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After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

594 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published July 29, 2014

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About the author

C.L. Wilson

16 books3,303 followers
C.L. Wilsons unique blend of pulse-pounding action, sweeping epic fantasy, and passionate romance has made her books a favorite read for romance and fantasy readers alike. Praised for exceptional worldbuilding and lyric prose, her critically acclaimed novels have regularly appeared on bestseller lists including the USA Today, the New York Times, and Publishers Weekly.

C.Ls novels have won numerous industry and reader-selected awards including, LifetimeTV.coms Best Paranormal debut of 2007, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, two National Readers Choice awards, the Colorado Award of Excellence, and the Holt Medallion. Ms. Wilson is the honored recipient of the PEARL award from Paranormal Romance as the best new author of 2007, and winner of the 2009 PEARL award for best Romantic Fantasy novel.

When not torturing her characters mercilessly, C.L. enjoys relaxing with her family in sunny Florida and daydreaming of a world where people exercise in their sleep and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is a fat burning food.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,996 reviews
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
250 reviews894 followers
March 26, 2023
Okay! First things first! do NOT let this COVER mislead you! it's better than that, dammit

This is an actual world BUILDING, character DEVELOPING, son oF a BITCH NOVEL THAT I FUCKING LOVE

Meet Kham
She went through so much shit but still so headstrong and fierce. And who doesn’t love a lili bloodthirsty heroine?


“She was a daughter of the Sun, capable of warmth, but just as capable of fire and lethal volatility.”

As a summer baby, I love this description so much Imma embroider it on a pillow

Kham was such a baddie. Abused by her father, she would literally rather die in the fucking mountains then give in to that whimp. She was a survivor thrown into a whole new society she knew nothing about, and was natural enemies with

And the plot? There is all kinds of back stabbing, evil cunning plots, beasts trying to kill peeps, near death experiences, a quest to get the magial sword, defeat everyone, and sexy times and just awesomeness!


Now our love interest Wynter!! King of Wintercraig. Like jesus christ guy it combines my two favorite things WINTER & WOLVES bitches! The king is already a legend among his people but all magic has a cost

Wynter is not even close to perfect. He got an alpha temper to rival the best of assholes. I mean he jut comes across as harsh while trying to protect everyone. But goddamn he got the fucking hot barbarian thing going for him and it WORKS

“Her eyes narrowed, beginning to swirl with silver. “You. Wouldn’t. Dare.”
“Oh, min ros, I would.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Wrestling a beautiful, naked woman out of her furs and into her bath? What Winterman worth his stones would pass up a chance like that?”


I would kill for this man.
I would straight up murder any hoes that got near him, any dicks that dared threaten him, boil i will fuck you up if you even look at him funny

“ She could sense its presence now, as if some part of the sun had broken off and fallen into the well.... Now, she just had to retrieve it.”

The world-building so fucking good. New creatures, freaking weather patterns, local customs, everything just so freaking amaze. I loved walking around the villages, sneaking in the castles, and discovering new places with Kham

“A giant ice wolf, they called it,” Kham muttered as she scrambled up the tree. “Ice wolf, my ass. Show me one wolf—just one!—that can climb a tree!”

Now the romance...

“Do that again,” she mumbled. “Feels nice.” She was rewarded by more cooling kisses against her closed eyelids and hot brow. “I’ll be fine in a few minutes. I’m stronger than I look.”
“I know, min ros. I know.” Wynter’s husky voice whispered in her ear. “Tomorrow, you’ll be ready to fight Frost Giants barehanded, but for now, just rest.”


I just love the balance in their relationship, Wynter knows she powerful AS FUCK and thinks its freaking awesome but also cares for her and helps her when she uses up all her power. She isn’t some dainty flower and he just loves every part of her and WHERE THE HELL IS MY WYNTER?


“Something missing. Something important. Not her. Wasn’t her.
Where was she”
“Was this one her?
The scent of lemon verbena filled his nostrils. Fear and fury swept through him in equal measure.
Not her! Where was she?
What had they done to her?
He roared”

Even fucking half DEAD and barely conscious this dude is like where the fuck is my lady imma kill you all if you hurt her....and if that isn’t the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard then just unfriend me right now bitches just do it

I loved his alpha protective nature but he still understands she was a reckless force of nature and loved her for it.

Their relationship. I could literally feel the goddamn chemistry. Wynter and Kham are drawn to each other but goddamn do they fight it. It was delicious torture, i loved from start to finish
I’m not crying YOURE CRYING

“She was his wife, his queen, his mate. His heart.
And he loved her.
He loved every exasperating, fiery, rebellious, beautiful, challenging, volatile inch of her.”

Fuck it, im crying

I loved ALL these characters— main and secondary just so well developed. I instantly loved Kham and Wynter, their strengths and weakness and oh god the sass

“I’ve no idea why Freika ever bothered creating men. She should have recognized perfection when she created woman and stopped while she was ahead.” I mean.... where’s the lie though hahaha


Overall. Read the book. Just. Read. The. Goddamn. Book.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,403 reviews9,536 followers
March 14, 2019
Reread! 💕


I'm so in love with this book! I love Wynter who is the King of Wintercraig. I love that he is an ice king with some abilities. I love that his wilderness companions are wolves. He's everything! Two of my favorite things: WINTER & WOLVES

So this twat of a prince from Summerlea comes over to visit Wyn and he ends up stealing some important things, well one was not so important, and kills his brother, so this sets off a 3 year war. Wyn does some things to make himself stronger and full of hate and it could take him over completely. He crushes Summerlea in the war, yay. Wyn and some men then go on a visit to see the king of Summerlea and make his demands. This includes some stuff but the most important was that he would be taking home one of the king's daughters to marry. There is a stipulation with that but I won't tell you.

While Wyn is there he meets Khamsin (Storm) (Kham) by accident. Well, their magics merge and it's like crazy train.

I felt sorry for Kham because she was kept away as a prisoner since she was a child and never acknowledged as the kings daughter after something happens. He's a big freaking jerk that man!

Anyway, Wyn is tricked into marrying Kham after her father almost kills her < -- read the book. But, Wyn isn't upset by this when he finds out who he is married to, the girl he met briefly and couldn't stop thinking about.

They make their way back to king Wynter's home, but it takes awhile as Kham almost dies for reasons.

Kham isn't made to feel welcome in the castle, of course, but over time most of the people come to love her because she is awesome! She's not like her sorry brother or father. Her sisters are nice like her too, btw.

There is all kinds of bad stabbing, evil cunning plots, beasts trying to kill peeps, near death experiences, a quest to get the sword, defeat everyone that needs defeating, sexy times and oh so much more and I LOVE IT! I'm so happy with this book ♥

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,257 reviews8,675 followers
July 26, 2014
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

C.L. Wilson writes Fantasy Romance like nobody’s business.

