I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
I loved this book. It was angsty, showed many Arcana in full use of their powers, and explored their thorny alliances. It ended on another cliffhanger that had me tapping my nook for more pages.
I am thoroughly #TeamJack and (no spoilers, promise), what happened to him at the end of Dead of Winter gutted me. I read Arcana Rising dying for information about him.
I loved the scenes in the first third where Evie was full-on rage-mode using her powers. Anger fueled her, which we've seen in pieces and certain scenes (which are awesome!), but this was scene after scene as the Red Witch. I was right there with her.
We finally get to meet Evie's grandmother, her Tarasova. I'd anticipated her being loving but firm. She is way more intense in her role as Chronicler than I'd thought--all about the game.
I also enjoyed Evie's scenes with Sol and even with Zara (Fortune). I love the world-building and the sheer scrappiness of the characters.
The theme of fate versus free will continues in this book in the series. Again there are stories from past games that affect the relationships between the players and their ability to trust each other. Evie had dismissed them as "that was then, this is now" in previous books (somewhat), but this time those stories from past games had a strong sense of foreboding, which I liked. There was also a sweet thread of love between the players--beyond the Jack-Evie-Aric triangle. Post Apocalyptic badasses need love too. ;)
I can't wait for the next book. It comes out Spring 2017.