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Fangirl Friday: Black Snow by E.A.B.

I absolutely loved this one! It’s an MPREG romance – so male-pregnancy – but it’s also so much more than that. And it’s on my list for paperbacks to buy the minute I have the money for it.

Combining MPREG and fantasy, it adds a dash of romance, a dash of royalty, and a whole lot of charm into a novel that I would gladly re-read again and again. Plus, it’s got an utterly gorgeous book cover!

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Prince Brier Snow has lived in the shadow of King Snow’s exalted memory. However, his fate changes when he nears his majority and Lirend’s steward queen attempts to dethrone him by exploiting an obscure requirement in the late king’s will: a yearlong sabbatical.

Brier travels to the desolate land of Aire to train under the Ceve guild, scorned refugees of war, including their guarded leader, Roland. Brier’s skillful master unlocks hidden potential, and what begins as a dutiful bond turns into ill-fated affection. When Brier returns to the capital, he’s carrying proof of his indiscretions with Roland—and his condition grows more apparent with each passing day. An affair with the huntsman is a scandal Brier’s enemies can use against him, but the birth of an heir is a burden even Brier is not sure he can bear.

Roland Archer, a man with a murky past, is skeptical of the contract to train the prince but willing to do anything for the guild’s freedom. Despite his best intentions, he is smitten by Lirend’s future king. Roland has resigned himself to solitude, but fate has other plans—for him, for Brier, and for Lirend’s oppressed subjects. Can Roland help Brier face a power-hungry queen and a country torn asunder? Either they will bring equality to a land that desperately needs it, or they’ll be thwarted by cunning enemies and an illusory curse.

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Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Book Depository

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EAB is an airline steward/stewardess, depending on the day, who loves writing erotic fiction/ romance. This translates to: serving Wild Turkey bourbon at 38,000 feet and writing smut at 3am. EAB spends free time role playing and reading. While EAB’s true passion is writing, EAB also enjoys reaching high scores in nerdism, spending time with family(cats included), and watching anime. An east coaster at heart, EAB loves New York Broadway and greasy, heart burn inducing pizza. Feel free to drop a line or recommend some good reads! Always looking for a new book to devour!

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Book – Black Snow
Author – EAB
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 350
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Fantasy, MPreg

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** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine

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*It is impossible to talk about the plot without the risk of SPOILERS. So, please be forewarned that there MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD*

Okay, so this is a really long story, but I get it now. It’s like a trilogy of around 100 pages, all put into one novel and it’s frickin’ fantastic!
For me, it’s split like this →
Part 1 – Brier’s year long sabbatical with Rolande and the Ceve Guild.
Part 2 – Brier returning to his life and then the whole mpreg storyline.
Part 3 – Brier and Quintin’s storyline, as well as the sneaky little Epilogue at the end 😉

I have so many conflicting emotions that I’m going to have a serious book hangover now that it’s over. First…a glossary at the front? Awesome! Thank you. Why is this important? Because I don’t read Contents pages, because in cases like this, where chapters have titles, they can often give spoilers away if you peek them before their time. I avoid that, because I like to be surprised. So I often don’t see if there’s a glossary at the back until I reach the end of the book, which is pointless, because I’ve just floundered through it all. Not in this case. It’s right at the beginning, so I bookmarked it and it came in so handy when I needed to flick back to check that a word meant what I remembered it meant.

Next up, the whole Snow White gig? Loved it! Right from the start, when the entire Prologue was dedicated to a re-telling of Snow White, with a twist, I knew it was going to be important and I wasn’t wrong.

There were so many ‘moments’ in this story that my head is in a bit of a spin. First of all, the whole Rolande’s hands in Brier’s hair was beautiful:
“Brier felt gentle hands in his hair. He closed his eyes and wished they did not calm his spirit so effortlessly.”
The chemistry between our MC’s, Rolande and Brier was palpable and then explosive and then downright gutwrenching. They had this slow build of trust, friendship and then romance. It all came together perfectly.

There is a very tame Dom/sub element, a hint of voyeurism, a May-December romance, and definitely plenty of Mpreg in detail (from discovery of birth, to pregnancy, to labour and beyond). Oh, and let’s not forget the eww! <spoiler> drinking breast milk during sex, straight from the partner <spoiler> *shudders*. Not my cup of tea, I’m afraid. But other than that, there isn’t really anything risky other than some serious amounts of sex in some pretty explicit and sometimes over-eager detail.

