Shards of Ice by R. Phoneix - Release Day Guest Post

retelling of The Snow Queen

What happens when your rescuer becomes obsessed with you? Even worse, what happens when that rescuer isn’t even human…

Kai's life has never been easy, and bleeding to death in the snow seems the perfect fated ending to his miserable existence. A beautiful stranger drags him back from death's door with a touch that is pure magic. Kai soon discovers that such magic lingers when Avery persists in seducing him. He starts to fall for him, but with every sliver of affection he gives Avery, his appreciation for his best friend Tristan gets stripped away to loathing, destroying every chance at love they might have had.

Tristan has been in love with Kai for years, but he’s too afraid to admit it for fear of what Kai’s reaction might be. When the ice prince enters their lives and binds Kai to him with fae magic, it seems like there’s nothing anyone can do about it. But Tristan has his own powers, and he’s determined to save Kai from Avery’s deadly clutches. The only problem is…

Kai might not want to be rescued.

This is a loose M/M retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” Please note that it contains emotional and physical abuse as well as knife/bloodplay.


Grim and Sinister Delights is a dark romance series based on classic fairy tales and stories. You will find standalone tales of gay romance that range in darkness and kinks. If you dare to take the challenge, read them all to find yourself lost in a classic that you think you know. These stories are for adult readers and may contain morally ambiguous themes.

guest post

In the original tale of the Snow Queen, fragments of a terrible mirror are to be found all over the world. Pieces can be made into eyeglasses or smaller mirrors, where the looker will see everything that is terrible in the world, or splinters can find the eyes of unsuspecting mortals — who will then always see everything as ugly and repulsive. A shard of the mirror gets into the eye of the unsuspecting boy Kai, who turns into a terrible bully for his former best friend, Gerda. The story revolves around Gerda’s journey to find and rescue her childhood friend. Along the way, she has to face obstacles that keep her from getting to him. And once there… Well, she might just have to fight to get him back from the Queen.

I always wondered what Kai did in that time. The fairy tale insinuates that it’s been years, and he’s been at the Snow Queen’s side trying to puzzle out a single word that might give him release. So my story revolves around Kai: what happens when he meets my equivalent, the ice prince, and how his friendship with “Gerda” (Tristan) steadily devolves. And when the time comes to leave with the prince, will Kai go? What happens when he does? And will his best friend be able to get him back?

My own take on it primarily focuses on Kai because I’d rather show what the bad guys are up to and how they affect their victims. I do show some of Tristan’s journey, but it’s not as important as Kai’s own struggles with the ice prince. I wanted to really go into their relationship as I felt it might unfold and to show what he must’ve been like for all that time at the prince’s side… and how he might react when his friend comes to rescue him. Because really, that’s the fun part.

I hope you enjoy my take on the Snow Queen!


“Do you really think he cares about you?” Avery stood behind him in front of the mirror, caressing Kai’s chest and dipping his hand down between his thighs. “He’s already found another man, a fae who will keep him happier than you ever could.”

The mirror didn’t show Kai and Avery. Instead, it showed Tristan with another man, where he sat in a garden. He looked happy, animated, and the man offered Tristan a sunflower. Tristan took it, and he tilted his head back in laughter at something the man said.

It damn near sliced Kai’s heart into pieces.

“Does he even remember you?”

But Kai couldn’t manage to listen to the fae. “Yes. He misses me,” he said quietly. Because Tristan didn’t understand how fucking broken Kai was. He’d look for him forever because he was that sort of person, loyal and loving, and Kai…

Kai was selfish.

Something in him had shattered the night he’d been stabbed and left to die in the snow. He didn’t know how to pick up the pieces at all, let alone how to start to put them back together again.

And Avery… Avery didn’t want him to. Avery wanted him right there at his side, where cold ran through his veins and he cared about so little. There were surges of course, like this one, but he could never cling to them for long.

It would be so, so easy to turn his back on Tristan. Maybe his friend had forgotten him, after all — was happy without Kai’s constant brooding — so why should he remember him in turn? He could spin around and kiss Avery, to feel those warm lips against his own, and he could lose himself in the fae’s body.

So why couldn’t he do it?

Grim and Sinister Delights

Naked Ambition by Lisa Henry, With a Twist by Kate Sherwood, Bound by Sean Azinsalt, True Mate’s Kiss by Rorie Kage, The Elves and the Bondage Daddy by JP Sayle, Pied Piper by Emma Jaye, The Devil Told Me by Alexis Jane, Crimson Painted Snow by Brea Alepoú, Shards of Ice by R Phoenix, Beauty Bound by Megs Pritchard, False Feathers by Adara Wolf, The Rejiorling by Leona Windwalker, Consequences of Crying by Abigail Kade, A Merman’s Tale by MD Gregory & The Black Sea by Dora Esquivel

the author

R. Phoenix (code name: Raissa) has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, humor and pain, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes love can corrupt, power can redeem and that the best of intentions can cast shadows while the worst can create light. She agrees with those who say that the truth is best told through fiction — even though fiction has to make sense while reality can be utterly baffling.

She loves chatting with readers, though she often awkwardly rambles. No matter how much she tries to keep her bad and often perverted sense of humor in check, it seems to escape at the most inconvenient moments. (Thanks, universe.) Feel free to friend Raissa on Facebook and chat or send her an email!

you should check out the readers group for this great collaboration. Along with some other things they have going on, they have this awesome couple of bingo cards, which has prompts for every book in the series.

Criminal Delights Readers Group