Friday, August 19, 2016

Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour


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.

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Book 5
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~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!




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Shelby☆☆☆☆
Do you mind if I share a secret?
I wasn't really looking forward to Franka's story.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the Fantasyland series and became obsessed with it once I found it.
The world this series takes place in has totally invaded my brain, and I find myself dreaming about dragons, witches, the landscape, etc.
I'm telling you this just so you understand WHY I had to read the final book in this series, knowing that I'm not a huge fan of the main character.

Then I read it!
We all know Noctorno Hawthorne is swoon worthy from his previous appearance in the series, but I wasn't aware that Franka isn't just a conniving, evil, vindictive Drakkar!
I don't know how Ms. Ashley did it, but she made me a fan on Franka.
Once Franka was humanized, I fell in love with my favorite world and all the workings.
Each of our beloved characters makes an appearance (or two), the stories are all tied together, but best yet – the love story between Franka and Noctorno spans two worlds and we get to see her acclimating to OUR world.
She is of the aristocracy and totally acts it, but she is funny and willing to learn the way of our land.

I honestly laughed (a lot), cheered for multiple situations, I cringed and worried, but most notably, I fell in love with both Noc and Franka.


Angela☆☆☆☆☆
I never thought I’d say this, but Midnight Soul may have just surpassed The Golden Dynasty as my favorite book in the Fantasyland series. The Golden Dynasty is likely my second favorite book of Ashley’s (I say likely because it changes with my mood), but it has always been my favorite book of this series. There’s just something about all that Circe endures and overcomes as she finds love in the savage land of Korwahk that I love – and envisioning Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo when reading about Dax Lahn is just yummy – thus making it a book I’ve read at least a dozen times, experiencing the same emotional rollercoaster ride each time. And yet, with just one reading, Ashley has humanized a character I have hated for several books, given her the gift of a man I adore, and made me fall in love with her as an individual and them as a couple.

Something else I never thought I’d say about this series – I adore Franka Drakkar. Since her first appearance in Wildest Dreams, she has been a woman I distrusted, disliked, hated, and sighed with relief that she was someone I would never actually meet in real life because I doubt I would have withstood her claws (and I’m no wilting violet). Even though I felt strongly for her loss at the end of Broken Dove, I never would have believed it possible that I could come to like Franka, much less adore her. And yet, with the revelation of Franka’s secret, my entire opinion of her changed instantly. Yes, her secret was that much of a game changer – both because of what the secret was and because it was a secret that no one ever suspected. But the revelation merely marks the beginning of Franka’s journey to discover who she is now that her world has been turned upside down. Fortunately for her, Noc is just as regal and valiant as her world’s Tor, and he’s more than willing to help her find her new place in the world – even if that world happens to be his, instead of hers.

Having read the previous books in the series, I was already familiar with both characters. While learning more about Noc was great, especially when he faces his personal demons, Midnight Soul truly is Franka’s book in my opinion. I’m always impressed when an author can make me do a 180 on one of their characters, especially when I go from hating them to loving them. But my fascination with Franka is more than just that I came to adore her, it’s why I did. Once her mask is off and Franka is able to shed her Drakkar mantle, she’s a funny and caring woman. One of the many things I enjoy about Ashley’s books is the natural infusion of humor – not so much that I’d categorize her books as romantic comedies, but more reflective of having everyday things in your life that you find amusing. And I have to say that I found Franka quite amusing, her and Noc together even more so. I think I may have laughed more while reading this book than I ever have with any of Ashley’s other books – including the hilarious antics of the Rock Chicks. This is not to suggest that Franka and Noc don’t face obstacles they must overcome, because they do. It’s just that there was so much more to Franka than we’ve ever seen before and I loved watching her find herself, discover a new world, and find love. The matchmaking scheme Valentine recruits her for is one heck of a bonus. Unfortunately, Midnight Soul marks the end of the Fantasyland series, and while I hated to read the final page that marks the end of yet another wonderful Kristen Ashley series, I do love that the author gave fans a beautiful epilogue – even if it did wrench more tears out of me as I read the final line.






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.

Connect with Kristen

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Midnight Soul (Fantasyland #5) by Kristen Ashley to read and review for this tour. Angela reviewed her personal copy of the book.

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