I discovered Wilson’s Tairen Soul series a little over a year ago through a Goodreads’ recommendation, and I read all five books in five days.

All five books. In five days.

And they weren’t filler books either. They were all 400(ish) page FANTASY books.

When I finished my reading binge, I was glad to see that another book was in the works—The Winter King (this book), and I’ve had it on my watchlist since January of last year.

And people . . . it did NOT disappoint.

Khamsin Coruscate is the unwanted daughter of King Verdan IV of Summerlea. Unacknowledged, she roams the abandoned places of her father’s castle, desperately trying to be good enough, noble enough, worthy enough to gain her father’s affections.

All of her efforts are for naught.

Wynter Atrialan is the young King of Wintercraig. Barely into manhood, he is already a legend among his people, having single-handedly killed a Frost Giant in a successful attempt to save his younger brother. But when he is betrayed, he embraces an ancient, dangerous magic to assist him in his quest for revenge.

But the magic has a cost, and the longer Wynter uses it, the higher the price.

Things I loved about this book:

1. The characters—ALL of the characters, main and secondary alike, were incredibly well-developed. I felt an instant connection to both Wynter and Khamsin, and the secondary characters were both likable and entertaining while enhancing my understanding of the MCs.

2. The world-building—Time wasn’t wasted describing actual landmasses, so while I may have only had a vague understanding of where Summerlea, Wintercraig, and Calbernan would be located on a map, I did gain knowledge of the other (more important IMO) aspects of the geography. I knew what creatures lurked where. I knew the weather patterns and the local customs. The imports and exports, etc. All those details combined to create a clear picture of Kham and Wyn’s world.

3. Villainous villains—I love to hate a good villain. Oh, I like a sympathetic villain on occasion as well, but sometimes a clear-cut bad guy is a wonderful target for your animosity, and The Winter King has several.

4. The ROMANCE—Wynter and Khamsin are instantly drawn to each other and have incredible chemistry, but oh, how they fight it. There are numerous misunderstandings and miscommunications (for the path to true love never did run smooth), but the journey never crosses the line from swoonfest to tedium. It’s very simply delicious torture.

5. Possibility of future books from this world—As far as I can tell, there are currently no other books from this world under contract. BUT Wilson lays the groundwork for several future books throughout this one, and my fingers are crossed that said books will come to pass (Dilys Merimydion + a Season = True Love 4-Ever).

Things I could have liked more:

1. Too many villainous villains—There were at least four significant bad guys (as well as several other characters you were made to be suspicious of), and as effective as they were, I can’t help but think that cumulatively a few less would have made even more of an impact. Even if there were still a few secondary bad guys all working for one Big Bad<——Big Bad is singular for a reason.

2. So very LONG—I kind of feel like this book could have had 100 less pages and still accomplished everything that needed to be accomplished. The end seemed to drag a bit (but only a bit). That being said, all of those pages flew by.

But ultimately, a couple of minor issues were not enough to keep me from absolutely loving this book.

Fantasy romance is not a big genre, so finding an author who excels at writing it is highly fortuitous. C.L. Wilson is one such author, and this book perfectly illustrates that claim. With a completely enthralling combination of fantastical elements and a swoonworthy romance, I recommend The Winter King to lovers of both Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. C.L. Wilson is always a safe bet, and The Winter King is perhaps my favorite of her books to date.

Be sure to check out the Author Interview on the blog post!
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
476 reviews1,081 followers
January 28, 2021
3 stars

This started out so strong and I was enjoying the plot, all because of the forced marriage trope tho, but then it started dragging and things were just so repetitive. The entire book is filled with them not trusting each other and throwing accusations. They just didn’t give me a chance to connect with both of them. Even at the very end both the main characters were still throwing accusations of betrayals at each other! The world building was good and some parts were really enjoyable tho. I think I just came here for the romance, but it wasn’t that memorable. Still it was just okay.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
1,981 reviews195 followers
January 11, 2018
I tried to think of a way to review this book I tried and failed. How do you review something that left your heart thumping, your brow sweating, and your soul singing ? There are no words worthy of this feeling. I loved this book, I loved the world, the characters and even the villains. I hated the villains one completely, true unwavering hate for a certain father figure. It was so nice to have a completely evil force to focus on without those wavering good deeds mixed in. Do not judge this book by the cover or the blurb on the back, they are so off from the reality of what is on the pages. This is a WOW, high fantasy, mystery, action packed, romantic tale. The writing is so vivid so detailed I could read each page twice and pick up different things each time.
I recommend this book and her Tairen Soul series already published -read them
Profile Image for Parvati Patil .
211 reviews
June 2, 2019

Kindle Unlimited in some territories. Sadly not the UK, but £1.99 is a good bargain.


Action-packed, great characters. Excellent worldbuilding. Reika and her schemes were over the top, but other than that one of the best I've ever read.
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,781 followers
February 20, 2020
Second re-read: 20.02.2020
I'm ashamed to admit that I skimmed quite a bit this time around. I've been truly struggling lately to focus so I made the mistake of starting this detailed book whilst I knew I was having problems with reading. So because of this, I won't lower the rating or anything, even though I didn't find the book as enjoyable as the previous times. If I were to rate it now, it'll be at 2.5 stars and that's unacceptable. I'll overlook this read, to be honest. I refuse to believe I don't still love it so I'll re-read it again in the future and that will be the final thoughts.

Other Characters:
The list is long so I've put it in a spoilers tag.

The Ice Heart:
Text is long so I've put it in a spoilers tag.

⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Great Fantasy Book*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

Re-read: 21.01.2018
For those of you that haven't read this great fantasy book, definitely should do it. It's a great story of love, honor, friendship, legends and war. About finding a place you belong, your home and becoming who you are meant to be. I seriously recommend this book. The Winter King centers around King of Wintercraig, Wynter ‘Wyn’ Crystalin Boreal Atrialan (how old? Late twenties? Early thirties?) and Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, Angelica Mariposa Rosalind Khamsin ‘Kham’ ‘Storm’ Gianna Coruscate (20).
“Your father thought he scored a victory over me when he tricked me into marrying you instead of one of your sisters, but he unwittingly gave me the one daughter I wanted most.”

Both characters are amazing. Khamsin shows great development from the beginning to the end. Wynter is just fabulous throughout the book. Love him. The only thing that bothered me this time around that didn't bother me the first time was the constant mentioning of Roland Soldeus. I got quickly tired of hearing about him. Overall, this story is great and should be read. I'll probably re-read it again sometime later. The length doesn't even bother me. I could've read even more.
“Well, princess,” Wynter murmured, “let’s see what you’re made of.”

