Paperback - 384 pages Price: $7.99
ISBN 13: 978-0451231956
Released: June 7, 2011
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Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Dark Forgotten
1. Ravenous (book review)
3. Unchained (book review)
As a snowstorm locks down the city, someone beheads the wrong girl. Vampire-on-the-lam Talia Rostova thinks it was meant to be her. And now she's the prime suspect in her own botched murder and the prisoner of her smoking-hot-neighbor: a hellhound. And the hot-blooded Lore was bred to serve and protect, so he's not freeing Talia until he's sure she's the prey and not the hunter...
Ashwood's debut RAVENOUS was a pleasant surprise for me. The characters were strong and likable, the romance was sizzling, the plot had my heart racing, and falling in love was essentially effortless. When I read UNCHAINED, I had a similar jaw-dropping reaction to the sheer genius of the entire novel. (I haven't read SCORCHED yet, so I cannot comment on that one)
And now I've just finished reading FROSTBOUND. I wouldn't say that it's my favorite in the series because hell, Holly Carver and Alessandro Caravelli are a hard pairing to beat, but I did enjoy the book as a whole.
Before I go any further, I would like to mention that for the past two-ish months, I have been unable to commit to any book I open up. For some strange reason, I had no motivation or energy to read, and not for the lack of trying. Getting emotionally invested was another problem I suffered from, and I think that the remnants of that issue will be reflected at one point in the review. Please keep that in mind while reading my commentary.
The beginning of the novel starts off with a bang and instantly had me engrossed with its contents. Then, when Lore and Talia meet, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat during their interactions. The couple, when not being serious, had a spunky-ness to them that I can always appreciate. The problem was, at some point the book lost my focus for a bit. As more characters came into play, I found that the plot seemed to be weighed down as it tried to accommodate them and the issue at hand. Lots of character development, not so much action and butt kicking.
Mind you, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, the character interactions are a great thing, and I enjoy them. They can truly make you appreciate the time an author takes to make each and every individual as three-dimensional as possible. Other times (I think it was that time), I crave the "take no prisoners" plot that will keep me glued to the pages and begging for more. Either way, the story didn't lag for very long.
Soon enough, I was busy doing exactly what I wanted: holding my breath and reading as fast as I possibly could once Talia encounters a certain bad guy. I literally could not put the book down after that, and I'm glad I didn't, because the entire showdown by the end left me happily sighing in delight.
The only real complaint I have--which will seem like a big deal considering it's a PNR--has to do with the romance between Lore and Talia. For me, it felt somewhat difficult to connect with them on an emotional level. I don't know if it's because of me and my reading slump (which I'm seriously thinking it is), or if it's because this coupling simply did not work for me in the general sense. I was excited for Lore's story, so I feel disappointed that I wasn't grinning like an idiot as the two fell in love.
...Which is interesting, because during one scene with Omara and Darak (towards the end of the story), I suddenly felt the excitement that was evading me with the main couple. I found myself sitting up straighter, staring at the pages with some insane expression, and practically burning through the scene as fast as I could to see what would happen next. I have my fingers crossed that the scene I'm referring to was a bit of foreshadowing for a future book/coupling.
I also think that, because the Castle is not referenced to as much in the beginning, that may have disappointed me. FROSTBOUND generally lacks appearances from past couples and references of past events in the beginning of the book, and on some level, I think I missed both. It was not until the Castle finally played a part in the story that I felt that connection to the series I was so desperately craving, and when I got it, I was a happy camper.
Would I recommend FROSTBOUND to readers? Hell yes! Pick up the entire series before you begin reading, because once you start one book, you're going to want to read them all. Another job well done, Sharon, and thank you for finally inspiring me to start reading again.