(Fantasyland Series, Bk #1)
By Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Tillie Hooper
Seoafin "Finnie" Wilde was taught by her parents that every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash. But she never forgets, and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can have the adventure of a lifetime. But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she's been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.
Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes, but instead his Finnie, a free spirit with a thirst for adventure just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting. But at the same time, Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and...dragons.
Viviana's Review: Wow... uhm... where to start? It's all good though... it's just that there's A LOT going on and it was listening 18 hrs and 49 mins ... It's all worth it though!. This is my first dive into this series from Kristen Ashley and while I originally didn't think I'd be into this series when I first learned about it... my interest peaked after I read her book BOUNTY... here's the truth... I've read her UNFINISHED HEROES series and LOVED IT. She has her other series the ROCK CHICKS.... I hear mix reviews but always willing to give things a try... just not yet. I had the opportunity to review the audio book of BOUNTY from Colorado Mountain. Bounty is book 7 in the series and this cemented that I am TOTALLY GooGooGaga over Kristen (okay, lets be honest... more than I already was). So when the opportunity arose to listen to WILDEST DREAMS, book 1 of a five book series, I jumped at the chance and I'm so happy I did!
There is a LOT of world building and lots of descriptive narrative (Kristen likes to paint you the picture) however, this is done from the POV of the heroine, Finnie, who is experiencing this world for the first time as well as ours! Yet, the manner in which it's described and the performance of the narrator, it doesn't feel like the story is 'dragging'. There were a few times where I did shake my head at Finnie's describing how "gorgeous" Frey was or how 'handsome', but I get that goes along with the territory...
I really enjoyed reading (well listening) to this story because the heroine is strong, smart, independent and adventurous! She seeks out the adventure and that's how she ended up in Lunwyn. I loved how she didn't complained or succumb to the situation or circumstances, instead she thrives and blossoms.
Ah... Frey Drakkar... typical of Kristen's males... he's a complete Alpha, YET.... can be a complete sweetheart to his Finnie! It was a breathe of fresh air to get to know him as a character, because he was true to himself but never an ass to the heroine. Granted... certain events when they first met he may not have been pleasant, but this was due to his knowledge of the original Sjofn. Upon learning the truth... he does everything within his powers to make things right between them and goes above and beyond to make things easier for her.
There was definitely the attraction between the Hero and Heroine, but the passion grows further as they get to know each other. While not a complete "slow burn" type of story, it isn't an "instant jump into your bed" sort of story either.
There is loss and heartache and moments that are joyous. It's a great mix of going through the emotions of a reader as they get to know new characters and of course some of the topics included such as "living life to its fullest" as well as "loving those you have in your life while you have them".
Tillie Hooper NAILED IT! Her performance is great and provides the reader with ease of listening! She utilizes different tones and voices for each character and the narrative allowing the readers to follow along easily! She not only tells the story but keeps you engaged as well. I'm happy to see she's also narrating the second audio book in this series and look forward to seeing how she manages the different sets of characters.
Overall, I'm so happy I picked up this book as I now have another series to continue to discover and fall in love with. If you like/love Kristen Ashley's writing style, you'll fall for this series hard. Alpha Males, Strong Women, creative bantering, interesting worlds, I could go on and on.
Rating: LOVED IT!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the audio publisher Audible in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.