Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ARC Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter & Jeffe Kennedy

Pub. Date:Dec. 12, 2017
Length:454 pgs

That blood red cape on the white snow is such an eye-catching image... I feel like I need one of those capes now! Not to mention that this anthology is written by some of the hottest names in fantasy and paranormal romance - I was stoked to get an advanced copy.

All of the stories are set in a fantastical or alternate realm where magic abides and anything seems possible.

Berkley Bookmas Giveaway and Highlight: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Bambi Unbridled is so excited to participate in Berkley Bookmas. Today we’re hosting Mary Balogh and an excerpt from the upcoming Someone to Care

Berkley Bookmas is chock full of exclusive content from authors like exclusive excerpts, deleted scenes, author recipes and more! 

Check out the calendar of events below: 

Someone to Care
by Mary Balogh

Marcel Lamarr, Marquess of Dorchester and Viola Kingsley have both found themselves stranded by carriage woes in a country village where a fair is about to take place. Marcel had made advances to Viola fifteen years before, when she was the married mother of young children, but she had repulsed his advances. Now he persuades her to spend the day at the fair with him and the evening at a dance on the village green:

They joined the lines for a country dance, less vigorous, more intricate than the reel. He was an elegant, accomplished dancer, as Viola well remembered. He also had a gift for focusing his attention upon his partner, even when he was performing some figures of the set with another.
How wonderful it was, she thought as she danced, the cool evening air on her face and arms below her shawl, to be someone's focus of attention, to be made to feel even for just a short while that she was the only person in the world who really mattered. It was not that she craved attention all the time. Far from it. She never had. But oh, sometimes it felt wonderful. They were surrounded by pretty, laughing young women, several of whom were darting half frightened, half appreciative glances at the formidable stranger in their midst, but he appeared to see no one but her.
It was all artifice, of course. It was all part of his appeal, and part of the danger. But it did not matter. She was not for a moment deceived by it. When the dancing was over for the evening, or perhaps even before it ended, they would return to their rooms at the inn, and tomorrow they would be on their separate ways and would very probably never see each other again. She did not mingle with the ton any longer.
So tonight—this evening—was to be enjoyed for what it was. A brief escape offered by fate.
All the sets were country dances or reels. They were what the villagers and farmers from the surrounding countryside knew and wanted. Viola and Mr. Lamarr—Marcel—danced two of them and watched a few more. But when one tune started he lifted a finger as though to stop her from saying anything, listened intently for a moment, and then turned to her.
"One could dance a waltz to this," he said.
She listened too and agreed. But no one else was waltzing. The dancers were in line, performing steps with which Viola was unfamiliar.
"We will waltz." It was an imperious command.
"Oh, hardly," she protested.
But he was holding out a hand for hers. "I believe waltzing is something you and I never did together, Viola," he said. "We will right that wrong. Come."
"Marcel." She frowned.
"Ah," he said. "I like it—the sound of you speaking my name. But come." He took her hand, and she did not resist as he led her about the green to the side nearest the church, where there were no people, perhaps because full night had fallen and the light from the lamps did not penetrate this far. Here there was heavy shade, though not total darkness. It was a clear night, illumined by both moonlight and starlight.
"You will waltz with me here," he said. It was still not a question. He was offering her no choice. Neither, of course, was he coercing her.
"But people will see," she protested.
"And?" She was aware that his eyebrows were raised. "They will see us dancing together. Scandalous goings on indeed."
"Oh, very well," she said, raising her left hand to set on his shoulder as his right arm came about her waist. How could she possibly resist? She had always thought the waltz the most romantic dance ever invented, yet there had been no such thing when she was young. There were still people who thought there was something scandalous about it, a man and a woman dancing a whole set exclusively with each other, face to face, their hands touching each other.
He took her free hand in his, listened a moment, and then led her into a waltz, twirling about the uneven ground of the village green, the sounds of voices and laughter seeming far away though they were only just beyond the shadows. She was very aware of his hands, the one resting firmly against the arch of her back at the waist, the other clasped about hers. She was aware that there was only an inch of space between his evening coat and her bosom, that their legs occasionally touched, that he was looking down at her, that she was looking back. She could not see him clearly in the darkness, but she knew his eyes were on hers. She could feel his body heat, smell his cologne, feel his magnetism. She could hear his breath.
She did not know how long it went on. Probably no longer than ten minutes. The dance had already been in progress, after all, when they started. It might have been forever. Viola forgot everything except the waltz and the man with whom she danced it in silence.
"Viola," he said softly next to her ear when the music stopped. He did not immediately release her, and she made no move to extricate herself from his arms. "Let us go see what is behind the church, shall we?"
A churchyard, she supposed. But actually there was a sort of meadow beyond that, sloping downward to a river she had only half noticed this morning from the carriage window. A willow tree leaned over from the bank and almost touched the water. A humpbacked stone bridge crossed the river a short way to their left. It must all be very picturesque in the daylight. But so was the rest of the village.
They stood halfway between the low churchyard wall and the river, which winked in the moonlight, and listened to the slight rushing sound of water. The music began again, but the sound of it and of voices and laughter seemed far away now, part of some other world that did not concern them. His arm, through which her hand had been drawn, came about her waist to draw her to his side, and she wondered idly, not if she ought to allow it, but if she would. She made no move to bat his arm away or to take a step to the side. Rather, she leaned against him.
She would allow it, then. But she was in no danger. She knew what he was about. She understood. It did not matter.
He nudged her head onto his shoulder, lifted her chin with his long fingers, and bent his face to hers to kiss her.


