Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Also in this series: The Golden Dynasty
Published by Self-published on August 15, 2015
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Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.
And things aren’t going real great there.
Noc is recruited to help save that world.
What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.
Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.
When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.
When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.
And then make her want to stay.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I adore the Fantasyland series so it kills me that Midnight Soul is the final book. I was dreading reading it because it meant I had to say goodbye to a group of characters I have grown to love. I also wasn’t thrilled about it being about Franka since she is one nasty piece of work. Of course, I also know that Kristen Ashley can write a redemption story like no other so I prepared myself for some KA redemption magic. Unfortunately, although Midnight Soul was a decent book, it wasn’t really a redemption story.
In all the past books, Franka is a manipulative she-bitch from hell who can deliver a verbal smack down like no other. Her character both fascinated me and repulsed me. We are told her seriously whacked and abusive parents were the reason she acted like she did. I didn’t buy this was because I think she could have been devious and manipulative like her parents forced her to be without being deliberately cruel.
After her transformation to the person she supposedly really was underneath all that meanness, she is sweet, kind, and completely unsure of herself. What’s worse is all of her trademark wit is gone. I was so looking forward to the verbal battles I thought she would bring to the table, but she turned into this meek, mild, mess.
I did love Noc. He was all about protecting not only Franka, but all the women who reside in our world. This ends up including Josette, Franka’s personal servant, the Circe who now resides here, and even to some degree, Valentine. He is definitely an alpha, but also very wise. I loved that even though he wanted Franka from the moment he saw her, he allowed her time to grieve over her lost love. I do have to point out his nicknames for Franka, Frannie and Sugarlips, were like nails on a chalkboard to me. Just awful.
Midnight Soul was a very sweet story but it was not a redemption story. Instead, an inordinate amount of time was expended not showing me Franca’s transformation but attempting to convince me one happened. If my expectations weren’t so high, I think I would have really liked Midnight Soul, but even though I enjoyed it, it was a tad bit of a disappointment.
What I Struggled With:
- Franca’s miraculous transformation. It just wasn’t believable.
- Kristian and his willingness to allow his sister to endure torture because he wasn’t strong enough.
- Noc and Circe’s relationship before Franca came on the scene. Parts of it felt like it was just thrown in there for the angst factor.
- Being told and not shown several key parts of this story.
- The story bogging down in the middle. At times I felt like I was just reading to get to the epilogue.
What I loved:
- The Circe and Dax of this world. They should have gotten their own book.
- Noc’s giving Franka time to grieve.
- Josette. What a wonderful character.
- Noc’s need to protect those he considered his.
- Valentine. I grew to adore her in this book, but feel like her story is unfinished
Spice’s Rating: 3.5 I Hate It When It’s Over Stars
I’m not going to lie, when I first read that Franka was going to be Noc’s girl, I was not a fan. And by “not a fan” I mean I completely hated the idea with a fiery passion. In true KA fashion within the first 10% I was singing a totally different tune.
While a great read, Midnight Soul fell a little flat for me. I was expecting some kind of action along the lines of the other books in the series (which are pretty epic IMO) but nothing really happens here. It’s more of a self-discovery and relationship driven story, which I don’t mind at all, but… you know… not what I was expecting.
This story picks up exactly where Broken Dove ended (I’d greatly encourage a reread prior starting this one if you have the time) and soon reveals the reasons behind Franka’s being the harpy she always acted like. How KA manages to change your perception of a character with a handful of scenes is simply fantastic. Soon I was not only accepting Franka as Noc’s other world love I wanted to hug her and be her bff too.
She was a loving and caring person, but for the longest time she had to keep that buried deep. When she finally gets to a place where she can start to let this come out… well… she went from totally confident bitch to fumbling blushing sweety. It wasn’t badly done, nor came off as unbelievable but… it wasn’t KA brilliance, and that’s all I can say about it.
Noc was perfect. I mean, he’s Tor but a cop and wearing jeans while riding a Harley: P E R F E C T I O N. Smart, sweet, alpha, bossy and a protector of women. He’s a KA hero through and through.
The overall pace of the story again had some issues for me, and I believe again this was due to the lack of an action subplot. As there’s nothing to handle but getting Franka settled into our world, nothing more exciting happens than the shoe department at Nordstrom and a spa date. I mean, it was nice to read because it’s KA and she is a great storyteller… it was just… again, not what I expected.
Now, the meddling with the Dax of this world and the Circe now of this world was fantastic. I feel that Valentine’s story could have been included too and this would have given a little more oomph to the story.
So, while not my favorite in the series, Midnight Soul was a very good story. I loved them as a couple (just not at first), I loved the epilogue, I loved visiting with all the other Fantasyland couples. I missed all the babies though, I felt we could have been in their cute as hell company a bit more… but ok, I’ll just make do with their final bliss.
All in all, a very good way to spend my last days as a 31 year old 🙂
Sparkles’ Rating: 4 “I wanna go to Fantasyland and get my own hunk” Stars
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