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A Breath of Winter (Araneae Nation) Book Four [Kindle Edition]

Hailey Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There's no easy cure for a love of epidemic proportions.

Araneae Nation, Book 4

Zuri and her mercenary brothers had a simple mission. Transport a captured harbinger to Erania and collect the bounty. But this job turns out to be anything but easy.

Their welcome to the northland is nothing short of frigid. A scuffle with border guards and her prisoner's attempted escape leave Zuri injured--and she and her brothers stuck in quarantine. Worse, the bounty comes with silken strings attached. Strings held by a scientist with a daring, dangerous plan.

Because Zuri and her prisoner barged in before his fail-safes were in place, Henri had no choice but to lock them all down until he's sure there's no risk of spreading plague. He'd planned to study the harbinger, but it's the mercenary holding the leash who intrigues him the most.

When Henri's experiment goes awry, they learn they've all been pawns in a plan with one goal: bring the Araneae Nation to its knees. Zuri is forced to make a choice that could sign her death warrant--or sacrifice everyone she loves.

Warning: This book contains a chair-bound heroine who won't let anyone--least of all a man--push her around. Expect tea-drinking, net-tossing, and knife-wielding. Should you feel compelled to indulge in a bear ride, please keep your hands on the reins and your feet in the stirrups. Author not responsible for possible maulings.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Breath of Winter was another strong installment in Hailey's Araneae Nation. I am glad that she is able to keep me guessing and hooked on her characters and world. While the installments build on each other, I have a hard time predicting where Hailey is going next which helps keep my anticipation high for each succeeding story. I can't wait to see what happens next." - The Bookpushers 

"Excellent read! I really enjoy Zuri and Henri's story. They are very different people, a mercenary and a healer. From their first meeting they have this great flirty banter that was just fun to read. Henri is a character that was introduced in the first book, A Hint of Frost. So, glad he got his own story. A Breath of Winter is such an enticing read, one of my favorites in the series." - Anna's Book Blog 

"There's no easy cure for a love of epidemic proportions. Fantasy romance takes a cold turn with book 4 in the Araneae Nation series, as Haily Edwards matches a mercenary with a very deadly bounty in tow, and a scientist who could either save them all--or doom their entire nation to destruction." - USA Today HEA Blog

From the Inside Flap

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. 


Subtle warmth in his voice lured me closer. "Stop squinting so hard and relax." I rolled nearer to his bedside and ran my fingers through his hair. "There. That's better."

"I ought to send you away," he murmured.

"Afraid of my brothers, are you?" I teased while scratching his scalp lightly with my fingernails.

He cracked one eye open. "Let me worry about your brothers."

"I can't make you any promises." I admitted, "I worry about them constantly."

He turned his head toward me. "I regret adding to your burden."

"Shh."

"I mean it." He stretched out his arm and rested his palm on my knee. "I should have done more than I did. If I had given your family the same consideration as I gave mine, we wouldn't be here."

"If I had read the fine print in our contract with Hishima, we wouldn't be here either."

His thumb stroked the inside of my thigh. "You can't blame yourself."

"I can't blame you either." It wasn't fair. As my initial anger faded, I began to see that.

I was angrier at myself for being led so easily into Hishima's trap than at Henri's actions.

"Am I forgiven, then?"

I thumped the crown of his head. "I wouldn't go that far."

He reached up and rubbed his scalp. "How far would you go?"

"This far." I leaned over, used my finger to tilt his face and kissed him.

"Were you making a point just now?"

I chuckled while sliding my gaze down his body, toward the laces of his pants. "You tell me."

The flash of color in his cheeks drew me down for another taste of him. This time he caught me. Short as my hair was, he had to cup my neck to take control of the kiss.

I let him, moaning encouragement while I slid my hand across his chest. I relished the pounding of his heart under my palm for a moment before easing lower. When my fingertips brushed the closure of his pants, Henri wrapped an arm around me, tugging me half on top of him.

I bumped my shin on his bedframe, sucked in a sharp breath and exhaled a curse.

He released me instantly and pushed up onto his elbows. "Are you--?"

"Fine." The gentle throb of pain cleared my head. "You should be sleeping."

He bent over and cradled my calf, lifting my leg to examine it. "I'll be more careful next time."

I leaned over and pressed my lips to his. "Now, Henri, where would the fun be in that?"

Product Details

  • File Size: 877 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (December 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GN98BVM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Winter December 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Mercenary Zuri, along with her brothers are on a job to transport the women who caused the plague. When they are close to their destination, they encounter trouble, Zuri and one of her brothers are injured. They are taken in and put on lock down by Henri. His intentions good, but he does have other motives. He plans to study the Harbinger to see how the plague was started. What wasn't expected was Henri finding Zuri so captivating.

