it works as the two leads aren’t ‘ready’ yet to take the relationship further. Although there’s a lot of witty banter between them, they’re both very emotionally guarded and have both had difficult pasts, despite their different backgrounds. I particularly liked Jev; he’s a handsome charmer who came back from war with both physical and psychological scars.

This story has elves and dwarves – the first I’ve read of this type in a while. I cringed initially, but soon realized that Buroker’s elves and dwarves are original enough to to make weigh the story down in stereotype. They are actually a lot of fun in this story.

I absolutely loved the fantasy world: the warm climate surrounded by mangrove swamps and crocodile infested waters. I also enjoyed the magic system, which I imagine will be developed further in the next books.

Loved the cover too!

A fun read for those who like a bit of romance with their Epic Fantasy!

Five stars

Check out the book on Amazon


51gOcfERQoL._SY346_Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven

I really wanted to give this novel five stars … as I’m a huge Grace Draven fan. Radiance and Master of Crows remain two of my favorite books!

However, although there were things I absolutely loved about this novel, it fell short of the mark in a couple of areas. That said, it’s a really good read and well worth the (long) wait for!

Firstly, here’s what I loved about it:

The start is great. Draven drops you straight into the drama. A gladiator planning his escape, and a young woman who makes a yearly journey that takes a terrible toll on her. Azarion is the gladius prime, and also the empress’s pet. But he’s the only one who sees through Gilene’s yearly illusion when she joins the other ‘Flowers of Spring’ who must burn. He blackmails her into helping him escape and then abducts her.

I loved the scenes where they take refuge in a haunted city, after just escaping the capital. The city is eerily depicted and the scene where they have to run for their lives from a horrifying creature is really well done.

I liked the shades of LOTR with the barrows—complete with a barrow wight—where our hero and heroine take shelter on the ride to his homeland. I also liked the influence of Game of Thrones in the Savatar (Azarion’s people). Their customs and gods reminded me of the Dothraki a bit.

I loved the ending—really high action and edge of your seat stuff. Gilene finally takes action … and it was worth waiting for!

Now, here’s what I thought it lacked (and I only note these things because I liked the book so much but wanted to love it!):

Gilene is a bit too passive for my liking. For most of the story she’s a captive, and it’s only at the end we see her show some true spine. For the rest of the novel she seems at the whim of others. She complains a lot at the beginning, and it was a relief when she finally changed her attitude toward the hero.

Gilene was also a bit two-dimensional. Out of the two main characters I had more sympathy and understanding for Azarion. We find out about the ordeal of his life as the empress’s plaything but I never really ‘felt’ the hardship of Gilene’s upbringing. She’s described as sour and angry at the start of the story, but she comes across (to me at least) as a little cold.

The love story lacked the sizzle and emotional intensity of Grace Draven’s earlier works. Now, this is something that she excels in so it surprised me. I enjoyed the romance but it didn’t wow me the way Radiance and Master of Crows did.

Even these gripes withstanding, I still really enjoyed the book. Grace Draven is a masterful writer who knows how to bring a richly detailed fantasy world to life. I look forward to more in this world!

Four solid stars

Check out the novel on Amazon.com


So those are my three top Epic Fantasy Romance reads of the last few months—how about you? Please share your discoveries in the comments below. 🙂

Book review: Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven

51gOcfERQoL._SY346_I really wanted to give this novel five stars … as I’m a huge Grace Draven fan. Radiance and Master of Crows remain two of my favorite books!

However, although there were things I absolutely loved about this novel, it fell short of the mark in a couple of areas. That said, it’s a really good read and well worth the (long) wait for!

Firstly, here’s what I loved about it:

The start is great. Draven drops you straight into the drama. A gladiator planning his escape, and a young woman who makes a yearly journey that takes a terrible toll on her. Azarion is the gladius prime, and also the empress’s pet. But he’s the only one who sees through Gilene’s yearly illusion when she joins the other ‘Flowers of Spring’ who must burn. He blackmails her into helping him escape and then abducts her.

I loved the scenes where they take refuge in a haunted city, after just escaping the capital. The city is eerily depicted and the scene where they have to run for their lives from a horrifying creature is really well done.

I liked the shades of LOTR with the barrows—complete with a barrow wight—where our hero and heroine take shelter on the ride to his homeland. I also liked the influence of Game of Thrones in the Savatar (Azarion’s people). Their customs and gods reminded me of the Dothraki a bit.