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (Adult) Fantasy Romance.
Series: - Series (Standalone), Book One.
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - Wynter ‘Wyn’ Crystalin Boreal Atrialan.
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Yes.
Would I recommend this book/series? - Yes.
Will I read this again in the future? - Yes..
Rating - 4 stars.

First read review:

(Just picture them a few years younger ;))
“Well, princess,” Wynter murmured, “let’s see what you’re made of.”

OMG!! I cannot believe that I waited so freaking long to read this book! I seriously loved it! It was long, yes, and hard to read with all the information, but damn, it was worth it!! The whole story was well written and the characters was perfect! C.L. Wilson is pretty brilliant to come up with this world of fantasy, I must say... Roland's sword, The Ice Heart, Storm.. It was all an amazing journey and it left me wanting more!!
“I love you more than the sunrise. More than laughter. More than song...”

To be frankly honest, I had trouble putting the book down and get some sleep.. I really wanted to finish the book in one day, the book was that exciting but I couldn't sit up all night, so I literally had to force myself to put the book down and go to bed -.-' But the first thing I thought about when I woke up was "I need to know what will happen to my Wynter!!" Hehe I mean, come on, I had to stop where it had started to get interesting..
“There’s no guarantee the goddess will find you worthy,” she warned. “Many men have tried and died.”
“You think that frightens me? If I die, I will be with my brother. If I survive, I will have the power to avenge him.”

Now, I don't really want to tell you all what happens in the book, other than that Wynter need to warm his Ice Heart, (which is taking over his body,) and he think that to warm his heart he needs love. Since he's lost his family, (the reason he's taken the power of the Ice Heart is because his brother was killed by Prince Falcon of the Summerlea->He also stole his betrothed,) Wynter need a new family, an heir/a child and to do that, he's decided he needs a wife. He has decided that the Summerlea are to replace the losses. To give him a wife, an heir and a treasure. Wynter's tricked, and is given Khamsin.
“Well," she said again, turning to him and tipping back her head to meet his gaze. "As the begetting of an heir holds such dire import, I suggest we get to it.”

The thing is, since the first the Wynter saw Khamsin he hasn't been able to stop thinking about her, so in a way, it was a good thing that she was to be his wife. They are so meant to be. I love them together. Their connection are so powerful and I love their bricking. They are constantly challenge each other.. It's rather cute.
“I hadn't thought you such a faithless coward. You are a princess of the Summer Throne, wedded Queen of the Craig, and my wife. You swore an oath, before a priest and your father's court, to accept my counsel and my care. You swore to offer me all the fruits of your life. And now, you would deny me that which you swore to offer? Do you have so little honor?"
The accusation stole the silver from her eyes, leaving them pure, plain gray filled with shock and dismay. "I...No! Of course not! I'm no oathbreaker."
"Then come to your bath. Accept my care, as you swore you would. Offer me the fruits of your life, that I may dine once more on peace instead of war.”

Now, let's talk about the characters... Damn, I LOVE Wynter!!!!!!!! He was just so damn sexy! A complete warrior, with hot, cold powerful power. Ruthless, yet kind to his people. A good kind but a great man. And a FANTASTIC lover.. An wild animal and passionate male in bed... *clears throat, takes a deep breath* Runs with wolfs and never gives up.. and I can go on and on and on about how much I love my man Wynter.. But, ehh, I think I need to stop..
“If you didn’t need food more than I need a good fucking, I’d flip you over right now and fill you ’til you scream and beg for mercy.”

Khamsin was awesome! She really develop from the beginning to the end. She really grew on me. She was like a child and became a woman. I liked her and now I LOVE her. She stood up for her man when it counted and that was all that mattered. She didn't let Wynter order her around, and she didn't back down when she was afraid and scared, she held her head up high and made me proud! :)
“Wyrn curse it,” Kham swore. If Wynter’s life was truly in danger, and she did nothing to warn him, she’d never forgive herself. “I just know I’m going to regret this,” she muttered.

Jesus, I talk a lot of shit.. Anyways, you get my point. I like this book a lot, might even love it. Scratch that, I do love this book, it's just that it was so freaking long that it was so freaking hard to read sometimes. I wish this book was made into two books instead of one.. I hope we get more of my beloved man Wynter!!!!!!
Profile Image for Svetlana.
49 reviews176 followers
December 25, 2017
The past few weeks have been really tough for me because my mental health has been playing up again. I haven't been able to enjoy reading the way I used to and that honestly just breaks my heart. I still try to read because I don't want my issues to stop me from doing something I love so much. It's also why I like to come on goodreads because the environment here makes me feel better. And even though I find it difficult to read myself, I like knowing that other people are reading and enjoying books.

I decided to go with this book because I didn't want to read something that would require too much thinking or would be too emotionally draining. And woohooo because I was thoroughly entertained by this book! It took me a lot to start it but I really did enjoy myself! And THAT is why I love reading! :)

I'm still struggling and probably will for a long time, but I'm also starting to learn how to deal with things. So yay me!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,588 reviews1,466 followers
December 25, 2017
Romantasy!!! It is my favorite genre loved my reread with my friends at Buddies Books and Baubles

Original Review Aug 2014

Finally!!! A great Adult High Fantasy with both a wonderful romance and fantastic plot/world this is two of my favorite genre’s combined.

The Story - Wynter the king of Wintercraig was betrayed by his fiancé and the Falcon the Prince of Summerlea. Wynter in his sadness took in a powerful magic that could destroy him and plunged both countries into war. Now three years later he has won the war but may have lost his heart and soul to the ancient power he used to do it. He has one chance, the birth of a child might save his ever colder growing heart. Time is running short and if he loses himself to the Ice Heart within an ancient power will rise and it could destroy everyone in the lands.
 photo white-walker_zps49612b19.jpg
Wynter takes a Princess of Summerlea as his prize of war to be his wife, now he just needs to get her pregnant but that is easier said than done and time is running short.

The Romance - As heroes go Wynter is right on the border for me. By his deeds he was kind to his new wife even if his words weren’t always warm and tender. He is forever fighting with the power within him and it leaves him slightly cold to Khamsin at times.

The reasons I love the romantic couple are that they are both so broken and alone, but for completely different reasons. Khamsin never accepted by her family wants to desperately to find some kind of comfort and companionship but is so headstrong that she sometimes shots herself in the foot. Wynter has lost his entire family and greatly wants one of his own but finds it so hard to trust anyone. But there is an undeniable physical attraction between the two of them and eventually that tries to grow into something more. Both are very insecure in their own ways but somehow being together makes them stronger people.

