Review: Before the Storm (Windwalkers #1) by Claire Ashgrove

April 21, 2014 Review 0

Review: Before the Storm (Windwalkers #1) by Claire Ashgrove

Halle Rhoads has a terrifying gift--she can kill with the fury of the storm.

She should have known that kind of power wouldn't go unnoticed. Thrust into a world full of dark magic with a handsome stranger who claims he can teach her, she struggles to master her abilities and stumbles onto a dangerous truth. She's a windwalker, the chosen vessel of the ancient dragons who once ruled the world. Many will stop at nothing to possess the power in her blood, should they discover her secret. With necromancers hunting her and Halle's closest allies guarding secrets, mastering her magic becomes a matter of necessity.

But accepting her destiny is altogether different. For doing so means she must sacrifice everything.

Title: Before the Storm
Author: Claire Ashgrove
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: , Cursed to Kill, Tormented by Darkness
Series: Windwalker
Published by Untamed Spirit
Source: Author
Published: April 21, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 304
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars
Flames: three-flames

The first book in the riveting new urban fantasy Windwalker series is a fascinating read that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.  Halle Rhoads has a terrifying secret – she can kill with the fury of the storm. Many will stop at nothing to possess the power in her blood and her closest allies are guarding secrets so mastering her magic becomes a matter of necessity.

This steady to fast paced plot keeps readers shivering in anticipation as Halle learns the secrets of her power and starts off on a dangerous mission. The tension builds throughout the story as danger escalates and Halle tries to decide who can be trusted and which secrets her allies keep will get her killed. The author brings the story to life with well written scenes and details which produce vivid images that capture the imagination and make the reader feel as if they are part of the story.  The well orchestrated events and action scenes are believable which adds to the adrenaline pumping through the reader’s veins as the strong compelling characters grab the reader’s attention and draw the deeper into the story.

The attraction between Halle and Kale radiates heat from every page, but the relationship is far from an easy one as Halle doesn’t trust anyone and Kale’s keeping secrets from her. While they are trying to work all of that out, Halle is one headstrong heroine that’s determination could very well get them all killed. Kale has his personal issues to deal with plus those of his clan and what’s expected of him. The author is easily caught up in all the drama and suspense of their lives as they try to adjust to their feelings for each other.

The world created by the author is fascinating and has a lot of intriguing characters as well as creatures and lots of magical possibilities and she has also incorporated her own twists to the magic and the magic users that add spice to the story.  I am really looking forward to reading more about Halle and learning just where her magic might take her.


Before the Storm

Claire Ashgrove






Rustling in the trees lifted the fine hairs on the back of my neck. I told myself not to listen, that it was probably a deer or some other woodland creature. Probably seeking the same creek I was looking for.


The sounds grew louder. My pulse jumped several beats. Now I could see branches moving with the lumbering footsteps. Footsteps that were too clunky to belong to a graceful deer. Too heavy to belong to a smaller animal like a squirrel.


Please, please don’t let it be one of those things.


Chills broke over my skin, and my heart felt like it might pound right through my ribs. Instinct demanded I run. And yet, I forced myself to move at an even pace, knowing that bolting ahead blindly would only accomplish getting me further lost.


Damn that Kale. If he hadn’t shown up tonight, I wouldn’t be in this dark, creepy place, stumbling around like a drunk in a carnival house.


Scanning the overhead trees again, I muttered beneath my breath. Where in the hell were the radio tower lights? I had to find them, before whatever was following found me.


A brittle, high-pitched screech broke over the snap and crackle of twigs and dried leaves.


Before my brain logically connected the chilling call with an owl, I was already running hell-bent for leather in the opposite direction, back to where I’d left Kale behind. “Kale! Wait!”


He stepped out from behind a tree, right into my path. I dug my heels in to keep from jamming my nose into his chest. But momentum shoved me forward, denying me any small shred of dignity.


Kale caught me by both elbows, bringing me to a stop even as he drew me closer into his body. Enticing spice, blended with something distinctly outdoorsy filled my nose. His body heat warmed my cheek.


Oh wow. How had I failed to notice he smelled so good? I could fall into him…


None of that, Halle. I jerked upright with a slight cough.


But upright wasn’t far enough. The top of my head fell level with his chin, and as I lifted my eyes, his gaze connected with mine. For the span of one prolonged heartbeat, I looked up at a man who outclassed every male I had ever met. He was bigger than me. Stronger in physical strength, magical ability, and maybe even his will. Nothing I had done all night had intimidated him. Yet there was a softness in his expression, a tenderness I couldn’t quite define that seemed both out of place and wholly natural all at once.


Until a slow smirk took up residence on his gorgeous mouth.

Claire AshgroveAuthor Bio:


Building on a background of fantasy game design, a fascination with history, and a lifetime love of books, award-winning author Claire Ashgrove brings to life action-filled, passionate journeys of the heart. Her paranormal series, The Curse of the Templars, marries the history of the Knights Templar with the chilling aspirations of the most unholy–a must-read for speculative fiction fans. She also writes as the National Bestselling Author Tori St. Claire and historical romance author Sophia Garrett.


In her non-writing time, she’s runs Finish The Story, a full-scale editing house co-founded with Bryan Thomas Schmidt.  She lives in Missouri and enjoys cooking, studying ancient civilizations, and spending downtime with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs.


Keep in Touch via:


Claire Ashgrove Website

Tori St. Claire Website

Sophia Garrett Website

Untamed Spirit Blog




Buy Links:


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Barnes and Noble


Print Version



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