I loved the ending—really high action and edge of your seat stuff. Gilene finally takes action … and it was worth waiting for!

Now, here’s what I thought it lacked (and I only note these things because I liked the book so much but wanted to love it!):

Gilene is a bit too passive for my liking. For most of the story she’s a captive, and it’s only at the end we see her show some true spine. For the rest of the novel she seems at the whim of others. She complains a lot at the beginning, and it was a relief when she finally changed her attitude toward the hero.

Gilene was also a bit two-dimensional. Out of the two main characters I had more sympathy and understanding for Azarion. We find out about the ordeal of his life as the empress’s plaything but I never really ‘felt’ the hardship of Gilene’s upbringing. She’s described as sour and angry at the start of the story, but she comes across (to me at least) as a little cold.

The love story lacked the sizzle and emotional intensity of Grace Draven’s earlier works. Now, this is something that she excels in so it surprised me. I enjoyed the romance but it didn’t wow me the way Radiance and Master of Crows did.

Even these gripes withstanding, I still really enjoyed the book. Grace Draven is a masterful writer who knows how to bring a richly detailed fantasy world to life. I look forward to more in this world!

Four solid stars ****

Check out the novel on Amazon.com

Update on THE LOST SWALLOW

THE LOST SWALLOW launched on August 14th and the novel has had a good response to far. Reviewers have enjoyed the book too, which is always a bonus!

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about the novel:

TLS_review1

If you’re keen to know more about the story, you can watch me talking about THE LOST SWALLOW prior to its launch.

Work has now begun on Book #3 in the series, PATH OF THE DARK—and I’m really excited to get stuck into it. Things get really dark in this novel (as the title suggests!). The romance focuses on Ryana (an enchanter) and Elias (the prince of Anthor) as two kingdoms clash.

More updates on Book #3 coming soon!

Introducing new Epic Fantasy Romance: Embrace of the Shade

It’s exciting to be able to show-case new authors, especially those in the Epic Fantasy Romance genre.

Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur are co-authoring a new series, which has just launched, and I’ve invited them along to tell us more!

Over to Amanda and Kayla…


Tell us about the series concept

In all the mass amounts of our reading, our favorite (and most difficult to find) genre is Epic Fantasy Romance. Real, deep fantasy worlds with soul shaking love stories. It would be a bonus if it was a long series, because getting emotionally attached to characters seemed more worth it if there was more than one, two, or even three books. Few series delivered on all our desires, and in the end we often wrote the stories ourselves. These have evolved into full novels, averaging 110,000-120,000 words each. We expect the main storyline of our series to run at least four trilogies, each with its own set of main characters. But the we both know the world ultimate is destined to share so many more stories beyond the current planned series.

The series, the Pantracia Chronicles, is based in a unique and new fantasy-based world over a decade in the making, with lush history and intricate characters and stories. Pantracia is ripe with warring monarchies, a plethora of new and original races and cultures, and peoples with the ability to manipulate the fabric of reality, referred to as the Art. The characters will have you wondering about soulmates, fate and love, while their surroundings lend mystery to politics, war, and unnatural sources of power.

Our first novel is entitled Embrace of the Shade and is broken into three novellas for the purpose of initial rapid-release publishing, titled The Library, The Estate, and The Prison. These comprise the first book in the first trilogy, The Berylian Key.

2FINAL_Embrace Pt.1 CoverWhat’s Embrace of the Shade about?

In a world torn apart, genuine love and sacrifice is far more rare than the Art coursing through the lands of Pantracia. Life-altering events begin when ancient, long forgotten powers resurface in unexpected places. The Berylian Key, a mythical conduit of ancient ley lines, is sought by those who crave to use or protect its unfathomable power. Two who should have been enemies become unlikely partners and lovers, amidst secrets and dark pasts.

Kin is plagued by foolish decisions of his youth which darkly cloud his future. When he enters the Great Library of Capul with less than honorable intentions, he finds an accomplice in Amarie. She quickly becomes a fascination for him and intrigues him enough to set aside his pessimistic acceptance of his fate in order to explore a possible new path. Unknowingly, his choices and actions which followed, forever change the course of history.

Amarie had spent most of her life on her own, and she’d preferred it that way. She was only responsible for the safety of herself and her beloved horse, which meant less blood on her hands when things didn’t go as planned. No one else needed to be hurt because of her. When she discovers the thrill of having a partner in crime in Capul, Amarie questions her own beliefs, despite the danger it puts her in.