Things I loved - I adored Khamsin from the beginning. She was easy to like as she was headstrong and fierce, plus she never whines. After living with the hatred of her father for so long and never fitting in I really wanted her to find that happily ever after.

I liked that there wasn’t an instant love. There was attraction and lust but the actual friendship and feelings between the pair took time. They are alike in many ways and share a deep loneliness and longing for family. Wynter could be a harsh ass at times but there were also moments when he was extremely tender with Khamsin and those of coarse are the moment I liked the most.

“Then come to your bath. Accept my care, as you swore you would. Offer me the fruits of your life, that I may dine once more on peace instead of war.”

Wynter is not perfect, far from. He is quick to temper and often comes across harshly as he is trying to protect himself from ever being hurt again. But I like that he isn’t perfect and I respected that everyone in the land knew how cruel he was capable of being. He did start a war to avenge his family so I thought it would be out of character if he were perfect. He can be ruthless and will be to protect those in his charge.

“Do you honestly think something as flimsy as a signed piece of paper and a marriage ceremony would have stayed his hand had he not wanted you for his bride? Wynter would have parted your head from your shoulders, taken all three of your sisters as concubines, slaughtered everyone else involved in the deception, and frozen the whole of Vera Sola on the spot. After ripping your father’s entrails from his still-living body and calling the snow wolves to feast upon them, of course.”

But he is still extremely likeable and easy to root for.

The setting and magic of the weathermages was also a draw for me. Wintercraig seemed to be a winter wonderland of sorts and I loved how Khamsin and Wynters magic worked together to feed into and calm one another’s magic.

 photo icecastle_zpsecb52b2e.jpg

The threat of Rojak returning was the main big bad and that is the story line I enjoyed the most. His army of frozen acolytes seemed a lot like white walkers from Game of Thrones with an added huge abominable snow beasts and I’m sold.

Lastly I liked the introduction of Dily. Even though we didn’t see him until about 93% of the way in, I liked getting a glimpse of the future hero in the next boo set in this world and want to know so much more about the Sea People

The Sealord smiled. “This offer is most generous, myerina, to be sure, but why would I or my men sacrifice the certainty of a liana now for the possibility of a liana later?”
“Trust me, none of you would want an unwilling Summerlea or Wintercraig wife.”
“Ah, but any liana of a Calbernan would not be unwilling for long.”
The way he said it sent an unmistakably erotic shiver up Khamsin’s body. If she weren’t irrevocably in love with her own Winterman, she might actually have considered throwing down her sword and taking Merimydion up on his offer.

The Problems - Too many bad guys and obstacles. At some point in this book I thought ‘seriously, again’. It just seemed our couple could not catch a break for anything. While I did enjoy the drama I was of the opinion that maybe some of them could have been cut and possibly streamlined. I think there were three or four different ‘bad guys’ in this and then the big threat as well. It just seemed a little much at times.

Overall - This was such a fun story full of the girlie romantic stuff I like and the High Fantasy world, magic, culture and intrigue that I adore. It was really a win-win for me.
Profile Image for Aisling Zena.
633 reviews454 followers
December 28, 2015

Re-read 28/12/2015

5 stars

Do not let the 80s, slightly Fabionesque, cover of this book fool you! We tend to categorise now based on the cover, if it's urban fantasy it's usually a badass woman with some sort of weapon, if it's shifters you have an animal mixed in with the people and so on.

For me this is the kind of book you can't class based on cover. You think you're getting a historical romance with a shot of magic featuring a silly heroine and a wishy-washy knight in shiny armor. Well, you don't. This book is pure delightful fantasy, steeped in magic and I think no one could do a cover that would give it justice. This is my lesson (again) not to judge a book by it's cover.

Khamsin Coruscate is a Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms,
she wields great magic but can't control it. She grew up an outcast, unloved and unwanted by her father. Unacknowledged and shunned, raised by her maid Tildy, she begins the book as an idealistic, petulant child but soon forced to grow up fast and realise that war leaves behind ruin and peace always comes with a price.
I loved Kham. All the hardships she went through growing up, the vileness thrust on her by her own father, forged her character. She was no silly, whimpering pampered palace princess. Naive and innocent but far from silly. She is a fighter, a survivor, a clever woman struggling against all odds desperate to be loved and wanted.

"What was wrong with her that no one wanted her?"

No matter what happened between now and the end of her year as Wintercraig’s queen, she was going to find a way to survive and to thrive.

Wynter Atrialan, King of Wintercraig
wants revenge and to get it he takes the Ice Heart a dreadful power that can consume him. He struggles against it and at the same time wages war against Summerlea. Running out of time he decides to top of his revenge by marrying one of the princesses, he doesn't care which one and get's conned into marrying Khamsin, still a princess but not one cherished by the King. Even though he was conned he was still outraged on Khams behalf and is thoughtful and gentle with her but distant. There's a bit of an insta-lust situation but to be honest I loved it! It was so well written, the passion and chemistry between them so hot I didn't care if it was instant!


He was smiling. The fresh air, white snow, blue sky, and bright golden sun made her feel happy and light-hearted. It was a perfect, beautiful day. The kind of day he’d sculpted in the Atrium. The kind of day he’d known so many of as a child. And then she realized what he was doing. He was giving her a memory of her own to cherish.

As always there were plenty of plots afoot and weathering through them changes them both. I did suspect and guess some of the plots but didn't really mind. I loved the effortless world building created by C.L.Wilson and I honestly submerged myself in it with no effort at all. This book is beautiful, enchanting, mesmerizing and I definitely got caught in it's spell. C.L.Wilson also introduced the main characters for the next book in this series and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Profile Image for Nadia.
528 reviews177 followers
August 16, 2014
I didn't like this book because:

·Khamsin and Wynter,
·the main characters never really talked, so they could get to know each other, to find something else to fall in love with besides amazing skill in the bedroom,
·corny conversations in the end,
·cheesy plot,
·Khamsin's purpose as a baby-making machine,
·Wynter's distrust of Khamsin even after she saved his ass time and time again,
·it's about 300 pages too long,
·even though it's easy to read, the story is drawn out waaaay too much,
·awful cover (in this case, judging a book by its cover is worth it).
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,270 reviews426 followers
December 27, 2020
SERIES: Weathermages of Mystral no.1
GENRE: paranormal romance
TROPES: arranged marriage
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNINGS: parental neglect & abuse
SONGS: Tate McRae- You broke me first
Selena Gomez- Wolves

I am so happy that I gave this book & author a chance..

it is really really good...
sure it a chunk of a book..but it is like two books in one..
and I love big books and can't lie...
with one badass of a heroine, this book is a must-read for fantasy readers who like romance in their plotline!!

