Monday, August 15, 2016

Midnight Soul (Fantasyland Series Book 5) by Kristen Ashley


I have read an enjoyed each book in this series. I am very excited to pick up Midnight Soul. Franka is a character that I am looking forward to seeing in a new light. Enjoy the excerpt!

Happy Reading!
Monica    
   Franka

              I remembered that look.
              I relished that look.
              Not only on my Antoine but any lover I’d had (but, obviously, getting it from Antione was far more rewarding).

              It was a look I worked toward, putting great energy and imagination into it, losing myself in these endeavors, feeling free of my name, my history, my secrets, my responsibilities, and reveling in my success as if I’d scaled mountains.

              It was my greatest talent outside, of course (as any good Drakkar would excel), honing in on any vulnerability and manipulating it for the greatest possible gain—coin, jewels, furs, favors, silence, information, or simply for amusement.
              Seeing the look on Noctorno at that moment, I knew Circe too had performed well (admirably well, I might add, considering her dismal past).
              I also recognized—focusing on it keenly—what Circe might have missed, or perhaps what Noctorno hid from her understanding, or simply just sensing, how she came to him.
              He was not done.
              Oh no.

              If she had not given indication she wished him out of her bedchamber, he’d still be in it.
              Indeed, he might be in it all night, and not to sleep.
              He might have been in it, perhaps, for days.

              As these thoughts flitted in my mind, I became aware he’d fully entered the room, was stopped not far from my chair, and was standing, chin tipped down, eyes regarding me with a scrutiny that I found so uncomfortable I actually shifted in my seat.
              I ceased this reaction the instant I became aware of it, appalled at myself.
              Giving something away so easily? Especially something like discomfiture?
              You’ve ruined me, I snapped silently at Antoine.

              My dead lover had no rejoinder.
              “You okay?” Noctorno asked.
              “Am I what?” I asked in return.
              His head gave a slight twitch before he went on, “You okay? All right?” His voice lowered. “It’s been a tough day, babe, for all of us. Including you.”
              I looked beyond him to the fire, lifting my wine to my lips but not sipping it until after I murmured, “I’m perfectly fine.”
              “Yeah, right,” he stated, and the disbelief veritably dripping from his tone made my gaze flick immediately back to him.

              This meant I watched as he sauntered right in front of me to the chair accompanying mine, threw his lengthy frame in it and reached for the wine at the table that separated our seats.
              He also reached for the extra glass.
              These were seats, I shall add, that were turned at corners to each other with a small, round table in between, so  my knee was nearly touching his.
              He poured.

              It was on the tip of my tongue to share that I had not invited him to attend me.

              Alas, I became distracted by his long fingers, and the words died in my mouth.

     Franka

“You need to leave,” I declared.

His brows drew together a moment before his expression showed clearly that comprehension had dawned.

Sadly, comprehension might have dawned but he didn’t leave.

He crouched by the bed and offered in a soft voice, “You need me to carry you to the other room so you can have a bit of privacy?”

Dear goddess.

He thought I needed a chamber pot.

But…

What was happening to my face?

Dear goddess!

The heat I felt in my cheeks could be nothing other than me blushing.

I didn’t blush. I’d never blushed. Not even when I’d set about seducing my first lover at age sixteen.

I needed to be quit of this man as soon as possible.

“No…I…do…not,” I bit out.

“Sure?” he asked kindly.

“I need you to leave, Noctorno,” I used his full name in an effort to irritate, something that worked if the flare in his eyes was any indication, “so Josette can prepare me. We’re away to Kristian’s this morning.”

Another drawing of his brows before he asked, “What?”

“After my toilette, Josette and I are to my sleigh so we can begin our journey to my brother’s home.”

His eyes got bigger as his mouth inquired peculiarly, “Are you high?”

“No,” I answered his ridiculous question unnecessarily, “Indeed, I’m low. As you can see since I’m lying abed.”

For a second he just stared at me.

Then he threw his head back and burst into loud, deep, beautiful laughter.

I wanted to throw something at him.

Unfortunately, in my current position, this was not an option open to me.

“I fail to see what’s amusing,” I noted.

He controlled his mirth only to mutter, “I’ll explain it later.” He went on more distinctly, “Frannie, you’re not goin’ to your brother’s today. Or tomorrow. Or until you’re fit. Then, maybe Valentine will spirit you there, or whatever the fuck that’s called. But for the foreseeable future, your ass is in that bed and you’re resting so you can heal.”

Well!

Who did he think he was, telling me what I would or would not do?

“As you’ve determined,” I began, “this is not the first time I’ve been in this condition so I do believe that I know best what I’m capable of and…”

I stopped speaking because he came slightly out of his crouch so he could put his face into my face and he was no longer looking mirthful.

He was looking angry.

Very angry.

“That was when you had no one lookin’ out for you but that’s not the case anymore. So this is how it’s gonna be,” he announced.

He then, to my shock, irritation and outrage, announced how it was going to be.

Like he had the right to tell me how it was going to be!
 

Synopsis


 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.

FrankaDrakkar 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 mask 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.

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About Kristen Ashley: 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. Nothing’s changed. 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.  

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