Autumn Harvest: Maiden by Tof Eklund

This isn’t your father’s fantasy, or your mother’s romance.

Autumn Harvest: Maiden is the deliciously steamy story of star-crossed love and destiny.  When Maiden Yelena, a curvy and nearly ageless beauty from far off lands, realizes her feelings for young, disabled but not crippled Prince Kaye, she at first tries to deny her feelings, and passions.  Older than his mother, though young in heart and appearance, she has the wisdom to know what challenges they might face in the mortal world, and the vision to know what Wyrd, the tangled lines of destiny, have planned for them.  When she finds it impossible to resist what she knows is true, though, she finds herself fighting to save her lover, his kingdom, and the power of her Goddess while carrying the growing evidence of her lover’s embrace.

The Maiden installation of Autumn Harvest is an intricate introduction to Tof Eklund’s fantastic world, as well as the long journey of Yelena, Kaye, and their many loyal- and sometimes unloyal- friends.  More than just a thrilling smut read, the novella has an engaging plot that manages to break through many of the old fantasy conventions.

Best of all, just about anyone can enjoy the delicious scenes in both the novella, and in the short stories that follow.  There is a sexual ambiguity to the book that allows any gender identification or sexual preference to be properly stroked.  In the stories that accompany Maiden you’ll find ageless Satyrs, homo-sexual dwarves with an interesting process of reproduction, femme-domme dryad goddesses, genderless but not passionless ghosts, mermaids who can’t resist a good net, and centaurs who are not male or female, but wholly both.

If you don’t like one off short stories, never fear.  Though there are a number of somewhat separate stories after Maiden, if you pay attention almost all of them clearly link back to the main story, and some, like Mound, Frost, and Constellation, link directly together (and throw Thorn in there as it links directly to Frost, as well).

Hands down, I give Autumn Harvest: Maiden five stars for deliciousness, originality, and story.  I will be waiting on the edge of my seat for Autumn Harvest: Mother, and no doubt for Autumn Harvest: Crone.

You can purchase Autumn Harvest: Maiden on Amazon today, and don’t forget to check out the wonderful cover (and extra illustrations not in the book) artist Rebecca Schauer!