$100 Giftcard, and a book/galley/manuscript by each of the author's participating

For tomorrow’s fun, head to one of the following blogs:
·         SmexyBooks
·         That's What I'm Talking About
·         Fiction Fangirls 

Monday, December 11, 2017

ARC Review: Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis

Series:     Heartbreaker Bay #4.5
Pub. Date:Nov. 7, 2017
Length:128 pgs

Imagine yourself snowed in at a gorgeous B&B in Napa Valley right before Christmas... doesn't that sound wonderful!?! Now imagine you are there with your first love... could be heaven or could be hell, right?  Well its a little of both for our heroine and B&B proprietor, Charlotte "Lotti" Hartford.

Sean O'Riley is headed to Napa with the wedding party for his brother Finn and fiance, Pru. Sean feels like he has a lot to make up for and is obsessive about things being perfect for this wedding to pay Finn back for all the times he bailed Sean out of some trouble. But Sean is really too hard on himself and I found him to be a good hero overall. He did hurt Lotti when they were young... young being the key term. That happens with immaturity and inability to deal with adult relationships. Now he has grown up and become a responsible and caring adult, and I liked him quite a bit.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Audiobook Review: Dragon Foretold by Eve Langlais

Series:     Dragon Point #4
Pub. Date:Sept. 12, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Chandra Skyye
Length:6 hrs 37 min

I went into this book expecting it to be the last of the series with our golden Dragon Foretold. However, Eve Langlais has gotten good at surprising twists that extend the series past the anticipated series arc. If you like these kinds of twists, I urge you to try her Space Gypsy Chronicles.

We met Sue-Ellen in previous books, and I remembered her as Brandon's bratty sister. The one who rebuffed him cruelly when he came to rescue Sue-Ellen from her sadistic Uncle Parker. But now that Parker is dead, Sue-Ellen is still hanging around, staying for the sake of young love, but starting to chafe at the bit of the situation to which she obligated herself. Of course just when Sue-Ellen is ready to return to the bosom of her reptilian family, things go awry, as they tend to do. For the most part, I liked Sue-Ellen as a heroine. There were a couple of times where she ran or turned away from our hero, which I'm not a fan of... but those instances were kept to a minimum and didn't set the tone for the romance.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

Series:     Chinooks #1
Pub. Date:March 20, 2012
Length:400 pgs

I haven't read Rachel Gibson in a few years, but I have had the Chinooks series on my TBR for a very long time. I'm glad that I'm finally starting it... and man did this book make me nostalgic. With glimpses into the 70s, 80s, and mostly taking place in the 90s - this story generated fond memories of the days of cassette tapes, walkmans, and no cell phones. 