Embrace of the Shade – The Library released for readers on September 10, 2018 and is currently available for purchase on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. The next installment, The Estate, releases October 1, 2018, and the third part releases October 22, 2018. With those three novellas merely comprising the first novel, that will be far from the end! The entire first trilogy will be available all before Spring, 2019.

Buy your copy of Embrace of the Shade – The Library here:

Amazon
Kobo


About the authors

 

 

Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur began writing together back in the era of flip phones and pop rocks – 2001. Of all possible places to meet, it was Neopets and AIM (that’s AOL Instant Messenger for those too young to remember) that brought them together – the most unexpected of friendships built on a mutual love for fantasy writing. Kayla was residing in southern California, and Amanda in British Columbia, Canada. They didn’t even meet in person until 2008, when Amanda ventured to Disneyland (and Kayla spotted the trip on Facebook), and a lifelong friendship truly cemented between them.

Kayla’s life loves also include theatre, crafting, Shakespeare, and of course her husband Ricardo and her cats Vivi and Asimov. She currently resides in Salem, OR but visits Vancouver frequently for the sushi (and Amanda, of course).

Amanda’s passions beyond writing include painting, music, and animals while living with her husband Adam and newborn son Nathan. She lives just outside of Vancouver, BC because even if you work in Vancouver, that doesn’t mean you can afford to live there.

I’m looking for ARC readers!

Just under two weeks until THE LOST SWALLOW is released: August 14, 2018!

This novel has been so much fun to write … even the editing process (which can be like sporking out one’s eyeballs, to be honest) was enjoyable. Each time I finish reading the book—and it’s been a few times now—I don’t want to leave the world, or the three main characters: Mira, Asher, and Ninia.

The novel is an Epic Fantasy Romance—so romance is hugely important to the plot—but it’s also an adventure story about duty, trust, and how the most important choices we make are often the most difficult.

Read THE LOST SWALLOW before anyone else!

Did you read RULED BY SHADOWS (it’s still currently free on Amazon, so grab yourself a copy) and love it? Are you a fan of Epic Fantasy Romance? Make sure you get on my Epic Fantasy Review crew list for THE LOST SWALLOW. All I ask in return is an honest review of the novel on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Book #2 in the Light and Darkness series will be released on August 14, and ARCs are going out soon!

To ensure you get your ARC, please:

  1. Sign up to my Epic Fantasy Romance mailing list (I send out monthly emails. No spam, I promise!)
  2. Then email me at: contact@jaynecastel.com, and put THE LOST SWALLOW REVIEW COPY PLEASE in the subject line.

TLS_FB_COVER

Read an excerpt from THE LOST SWALLOW

Not sure you want an ARC yet? Read this scene, where our main characters—Asher and Mira—meet, and decide if the story’s right for you.

***

He was about to move on when a woman on the other side of the market caught his eye.

Cloaked and hooded, her face partially obscured by the cowl of her cloak, she was talking to a crone selling fresh cheeses.

Another gust of wind raced across the walk—and this one tore the woman’s hood back off her face. She had long, black hair, a shade one rarely saw this far north, but it was her eyes he really noticed. Large, slightly slanted, and fringed in dark lashes, they were grey-blue. Dark, finely arched eyebrows slanted up from them, giving her an intense look. The rest of her features: a stubborn jaw, straight nose, and full lips were too strong to make this woman a classic beauty—yet she was striking.

An instant later the woman reached back and yanked her hood into place. Yet as she did, Asher saw the look of panic that flitted across her face. And then—even from yards away—she must have felt the weight of his stare.

Her gaze swiveled and met his over the busy crowd of shoppers and vendors going about their business. Their eyes met, and she froze.

The woman tore her gaze away and said something to the crone who’d been chattering away to her, oblivious. Then she turned and fled into the crowd.

A heartbeat later, Asher was after her.

She moved with the fluidity of a fox across the busy walk. Despite his height, Asher was lithe and quick on his feet—yet he almost lost her in the crowd. Up ahead he saw a flash of black from her cloak as she disappeared up Broad Walk. A moment later she turned onto one of the many walks leading off the thoroughfare.

Asher broke into a run. He hadn’t imagined the panic on her face earlier—this woman wanted to remain inconspicuous. She could be the Swallow he was looking for.

