A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Justified (Magnified #2) by Mell Eight

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The world of vampires and werewolves is in upheaval. The magical community is under attack by a great evil power trying to destroy them all and their strongest fighter is oblivious with his nose glued in a spell book. Yani has given up hope in getting Aaron back on track. He knows he instead has to focus on his own future and the lives of those he loves, even if it means losing Aaron, the love of his life, forever.

Yani’s life isn’t the only one in flux. As the battle heats up and lines are drawn, the rest of his friends must fight for their own survival in a world with no answers to the terrible magic attacking them.

The Magnified novels, starting from the first story, is an amazingly complex and immensely mysterious series that’s getting increasingly horrifying by the book.  It’s also  quite wonderful, full of unexpected elements I’ve not seen in other tales.  Mell Eight is combining mysticism with vampires, Nazis, Kabbalism, dragons, faeries, werewolves, horror, M/M romance and it all works.

The first story, Magnified, sets up the introduction and the couples and should not be missed. It’s a gripping story. Without it, Justified floats without its foundation material.  This is not a standalone novel.  With Magnified as the backhistory for the couples and the situation they find themselves in, the reader can settle into the drama that is unfolding here in Justified.

That group of friends (and couples within) has just fought a major battle and barely escaped.  We now see the effects that it’s had on certain members, and there aren’t healthy ones.  Aaron has withdrawn into his books looking for knowledge and Yani is despairing over the loss of their closeness and perhaps their relationship.  The cost of that most recent battle is high indeed.

Mell Eight weaves her many plotlines (the overall series thread and the sub storylines) with great care, popping and pulling various elements in and out of the current scenes.  Could be Yani’s Jewish family and his ties to the vampire world and the Kabbalah or maybe we are heading into werewolf territory or even pandas, you never know.  It will be in pursuit of an evil so horrific that you are happy that Mell Eight has left some of the descriptions of that villain’s deeds less than vivid.  And terrifying to know that this series is continuing because it means only one thing has happened.

Justified (and the Magnified series) is full of fascinating, multi-layered characters, which include several here outside of the main group that I grew to love and hope to see again.  This small group of fighters seem like underdogs battling overwhelming odds with only one that stands a chance against true evil.   It started out as a gripping story and is growing into a powerful one of determination and bravery.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series.  The only reason it doesn’t have a higher rating is that you absolutely need the first book as a foundation for this one.  Together?  They have the makings of a 5 star series!

Cover art by Aisha Akeju.  I like this cover with the simple object that has its part to play within the story.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 147 pages
Published August 9th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684310500
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Magnified

Magnified (Magnified, #1)

Justified (Magnified #2)

In Our New Release Spotlight! Check Out ‘The Veranda (Lavender Shores #3)’ by Rosalind Abel (author guest blog and exclusive excerpt)

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The Veranda (Lavender Shores #3) by Rosalind Abel
Publication date: August 29, 2017

Cover Artist: AngstyG

Available To Purchase Through

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have Rosalind Abel back today to talk about the latest new book in the Lavender Shores series, The Veranda! Welcome, Rosalind!

♦︎

I’m so excited  to be here at Scattered Thoughts! Thank you for stopping by for an exclusive excerpt from The Veranda.

The Veranda is the third book of the Lavender Shores series. Each of the novels can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. I’m going to let the excerpt and blurb speak themselves, but I will promise you romance, steamy sex, laughter, all the feels, and a happily ever after. Whether you read The Palisade and The Garden (the first two books in the series) or not, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy this visit to Lavender Shores.

The Veranda is available from Amazon and is also free on Kindle Unlimited. Donovan and Spencer have quite the journey to love to share with you. One that’s been a long time coming for them.

For our second stop on the blog tour, we’re diving into sexual tension. Let me set the scene really quick. Spencer and Donovan have had feelings for each other for a decade. Feelings they’ve never admitted to anyone, even each other because Spencer was married to Donovan’s half-sister. Now, because of a divorce, they’re no longer brother-in-laws.  Still complicated right?  Well, here’s another complication. They were both recently at a sex-party masquerade, and hooked up, but neither of them thinks the other realized who they slept with.  In this scene, the entire family is at Spencer’s son’s birthday party.  Everyone—ex-wife, ex-brother-in-law, the kids… We enter with Spencer trying to get all the birthday presents arranged in his car.  (You can check out the sex party chapter for free on Amazon.)

Exclusive Excerpt from The Veranda

Leaving Cody and Erica to clean up the beach with a few of her family members, I took the first load of presents back to the car. The amount of presents my children got on their birthdays and Christmas made me uncomfortable at times. But I felt a little more at ease with the quantity now as they would be split up between two different houses. My kids were going through enough; I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of spoiling them with presents. Even so, it seemed to take a higher level of math skills than I was capable of to figure out how to arrange the packages in the back of my SUV. Maybe I hadn’t played Tetris enough as a child. I thought I had it secured just perfectly as I reached over to close the door when several of them came tumbling down. Hoping I hadn’t broken any of Ethan’s new electronics, I bent down to start again.

“Looks like you need some help.”

I glanced up to see Donovan standing beside me, his arms filled with unwrapped gifts. “You mean there are more presents?”

“Yeah, but this is the last of them. Ethan really maxed out this year.”

