A MelanieM Review: A Suitable Replacement (Deceived #5) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Suitable Replacement coverReturning home after three years abroad on an exhaustive research expedition,  Lord Maximilian wants nothing more than to see his twin sister Mavin and meet her fiance to whom she got engaged while he was away.  But as usual with his imperious sister things have already gone awry on his first day home.  Shortly after Max’s return,  a man barges into Max’s study demanding to see his sister.  The problem?  It’s Master Kelcey Moore, Mavin’s fiancé  wanting to know where Mavin has gone and why. Max doesn’t know what’s going on.

It doesn’t take much investigation on Max’s part to find out that his bold as brass sister has run away with someone else’s fiance, leaving her own (and another’s) far behind without warning to handle the social and personal embarrassment by themselves.  Floored by his sister’s actions, Max gets to know Kelcey, the man left behind.  He’s hurt, embittered by the fact that he thought Mavin was his friend and impoverished by his circumstances, something the marriage would have alleviated.  It isn’t soon before Max is finding himself concerned by Kelcey and his future.

Max thinks he has found the answer to all Kelcey’s  problems in his marriage contract to Mavin.  A suitable replacement must be found if the marriage doesn’t take place.  So Max reasons, all he must do is find a replacement for Mavin.  Another rich, suitable person for Kelcey to marry.  As more problems pop up to confront Max and Kelcey, the biggest of all just might be the fact that Max is wishing the suitable replacement to be himself.

In the world of Megan Derr, the word “typical” and “normally” are banished to the realm of others.   If Megan Derr is  writing an story that might seem historical on the surface, you can be sure that dragons, or trolls, or something magical or mysterious is lurking just around the corner, alongside carriages and horses and things.  In the world of Megan Derr, the young heir to the title and lands is not the twin brother but his twin sister, Mavin, a force of nature of her own.  Mavin, the cigar smoking,gun wielding, imperious and yes, impulsive wild child and head royal here.   Her twin brother, Max, also has his moments of wildness and peculiarities but they are nothing when stacked up against those of his sister.  I loved that its Mavin who fills the role of the  “typical” uncontrollable heir instead of her brother.  And its her exploits that set off the explosive and crazy events to come.  But back to Max and Kelcey.

Max is your “preoccupied disheveled scientist” in a historical context.  But what is Max researching?  Troll magic, an unpopular if not totally rejected subject for research and scientific study.  Not typically an historic element.  Apparently, there was a Troll War and Max is determined to research what he thinks is the use of magic during that war.  Max is most at home in his study or at the various bookstores where he is known as a generous patron.  But  when he gets the idea to find a replacement for his sister for Kelcey to marry, Max must once more take up the trappings of society and his royal status to achieve his ends.  This is just the sort of character Derr does so well.  Irritable yet soft hearted, highly intelligent and isolated, and truly in need of love.  He finds his match in Kelcey, an enigmatic man who pushes all Max’s buttons.  The courtship between them starts off slow and then takes off at a gallop. No, really a gallop at they flee town together.

There are quite a few obstacles to happiness and HEA thrown in their way.  That they are raised by the actions of Mavin in the first place, ones she shows little accountability for later on, might take away some of your enjoyment of her character and this story.  I thought her thoughtlessness of others around her and her self centered outlook was perfectly in keeping with her character.  Did I want to see her throttled? Of course but I found her a viable and interesting persona.  You need a character like her to add a prickly tartness here and she does that well.  And how Max and Kelcey react and adjust to the following chaos is lovely to behold.

The resolution is a little drawn out in a manner that might put off some readers.  Mavin’s actions has some real consequences, and as in real life, the person responsible is not always the person who pays the price.  I thought it realistic but for some this might be a tad unpalatable. I do wish a troll or two had shown up or even a magical wand.  That would have been stupendous (although not necessary for the plot).  I would love to have known more about the Troll Wars and past history that Max was researching, that got my interest going too.  But this story?  I still enjoyed the heck out of it.  Like them or not, I think you will find yourself empathizing with their circumstances, relationships and events to follow.  I loved the plot and the twists Megan Derr wove into a typical Regency novel.   Consider A Suitable Replacement totally recommended.  Now off to find the other stories in this series.

 Cover artist: Aisha Akeju.  Terrific cover, totally works here.

Sales Links:    Less Than Three Press     All Romance eBooks (ARe)        Amazon         A Suitable Replacement

Book Details:

ebook, 218 pages
Published August 6th 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC (first published August 4th 2014)
original titleA Suitable Replacement
ISBN 1620044013 (ISBN13: 9781620044018)
edition languageEnglish
seriesDeceived #5

Book Blast: Liv Olteano’s ‘A Tooth for a Fang’ Tour and Contest

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Blast Into the Supernatural with

 

Liv Olteano’s A Tooth for a Fang!

 

Check out the excerpt and don’t forget to enter the contest for an eBook copy of A Tooth for a Fang, link at the end.

Book Name: A Tooth for a Fang
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Liv Olteano
Author Bio:

Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.
She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?
Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.