Georgeanne "Georgie" Howard is a southern girl from McKinney, Texas with big hair, a big heart, and the gift for gab. As a dyslexic, Georgie grew up thinking that because she had trouble in school, her only option was to find a husband to take care of her. She excels at southern charm, cooking, and other "wifely" pursuits for her time, but she gets flustered and the words don't always come when she needs them. Marrying a man old enough to be her grandfather felt like a good option for Georgie, but when she gets cold feet on her wedding day, Georgie's life turns in a new direction. She meets a man that will impact her future in many different ways. I was so proud of Georgie when she decided to make a life for herself instead of looking for a man to take care of her. Being a single mom had to be extremely difficult for Georgie, but she handled it well and she had an awesome relationship with her daughter, Lexie. Lexie was also pretty cute for a kid, and I loved her little girl chatterbox ways.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ARC Review: Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

Series:     Soulwood #3
Pub. Date:Dec. 5, 2017
Publisher:Ace/Roc Books
Length:368 pgs

The Soulwood series is so freaking unique and captivating that I simply cannot get enough of it. The diverse cast of paranormal characters, supernatural abilities, and action and suspense keep me glued to the page from the first word to the very last. I definitely recommend that you start this series from the beginning so you have the full story on our diverse cast of characters.

Nell Ingram, our special agent and widder woman from East Tennessee continues to surprise and evolve from her cult/church upbringing. I have really enjoyed watching Nell blossom (literally) and grow into an independent woman, who has become slightly more worldly with each book. Her common sense approach to life is refreshing, and her new experiences out in the world away from the church are usually humorous as all get out. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ARC Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series:     Maiden Lane #12.6
Pub. Date:Dec. 5, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Length:92 pgs

I believe this is the final book of the Maiden Lane series, which makes me very sad. Luckily, I have not read all the books yet so I still have a few to tide me over until Elizabeth Hoyt gives us another stellar series to moon over. 

Because I haven't read the entire series yet, I am unsure if these characters have been previously introduced. Our hero is Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque. I just love his title! Adam is a notorious rake that just loves using flattery to make females fall at his feet and annoy their jealous husbands to no end. When a winter storm and carriage accident strands Adam and his beloved grandmother, Lady Whimple, Adam finds himself stranded in the family home of the one woman who isn't phased by his charm - Miss Sarah St. John.

Monday, December 4, 2017

ARC Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Series:     Difficult Dukes #1
Pub. Date:Nov. 28, 2017
Length:400 pages

Shockingly, this is the first time I have read Loretta Chase... and I liked this one so much that now I am excited to tackle the backlog of her published works! A Duke in Shining Armor kicks off a new series, the Difficult Dukes, featuring the three Dis-Graces, the Dukes of Ashmont, Ripley and Blackwood. These three Dis-Graces and their scandalous antics are well known around the ton, and historically they have not cared a whit what anyone thought or said about them. But that all seems to be changing. Blackwood has married Ripley's sister, Alice, and Ashmont is set to marry Lady Olympia Hightower. Or is he?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Audiobook Review: Highland Mist by Donna Grant

Series:     Druids Glen #1
Pub. Date:Oct 17, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Ruth Urquhart
Length:8 hrs 39 min

The Druids Glen series brings the magic of the Highlands to life with druids, fae and the magical mists that are so prevalent in Scottish folklore. The narrator, Ruth Urquhart, did a good job with the narration. She has great performance ability and is able to handle male and different female affectations with ease.

This series starts off with a prophecy and the brutal murder of the Sinclair clan and kidnapping of the youngest daughter, Glenna, by the ruthless MacNeil laird. Thinking to use Glenna for her druid abilities, MacNeil raises her in his cruel household and she remains ignorant of her origins. Luckily the life of strife and oppression did not crush Glenna's spirit, and I was happy she took charge of her fate when the time was right. Glenna took a big risk putting her trust in an enemy Highlander, but she followed her instinct and never looked back. Glenna was a decent heroine. She was determined to learn, both about her past and about her druid origins and powers. She also stayed positive, for the most part, where her relationship with our hero was concerned.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ARC Review: The Bachelor Contract by Rachel Van Dyken

Series:     Bachelors of Arizona #3
Pub. Date:Nov 28, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Length:336 pages

This was my first read from Rachel Van Dyken, and I have heard good things about her books. Unfortunately this one just didn't work for me. But I'm not giving up yet, I will try another one and see if it's a better fit.

