Cora Goode has woken up in a fairytale world where she can understand what birds are saying to her, men ride horses and have fluffy feathers in their hats, and furniture zigs, zags, and whirls in miracles of construction. The problem is, she thinks she's in a dream, but she's actually taken the place of the parallel-universe Cora and, without realizing it, our Cora does something that starts a centuries-old curse that will sweep the land if she gets captured by the evil Minerva. At this point, her dream world becomes a nightmare. Luckily, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno is there to save her from the clutches of the grotesque vickrants sent by Minerva to capture her. Unfortunately, hot guy, fantasyland Noctorno doesn't like the Cora of his world all that much (to say the least) and he thinks our Cora is her. And no matter what our Cora says or does to try to convince him, he won't be convinced. But Cora needs Tor to keep her safe and guide her through this fantastical world as she hopes one day to wake up in her not-so-great apartment in her not-so-great life in her world. The problem is, the more time she spends with the gorgeous warrior Tor, the faster she falls in love with him.
©2011 Kristen Ashley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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"A Fantastical Adventure!"
Wow...this was a great addition to the series. This third installment plot started out similar as the first two previous books. Girl wakes up in a different universe, girl doesn't want to fall in love with the hero but ends up falling in love anyway. Cora happens to trade places with a princess that happens to be a bit*h so everyone hates her guts. She brings a curse to the land and her "husband" has to save her and his land happens to be Hawkvaile. This book had a twist where both Cora and Tor are transported back to our word, so it was interesting to see how Tor went about our world. At the end it was a nice set up for the next book. If I had to put them in order according to the first 3 books this would fall second after the Golden Dynasty and Wildest would come in 3rd place. This is well worth the credit. On to Broken Dove!!
"It's the Same Story..."
I'm now listening to the third book in Ms. Ashley's series and I've just realized...they're all the same book. Same character, same plot, just with a few key detail varied to make it seem different. Let's start with the characters:
1) Heroines (Seoafin, Circe, and Cora) - all women from the "real" world who are transported to a parallel universe where they assume the lives of their parallel world's twin. All the woman are unfailingly optimistic, even in the face of things and situations that would scare the CRAP out of anyone else. They use the same phrases and terms (freaking cool, freaking awesome, etc.) and pretty much have the EXACT same personality. Seriously, how many times and ways can a character say, 'honey', 'baby', and 'holy crap' without it becoming so repetitive and annoying that you want to scream?
2) "Heroes" (Drakkar, Lahn, and Tor) - all verbally and physically abusive alpha males that seem to take pleasure in denigrating their women. Not a one is ever apologetic for his actions and all seem to believe that women are only for the sole purpose of sexual release and procreation. And what's worse? ALL the heroines in ALL three books take it on the chin and then look up adoringly at their oh-too-hwat-to-be-believed male abusers. Let me be clear - there is a fine line between an alpha male and a misogynistic abuser. All three of these male characters happily leap over that line and into the latter. I'm all for strong men who stand up and beat their chests, but I also am for strong women who don't take their sh*t.
Now the plots. All three of these books felt scripted to the same outline:
A) Woman wakes up in a new world
B) Woman gets married or finds out that she is recently so
C) Male abuses woman verbally and then gets physically abusive when new woman doesn't "act right"
D) Woman fawns over man's perfect (chest, abs, butt...insert appropriate body part) and realizes that "he can be really sweet" (which is the catch phrase of most abused women...look it up) and that she is falling in love
E) Woman realizes that man has been keeping a big secret (all of which take away the woman's ability to control her own life, BTW)
F) Quick jump back to the "real" world (except Wildest, but still...)
G) Back to the parallel world, where the woman realizes that "this is where I was always meant to be!" (insert gag here)
"long time KA fan - HATED this"
The dialog was shallow, inner monologue was repetitive and annoying (phrases were literally repeated ridiculously throughout), didn't care about the characters, no sexual tension, and even the love scenes were dull. It pains me to give KA a bad review, but it really was that bad.
"KA HAS WRITTEN ANOTHER FAN..FREAKIN..TASTIC STORY"
Cora went to bed in Seattle and thought she was still dreaming when she woke up because she was in a parallel Disney-type fantasyland where she had a beautiful whimsical sister who tra..la..la'd her way into Cora's bedroom and in her dream there were vivid colors, a talking bird.. and 3 very handsome men on horseback. But Cora's beautiful dream wasn't to last long as it quickly turned into a nightmare because she accidentally set off a curse and had to be rescued.. by the wickedly handsome, sexily scared and darkly brooding Noctorno (aka Tor). And Cora very quickly realized this was no dream but her bitter reality as Tor (aka her husband) unceremoniously dumped and left her in a cave while he went off to kill Thumper for tea.
