Title – The Affiliate
Author – K.A. Linde
Publication Date – September 15, 2015
Series – Ascension #1
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…
King Edric himself.
Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.
I’m not even going to lie. The Affiliate by K.A. Linde is one where I was utterly in love with the cover and so I didn’t even care what the story was about; I wanted to read it. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but oh my goodness, am I glad that I did. This cover spoke volumes about what was contained inside – and then some. The Affiliate is the first book, in a long time, that I have picked up and felt myself sneaking away to get in chapters because I just never wanted to leave the world Linde created.
“She had to take action. If that meant losing everything she knew…and loved, then so be it.”
I can honestly say that I became invested in the story from the very first page. The heroine, Cyrene, is someone who strives to be the best, yet has insecurities locked away as well. In that regard, she was almost familiar and quite relatable. She was persistent, strong-headed, and never gave up. I really enjoyed being on her journey of self-discovery while she navigated through this world she always thought she wanted. Edric was a man bound by his duties, but still a man nonetheless. He had a kingdom at his disposal, but he felt so down to earth at the same time. He’s a man ruled by his obligations, but learning that he must listen to his heart at times too. Though there isn’t a ton of romance present, the intensity between Edric and Cyrene could be felt any time they were in the same room. Linde did such a fantastic job building up the anticipation and blossoming romance that I could feel my heart palpitating, almost brought to life by these characters.
“But if they wanted to believe they had won the battle, she would show them that she could win the war.”
Furthermore, I found myself fascinated by the secondary characters – which I feel is often hard to do these days. I think the shining moment of The Affiliate for me was that while it is very much Cyrene’s path, those secondary characters play such a pivotal role. Each gives her a sliver of personality to make up the sum of who she is and the decisions she makes. The story line is gripping and breathtaking as well. I loved getting lost in this imaginary world with hints of magic and suspense. K.A. Linde writes beautifully and I was awfully impressed with where she took the story and the connections she made. I was a bit nervous that we would be left with a giant bomb of a cliffhanger, but luckily, there was a natural break in the plot. I really can’t wait to see where she takes the next book because I know these characters will stay with me for a while. I definitely have to see just where they all end up!
“I see the way you look at her, Edric. Your eyes follow her, you dance the longest dances with her, and now, you’re sending her presents. I’ve known you too long not to know that this is unlike you. You’re not Kael. You don’t fraternize with the Affiliates who parade themselves in front of you, hoping for a scrap of your time. Yet here you are with this Cyrene. What is she to you?” Daufina asked.
At her question, Edric paced the long room. She watched him through the silence and wondered what he was thinking.
“You told me once that you would inform me if you wanted to take a mistress—”
“I do not want to take a mistress,” Edric snapped.
Daufina straightened in surprise. He never raised his voice with her.
“I apologize,” he said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Just talk to me.”
“Would you believe me if I said that I didn’t want anything to do with her?” His eyes were pleading.
“No,” Daufina admitted.
“No,” he agreed. “No, I wouldn’t either. I keep telling myself that I’m acting like a fool, Daufina, but then I see her again.” He stroked his chin as he tried to find the words. “She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.” He splayed his hands before him. “I can never be anything but the king…but when I’m with her, I want to be.”
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Don’t Miss the Upcoming Book in the Series!
The Bound (Ascension #2)
The Consort (Ascension #3)
Release Date TBA
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USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on.
She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.