Saturday, November 8, 2014

*Review* A Taste of Winter (Lakeside #2) by Laila Blake

Accepted Readers,

I have been waiting for what feels like an eternity to read A Taste of Winter by Laila Blake... I will say it was well worth the wait! By the Light of the Moon, book one in this series, is one of my all time favorite paranormal romances. It awakened an insatiable thirst in me for the paranormal romance genre that I still struggle with today. (I'm totally not complaining though because I love this addiction!)

Today I will be sharing my review for A Taste of Winter along with an excerpt. If you're interested in checking out my review for By the Light of the Moon you can view it by clicking here.

Contains language some might find offensive, some violence and situations of a sexual nature.
A Taste of Winter
The Lakeside Series #2
By: Laila Blake

Released: October 28th, 2014
Format: E-book
Genre: Romantic Fantasy/Paranormal

Picking up where BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON left off, A TASTE OF WINTER is the second book in a romantic paranormal fantasy trilogy, set in alternate history medieval times. It follows the life of young Moira, a half fae noblewoman who fell in love with her shape-shifter guard and ran away from her ancestral home.

Traveling the country, searching for a safe place to stay, the two of them soon realize that life is not as kind to them as they might have hoped. They feel the sting of prejudice and bigotry in each town they visit, and the reality of poverty and winter begin to erode Moira and Owain’s blossoming love.

In the castle they left behind, darker plans are afoot. The fae spy Brody is slowly taking over, and he has no love for humans. He needs to be stopped before he can seize power and trigger another war between the races. But Moira and Owain are long gone, and Brody always seems two steps ahead.

Book Links:
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Excerpt from Chapter 7
Moira woke with a start. Her heart was hammering in her chest and she found herself patting her head and hair trying to extinguish the flames she had dreamed. Still only marginally conscious, she moaned in pain, yowled and curled in on that body that seemed to be pummeled with incorporeal kicks and beatings.

“Owain!” she cried out, as just for a moment, the pain did not seem to hers but his—the flames not on her but on his hair and eye-brows, his face distorted in blind agony. And suddenly, like a veil lifting, the beatings stopped. She touched her face just to make sure, just to feel herself rooted in reality, but there were no burns, no pain anymore. The room was lit by her glow, but Moira still felt around in the bed as though her eyes could have deceived her and missed him.

“Owain!” she called again. He wasn’t there. She had fallen asleep in his arms, but he was there no longer.

She was out of bed a second later. Something was wrong. Very wrong. She could feel it in her skin, in her bones, in her face that still felt scorched even though she had run her fingers over it to check several times.

Where was Owain?

She found herself rubbing her naked arms. Distracted by the strong glow, she strode over to the small and almost blind mirror. She had to trust her fingers about the health of her skin, but the glow was strong enough for both mirror and widow to capture and reflect back at her. Almost too late she remembered to draw the curtains. She shivered again—not because she was cold, though. Something was wrong. It hadn’t been an ordinary dream, that much she was all but certain of. She couldn’t trust herself entirely, not when she was this scared—but even though the direct pain had left her body, her face and her skin—it was still there, had shifted deeper into a hidden place in her soul. Inside, she was hurting and the more she allowed her mind to search for that pain, the more she could feel it.
Moira uttered a confused whimper and then quickly shook her head. Tears had sprung to her eyes and she could hardly see the clothes she was grasping for. She had to find him, that was all she knew: Owain was in terrible danger, and she had to find him.

Even as she had forced a dress down over her body and tights up her legs, she could still see the glow coming from her hands and face. That, too, gave her cause to worry. It had never stayed this long before. She shivered and then found a pair of gloves and a heavy cowl to pull deep into her face.

Her fingers on the door knob, she hesitated. If anyone saw her like this, she knew there was a chance she could make it all so much worse. But she couldn’t sit there and hide, not when her soul seemed to be crumbling, battered and dying inside her body. She couldn’t stay still, couldn’t let him hurt without even trying. He wouldn’t leave her to stay safe himself and neither would she.

As she pushed herself down the staircase and all but fled through the tavern and out into the night, the feeling of pain grew stronger again. She closed her eyes but there was only heavy rain and the wind howling in her ears. Stumbling a few steps down into the muddy streets, she found herself shouting: “Owain! Owain!”

But the wind swallowed the sound.

Tears ran down her cheeks, but she was barely aware of them through the colder water that smacked against her skin with each step. Her dress was soaked almost immediately and her shoes water-logged. She slipped in the mud once, caught herself on a lamp post and called for him again. The next time, she tore her knee open on a piece of gravel. She cursed and ran on. She could feel him—the wolf and the man—could feel them cringing in agony, fighting with their last vestige of strength. He was still alive, she knew that much. He was still alive and she had to find him!

The connection was fragile and tiny—it was nothing like the way she felt in his arms when they lay together spent and happy and wrapped up in each other’s beings, each other’s souls. But it was a connection—and without thinking, without questioning, she followed.
My Review

A Taste of Winter was one of my most anticipated releases and it was certainly well worth the wait! There is something enchanting about Laila Blake's writing that will keep you under a spell even long after you put it down. This book is the perfect addition to the Lakeside series! 

This book has a bit of a slow beginning but it's during that time where the most character development happens. When the action begins, it takes you on one hell of a ride. You will cry, scream, and be shocked at some of the occurrences... I know I was. I was delighted that this book had more sexual scenes between Moira and Owian...their passion is sensual and wild-sexy-hot!

Regarding Characters:
I couldn't believe the turmoil that some of these poor characters had to endure. I know life isn't always rainbows and sunshine, but wow who would think it could be so dark and dreary.

It's upsetting on how evil Brody really is, I'm not even sure he has a soul. It's astonishing how one character can cause so much destruction and pain. He makes my skin crawl... he's a vile little snot that I wish I could punch.

Oh Moira and Owain how you make my heart skip a beat! They are one of my all-time favorite book couples! Their character development in this sequel was amazing. We get to see a softer, gentler side to Owain and a tougher, more nurturing side to Moira. I just adore how their weaknesses seem to disappear when they are together; they truly bring the best out of one another. The challenges they endure just to be in love is absolutely heartbreaking. How can a love so pure be considered taboo? 

To-Read-or Not-To-Read:
I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS SEQUEL! It was skillfully written in such a way that it should be considered a masterpiece! It touches on many difficult subjects, including prejudice, and will open your eyes to the hardships that go along with them. This book will make you ponder life and question why hatred even exists. It will restore your faith in love when you see what great lengths these character's go to protect the ones that they care for. In my opinion, it is a must read!
Laila Blake ( is an author, linguist and translator. She writes character-driven love stories, co-hosts the podcast Lilt and blogs about writing, feminism and society. Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies. Keeping a balance between her different interests, Laila Blake’s body of work encompasses literary erotica, romance, and various fields in speculative fiction (dystopian/post-apocalypse, fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy) and she adores finding ways to mix and match. A self-proclaimed nerd, she lives in Cologne/Germany, harbors a deep fondness for obscure folk singers and plays the guitar. She loves photography, science documentaries and classic literature, as well as Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory. You can find her across the web. To stay up to date with her most recent publications, please consider signing up for her spam-free newsletter.

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