A Heart of Ice by Hailey Edwards
Series: Araneae Nation 0.5
Published by Hailey Edwards on August 1, 2014
Genres: Fantasy Romance, Romance
**Originally Released As Part Of The Love Is... Charity Anthology**
**This Is A Short Story Prequel To The Araneae Nation Series**
Reine knows marriage isn’t about love. It’s about making the best bargain you can with what you have and then living with the consequences. Wedding vows are alliances given voice, and I do is on the tip of her tongue.
Ennis is a man on a mission to woo the future Araneidae maven, whether she wants him or not. Her clan is wealthy, prosperous and in dire need of the one thing his people have to offer—protection. But one look at her and all thought of his obligations vanish. He’ll court Reine, but he wants the feisty heiress all to himself.
Forced to entertain offers from her bevy of suitors, Reine is torn between duty to her people and loyalty to herself. Ennis is the man she wants, but is he the future paladin her fragile clan needs? She can choose to lead with her head or, for once, she can follow her heart.
I’m not really sure how to rate and review A Heart of Ice. It’s a novella for the Araneae Nation series (starts with A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation #1)) – and I *think* it occurs before A Hint of Frost.
A Heart of Ice is very much a “bridge” or snippet type of story. The world-building is indistinct, the characters are not fully realized and the background information to assist in understanding subtleties of the story are not present. Even with that, there are some very interesting parts of A Heart of Ice.
I started reading A Heart of Ice simply because I am a cover whore. I love a beautiful cover and the covers for the entire Araneae Nation series are all amazingly beautiful. I love these covers so much that I even got over my abject horror and fear of spiders to force my way through this book.
Yes. You read that correctly. SPIDERS.
The characters – all the characters – in the Araneae Nation series are some type of humanoid spider. *shudders* As I mentioned previously, the worldbuilding (and descriptions) is pretty vague in A Heart of Ice so I am not 100% sure what they look like. What I did get from the text is that the men (males) of the race(?) are poisonous (fangs? IDK) – some very much so. I found this to be strange as (from what very little I know about spiders) I thought that gender wasn’t a factor in poison and that most of the time the females were more dangerous than the males. IDK. Some of the characters can spin webs from their fingertips as well – how I am not sure. I have some weird vision of Spiderwoman shooting a web out of her fingertips instead of her wrists.
I did like the heroine of the novel, Reine, although it was almost impossible to get attached to her. I liked the fact that she never once allowed herself to be mesmerized by an attractive man to the point that she forgot herself. I also loved the fact that she was more than willing to defend her own honor. I liked the hero as well. I was confused by the Reine’s friend…I didn’t understand most her plight except for the friendship. In all honesty, I wish the author had introduced the hero in a different way so I could have avoided the friend. But I am hazarding a guess that the friend will feature later in the series.
All in all, if you plan to start reading the Araneae Nation series, I would suggest going straight to the first book (A Hint of Frost) as this one feels more like a snippet for current fans than a good introduction to a new series.