Profile Image for Choko.
1,178 reviews2,568 followers
December 17, 2017
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with my friends at BB&B! Because we love Fairy tales!!!

This is exactly what it looks like - a fairy tale for adults, which we also call Romantasy! In short - a fantastic tale of the battle between good and evil set on the background of romance, promising Happily Ever After and on the way getting steamy with the main characters getting busy...

"...“What had come over her? He'd touched her, and it was like electric flame -- like the lightning she could summon -- shooting sparks through her veins. She'd all but melted, boneless, at his feet. He was the Winter King, her enemy, a man feared for his killing coldness, yet when he'd touched her, she had not frozen. She'd burned.”..."

Wynter is the king of Wintercraig, who was betrayed by his fiancé and the Prince of Summerlea Falcon , who happens to also be the brother of our heroine, Khamsin aka Storm. In a fit of anger and betrayal Winter incorporated the powerful magic of a dormant Winter King into himself, making him capable of destroying anything with a freezing glance, but also threatening to overtake his humanity and personality... He retaliated with war and in three years subjugated the embattled Summerlea. As he emerges as the victor, the frozen heart of the Winter King threatens to take over his body and his life. Only love could keep that from happening and plunging everything in the world into a perpetual freeze. Winter is running out of time and as far as he and his priestess counselor can tell, the birth of a child could possibly melt his doomed heart. Luckily for him , the King of Summerlea has 4 beautiful and gifted with weather magic power daughters and any one of them could do for a wife. After all, she needs only give him a child...

"...“Well," she said again, turning to him and tipping back her head to meet his gaze. "As the begetting of an heir holds such dire import, I suggest we get to it.” ..."

Yep, at least he gets the one who really gets him hot and bothered, so the hard work of making a child is not as unpleasant as it could have been... Now, I am missing a lot of small magical detail in my introduction, but this is why, if you feel this is something you might enjoy, you should go and read it for yourself. It does have some beautiful world-building and although it is somewhat linear and simple in nature, it is engaging and the sexy times are neither ridiculous nor overly done. The chemistry between the two lovebirds works, despite its start being forced on them and the female having no choices, as it usually goes in those kind of stories.

As always, the thing that bugs me the most, and it is something that appears in most every Fantasy or Fairytale, is that no one gives even a thought to the possibility that a man could actually be in love with a woman. No, it is always the woman who has cast a spell or enchanted, or ensorcereled , or somehow poisoned the man with evil magic or herbs, that the man is so under this vile spell, that he can't stop wanting to be with or please his lady. In the last 10 books I read, 8 of them eluded to such an unfortunate fate befalling the male lead. Poor men, they just can't help themselves when it comes to those evil women's wiles... Pu-leeeeeeeessssseeeee!!!!! What a great excuse not to be nice to us, in case someone thinks they are under our spell! We are such awful witches!!!

"...“Speaking of his little Summerwitch . . . he had not laid eyes on her nor had one whispered update about her activities since leaving her bed this morning. That did not bode well. If he’d learned one thing about his wife, he’d learned that Absence of Khamsin held a far greater potential for disaster than Khamsin Constantly Underfoot.” ..."

Apart from that, which is in no way singular complaint for this book, I enjoyed it well enough as a perfect easy reading in the holiday season. Perfect for the fans of HR and PNR!

I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a good Book!!!
Profile Image for Georgia ♥ .
420 reviews1,120 followers
December 2, 2014
5 Fairytale Stars


I love you more than the sunrise. More than laughter. More than song [...] I love you more than any man in the history of Mystral ever loved...


Love, warlords, magic, strange lands, lies, loyalties, family, heartbreak. C L Wilson weaves a fantastic tale that has your soul sighing and you eyes teary. I absolutely adore her books and I can't wait for more!

Profile Image for Bindi Boo .
578 reviews115 followers
February 7, 2017
5 absolute brilliant stars

An AMAZING historical, paranormal romance with SO MUCH action, drama and feels. This book was just what i needed to get out of my book slump. It made my gut twist, it made me smile and most of all, it made me FEEL! The chemistry between the main characters was just out of this world and i especially loved how they eventually start trusting each other despite being enemies and having lingering doubts. The heroine had balls of steel and an unmatched wit, my favourite kind. She challenged every order and every word. The hero; a sweet softy despite his manly aloofness. THEY MADE THE PERFECT MATCH! *heart melts*

At 597 pages long and with many, many words i had to look up the dictionary, this book was so well written and the plot gave me a 'Game of Thrones' sort of vibe. Also reminded me a teeny bit of the Golden Dynasty by Kirsten Ashley. Overall, it shoots into my absolute favourite shelf and i am looking forward to many re-reads in the future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Profile Image for Z.
6 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2014
Oh my God yes! I must read this book, I want more CL Wilson! But I wish she'd make another Tairen Soul book! One with Gaelen and Bel and Kiel and Kieran!!
Profile Image for Lyndi W..
2,042 reviews192 followers
August 2, 2014
Disappointing. That's the best word I can come up with to describe my feelings towards this book. I expected something epic and fantastical, in the same vein as the Tairen Soul series. What I got was... not that.

The plot is great - that's the saving grace here. The characters are shit. I hated the heroine. I hated the hero. I hated all the various villains. I even hated the secondary characters that only had a few lines. They were all shitty people that do shitty things and it was just shit. SHIT, I TELL YOU.

The heroine. Petulant, contrary, hypocritical, argumentative, clueless, disloyal, conniving, rude, childish, meek... I could come up with more, but I don't want to think about her enough to do so. Admittedly, she does develop into a better person eventually, but I nearly DNF'd this every few pages because she was just. that. annoying.

The hero, though he may have had his reasons, was a dick. He was not an endearing hero at all. Again, he warmed up about 3/4ths of the way through, but then he immediately turned into a dick again.

The villains were good villains, in the sense that they were horrible and I wanted them beaten as violently and as painfully as possible, but they were insanely predictable. Boooring.

The plot of war, marriage, the sword, etc. That was really neat. I just... I wish the author used entirely different characters. The final battle was a bit of a surprise, seeing who was going to battle who. But then it devolved into predictability and those who should have been punished were not.

I'm incredibly disappointed in this book. I waited and waited. I was sure C.L. Wilson would deliver an amazing story. She did not. Maybe my expectations were too high, but that's only Wilson's fault because she wrote amazing stories before. Perhaps she should have just stopped after Tairen Soul.
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews716 followers
June 19, 2017
Holy shit. Quite possibly the best book I've ever read.