Their soul-mate match may have been decreed by the Gods but it was the furthest thing from a love match because Tor, her infuriating and irritated husband, didn't like his alternate wife who had been mean, selfish, lazy, demanding, greedy, unkind and cold in bed.. the total opposite of Cora. But, as the insults and sexual tension grew, just how was Cora going to convince Tor that she wasn't who he thought she was, that she was actually a nice person if he believed her and that she wasn't up to her old tricks. However, as tempers flared igniting a volley of insults and a wealth of fiery banter, their attraction to each other and sexual awareness grew.. until once again Cora's naivety in this alternate land accidentally brought a swarm of flying demons to their door.. and their story was just beginning.
Four days from its release date and already this book has received 85 5 star ratings and 17 4 star ones and I'm not surprised because Kristen Ashley has spun such a beautiful fantastical tale where a dark handsome Prince, a Castle, communicating with animals, witches, winged demons, soul mates and curses become a reality for one regular girl. Cora and Tor are wonderfully entertaining characters with their wickedly humorous dialogue, their instant sexual attraction, their passionate pleas, their heartfelt tender words of love that melt your heart and their turbulent rollercoaster relationship made this a compelling and addictive listen. Like all good rollercoasters there's dips, turns, highs, lows, twists, laughter, excitement and breathless times too as this exciting story unfurls. Told from Cora's POV - she's funny, talkative, entertaining, loveable and all heart - and once the moody, bossy, angry, sexy and stubborn Tor finally thaws out they ARE a love match made by the Gods.
Worth a credit? YES YES YES - Kristen Ashley has set the bar very high as this compelling and addictive series continues and Tillie Hooper did a great job at bringing everything to life. The story (and couple) from book 1 are mentioned in book 2.. and both couples (and their armies) join Cora and Tor in this book's sweet Epilogue as the secondary chilling and sinister storyline heats up for a good vs. evil battle. As always, this book has left me wanting more from KA.. and thankfully book 4 is primed and ready to go... so see ya folks.
"Favorite in the Series!"
Read/Listened for Fun (Audible/Kindle)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.50
Audio Rating: 4.50 ( Narrated By Tilly Hooper )
Quick Thoughts: Hands down my favorite in the series. I think Fantastical is everything that is Magical about KA's writing. She beautifully wove Cora and Tor's love story. I LOVED IT!
Audio Quick Thoughts: On the same hand as KA's writing on this one, Tilly was in her element. She brought Cora and Tor beautifully to life!
Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews
A parallel world, twins, one in one world one in other, and witches, good and bad.....wonderful writing, storyline takes you away to a fantasticial world where colors are brighter, life is more treasured and a love story of all time. Narration is wonderful.
"I ENJOY THIS AUTHOR'S BOOKS"
Sexy Fantasy Escape
I love that none of this author's stories in this series are about real life situations. I like the fantasy and mysticism of the books. I have enough real life. This is a nice escape
Her enthusiasm to bring out each character. She has an flowing style that is pleasant to listen too. She is excellent
I don't want to give anything away. It was towards the end of the book when Noc and Tor were protecting Cora
If you want a nice way to leave our hustle and bustle world, at least in your mind, this series of books is for you.
First I loved this story. Original, funny, schmexy... but I have to give props to the narrator. She was great! She nailed this character.
I absolutely hate protagonists that don't listen or are so stupid! Cora, ugh!!
But of course KA wins as always!
"5 Fantastical Stars"
I am loving this series, I really wasn't sure about this book in the beginning but wow I am so glad I stuck through it.
I loved that we have Cora going from her world to the parallel universe. But then also she goes back to her world but with Tor.
It was so different from the other books because they never had the man have to go back to the 20th century before. I just love how much I liked that.
Anyways back to Cora, she just struck accord in me, she had to deal with the other Cora’s actions in both universes. It kind of broke my heart a little. But she was fierce and didn't let that get her down oh no it didn't.
What a fabulous tale of finding love then having to really fight to keep it. I really enjoy the narration of this book as well as the others.
*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*
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