ToothForAFang[A]ORIG finalPublisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Sales Links:   Dreamspinner eBook        Dreamspinner Press Paperback

Blurb:
Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated – less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.

Categories Per the Author: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Erotic

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A Tooth For A Fang Excerpt :

“This,” he said with a lisp, “is how a lycan looks. This is what you’ll be able to turn into with the second bite.”

“I think I just pissed myself,” I babbled.

He snorted. “No, you didn’t.”

I shook my head, stunned. “So you look like a… lycan, but you’re thinking and all like a man? Do you need to do something now that you turned, like chew on the furniture or eat me or something?”

He rolled his eyes. “Ridiculous. Of course not. My head is clear and still human if that’s what you’re wondering.”

“Love the lisp,” I said blinking slowly.

“Kiss my ass, tough guy,” he said and grinned—I think.

It was kind of hard to tell with the snout-like thing going on. But it sounded like “kish my ash” which I found absolutely hilarious. Not enough to actually laugh, what with the show and all, but hilarious.

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FangBadgeTour Dates: 9/3/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Cathy Brock Romances, Love Bytes, Prism Book Alliance, The Hat Party, My Fiction Nook, Jade Crystal, Velvet Panic, Queer Town Abbey, 3 Chicks After Dark, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Rainbow Gold Reviews, A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Foxylutely Book Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Multitasking Mommas, Cate Ashwood, Inked Rainbow Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Guilty Indulgence Book Club, Up All Night, Read All Day, Iyana Jenna

Contest:Rafflecopter Prize: E-book copy of ‘A Tooth for a Fang’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link provided to enter and for additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author & Book Spotlight-Angel Martinez, Endangered Fae and No Fae Is An Island! (contest)

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Finn_432(1) coverDiego Endangered Fae coverSemper Fae coverNoFaeIsAnIsland_WD

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I have invited Angel Martinez back today to talk about her latest release, No Fae Is An Island, and the Endangered Fae series in general.  

Contest:  I’m offering up an ebook copy of No Fae Is An Island today to help celebrate the release.  To enter, leave a comment (list Angel Martinez’ favorite myth), an email address where you can be reached.  Contest ends 9/13.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 Angel Martinez Interview – Take 3

STRW:   What happened to Diego in the last story was heartbreaking. Had you planned on that happening all along?

Angel Martinez: From the very beginning, when I wrote the first lines of Finn? No. I had no inkling that this would happen. But Diego’s character, like most people, was more complex than I had originally envisioned. There are hints in the second story of an underlying arrogance – not a huge, egomania kind of arrogance, but the sort that makes a man think his solutions are the best ones. Sometimes a good man, one who wants to do the best for everyone, forgets to do the right things for the people closest to him and ends up running roughshod over their feelings. That sort of arrogance.

So the underpinnings were there. But the question occurred to me as I wrote the second book: what if Diego wasn’t such a compassionate soul? With someone so powerful, what would happen? So not all along, no, but before the writing of the third book began. What happens becomes inevitable, but not irretrievable.

STRW:. A theme here seems to be wrapped up with identity, what a being/person is versus what they appear to be. The outer self, the inner person….what is their true nature? Or does there have to be a difference. This can apply to so many issues. Is that what you wanted to get across?

Angel Martinez: That’s an undercurrent probably in all my stories. Who are we versus who does someone see when they look at us? What is it that makes us who we are? Is there an essential part of our personalities, and are we still the same if that’s removed? We all play a number of roles in life, whether we claim to or not. We adjust our outer selves to surroundings, situations, the people we’re around. How much of that outer self is play-acting and how much of it is us? If we play a role long enough, does it become us?

You’re absolutely right that I toy with questions of identity in a lot of ways in this series. Zack needing to discover that he’s still himself after being infected with lycanthropy. Lugh coming to terms with how his projected image affects those around him. Finn’s gradual evolution from a fairly self-centered though kind-hearted being into a true hero. Diego…oh, my poor Diego…but he had things to learn as well. Diego’s role in No Fae Is An Island shows both how much he’s learned and how much he still needs to understand about himself.

STRW:  We now have a vampire coming into our close-knit company. What other beings are central to the new story?

Angel Martinez:  Oh, we have some fun people this time ’round. Of course, the vamps were in the last story too, but as secondary characters—the dark, brooding Theo and the more tentative, misplaced pastry chef, Jasper. Theo’s one of the reasons for No Fae. I had a lot of questions about him as his author that he wasn’t ready to share in Semper Fae. Seems he was ready to start talking for this one, about his past, his family, why he is the way he is, and what really happened in that Los Angeles alleyway.

Another principle character, Limpet the selkie, is brand new, as are Nusair the djinn, who plays an important role in the story, and some other minor characters including a basilisk and a ghoul.

STRW:   Why choose them?

Angel Martinez:  Limpet came into being because I wanted to explore more of the wild fae, those fae who live outside the sidhe and Fomorian court systems. While I toyed with a bane sidhe character briefly, I needed someone a little more humanly accessible for this book and someone who would be more likely to interact with the human world.

