Following the Ravening, the world changed for everyone. For Agatha Ward, once a successful interior designer, those changes have been a succession of one miserable year after another wherein she has only barely managed to survive through simple labor. Selling match sticks outside in the snow on solstice night is not her idea of a good way to spend the holiday nor a promising beginning for the new year, but she hopes to make enough to at least buy some fuel for heat and some food.
When a golden stranger steals a pack of matchsticks and leaves behind a box with five gold matches, she is drawn into another world inhabited by monsters. Ruling over them and the northern mountains is a winged king of the north wind, Aquilo. He is dark and cold as winter itself, but as she returns with the flare of each matchstick, she discovers a warm heart and hot glances behind that icy reserve that makes her long for forever. If only she wouldn’t keep returning every night back to that same frigid street. With her matchsticks running out, will she have a chance for happily ever after?
Aquilo has known no warmth or comfort. His fortress is as cold and lonely as he is. With naught but his griffins for company, and the ogres and lupi who serve him, he yearns for any sort of spark to warm him. When a human arrives on his mountain, her presence seems impossible but no more so than the spark that heats within him at her nearness, yet every night she disappears. He’s certain that another god is toying with him, yet the longer she is there the more he realizes that she is all that he wants. But will he find her in the human world before the brutal harpies snuff out her light forever?
This is a Happy ever after reimagined retelling of the fairytale The Matchstick Girl in the Dark Spirits Universe.
This story surprised me! Agatha is alone and cold. I would describe her existence as “just surviving.” A beautiful stranger gives her a strange small box with 5 golden matchsticks. Striking the first one sends her to another world. Aquilo is a god. He is severe, cold, and lonely. But when he meets Agatha he feels a spark of warmth. He is increasingly taken with her and so is his griffin. Veli just loves Agatha. (I really enjoyed the affection he has for her.) Matchsticks is a love story that develops slowly. I love the Lupi people and the ogres. What first appear to be monsters to Agatha will soon become friends. Sanders was fantastically creative with this story and I thoroughly enjoyed it! You’ll have to read it for yourself to see how everything unfolds. 4.5 stars!
About SJ Sanders
S.J. Sanders is a mom of two toddlers and one adult living in Anchorage, Alaska. She has a BA degree in History, but spends most of her free time painting, sculpting, doing odd bits of historical research, and writing. While she has more research orientated writing under another pen name, her passion is sci-fi and paranormal romance of which she is an avid reader. After years of tinkering with the idea, and making her own stories up in her head, S.J has began to seriously pursue writing as an author of Sci-fi Romance utilizing her interests in how cultures diversify and what they would look like on a extraterrestrial platform to humans interacting with them and finding love.
She can be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Author-SJ-Sanders-2372443553034364
And follow her blog at https://sjsandersromance.wordpress.com