“Sure did. I think people felt sorry for him. Hopefully that’ll still be the case on Emma’s birthday so it’s even.”

Donovan started transferring gifts from his arms to the trunk. “You hold them still, and I’ll pile them in, and then you can slam the doors closed really quick.”

“So, I’ll have them all tumble out when I get home?”

He chuckled. “Just have the kids standing by. It’ll be like it’s raining toys.”

“Good idea.” I did as he suggested. Even with the two of us, a few gifts managed to sneak their way back out. Within a few minutes, though, all presents were piled behind the back doors and waiting to escape as soon as I opened them again. “Thanks.” I looked at him as I straightened and paused at the expression on his face.

Donovan peered around the side of the car, then turned back to me once more. I’d never seen him look so nervous, and I knew what was coming. Could feel it. I had enough time to stop it, find some distraction.

I didn’t.

“Maybe I should keep my mouth shut, like I’ve been doing, but it’s eating me alive, and I think I know the answer.” He licked his lip. “That was me the other night. At the… uhm….”

In that split second, a thousand options zoomed in my brain. “I know.”

Well shit. That was the most terrifying thing I’d ever said.

“You do?” Donovan looked like he felt the same way. “I mean, I thought you did. It’s seemed like that since, but… how?”

More terror. And this time, I chose the lying option. “When, uhm, at the… end. When that other guy wanted to….” Shit. “When you told him to back off, I recognized your voice.”

He gave a little shake of his head, and his eyes narrowed. “I did? I don’t remember speaking.”

Shit again. Maybe he hadn’t; I wasn’t sure. I was a lawyer, for fuck’s sake; I should be better at this.

He saved me from further explanation. “That doesn’t matter.” He stepped closer. “So, you knew, or figured it out, I guess. But you knew….” His voice changed, the nervousness still obvious, but there was something else too. Heat, lust, something….

I nodded, partly tempted to tell the full truth. Especially with him so near. I could reach out and pull him to me. Taste him in a different way, in a way I’d tried unsuccessfully to avoid fantasizing about for years. I couldn’t figure out what to say or what to do. Blood pounded in my ears and through my groin. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I could feel Erica and the kids nearby. Close. Too close. I nodded again.

Apparently, Donovan could feel them too. He checked around the vehicle one more time before looking back at me. “I have so many questions. Things I want to ask. Why were you at that party? Do you… have you always…?” He shook his head again. “Never mind, that’s unimportant. I just…. Are we okay? Are you okay?”

I couldn’t take it anymore. The past decade folded in on itself. Maybe it was the warm July night, the lull of the ocean, maybe just the desire to comfort Donovan. Probably it was simpler than that. It was his beautiful brown eyes, the allure of the scruff over his chiseled jaw, the heat from his body, from his desire that I couldn’t pretend to ignore anymore. I didn’t even try to answer his question; I just reached up, gripped him behind his neck, and pulled him to me, smashing his lips in a kiss.

Donovan stiffened, his body going rigid. He gave no other response than that, and for a moment, I thought I’d gone too far. That he was going to push me away, yell at me, accuse me of things, which I probably deserved. But then he kissed me back. And there was nothing tentative, nervous, or unsure about it. He stepped into me, pressing my back against the SUV, and his body into mine. And if his lips weren’t making his desire clear enough, the hardness of him against my thigh, and the hunger of his fingers as he pulled me to him left no room for doubt. He broke the kiss, and I thought he was pulling away, but he sucked in a quick breath and captured my lips again.

Everything was white noise, a billion sensations tumbling together, none of them discernible. The sweet taste of icing in his mouth, the smell of his skin, the sound of the ocean, the heat of his breath on my cheek, the sensation of him pushing against me. One short thrust, then another. Despite my best efforts—and unanswered prayers—I’d fantasized about this for years. Though it had never been like this. Not against a car, not out in plain view of the world. Even in my fantasies, I’d never been so daring. But his kiss? That was exactly what I had longed for. It left no doubt about his desire. And the fire that surged through me put every other heated moment I’d ever had to shame.

Laughter cut through the static filling my senses. At first at a distance, then closer. I broke the kiss and pushed him away. “Shit. They’re here.”

Donovan’s eyes went wide, but his gaze held mine for a brief heartbeat, and what I saw mirrored my feelings. Even if his words didn’t match. “Sorry. I wasn’t trying—”

“I started it.” I glanced between us, both of us sporting obvious erections. I yanked out my shirt and pulled it down. “Shit.”

Another glance, and he stepped away. He wheeled around and hurried toward his car, untucking his shirt as he moved. As voices drew closer, he hit a button and opened the trunk of his car. He reached it and leaned in, just as Erica, Cody, and the kids’ footsteps sounded over the gravel parking lot.

 

There you go… I can promise you, things about to get even more complication and much, much hotter. Pick up the book on Amazon and visit the town of Lavender Shores.

Thank you so, so much!

~Rosalind

About The Veranda

Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits.
Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate.
A decade later, after a divorce and crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high. 

About Rosalind

Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.

In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).

She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.

Rosalind Abel Information page:

(Rosalind Abel Author)

Tour Schedule

September 1The Novel Approach
September 2
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

September 4Sinfully
September 7
Love Bytes