The Golden Dynasty Kristen Ashley

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Circe Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire - and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she’s not having a wild dream, she’s living a frightening nightmare where she’s been transported to a barren land populated by a primitive people and in short order, she’s installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen.

Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend.

Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she’s from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.

Kim's Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

Kim's Review:
This book was harsh in places and sweet in places. Their cultural differences were so great and some of the savage customs were hard to take. The language barrier was difficult and annoying for the reader because you had to look up words at the back of the book and phrases at the end of chapters. Although I can see why she did it this way as it made the reader feel the language barrier. I enjoyed it more once they learned each other's languages and did not have to do that. I liked them as a couple, I liked how she adapted to his savage world and how he was somewhat tamed by her. The communication between them was a big issue even once they could speak each other's languages and that was frustrating. Some of my favorite parts were when he would use English terms with her and he was trying to find out what she was saying about him in English by asking his friends what sweet, big guy, honey, etc. meant. He really could be cute and sweet at times.

I wanted to throttle each of the characters several times since they were so stubborn. But it was an interesting read and I leave the book liking Lahn and Circe....

This was one book I had to talk Tammy through at the beginning and the end....Some of the things that occured were very harsh and disturbing. Some things later on made her angry too. But I found myself defending Lahn to her at some points and making her realize that he was meeting Circe halfway too.

Be sure to read book 1 and book 3 of this series. These were both fun and easy reads with wonderful heroes and heroines. They involve travelling between parallel universes of modern day and old world, mixing up of modern and old cultures, and finding soul mates.
I adored them both!
Book 1 is Wildest Dreams. Frey and Finnie's story.
Book 3 is Fantastical. Tor and modern world Cora's story.

Kristen Ashley has 2 more books planned in the Fantasyland series.
Untitled Book 4: Ilsa and Apollo
Untitled Book 5:  Noc and old world Cora.
Tammy's Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

Tammy's Review:
I just finished this book and I seriously do not know how to rate it. There were parts that I loved like a lot, but then there were parts that annoyed the ever-living day lights out of me, and made me so angry I did not think I could get over it and move on. Then a good part would come up again and I was able to move on a bit, not forget mind you, but move past, and see the love in their actions. That is until the next major thing happened that made me so damn angry again. KA created a world and a love story that was so beyond beautiful at times and then other times so heartbreaking. It spoke of cultures and different times in history. Both current and past. Moral codes were different, lifestyles were different, and actions were punished and rewarded differently, but overall through this mess you felt two people trying to overcome this while they experienced a love neither of them had ever felt before.

I am a HUGE KA fan, and I devour her books. Cannot seem to get enough of them and I anticipate the next release. I did the same with this book, I devoured it in a night right off the back of Wildest Dreams. I had a bit of trouble adjusting to this one, as the hero and heroine had a lot of turmoil and there were some brutal cultural differences I had trouble getting past. Kristen wove a tale of love and hate and she did it beautifully, but the topic matters were a bit hard to adjust too. As I said earlier I would just get to a place where I could almost understand the cultural difference, not that I could forget it or think it was ok, but that I could see and understand that our culture is not the only culture out there and others view things differently, and wham in your face was more turmoil.

The heroine, she was such a strong character in this book, and I admired her for her outlook and for how she survived the life that was dealt to her. I do not know if I would be able to live with what she went through and still come out so strong, and "open-minded.” Our heroine stood up for herself every chance she could, she did not let him or anyone else breaks her.

"I gave up a world for you."
He glared at me, not giving me anything.
I kept right on going. "I thought, perhaps, when I learned I had powers, I might be able to use them to go home," his eyes flashed but that was all I got so I kept on going, "but not for good. My father isn't dead." Another flash. "He's alive and at home and living maybe with a fake Circe. He'll know the difference, though, I KNOW it. He's out of his mind with worry, I know that too. He's wondering where I am and if I'm okay and how to get me back. I also know that. I know that and I know that my life was good. I loved my life. I loved my home. I loved my job. I had a lot of people who loved me that loved me back." I sucked in a breath and then whispered, "But as much as your world scared me, as much as our practices repulsed me, I still chose you."
His torso jerked, it was almost imperceptible, but I caught it.
I kept at him. "I gave up my world for you, Lahn. I sat at your side through things people in my world would find loathsome and I did it with my head held high. I even felt 'pride' that I could endure, that I could be a good queen to you.......Everything I did in this fucking place, even before I fell in love with you, was for...fucking...YOU."

The hero, well the hero he was such a contradiction. Swoon worthy one minute and such a brute the next. Clearly acting off of instinct and what he has been taught through his culture and being king/warrior. He could be so damn sweet, so fricken loveable that you just wanted to trade places with the heroine, and then at other times you were gasping in outrage or getting teary eyed because you thought how the hell they would overcome this. One thing I will say for our alpha king is he learned quickly. He learned from his mistake and he did what he had to do to make it up to her. He made sure that she knew she was well loved and respected.

The two of them together, well they were enough to melt your heart. They struggled together to get past not only their cultural differences but also their language barrier. They saw the strengths and weaknesses in each other, and this helped them to grow, to learn more about not only themselves but also the other. You felt their chemistry, you saw their love growing right before your eyes. This relationship started out with hate and distrust, grew to respect and then to a fierce love.  Once you get past the cultural issues and the real tough topics (which I am in no way excusing, but it is very true that what one may accept in one culture is not accepted in another) it truly is a beautiful love story and a struggle on how they both did their best to get past these barriers. How they worked to overcome their differences and become a stronger better person for the other.


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