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Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #1
Published on: December 7 2013
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Format: 543 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
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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.
SO. If we’re Goodreads friends, you probably already know this (if we’re not, you soon will): I LOVE Kristen Ashley.
About three years ago I stumbled across one of her books on Amazon, one-clicked it, read it, and then . . . read every, single one of her other 40(ish) books, back-to-back. It took about a month, but I did it.
Yes. I did. B/c MANIAC. #sorrynotsorry.
There are two reasons why this is the first KA review I’m posting:
1. I’m OCD, so even though I’ve read several of her paranormal books since joining Rabid Reads, I’ve read them out of order, and thus they must wait.
2. KA writes a lot of romantic suspense, and as awesome as it is, no paranormal elements, so no RR review. *shrugs*
But don’t be mislead by my previous lack of SQUEE on the KA front, b/c trust me, it’s there.
Finnie Wilde is an adrenaline junkie.
She comes by it honestly, being the daughter of two adrenaline junkies, but as fun as that sounds, it’s actually quite sad. Finnie is essentially an orphan, having lost both mother and father to said adrenaline junkie-ness when she was twelve, so she jumps out of airplanes, etc. in an attempt to feel closer to her long-departed parents.
When she learns about an parallel universe populated by alternate versions of ourselves, she enlists the help of a witch to contact Alternate Finnie, who is more than eager to arrange a temporary body swap.
Real World Finnie is ecstatic, b/c Alternate Finnie’s parents are very much ALIVE, so against the admonishments and skepticism of her friends, RW Finnie pays Witch an exorbitant fee to perform the swap of her and Alternate Finnie’s consciousnesses.
Meet Frey Drakker:
One of the most powerful and feared men in the realm, he has agreed to marry to Alternate Finnie to secure an alliance with her father, a significantly less powerful (b/c Frey is just that badass and important), but still powerful king.
He is not happy about it.
Alternate Finnie is as beautiful as her RW counterpart, but that is where the similarities end.
Alternate Finnie feels constrained by the limitations of her world. She is tomboyish in a reality where a good and proper princess does not favor hunting and archery over more “womanly” pursuits, or *gasp* prefer the company of women to men *waggles eyebrows* (something she admitted to Frey after imbibing too much wine during their betrothal negotiations).
But Alternate Finnie is as pragmatic a choice as any, and Frey has never considered marrying for any reason beyond necessity, so . . . the marriage is arranged.
Which brings us to the circumstances Finnie finds herself in–post swap–in a Fantasyland version of our reality filled with magic, and herself a princess about to be wed to a man she has never met.
Sound a little far-fetched to you? A little uh-huh, sure, whatever you say, boss?
I’m inclined to agree.
If you’re unfamiliar with KA, you don’t know this yet, but KA can do things that others cannot do. To KA an outlandish/ridiculously far-fetched scenario is a playground. To KA women who make choices that would be questionable in any other context are quirky and fantastic. To KA brutish and extreme examples of Alpha male-ness are sex on a stick.
You should read it. *nods emphatically*
It is worth noting that the only reason this is a 4.5 and not 5.0 star read is an excessive use of the term “cool” in the beginning of the book. I am not grading it on a lesser scale b/c indie. It’s really that good. That being said, Kristen Ashley is not for everyone. If you do not enjoy supremely Alpha-type males (similar to those you find in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, then I’d skip these).
HOWEVER . . . if you do enjoy that kind of character, I encourage you to exercise your ability to one-click, b/c despite KA’s extreme popularity, her books are still downright cheap, so even if you don’t love it like I do, you won’t break the bank over that discovery. It’s a basic cost vs. (potential) benefit scenario, people! Check it out!