To be honest, I probably never would have chosen this book had I stumbled upon it on my own. The cover just doesn't look or feel like the kind of book I'd enjoy. (It looks like some sort of cheesy, soap opera historical romance?) But I decided to pick it up because someone recommended this book to fans of A Promise of Fire and I ADORED that book so I bought this one without question.

I think I loved this even more.

The Winter King was everything I wanted. It was a fantastic fantasy with an intense, all-consuming, earth-shattering romance. The romance had me reading the last half of the book with tears in my eyes (constantly alternating between happy and sad tears).

But what I loved even more was the length. At over 600 pages, I felt like I was reading an entire series in one sitting, but without the horrific cliffhangers and long waits. The epicness just kept coming and coming and I never wanted it to end. But the book felt so incredibly epic (and in no way too long). There was an incredible, detailed world; interesting history; a heart-throbbing romance; and so much more. There was a purpose to the length. I got sucked into this amazing universe, adventure, war, and romance.

On top of it all, every single character was perfect.


I seriously don't even have the words to convey how much I adored this book.

- It kept me up at night.
- It had me reading first thing in the morning.
- I had my book propped up while I ate so I could read during meals.
- It sent me twirling around my apartment in excitement (there was legit twirling and frolicking, I swear).

I so much wanted the universe to be real. I wanted to slip into it and live there myself (which is an odd thing given all the battles and devastation in the story).

I'm going to pounce on The Sea King as soon as that glorious book becomes available. ♥

My only criticism is that the book alternated points of view—which was totally fine (loved it), but the Kindle edition didn't really separate the POV switch very well. There were no chapter headings or clear dividers. Just a new paragraph with slightly more space between it. Sometimes I didn't fully realize the POV had switched and it jarred me. I'm not sure if this is also the case in the print edition.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews286 followers
June 3, 2017
5 FANTASTIC FAIRYTALE STARS!!! By far one of the best books I've ever read!!! It had everything!!! EVERYTHING!!! This book would be a phenomena of epic proportions if it weren't for the cheesy cover. I'm sure of it!!! Dare I say this book is better than Game of Thrones??! C.L. Wilson is genius!!!! I want the TV series, the movie, play, something. Lol. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
Profile Image for ~**Anna**~ A Romance Reader.
599 reviews332 followers
February 5, 2023
*4.5 stars*

So good!!! This was an epic read. Loved the fantasy, adventure, romance and intrigue. Had a great time reading it.
Profile Image for Kristalia .
382 reviews608 followers
October 5, 2015
Final rating: 5/5 stars

“I love you more than the sunrise. More than laughter. More than song...”

Magic and Kingdoms; War and Peace; Lightning and Ice; Love and Hate; Legends that might as well be true.Summer and Winter shall unite to stop the war: Storm and Ice - Khamsin and Wynter.

Neither of them are perfect :

♦♦♦ Khamsin : strong, dependable, quick temper, reckless, brave, but broken. Princess forced to marry the King of the country who won the war.

♦♦♦ Wynter: smart, dependable, respected and thoughtful King; cold, ruthless and cruel to his enemies; quick tempered, but also warm, kind, capable of love, and also broken.

“Your father thought he scored a victory over me when he tricked me into marrying you instead of one of your sisters, but he unwittingly gave me the one daughter I wanted most.”

Amazing writing style; Well developed characters and unique story. I especially loved the second part of the book, when the main plot started happening. Battle scenes were very well described and the world building was well done as well (the creatures that appeared were interesting as well, like Garm, for example). The book was captivating, made me cry, made me laugh and i enjoyed it the whole time.

The book is written from 2 third POVs, aka, Wynter's and Khamsin's.


Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King :

Wynter is the man surrounded by grief, rage, cold and ice. He had to witness betrayal of his wife-to-be, murder of his younger brother and heir, and he had been robbed of the most priced possession. All of this led to his decision to embrace the power called Ice Heart - a very dangerous power. All who had tried to take it for themselves died. But not Wynter. All of this happened because of the Summerlea's prince Falcon.

After three years of war, the peace was achieved and he took his revenge on Summer Kingdom. All because.... his time is running out - the power he took destroys him from the inside.

He is very tricky opponent, and he made that clear - strong, powerful and he is one of the Kings to be feared of. Despite all his ruthlessness and cruelness to his enemies, he is a hero and a saviour in his own country, well respected and loved.

Wynter may be hard to like in the beginning, but then again, he was never perfect to begin with. But, as the story goes, you will most likely like him. I know i did. He was, all in all, well written character.

Khamsin, Princess of the Summer King, Storm :

Khamsin is the fourth daughter of the Summer King, but because of her gift - calling of the storm - she had been shut from her family, rejected, abandoned, never recognized for what she is.

Despite having 3 sisters (Spring, Summer and Autumn) and brother (Falcon), few maids who helped her, she never felt loved or needed, and, worst of all - she never felt free. Her father Verdan, the King, always wished she was dead, and he made sure to make her life as miserable as possible.

And yet, she is strong, bold and she wasn't the type of the heroines that whine all the time - she was just wild, reckless and brave. A truly wonderfully written heroine. I always looked forward to reading her POVs.

Other characters :

There were many other characters - but they were all well done and their characterization was great as well. I especially enjoyed reading about the boy Krysti, and his tricks and talents. I hope there will be his book as well, considering this is a series (and also this: "...all books in the Mystral series are standalone novels and can be read without reading other books in the series.".) Laci was also amazing woman, and I loved her witty comments. Valik and Tildy were interesting characters as well. Of course, there were many despicable characters as well, which I won't name, since you will probably find on your own.


I was very surprised by the developments in the second half of the book. Going by the book description, i thought it would be only a romance type, but i was wrong - this is after all, a high fantasy book and evil lurks around.

I haven't read books by this author before, but after this one, i believe i will check them out as well. After all, this writer has amazing writing style.

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,158 followers
December 5, 2017
When Storm meets Ice.

Sometimes a book comes into your life and you get completely sucked in. C.L. Wilson has captured my attention with a book that will stay with me for days. Her characters came alive. I was living in Summerlea and watching Khamsin sneak around the servants and guards. I was watching Wynter turn frostier and frostier with every use of his power. I wanted to hold lightning in my hands. I survived heartbreak, suffering and misery. I lived for my chance at love, friendship and loyalty. A family was the one made not the one born to. Wynter is my king and Khamsin is my queen. My loyalty was earned.

So, basically, I was swept away to another time and another place. I couldn’t read fast enough but was desperate for the words to never end. This type of story comes alive and you see it, smell it, breathe it.