Excellent read! I really enjoy Zuri and Henri's story. They are very different people, a mercenary and a healer. From their first meeting they have this great flirty banter that was just fun to read. Henri is a character that was introduced in the first book, A Hint of Frost. So, glad he got his own story. A Breath of Winter is such an enticing read, one of my favorites in the series. If the story description doesn't get you interested, the beautiful cover will. Definitely a must read.

For those who are curious, this isn't what I would call a stand alone. Definitely read the other books before this one, especially A Time of Dying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Addition To The Series but Not As Fun As Book 3 December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
While this was on the surface a very slow romance of Zuri and Henri, it was also another excursion into the work of The Araneae Nation and the overarching story that Hailey Edwards has crafted in this series.

The opening starts much like the others with a bit of action resulting in an injury to Zuri but then things start to slow down a bit .... well they slow down a LOT for a majority of the novel. We are watching this whole story unfold through the eyes of Zuri and we get her feelings and thoughts but nobody else (there is a reason for that we will see). So while the romance slowly builds a bit at a time the more typical fantasy plot of the approaching enemy hangs in the background always letting you know that things are not going to remain calm for much longer.

There is a major break at about the 65% mark in this story, just when you start to think "this may be getting a bit boring" things happen to remove any such thoughts from your mind . One of the major points in this story seems to be to bring the reader up to speed on the enemy and the purpose for many of the things you have seen in the previous books. The action picks up significantly and the ending while somewhat satisfying still leaves you with several questions that I have to assume will be revealed in subsequent novels.

Bottom Line: A very good installment into the series but left me feeling like it was more of a bridging novel for the next one since a lot of the novel felt like an information dump. The ending was good but I felt like I needed another chapter or two for a better look into Zuri's future. My only real disappointment is that the most colorful character in this whole series is Isolde and we get to see none of her in this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Winter August 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
On a mercenary mission with her brothers, Zuri finds herself in a bind. They're moving a dangerous ward, a Harbinger out for more blood, when they're stopped by a guard not aware of their mission.
In the altercation Zuri is injured in a bad way. As luck will have it, Erania's healer is nearby and ready to care for her.
Henri didn't expect the mercenary as quick as they came, and he sure didn't expect one of them to be a woman. Or as alluring as she is.
Can he focus on his work or will she affect him more than what is good for either of them? And why is this Harbinger as smug as she is?
What does she know that they don't?
Fantasy Romance, action, suspense and smutty fluff in a great, fast paced combo. Love this series!! I'm always kept on the edge of my seat while reading =)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read for the big story but don't expect too much January 28, 2014
By Barb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First person narrative can be tricky. The Aranean Nation series has had some really good examples of it; this wasn't one of them. The main character, Zuri, spends the entire book confined to a room because of an injury. She therefore doesn't know anything about what's going on outside and people won't tell her because they don' trust her. Any hints she gets are frustratingly vague for me as the reader. What's worse, Zuri shows very little inclination to investigate them. Basically, 90% of the book is her in a room with one or two other people not talking about what's important. It means everything that matters, that actually happens, the reason for all this going on in the first place, has to be explained by the villain in a cliche horror movie monologue. I was waiting for the mustache twirling to commence.

This was the wrong narrator to choose for a story of such importance in the overarching plot of this series. I felt cheated because everything I needed to SEE, I had to be told by someone, like they just summarized the book that never was. I was also disconnected from the characters, including Zuri, because there was so little interaction going on. Based on everything Zuri and Henri had together before the end, I don't find their romance believable at all. It was lukewarm at best, confusing at worst, and the ending for them felt very rushed and incomplete. A huge chunk of their courtship was missing for me. As for the big mystery of the plague, I won't spoil it for you, but I will say I expected something... else. Or more maybe. Definitely not the simplistic strategy and motive that actually got revealed.

There are issues with this book that could have been corrected in edits: strange dialogue, vague plot points, missing romantic elements, etc. However, given how limited Zuri's point of view was, I'm not sure it would have helped the story overall. Like I said, read this to know what's going on in the Aranean Nations, but don't expect too much from it.
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More About the Author

Born in the Deep South, Hailey is a lifelong resident of Alabama. Her husband works for the local sheriff's department and her daughter is counting down the days until she's old enough to audition for American Idol. Their dachshund, Black Ilex, helps Hailey write by snoozing on his dog bed in her office.

Her desire to explore without leaving the comforts of home fueled her love of reading and writing. Whenever the itch for adventure strikes, Hailey can be found with her nose glued to her Paperwhite's screen or squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after.

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