I should mention that this is the third book in the Bachelors of Arizona series, and I have not read the earlier books. I didn't feel like I was lost or missing too much information, but after reading some other reviews I understand that this story may have been playing out in earlier books. Regardless, I didn't feel like I was missing anything vital.

Brant and Nikki married very young without a blessing from either of their families and they attempted to make a go of it on their own. Unfortunately a horrible tragedy struck the couple and they were just too young and naive to deal with it. We meet them again four years living apart and tortured by the past. Brant has become an alcoholic asshole, and Nikki is blind and struggling through life as a masseuse. Determined to drag Brant out of his misery, his family orchestrates a situation where the two won't be able to avoid one another.

Monday, November 27, 2017

ARC Review: Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill

Series:     Cajun #1
Pub. Date:Nov 28, 2017
Length:384 pages

Having just moved away from New Orleans, I thought Cajun Crazy would be a good read to test my homesickness for Louisiana. Nola to Arizona was a big move for me, so I am still adjusting to the differences of living outside the South. I have not read the 10 preceding Cajun books, but I tripped along just fine and didn't feel like I was missing vital information or backstory.

Simone LeDeux is an independent heroine who has been unlucky in love, a fact she attributes to her weakness for Cajun men. After another failed romance and her mother's knee surgery, Simone leaves the police force in Chicago and returns home to the bayou in Louisiana. Though this time she won't be returning to law enforcement, and will instead being opening a private investigation and legal services firm with her gal pal, Helene. Simone's disastrous love life resonated with me, even despite me not having the long list of failed marriages. I totally understood her being attracted to the wrong guys and being utterly disappointed when they showed their true colors. I also commended her for stepping out on the ledge to take a chance on a new career - which I was comparing to my own move across the country. It's all about new adventures and fearless females. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Audiobook Review: Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon

Series:     Ice Planet Barbarians #1
Pub. Date:Nov. 21, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Hollie Jackson
Mason Lloy
Length:5 hrs 51 min

So I'm not a huge reader of science fiction - I just had not found the stories that were that good mix of fun, romance and implausibility to hold my interest. But I have been hearing about the Ice Planet Barbarians for months and months now, and I wanted to give them a shot. However, between the move and work, I just haven't been able to fit the print books into my reading schedule. So I am super excited that Tantor Audio has picked up this series in audio so I can listen to a little alien action while I'm working around the house on the weekend. These big blue barbarians sure made my day of meal prep more interesting! And I am definitely a fan of this series, and it has made me more willing to consider other science fiction reads in the future. (Bonus - as of the date of this review, the ebooks are available on Kindle Unlimited.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ARC Review: Tempted & Taken by Rhenna Morgan

Series:     Men of Haven #4
Pub. Date:Nov. 20, 2017
Publisher:Carina Press
Length:432 pages

I have been thoroughly enamored by Rhenna Morgan's Men of Haven this year, and I will be very impatient about having to wait until next year to get my next Haven alpha fix.  This series is premised on a group of testosterone-laden men, some with tragic pasts, who have made their own family of in a sort of alpha brotherhood. While each makes his own independent living, the brothers stick together when the going gets tough or when there is fun to be had.

Knox Torren is somewhat of an alpha geek, one that you often behind a computer screen writing code or hacking secure systems. He is also a serial ladies man, a love 'em and leave 'em (screaming after an orgasm) type. Though Knox doesn't set out to hurt the women he sleeps with, and is honest with them from the start that he doesn't do relationships, he can't quite keep them from getting emotionally involved. And who can blame them with the way Knox takes care of business? So why doesn't Knox do relationships, well that's a story for his tragic past that is better discovered by the reader. I liked Knox, but not quite as much as I went gaga for the previous heroes in the series. He was a bit more aloof and bullheaded about the "no relationships" aspect, and I felt like the bit about his past was a tad overblown. But that is me injecting my own sensibilities onto a fictional character. He definitely had talent, no doubt perfected by the repeated practice with women all over town. But once Knox fell... he fell hard and went after his woman with a single-minded determination.

