Claire Marta-The Yuletide King

The Yule season is rapidly approaching, and Claire Marta has given us an early present. The Yuletide King is a fairy tale, in the truest and most literal sense. The fae are involved in the book, so fairy tale. And it really has a fairy tale feel, in the sense that we usually use the term. There’s a lot of happiness, sadness, and angst going on.

The story starts with Lyra, who has a little bit of magic, but not a lot. Basically, she can make fireworks, and that’s it. Her village thinks that she is unlucky, and so they are going to sacrifice her to the beast, Krampus. They tie her to a stake and leave her out in the freezing cold. Willingly. They really want to ditch her.

Luckily for Lyra, Jack Frost stops by and rescues her. She’s barely alive by the time he gets her, so he takes her someplace where he knows that she will be safe, the Kingdom of King Nickalaus. Nick rescues her and takes her to warm her up and saves her life. Nick is strangely drawn to her, but he’s worried that she’s a spy.

Lyra is nursed back to health, and starts working in the castle, and makes friends. Then she’s mysteriously taken from her bed and left out in the middle of the woods at night, surrounded by wolves. Nick realizes what has happened, and rushes away to save her. After saving her, all kinds of sexy fun times happen. And Lyra becomes Nick’s mistress, much to the anger of most of the other women in the castle, especially Lady Estel, who is a massive bitch, BTW.

I really loved the feel of this story. Like I said, it feels like an old school fairy tale, something that Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm would write, but with a happier ending than you would see out of either of those groups. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really love Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, but if you look at the non-Disneyfied stories, they are a little gory and not necessarily a happy ending. But, I get some of the same feel from King as I do from those older stories. I don’t know if Claire purposely did that, or if it is me, or what, but there it is.

I like Lyra. She has a very sweet nature, she really wants to do what she can to help people, and she wants to be happy and have the people around her happy. She also wants to have somewhere she belongs and someone she belongs with. She thinks that maybe Nick can be that person and his kingdom that place.

Oh, Nick made me so mad sometimes. I mostly like him, but he occasionally just pisses me off to no end at all. I kinda wanted to smack him. I understand some of his actions during the book, and I can almost even understand why he did the things that pissed me off. Doesn’t mean that they didn’t piss me off. And I think that he maybe went a little further with certain things than he should’ve.

I would love to see more in this world, because I’m utterly fascinated by it.

Minette Moreau-Wicked Rage

Minette Moreau may sound like a new author to me and the blog, but she’s not. She’s actually a new pen name from Raisa Greywood. Minette is Raisa’s paranormal nom de plume, so if you go looking for the previous 2 Wicked Magic books, make sure that you are looking under the right name. But, we’re not here to talk about those books, we’re here to talk about the newest one, Wicked Rage. And check back later on this week to catch Raisa’s other release.

This is the 3rd book in the series, and it’s Rizan and Feather’s story. Feather is a half bear/half mage young woman, and Rizan is an ancient dragon, and brother to the current dragon king. And oh yeah, he’s Feather’s mate. But, he made a deal with everyone that he would let Feather go to college before they sealed their mating and their familiar bond. So far, all he really does is lurk around her to keep an eye on her. But the book starts out on Feather’s prom night, and she’s helping her best friend get ready. Feather isn’t going, for many reasons, but one of which is the fact that Rizan would do grievous bodily harm to any male touching Feather. Somehow, Rizan finds out how important prom night is as a milestone, so he surprises Feather at her house with a beautiful dress, jewelry, shoes, and a 1951 Jag. (BTW? Somehow=Feather’s parents)

That night, Feather and Rizan do alllllll the traditional prom activities, and it is magical, quite literally. Then it’s time for graduation and for Feather to leave. She’s leaving her tiny town in Arizona to go to college in England and Rizan is counting down the hours. She also suggests to Rizan that he figures out something to do while she’s at school for the next 5 years.

College isn’t all that Feather thought it would be, and there are troubles in the UK. Feather finds out about the problems, and moves to do something about it, but before she can, bad things happen.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Rizan has decided that he’s going to join the Army. He does, and joins two natured unit, headed by a kick ass tiger, who promptly kicks his dragon ass, which I loved altogether. A few weeks into training, he found out that his mate has disappeared. He goes to find her, along with a crack team.

Five years later, Feather is still missing, and Rizan is now counting down the days until his stint in the Army is done so that he can go search for her. He and his team have searched for her, but nothing yet.

I like Rizan. He’s got a really interesting journey through this. I think that the military was good for him. It knocked sense into him when no one else really had yet. Feather made some impressions on him, but Kali made more. I think that he really grew up, which yes, is weird to say about a dragon that has been alive for millennia and survived hundreds and hundreds of years in a hellscape, but that doesn’t change my opinion.

Feather is really smart, really powerful, and incredibly fierce. She has strong allies, apart from Rizan, and she did a lot in the big war. I think that some of that gave her a slightly lowered sense of personal danger. So far, between her own power and all of the powerful beings she knows and loves, there hasn’t really been anything that she can’t handle, so she feels like she can handle just about everything. Which, TBF, is also a trait of a teenager, and she’s only 18, no matter how much she’s been through and what she’s done. She just doesn’t have the same amount of life experience behind her. She has a lot of loss from the war, but there’s still a weird spot that she falls in.

Feather’s journey is a particularly painful one, and I teared up about it more than once. Raisa is occasionally mean to her characters. Well, I say occasionally… I’m not going to say that good things came out of the pain, because I think that it diminishes both the sheer level of pain she went through as well as the results thereof. I know that growth needs struggle and often pain and all, but I feel like it dishonors her suffering. Does that make sense? It does in my head, at least.

Anyway, that’s all for this one. You really should go pick it up and give it a read. Happy reading!

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