Review: Empress of Storms by Nicola Cameron

Today I’m reviewing Empress of Storms by Nicola Cameron.

One of the things that you need to know going into this book is that it has strong erotic content. Most people who read this author’s work know that’s what this author writes, but I’ve seen one review where the reviewer clearly missed that fact (and was upset to find out the book wasn’t PG), so I’m mentioning that up front to avoid any possible confusion.

 

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Empress of Storms 

Copy from the cover:

A king who must offer himself as royal consort to fulfill a treaty. A young queen and mage, unexpectedly married to the man she’s loved since childhood. Two countries, divided by geography and united by a political marriage, are poised on the brink of a golden age. But will vicious magic and unexpected betrayal tear both the royal couple and their kingdoms apart?

When King Matthias of Ypres has to fulfill a treaty and provide a royal consort for young Queen Danaë of Hellas, the only royal available for marriage is … him. Can he risk letting a blue-haired witch queen into his heart?

From political necessity, Queen Danaë finds herself marrying the man she secretly loves. Now she must win the heart of a king, prove herself as a mage, and defeat the enemies that threaten them both.

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Now I know a lot of people who won’t like this one because it’s erotica, but I know Nicola in her other guise (Melanie) pretty well, so I gave it a read.

All in all, it was a good story, filled with characters who kept this reader’s interest, and a plot that I had no trouble following. While I know some people think that a book with erotic content won’t have any plot, that’s usually not true. Most of them have a plot, although in many books, that plot’s not very well formed. Cameron does a good job here, neither sidelining the plot for the sake of the romance element, nor making the plot nonsensical. The plot worked on its own.

The erotic element was a natural outgrowth of an arranged marriage, and therefore didn’t seem too forced or artificial (she even gave us a reason not to see this as ‘instalove’.)  So that was well incorporated, I think.

The resolution of the plot worked well, and left some wiggle room for us to anticipate another story coming along after this one.  Well done!

 

 

A Hold on Me, by Pat Esden

One of the things I’m trying to be better about this year is reviewing books that I read. I’ve promised myself I would do at least one per month, although -ideally- I’d like to try for two.

And therefore, January’s first review is:

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I was given an early copy of this book by the author (who is a friend of mine), and read it back in November when I was travelling. November….that gives you an idea how slow I am.

My thoughts:

First of all, I loved the atmosphere of the novel, which managed to keep me on edge throughout. It was creepy and misty and foggy, and made the interaction between the characters that much more intense.

The story follows Annie Freemont as she takes her father to their ancestral home in Maine–Moonhill. It’s there that things begin to spin out of her control. Her father’s taken away from her and she’s left to fend for herself (mostly) in a creepy side wing of the family mansion.

Over the course of the next few days, she learns more about the inhabitants of the mansion, and the secrets of her family (but I can’t say anything more about that) as well as the mystery of Chase, the family’s servant? pool boy? gate keeper? (OK, I’m kidding about the pool boy part).

What Esden does exceptionally well here is craft a relatable and believable heroine, one I’m willing to follow through a stressful adventure. I’m eager to see the next book in this series as well, so I’m hopeful that it will come out soon!

5/5 Stars

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There’s also a giveaway for this book over at Goodreads. You can sign up for it here.

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