There is magic, good and evil. We meet beasts, gods, witches and royal families. Clans hold power and your spirit animal guides and help you. A gaze can freeze, a touch can heat and emotions can cause storms. I loved meeting new characters and finding where their strengths and weaknesses lie. There are wars fought to gain power. Battles start when tempers flare and innocents die caught in the crossfire.

At times I was an emotional mess while reading. Tears were pouring from eyes as I witnessed Kham being treated badly, first by her father, then by Wynter and his people. This poor chick did not deserve what she got. Her life has been filled with guilt and she is blamed for everything bad that happens. I couldn’t help but admire her for her strength and perseverance. Kham was one of the strongest characters I’ve ever met.

Wynter was a very interesting character. It took a little while for me to warm up to the cool and frosty king. He has faced heartbreak and treachery from those closest to him. Wyn’s strength is an enduring one. His suffering has given him a hard shell around his heart and made him take risks that put his life and sanity in danger. With a few loyal friends at his back, he must control the frost from overtaking his heart. Only a Storm coming into his life can burn the shell and keep his heart beating.

I hate doing the comparison thing, but I will say that it gave me the heart-pounding, epic feeling that I got from reading Kristen Ashley’s, Fantasyland series. Good overcoming evil, trust is earned and sacrifices made to show commitment and loyalty. Love did not just arrive, it was worked and fought for. Passion and connection were there from Wyn and Kham’s first touch but they must find out if it was magic or real. Both will test their connection but hope will guide them to find love.

Honestly, The Winter King was one of the best books I’ve ever read. This is pure escapism that left me on a high. It was longer than I’m used to but it felt like it was over too soon. I am now a C.L. Wilson fan and I can’t wait to escape with her again soon.

Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,044 reviews385 followers
March 8, 2018
She was no meek, domesticated lamb of a woman any more than he was a tame or gentle man.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one! There's definitely something to be said for traditionally published, mass marketed books - the lack of typos, the well-developed characters, and the on-point plots. These kinds of books just come down to the individual readers' tastes, and YAY! The Winter King tickled my fancy!

Wynter, King of Wintercraig, enters Summerlea victorious after 3 years of brutal war meant to avenge the murder of his brother. Hoping to keep the Summerlea King in line, Wynter demands one of his beloved daughters in marriage. But the defeated Summerlea King has the last laugh when Wynter is tricked into marrying the despised youngest princess, Khamsin, who's been locked away for twenty years.

As many of you know, I have a weakness for this kind of forced marriage/warprize trope, and this one did not disappoint! It fell somewhere on the spectrum between the mostly light and fluffy Warprize and the dark and delicious The Golden Dynasty.

Khamsin was a fantastic heroine; strong, loyal, stubborn with a splash of vulnerability thrown in due to her horrible childhood. And Wynter was much the same as he struggled with how to deal with his wayward bride. It made for some great tension and heart-stopping moments of mistrust and suspicion, not to mention passion. ;)

The sex was hot, sweaty, and vanilla in a historical, bodice-ripper kind of way that somehow didn't have me rolling my eyes. In fact, I really liked Wynter and his alpha ways.
Wynter felt his nostrils fare with an instant stab of aggression and his upper lip curled back to bare his teeth. He even growled low in his throat, like a snow wolf warning another male away from his female.
I really appreciated how his possessiveness never crossed the line into misogyny.

The fantasy/PNR element to the story was really well-written and well-paced. Despite coming in at a whopping 600 pages, it wasn't until the last 30 pages or so that I felt the story was becoming overlong. Plus, as an added bonus, I loved the girl-power vibe that it had going on. I'm actually not quite sure why this book wasn't titled The Winter Queen.

As an aside: I'm offended by the cover of this book. First, it's a horrible cliche, and second, Khamsin is described as having dark skin throughout the story, and the heroine on this cover has anything but. Traditionally published and mass-marketed indeed.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,493 reviews3,624 followers
October 22, 2018
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: I came across this book by looking at the similar books section on the page of The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley. After taking a chance on the new sub-genre for me with that book, I enjoyed it so much that I thought I should try this one. I'm glad I did. It's definitely a different sub-genre for me, but that's not a bad thing! I like to mix it up every once in a while in hopes of avoiding that dreaded book slump. I enjoyed the characters, and while the world building was elaborate it didn't seem to be too much or overbearing at all. I enjoyed the way they cared for one another, and I felt like the romance was a good balance with the fantasy action going on. I did have issues with the ending, and I wish it had a little bit more steam -- but other than that it was an enjoyable read!

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Khamsin and Wynter's story. Khamsin is a princess that her King father hates because he blames her for her mother's death. When the King is in a bad place and in need of peace negotions with the Winter King, Wynter, he comes up with a plan to kill two birds with one stone and get rid of Khamsin for good as well as give Wynter the bride he seeks to gain a much needed heir. After some deception, they marry and head back to Wynter's home. It is not a warm welcome for Khamsin, as their countries have been at war for ~3 years. It still is better for her than her abusive father, and she learns to care for Wynter greatly. There is some magic at play that has Wynter desperate for an heir, but he purposefully keeps Khamsin at a distance because he is unsure he can fully trust her. They have some big battles to fight for each other as well as their world, but they do get a HEA ending.

POV: This alternated between focusing mainly on Khamsin and Wynter in 3rd person narrative.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well, even though it is on the longer side.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.

H rating: 4 stars. Wynter. I liked him. I felt like he needed to trust his instincts a little more, but I also understood that his past caused him to hesitate.

h rating: 4.5 stars. Khamsin. I really liked her. She was strong and loyal as well as desperately wanting to be loved.

Sadness level: Low/moderate. I shed a few tears, but I never needed any tissues.

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Moderate. They have some tension, chemistry, and scenes -- and not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Kind of. Not super descriptive, but not fade-to-black either.

OW/OM drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: No. Once they're married they might be separated physically but not in the way that I would call it a "separation".

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This had alright closure with what I would call a HEA ending . BUT! I would've really liked some more time between their big conflict being resolved and the epilogue. The way it jumped from the conflict to HEA just felt way too abrupt for my liking.

Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers
Profile Image for Tina.
1,753 reviews279 followers
December 14, 2014
I read this author's Tairen Soul series up through the third book. While I enjoyed the first two books of the series, my enthusiasm waned during the third book. I never completed the series because I found the pacing to be somewhat glacial and the villain to be rather uninspired.

Still I liked the writer's voice and was glad to see that she had written a new book completely separate from that other series.