Monday, November 20, 2017

ARC Review: It's Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale

Series:     Cavendishes #4
Pub. Date:Nov. 28, 2017
Length:384 pages

Take a look at this beautiful cover. I just love the jewel tones, and the model they used to portray our hero is absolutely spot on. This is the fourth (and possibly final) book in the Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series. The stories of the series all take place concurrently, so if you want to read them out of order, I don't think you would have much trouble. 

The hero and main character of this installment is James Cavendish, who has arrived in England from America as the new duke, with his three headstrong sisters in tow. In America, James is a farmer and raises horses, and has no idea how to navigate the bon ton of London. Nor does he really want to. In this story, we see James struggle with duty and desire. The desire for a woman who is unsuitable and the desire to run back home to America continuously tips the scales with James' new duties to the estate, his tenants, and society in general. I liked James' character. I felt that he was honorable and responsible, and I admired him for always putting others before himself. I also cheered for James to do something for his own happiness for a change, instead of being afraid of how his actions may affect his sisters or tenants or the gossips among the ton.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Fire in His Blood by Ruby Dixon

Series:     Fireblood Dragon #1
Pub. Date:June 20, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Narrators:Noelle Bridges
Jeremy York
Length:11 hrs 27 min

Ruby Dixon is a new-to-me author but one that I have been hearing about quite often, usually in reference to her Ice Planet Barbarians series. So I was looking forward to a little dragony alpha action, and this hero did not disappoint.

I liked the world-building for this series. We are operating in a post-apocalyptic Dallas, but not too far past the catastrophic event. About seven years ago, a big whole ripped in the sky and dragons came through. Most of them went crazy and started scorching the earth and killing off humanity. So now those who are left are eking out a meager existence behind makeshift forts with militia men and dictatorial mayors. The populace either has to obey the rules, or risk their safety on the outside. Neither is a good option.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ARC Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series:     Maiden Lane #12.5
Pub. Date:Nov. 14, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Length:100 pages

I feel somewhat grateful that I am behind on this series, because I know that I have more goodness to look forward to. Because I am really sad that this one is ending. I have enjoyed all of the books I have read thus far, and Once Upon a Maiden Lane is no exception.

Our heroine is Mary Whitsun, whom we met as a ward of the orphanage in one of the earlier books. She is now a grown woman and living in the home of Lady Caire as a nursemaid. Things seem to be going well for Mary, despite being relegated to the serving class. She has a good home and a good position, though she must scrimp and save to purchase one of her beloved books. She has a distrust for aristocratic men, and I'm not sure what that stemmed from. Perhaps its in one of the books that I haven't read. I liked that she had wit and personality, and wasn't afraid to show it to Henry from the get go. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

ARC Review: Nauti Angel by Lora Leigh

Series:     Nauti #9
Pub. Date:   Nov. 7, 2017
Length:349 pages

I was a big fan of the early Nauti books, but it has been a long time since I read them. I thought I would try to jump back into the series with the latest installment, Nauti Angel, and I ended up having a hard time with it. I couldn't remember quite what happened in those earlier books, and I have obviously missed what has been happening with the Mackays over the last few books of this spinoff series. 

