Review: A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation #1) by Hailey Edwards @HaileyEdwards

13045039Hope dangles by a silken thread. 

Araneae Nation, Book #1

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, What does dragon taste like? Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

THIS IS WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY FANTASY ROMANCE, YA’LL. Romance novel in a fantasy setting. Why is that so hard to understand?

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to review this series. Bad, bad little blogger me. Regardless, I truly enjoyed this book. I don’t remember why I picked it up, I don’t remember what gave me the final push to hit “download.” I just remember this was a fun series and I read the first two books plus the prequel, then 30% or something on the third book…then what the hell happened? No idea. I’m going to go pick that third book up again, because I remember I loved this one.

The plot:

I was a little confused for the first few chapters—are Lourdes and Rhys temporarily married or what? Looking back, it was explained by Mab, so word of advice, pay attention to Mab. Just in general. She’s hardcore.

The story follows the romance novel arc very well while at the same tossing in monsters, venomous warriors, soulmates, and some truly original world building. I think the world building was one of the most remarkable aspects. I’ve never encountered spider-based paranormal creatures before and it was an exciting twist.

The characters:

Lourdes has that “duty” thing going on. Actually, both main characters do. And I love it. Despite that, she and Rhys have an attraction that teeters on insta-love, but I thought her reluctance compensated for it. The revelation about Rhys saving himself for his soulmate was what finally sold me on the book and launched it into the 5-star realm. I JUST LOVE THAT, OKAY.

Yes, there were other characters, but who cares about them? Several have their own books. Yes, they’re great, but go read it yourself if you want to know. Geez.

I thought this book was amazing and I really need to get back to reading the series. If you’re like me, a sucker for unique worlds and “wait for marriage” heroes, you should, too.

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