The other new beings, like Nusair, were chosen because of geography. Much of No Fae Is An Island takes place in the Arabian desert. It only made sense to have magical beings that would be native to the area.

STRW:  Will our dragons be back? Love those dragons.

Angel Martinez:  I do want to get back to the dragons. While they’re mentioned briefly in No Fae, this really wasn’t the story to explore their world further. I’d have to think long and hard about having them interact more in the human world. Just don’t think it would be something they’re willing to do. So when I do a dragon-heavy story, it will have to have a plotline largely centered in the Otherworld.

STRW:  When writing these stories do you ever waver in what you are doing to some of the characters?

Angel Martinez:  Waver? Yes. Sometimes it’s as hard for me to write terrible things happening to my characters as it is for the reader to read them. I know that’s probably hard to imagine. Readers think we’re sitting with our cup of evil bark tea across the table from Lucifer, laughing about how to torture our characters next. Once in a while. Maybe. But I love my characters – most of the time it’s hard to do the things you know the plot needs.

Yes, there’s wavering, but you have to look at the plot point and ask “Do we need this? Does this make the most sense for where we’re going?” If the answer’s yes, it’s time to pull on the big-author pants and write the terrible thing.

STRW:  Where will the next book take the series?

Angel Martinez:  Well, No Fae took us across the world into the desert. I’m not entirely sure where I want to go with the next one. There probably will be more Otherworld interaction, possibly with some folks who aren’t as human friendly as some of the ones we’ve met.

STRW:. Favorite myth as a child or grownup.

Angel Martinez:  Oof. That’s hard. I love myth desperately. So much myth involves betrayal, lost love, death- tons of depressing stuff. I think if I had to pick one myth that caught my attention most as a kid, it would be the Epic of Gilgamesh. Here’s a guy who just couldn’t lose. At anything. Heroic and partially divine, the gods throw harrowing trial after trial at him, and he wins every time. They send a wild man, rumored to rival him in strength, to kill him and they become best friends instead, most likely even lovers.

But the gods finally catch up to him and kill his beloved Enkidu. All of Gilgamesh’s strength, all of his arrogance and bravado can’t defeat death. He realizes before the end of the story that he is mortal, like everyone else, and he has to accept it. It’s one of the few myths where the hero, who was admittedly sometimes a jerk, actually learned something.

STRW:  Thank you, Angel, for such a great and thoughtful interview.  Endangered Fae has become one of my favorite fantasy series and I can’t wait for this one to release!  For more about Angel Martinez, check out her bio and contact information below.  

I have listed all the Endangered Fae stories in the order they were written and should be read to understand the events and character development. Put all on your must read list today!

No Fae Is An Island,Endangered Fae 4
NoFaeIsAnIsland_200Author: Angel Martinez
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Buy Links to follow: MLR Press    All Romance eBooks (ARe) Amazon

No Fae Is An Island Blurb:

Three years ago, Danu banished Diego for a time from the human world. Three years and three days doesn’t seem that long to be away from home but living among the wild fae can change a man and the human world returns the favor by changing while he’s gone. There’s a vampire on Tearmann Island’s security force. A curious selkie’s followed him home. So much to do to keep the world safe…but Diego’s no longer sure he has the right to interfere.

Theo Aguilar started his vampire life on the wrong side of the law. He’s killed and knows he’s dangerous if he doesn’t stay in control every moment. But the fae took him in and Prince Lugh has given him a position of trust. So when Diego and Finn are arrested on a diplomatic mission far from home, he knows his duty. He’s striking out on his own to rescue them, a lone vigilante once again, this time for the good guys. The only glitch? The selkie, Limpet, can’t seem to understand the alone part.

No Fae Is An Island Excerpt

“You don’t need to come with me.” Theo fought clenched teeth. The selkie was a friend of Mr. Sandoval’s and Finn’s, too—Finn who had been so kind to him after accidentally squashing him in dragon form. No need to be rude.

“Quite all right. I’ve nothing better to do.”

“You can’t come with me,” Theo said in the chilliest, sternest tone he could muster.

“Oh, of course I can. I see quite well at night.”

Theo squeezed his eyes shut against the headache. It shouldn’t have been there. He’d fed that morning and napped the rest of the day in lethargic, sated bliss. Fine. He’ll get bored and leave soon. “All right. But you have to be quiet.”

“Yes, yes, of course. In case something bad is here. A pack of nixes maybe. Oh, they’re bad. Or a kraken tries to swim close and ambush you, yes? You’re a real warrior, then? Have you seen many battles? Do you have scars? I have scars, but only because I was very young—”

“Limpet.” Theo stopped and took the selkie’s chin in his hand, holding his head still. “Whispering is not being quiet.”

“Right you are. Sorry. You have beautiful eyes.”

Theo dropped his hand and walked away, shaking his head. It was going to be long night.

 

Author Bio:

While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Author Contact:

Website: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind
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Email: ravenesperanza@yahoo.com