Our heroine is a rough and tumble kickass mercenary chick, at only 23 years old. She has been taught to fight and survive since she was 3 years old, and she can allegedly remember everything back to her first birthday and first steps. While I like a good kickass heroine, that memory thing was a bit of a stretch for me. Nevertheless, Angel (f/k/a Beth) was a good heroine. She was tough, but caring. Capable and sure of her self, but that surety often came across in humorous ways. She also had a lot of vulnerability from her past that she tried to hide and stuff down so no one would see it. So overall I found her to be relatable and engaging, and I was glad our hero was around to break down her walls.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

ARC Review: The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell

Series:     7 Brides/7 Scots #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 26, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Justine Eyre
Length:8 hrs 35 min

Can we take a minute to appreciate this beautiful cover? It really caught my attention and had me wanting to read about this family of seven strong Scots, the MacEnroy men. I wasn't quite expecting to get a Scottish Western... but our characters have resettled in the American West so make sure you are in that mindset when you embark upon this adventure.

Iain MacEnroy is the eldest of the MacEnroy brothers, and sees himself as caretaker of the family, and most any other unfortunate soul who comes into his orbit. After being burnt out of their home in Scotland, the family is trying to make a new life in Arkansas. Though they are learning that the West is not without its own troubles and dangers, particularly when none of them can read or write, and they have sufficient honor to aid those in need. That's not to say that Iain does not have a chip on his shoulder when it comes to the aristocracy, and his rescue of a beautiful damsel will challenge his prejudice in that regard. I found Iain to be a stoic and somewhat silent hero, and there was nothing overly Scottish about him from what I remember. I was sympathetic to his tragic past, and was glad that Emily provided for something that he could focus on besides his family and fortress home.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ARC Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Series:     Westcott #3
Pub. Date:Nov. 6, 2017
Length:384 pages

I have been so pleasantly surprised by this series. I don't know why I've been surprised, Mary Balogh is an excellent writer. But I feel like each book has caught me off guard with how much I enjoyed it. I think this one caught me off guard with a sort of reverse Beauty and the Beast theme, with a beautiful hero and a tortured heroine. It was quite refreshing.

I urge you to read the earlier books so you have the complete back story, but if you have not, there are enough tidbits in this story to give you the gist of what has happened in the past. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

ARC Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Series:     Wildes of Lindow Castle #1
Pub. Date:Oct. 31, 2017
Length:416 pages

Woohoo! A new series by Eloisa James! I really enjoyed the Wilde family and am so looking forward to the family saga as the series continues.

We start off the series with the duke's second son, Lord Alaric Wilde. For the last five years, Alaric has been adventuring around the globe and writing about his travels. Unbeknownst to him, he has returned home to England a celebrity with female fans from hither to yon. Alaric found the whole thing ridiculous, until it interfered with him getting what (or who) he wanted... and then all the twittering females became more of an obstacle than an annoyance. I found Alaric to be great fun. His embarrassment at the female attention and teasing from his siblings was endearing. But I also loved his single-minded pursuit of our heroine, and his fabulously flirty banter.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Blog on Hiatus! I like to move it move it!

Hiya readers!
Please excuse my absence and slacking on the bloggity lately. There are big things happening in Casa Bambi... involving an impromptu move across the country! Watch out Arizona - here we come! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be moving to the land of Kristen Ashley and Diana Gabaldon. I am gonna fan girl all over the freaking place! So for the next couple months, I am not going to be posting much. I'm trying to pack up the house for me and the pups, and I have to head back out west to find a house. The move itself will be taking place mid-October, so my time in New Orleans is winding down. Things are super duper crazy and hectic. I am not getting much reading time for print books - but I am rocking the audiobooks. I am currently enjoying a Rock Chick audio marathon, and should be posting a series review soon.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

ARC Review: The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

Series:     Weathermages of Mystral #2
Pub. Date:Oct. 31, 2017
Length:608 pages

It's no secret that I totally fangirl over C.L. Wilson, so a new release from her is one of the highlights of my year. Unfortunately this book came up on my reading calendar as I was in the midst of a move across country, so I couldn't savor it quite like I wanted to. Nevertheless, it was still a yummy treat to sit down with when I got tired of the relentless packing and unpacking. 

Now, it's been quite a while since I read The Winter King, so I couldn't quite remember what happened in that book. So I was glad there were a few reminders dropped throughout the story to jog my memory. I do recommend that you read the series in order as there is some world-building in the first book that introduces Mystral and the general weathermage powers that you will want to know. Plus, The Winter King was an awesome read!