So, by going in order of my three separate sections, I have to admit that I loved the sabatical the most. For me, that was the real gem of the story, because it’s where all the drama, the romance and the chemistry was. Brier and Rolande were very little to each other and we had to watch them grow and adapt to each other. I also really loved that it was all over by 38%, because it meant that I got to really enjoy that part of the story in full, without compromising the necessary return to the palace and what came after that.

I loved the Guild characters. Leighis was my favourite, as well as the enigmatic Umhal, but I was sad to see that after the first third of the story, they didn’t come back into it until the last third. They were missing for a good 30% of the story and I really felt it.

For the second aspect of the plot, I have to admit that I saw the Mpreg coming (which I’d forgotten was a part of the plot, between picking the book and actually reviewing it) so it was a great is-it-or-isn’t-it moment for me, to wonder if I was right, which I was. I loved that all the pieces were there, even for someone who (*cough cough* had forgotten) didn’t know that there was an mpreg element, could still spot it if they were paying enough attention.

When it comes to characters in this part, I absolutely, positively, no-doubts about it fell in love with Quintin. I swear that I spend the entire second half of the book flip flopping between wanting Brier to be with Rolande and wanting him to be with Quintin. Okay, you got me, I totally spent part of that also hoping for a super hot M/M/M between all three! There, I admitted it. So sue me.

For that, I loved the strength Brier had in this third. He made a decision and stuck with it, until he couldn’t bear the pain it caused any longer. I’m not going to spoil it too much, but I do have to say that this is where I cried the most. Because the way he loved Quintin and the way he loved Rolande were so at odds and it broke my heart for poor little 20-year-old Brier, who was still just a baby, in reality.

Saying that, I also really loved Meade and Lord Yvette. They were fun, upbeat, supporting characters that Brier needed so badly.

I cried a lot. Like, A LOT. But this part killed me:
“This was his life now. Brier closed his eyes to numb his apprehension, and he wondered whether he would ever feel pleasure from a kiss again.”
*sigh* Yup. Cut me up and tore me to pieces.

Now, I specifically marked out a request to include in my review, as I was reading. It said “Can Quintin get his HEA please?” with lots of question marks, desperation and pleading. Well, I got part of my answer in the Epilogue and that’s all I’m going to say except → I NEED IT NOW! Pretty please? With cherries on top and anything else you could possibly want from me. I will give it all.

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Overall, I have to say that I’m a little torn. Though I loved the whole thing, as a whole, I do have to admit that the first 30-40%, with the sabatical was my favourite of the main story. Then, of course, I was hooked for life with the Epilogue. Which I definitely, desperately, urgently need to read!

Why? Well, for me the sabatical plot had more impact. I can’t really put that into better words, because it was just a feeling. But when there were issues raised, they were resolved quickly or at least mentioned enough that you knew it was still an issue. The middle part left me with too many questions that weren’t answered until the final part and there was too much of not talking about it or recognising how important it was, even though it was staring them all in the face. The first part also had more drama, the pure chemistry that drew me in, and not so much happened in the middle. It all came together in the final part of the story, but it felt a little uneven for me. That didn’t, at all, effect my enjoyment of the overall story, as I loved every part of it. But the first 30-40% will hold a special place in my heart.

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Favourite Quote

“I think that I should marry a huntsman over a prince,” Brier decided as he flopped his head into the mountain of pillows, smiling softly.
“And why not a princess?” the nurse questioned, crossing her arms.
“That is because I should like to be kissed by a huntsman,” Brier answered matter-of-factly.”

“You ask what I would have you do? I would have you love me as I love you,” Brier whispered, voice choked with the tears. Roland reached out to touch Brier, but the prince pulled away. “I would have you see me as more than just a child to indulge.” He stood tall. Roland watched as he headed for the bedroom door.
“What can a man like me give to a future king?” Roland uttered quietly, and Brief paused.
“Nothing if you can’t give me your trust.” Roland heard Brier sniff his shed tears and the door shut with a solid thud.”

“Please, do not hate me.”
“I couldn’t.” Quintin shook his head and smiled sadly. “Because when he breaks your heart again, Brier, I’ll be here to pick up the pieces.”

“I refuse.”

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