Book Title: Black Ice Heart (Unveiled Magic, book 1)
Author: Abrianna Denae
Cover Artist: Sleepy Fox Studio
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Tropes: Soul mates, hurt/comfort
Themes: Slavery, fate
Trigger Warning: Mild torture, suicidal intention & ideation
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 77 000 words/ 265 pages
It is the first in a new series
The story does not end on a cliffhanger, but there is an overreaching story arc.
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Born into a wealthy and historically infamous family, all Ryson Melford wants is to live a simple life.
A twist of fate leads him to a man named Jack, changing everything. One touch and Ryson knows he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Jack in his life, despite the warnings from his brothers.
But Jack is not what he seems. Harboring dark and deadly secrets, he’s a mystery that is inexplicably tied to the Melford family. The closer Ryson and Jack get, the more dangerous things become as the present begins to reflect the past, threatening to destroy what is left of Ryson and his brothers.
Ryson finds himself trapped between doing what is right for his family and the man he is unexpectedly connected to. When truths come out and past mistakes are repeated, blood will be spilled...and a magic that was all but forgotten is unleashed in a battle that may spell the end for all of them.
Fire. Sun-warmed earth, fragrant grass. Summer doesn’t bother with words. She wraps her magic around him, so tight he’s barely able to stand.
She yanks on the invisible chains, half dragging him along. The bright throne room is almost blinding. He doesn’t know how long they have kept him in the dark for this time, but he knows it’s been the longest length of time so far.
“Sit,” Mother says.
Summer pushes him down and he falls unceremoniously to the floor.
“Do you know what day it is, amor?” Mother asks.
“N-no, Mother.” His words are stilted. When was the last time he spoke?
“Why, it’s the fiftieth anniversary of your mistake, of course.”
His breath catches in his lungs.
Fifty years he’s been in chains...fifty years since they started torturing him whenever it pleases them.
Since he got Sara killed.
Mother smiles a cruel smile.
“My poor pet. I know it’s been a trying time for you.” She steps up to him.
Her scent envelopes him. Earthy and familiar. When he was younger—before he knew better—that scent meant home and comfort. Now, it’s nothing but a trigger for his nightmares.
“Since it’s such a special day, I have allowed Summer’s request to spend some time with her dear twin.”
His eyes flicker to where Summer stands just off to the side. Her smile is sweet, deceptive. Of all his sisters, she’s the one who hates him the most.
“Well,” Mother says, “enjoy your day, amor.” She leans down and presses a kiss on his cheek. He wants nothing more than to scrub her touch from his skin.
Summer doesn’t even bother telling him to stand. She drags him from the throne room.
His tender, abused flesh aches as it rubs on the marble floors.
Summer tosses him into an empty room.
“I’ve waited a long time for this.”
He stares into his twin’s honey eyes. There’s no warmth in them, not for him. Throughout their long lives, she has been his worst tormentor.
Summer and winter.
Opposites in every way.
One ice-cold, with a warm, generous heart.
The other, hotter than the sun, but stone cold on the inside.
Good for nothing slave.
He always knew this day would come. He resigned himself to its inevitability long ago.
For the last fifty years, he’s endured their punishments, he’s served as their plaything. He cannot remember a time where they didn’t torment him. It has always been this way.
Except Mother had never before allowed Summer to be alone with him. She knew the contempt her youngest daughter held for her unwanted twin. Mother Nature never minded if her pet got damaged, a little magic could heal his injuries. But she knew that if given the chance, Summer would make sure there would be nothing left of him to save.
As he stares into his sister’s eyes, he knows that death has come for him at long last.
4 out of 5 (very good)
BLACK ICE HEART is the first in the Unveiled Magic series. In it, we meet Jack, Summer, Spring, Autumn, Mother, and Old Man. Do these names sound familiar? They should do. This is the story of the seasons, of Mother Nature, Old Man Time, and Jack Frost, with it's own unique spin as given by Abrianna Denae.
This is a dark story in places, with moments of torture and heartbreak, so please be aware of the trigger warning! There are also moments of love, friendship, and hope, that will keep you turning the pages.
There are a host of amazing characters in here, plus characters I've yet to meet properly, or fully understand. I'm hoping this will happen in future books as, being 100% honest here, some of them haven't made such a good impression.
Told from multiple perspectives, some characters only share their voice for one chapter. Others have multiple. So take your time reading and find out just who is speaking when - it will make it all so much easier.
The story feels almost complete until you reach the epilogue, and then it takes a whole new turn and you're left not knowing what will happen next.
Black Ice Heart kept my attention from beginning to end and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Abrianna Denae is a twenty-four-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, she has always had a passion for writing.
Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued her mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.
Caffeine is her best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.
A lover of books that make the reader feel something, she tries to incorporate as much of her real-world views and feelings into her stories as she can.
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