Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
And then make her want to stay.
Noc is a character that I have been eagerly awaiting to read about for ages. I was so curious about who would be his leading lady. What would happen, what would be the main plot twists?! I could go on and on! When we were finally given some details, I eagerly anticipated the release. And when we were fortunate enough to be given an ARC for the blog tour, I was ecstatic! Finally the time had arrived! I devoured this book!
Franka was absolutely the last person I expected to be paired with Noc. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure how I felt about this. She wasn't exactly a favorite character in the previous books. And I wasn't sure if or how KA would be able to redeem her. I can say, once I read the teaser chapters, I was already on board and salivating for more! Those first three chapters were like cat nip just enticing me to no end!
So here's the part where I'm supposed to recap the book for you. But here's the deal. I can't do that. A few reasons why: First, if you've read a KA book, you know that they are on the longer side, so me recapping would edge on plagiarism because I'd pretty much have to retell the whole thing! And I just can't do that! ;) Second, if you haven't read the other books in the series, you really need to first. Technically, this is a stand alone, but in order to get the full experience, these books should be read in order. You get to meet Noc and Franka in the earlier book sand you'll get a real grasp of their characters that way. Plus, in order to fully understand Franka, who we come to realize has a lot more going on and has more depth to her than we previously thought, you need to see her as the almost villain she *pretends* to be.
While I'm talking about Franka, I just gotta say. KA did an amazing job on her! She was someone who we really didn't like before. She acted the part of the selfish, conniving, which to a T. Little was it known, her life wasn't as hunky dory as she made it seem. I think that's the biggest thing that turned my feelings around for her. I felt for her struggles, and the horrors she chose to endure to protect those she loved most. You would never guess she had a true heart under her sour facade. But Noc saw through her shields. Of course he would though, because he was awesome! ❤
I really loved Noc and Franka together. Their chemistry was off the charts. He was so patient and understanding with her. And when they came to our world, it was so hilarious how Franks reacted to so many things! This book was overall amazing and I truly loved it. The only thing I wasn't enamored with, and why I gave it four stars instead of five, was Noc's "issues" that were revealed in the end. That plot line felt a little off to me and I wasn't sure why it was even there. Don't get me wrong, it was written out well and explained in depth and all, it just didn't click with me. Other than that small bump, this book was a fantastic end to a fabulous series! I can totally see myself rereading it very soon! :)
*Thank you to KA for the ARC in exchange for an honest review*
That day had been one I wished to quickly forget. Indeed, the months since those witches took my Antoine had been time I wished I had the power to erase from my memory. I had power. I did not have that kind of power. These thoughts on my mind, I moved down the hallway of the Winter Palace, seeking my room where I planned to pull the cord, ring a servant and request several bottles of Fleuridian wine. Wine might not make me forget, but I’d found of late that it served well to dull the pain. I turned the corner, my eyes to my slippers, but my senses made me lift my gaze to the passageway. At what I saw, I halted and grew still, then slowly and quietly retraced my steps and ducked behind the corner, peering back around.
The Prince Noctorno of the other world was in the doorway to a bedchamber.
Although, he was not actually a prince. Not in this universe. Apparently they had very few princes in that other world. A world that existed on a parallel plane where all beings had twins to my own world. This I thought was rather mad (everything about it, obviously), but with few princes, that meant there were few kings, so who ruled? He reported that he was instead a member of the city guard, an occupation he referred to as being “a cop.” A rather surprising statement considering all that was him. He was no member of a guard. He was a prince. And he called himself Noc, for some unknown reason, as Noctorno was a fine name, a strong name, a regal name (this last was true as his counterpart in this world was a prince). And right now he had has back to me. He was wearing a pair of trousers the like that couldn’t be found in my world. They were made of a rough, sturdy, faded-blue material. He also had a shirt that was not the fashion in this world. It was attractive and made of an equally attractive plaid. And it was a shirt that fit his broad shoulders magnificently. His thick, black hair was untidy (this also attractive). And I could see his light-blue eyes but only in my imagination as he had his back to me. They were not eyes you were likely to forget. With his dark hair and skin browned in the sun, those eyes were deliciously striking. There was a day, though now that day seemed lifetimes ago, when a sight such as Noctorno Hawthorne of another world (or indeed this one) would have caused me to have a much different reaction, not only to him, but to my plans for the imminent future.
That was before Antoine.
That was before I met the man who introduced me to, well…me.
And Don’t Miss the First Books in the Fantasyland Series!
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.