He entered Minnow Walk and spotted his quarry up ahead. She was walking briskly, her cloak flapping behind her. He saw she was dressed in leather breeches and boots, and as the wind raced down the narrow walk and snagged at her cloak, making it billow behind her, he saw that she carried a sword at her side.

His pulse quickened. This must be her.

She glanced over her shoulder then, her features shadowed by her hood. The sight of him in pursuit made her break into a run, and then she turned right down a side-alley.
Asher lengthened his stride. She’d increased her speed, her feet flying over the pitted planks. This alley was foul; someone had just emptied their chamber pot out the window. The walk and walls were splattered with excrement. The stench made Asher’s gorge rise. His boots slipped on something, and he nearly went over. Yet he managed to right himself and plow on. And all the while he kept his gaze fixed upon the woman who sprinted away from him.

Shadows, she’s fast.

At the end of the alley, a swing-bridge linked this wharf with the next one. The woman crossed it in long strides. By the time Asher was halfway across, she had disappeared into another alley up ahead.

Asher followed, crossing a walkway and entering an alley so narrow he could have reached out and touched the walls either side. A wall reared up before him, and he drew to an abrupt halt. He’d run into a dead end, and the woman had disappeared.

He stepped forward a few paces and glanced around, frowning. Then he looked up at the blue sky filled with fast moving clouds above. There were no doorways or windows in this alley, just a high timber palisade at one end.

Where did she go?

Asher turned around, planning to retrace his steps, and found himself facing a cloaked and hooded figure.

It took barely an instant to realize that she’d somehow managed to get behind him. Then she struck out, hitting him hard in the solar plexus.

The force of her punch knocked Asher back against the wall. A heartbeat later, she had a cold blade pressed to his throat.

The woman was shorter than him and had to look up to meet his gaze, but she didn’t appear remotely cowed by his greater size or strength. She pressed the blade close to his windpipe. Her hood had fallen back, her dark hair whipping around her, and her eyes were narrowed and dangerous.

“What do you want?” she asked, her voice a low growl.

Asher held her gaze and inhaled slowly and carefully. She had a murderous glint in her eye.

“To speak to you,” he wheezed, still recovering from her punch. “I’m a friend.”

Liar. If the woman knew what was good for her, she’d end him now.

Her mouth twisted, and the pressure on his throat increased. Asher felt a sting as the tip of the blade dug into his flesh.

“Try another answer.”

***


The Lost Swallow_Cover5Sounds exciting but I’d rather buy a copy

THE LOST SWALLOW is currently available on preorder so if you’d prefer to buy yourself a copy, follow one of the links below to your Amazon store.

Book Review: Blade and Rose by Miranda Honfleur

515gDyrTZ8L._SY346_Blade and Rose (Blade and Rose series, Book 1) by Miranda Honfleur

An excellent start to an exciting Epic Fantasy Romance series. It’s often hard to find good Fantasy Romances which aren’t Young Adult or Paranormal. But there’s nothing better than a sword and sorcery adventure with an emotional love story woven through it!

Definitely a five-star read. Here’s what I loved about it:

Blade and Rose is an epic novel – both in size (it’s over 700 pages long!) and in scope. Miranda Honfleur builds a credible world built on European civilisations and an exciting magic system. The characters are well-drawn and with enough flaws to make them seem real. Rielle is a complicated heroine, a mix of strong kick-ass sorceress and painful insecurity. She doesn’t have any trouble attracting men into her life, only she has been terribly hurt by them. When she meets Jon, a man she has sworn to protect, she struggles between her attraction to someone she can’t have, and her own fears of being hurt or hurting those she loves.

My favourite character in the book though (and I’m not sure if the author intended this) is the werewolf, Brennan. He’s a really mixed-up guy, and does some dispicable things during the story, yet we never totally lose sympathy for him. He is conflicted and as the story progresses starts to gain a little self-knowledge. As the series progresses, I imagine he will have a pivotal role … well, I hope so.

The writing flows smoothly and is highly readable. The author doesn’t get bogged down in lengthy description but at the same time manages to create a richly-drawn world that fantasy readers expect!

Any niggles? Only a couple of tiny ones that didn’t detract from my rating. The book was very long … and could have been trimmed in a couple of places without affecting the story. Rielle and Jon’s relationship sometimes felt a little bit like ‘instalove’. I would have liked to have seen a bit more angst and conflict between them in the beginning. However, their emotional journey was depicted well and leaves plenty of scope for the next book in the series.

An engrossing Epic Fantasy Romance read!

Check out this book on Amazon.com.