The plot of the book is very familiar. Two kingdoms, Summerlea and Wintercraig, are at war after a Prince of Summerlea breaks a peace, steals the Winter King's affianced bride and kills his heir. Wynter, the Winter King, is super pissed and takes some oaths that imperil his soul all so he can defeat the Summerlanders. This he does and part of the terms of their surrender is that he marry one of the daughters of the Summer King. He is given the youngest daughter, Khamsin. He swears to beget a heir on her, one that will sit on the Summer throne. If she isn't with child by the end of one year, she will be killed and another daughter will take her place. The two set out for Wintercraig full of distrust. But of course they must overcome those feelings of distrust because it is only with their union that they can hope to defeat the biggest enemy of all.

I had the hardest time getting into this book. The beginning of it was rather a slog. It was full of exposition with nothing that really hooked me into the story.

After awhile I did begin to get interested in the plot because there were moments where I felt the story was beginning to gel. However I can't say that I actually enjoyed the story.

This is a fantasy romance. As a habitual reader of fantasy, I thought the fantasy aspects of it were ok but nothing really new. The idea of Khamsin's Summer Heat melting or thawing Wynter's Ice-Cold heart is a theme revisited over and over. There is an enchanted heroic sword whose power can only be unleashed by the real heir to the sword. There are Priestesses who guard prophecy and speak in enigmatic riddles. There is a Big Bad that can only be defeated by the sword (or the power of true love take your pick).

The romance aspects, however, come across as somewhat joyless. Khamsin and Wynter's relationship start with a series of (rather tedious) deceptions. And throughout the story one or the both of them are constantly accusing the other of mistrust and betrayal. The periods of mistrust are broken up by periods where it seems they are beginning to feel something and open up to each other. Only to have something else happen that plunges them back into their cycle of accusation again. I simply could not relax and enjoy the two characters. I wanted to watch them form a bond and a relationship, but I knew it wouldn't last. I found myself skimming pages (this is a rather long book) to get to the inevitable. To be fair, they were being betrayed left, right and center. You really needed a score-card to keep up with all the betraying going on. And the bad guys are telegraphed so broadly, it dulled their impact a bit for me.

Even so, I was still rather engaged in the plot. It says a lot about the author's ability to keep the story going that even though I had a ton of issues with the characters and some of their motivations, I didn't want to close the book before the end.

That was until I got to the big climactic scene in the end. For me this is really where things began to fall apart. The characters were all over the place here. Wynter was still blathering about betrayals, Khamsin suddenly morphs into a silver tongued diplomat and a 4-star battle general all in one afternoon, and the bad guys conveniently appear in places where they need to be, right when they absolutely need to be get their bad on.

And finally the main villain, the Big Bad they have to fight falls into the same trap i thought the author's earlier series did. The Ice King was just evil for evil's sake. I had no idea what he wanted except to what… be Ice king and kill people? But if you kill everybody what exactly are you king of?

The book had the bones to be an affecting fantasy romance. I am sure my issues aside, there will be some who will really love it because there is a solid plot and some strong sexual chemistry between Kham and Wynter. But I just didn't completely enjoy this one.

Review based on an ARC received via the Amazon Vine Program
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,682 reviews456 followers
October 31, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was good! I have heard great things about this book since its release date. I am really not sure why I waited so long to pick it up. I am glad that I listened to all of the recommendations and finally read this wonderful story. I was swept away into this world and fell in love with the characters. It was the kind of book that I didn't want to put down. I really enjoyed reading this story.

Wynter, the King of Wintercraig, has just defeated the Summerlea and has come to claim a princess as part of the bargain. Khamsin is the daughter of the Summerlea King but she is not one of his treasured daughters. She is the daughter that he depises and keeps hidden away. The Summerlea King agrees to the deal and forces Khamsin into the role as bride.

Wynter and Khamsin have fantastic chemistry from the start but they have a lot to learn about each other. At the start of the story there is no trust between them and they are prone to thinking the worst of each other. They are both good people and as they spend time with each other they start learning that their assumptions may not be accurate. It was really quite nice to watch this pair open up to each other. I fell in love with both of these characters and loved watching them pull each other out of their shells. They really seemed to be made for each other.

Wynter must deal not only with his new bride but also with the Ice Heart which threatens his life. He has been able to control it so far but those around him question how much longer that control will last. I thought that the Ice Heart was a nice aspect of the story. It was really interesting to watch Wynter with his internal struggle. Khamsin must deal with life as an outsider in a realm where her brother is a known enemy, having sparked a war. I really felt all of Khamsin's emotions as she navigated her new world.

I enjoyed the world at the center of this book. There were so many vivid details to the story that helped bring everything to life. I thought that Wynter and Khamsin both had really interesting powers that nicely complimented each other. There were a few really unique creatures to keep things very interesting. Everything came together perfectly to form a well told story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. It was the perfect blend of romance and fantasy with enough action to keep the pages turning. This was a rather long book at around 600 pages but it didn't feel long. In fact, it was over all too soon. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

Initial Thoughts
This was good! Once I really got into the book, I didn't want to put it down. Too bad that this was a busy week and life kept getting in the way. I really liked the characters and the world that they lived in. There was a lot of growth for Kham during the course of this book. Very exciting!
Profile Image for Talia Hibbert.
Author 33 books27.8k followers
December 20, 2018
I love hot fantasy romance, but it's kind of difficult to find. I'm soooo glad Twitter (hey guys!) put me on to this series because book 1, The Winter King, was just fantastic.

The world building, history, politics and mythos were fantastic, as were the imaginative details, from clothing and conveniences, to magic, to terrifying monsters. But in the midst of all these fantastic occurrences and powers, the characters were so real and achingly human. Wynter and Kham's relationship was so compelling, I couldn't stop reading or rooting for them.

I also loved how this book used tons of excellent fantasy/historical tropes. SO. MANY! ALL THE BEST ONES. There was the road-trip-trope-except-we're-leading-an-army, the you-have-betrayed-me-oh-wait-no-you-haven't, the who-is-this-urchin-oh-she's-a-princess, the wow-our-magic-is-so-unexpectedly-compatible, and more. Basically, if you are the kind of person who squeals at delicious olden days tropey tropes, you'll love this.

My only complaint is that Wynter's BFF didn't grovel. I spent this whole book desperate for him to see the error of his rude, suspicious ways, get down on his knees, and BEG, WEEPING, FOR FORGIVENESS, BECAUSE HE WAS PRETTY MEAN, but everyone just kind of... got over it. Which is very mature of them, but sadly I am not on their level like that.

Anyway, I cannot wait to devour the next book in this series. Bring on the watery woman-worshippers!

*** NOTE - though the heroine on the cover doesn't look it, this book makes it quite clear that she is brown. I quite enjoyed the positive descriptions of her skin, so I'm gonna put this in my heroine of colour shelf. However, since she's in a fantasy novel, she technically does not have a race.
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