A MelanieM Review: A King and a Pawn (Leader Murders #3) by Liv Olteano

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

A King and A PawnBert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….

When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.

Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

Liv Olteano’s Leader Murders series caught my eye from the first book, A Tooth For a Fang (Leader Murders #1) with its unusual take on the mate bond and its the potential for abuse normally not mentioned in other shifter fiction.  The author runs this theme throughout the two books that follow, throwing in multiple supernatural beings, political plotting and of course, murder mysteries that need to be solved all the way to the end. In each story  there’s a major couple linked heavily to each other in a memorable way.  In the second story A Counselor Among Wolves (Leader Murders #2), we ended with Bert Cooper, the somewhat pudgy beta to the wolf Alpha Weiss devastated by a betrayal and trying to deal with the consequences.  A King and a Pawn (Leader Murders #3)  picks up immediately after the events have taken place.

Bert is one of those characters readers flock to emotionally like geese to water.  He’s vulnerable, full of self doubts, loving, loyal, capable of being so much more than he thinks he is.  He’s overweight but instead of feeling bad about himself, he accepts it.  He likes it in fact…because in truth he will never give up his sweets or the fact the he adores cooking.  The model on the cover?  A perfect representation of Bert Cooper…chef, beta, manny, and werewolf.  Trust me there is no way not to fall in love with this character.  He’s fully fleshed out, anxieties included and watching him fall in love and find his strengths here is such a joy I intend to sit back and read it all over again.

Sir William Matthew Sims?  The Fey Court Interrogator?  Another gem of a character, along the lines of a hard diamond.  The history Olteano has created here for the Fey and the families is nothing short of nightmarish.  And believable as narrated by Will to Bert.  From their initial meeting to all the revelations about Will’s character and background…well, its a stunner.  And I never enjoyed anything more. For Will and Bert to become a couple requires them to overcome not just a Mount Everest of distrust but battles at court and more things then I  can go into here without making some major spoilage noise.  But the storylines are many and rich, you’ll never be bored and there is a sideline with families that hooked me completely.  I really hope Olteano considers revisiting this world at some time to check in on all the couples here to see how they are progressing.

And yes, all the other couples make appearances here as do minor secondary characters.  Plot lines get tied up,  the fat lady sings, true love wins out, and the ending is everything I hoped for and more.  Really I adored this book and series.  If you love shifters, or even if you just love romance, you will too.

Need a new series?  Love romance?  This isn’t a stand alone…so read all three!  I highly recommend them all.  But this is by far my favorite.  Oh, Bert Cooper!  How could Will not fall in love with you!

Cover art by Angsty G is absolute perfection.  Rarely do I say that when it has characters on it but Angsty G’s idea for Bert and Will mesh completely with mine and the story’s.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 234 pages
Published June 17th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477342X (ISBN13: 9781634773423)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Leader Murders  – add to Goodreads here

In the Supernatural Spotlight: A King and a Pawn (Leader Murders #3) by Liv Olteano

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AKingAndAPawn-Preview

A King and a Pawn by Liv Olteano
Series: Leader Murders
Release Date: June 17, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Blurb:

Bert Cooper’s life used to be great, until his sister turned out to be a traitor. Now Bert feels the whole pack looks on him with doubt and suspicion. To prove his loyalty, he volunteers to be the first ambassador at Fey Court, gathering information to finally solve the Leader Murders and punish those plotting against the Council and community. At least, that was the plan….

When Bert meets Sir William Matthew Sims, Court Interrogator, and one hell of a sexy man, life becomes a balancing act. And when the Fey King is assassinated, things become really messy.

Pack politics, fey politics, treason, suspicions of treason…. Bert has to choose between being ruled by his fears or standing up for what—and who—he believes in. And it might just break his heart.

 

Pages or Words: 234 pages, 82,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery, Parnormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Wolf Shifters

Excerpt from A King and a Pawn by Liv Olteano:

“Would you take me in as a trophy, Bert?” he asked, smiling oddly, a sort of indulgent look in his eyes.

I wasn’t going to outsmart him, that was for sure. Luckily I didn’t think I had to.

“I wouldn’t be taking you in at all. You and your kids would simply accompany me. I’m sure you can find something of value to offer me so I’ll be willing to go that way. And then you’d find something of value to offer Weiss and the Council to give you guys, say, political asylum?”

“You’ve thought of everything, haven’t you?”

I shrugged. “I’m sure you did. I don’t think you’re a fool, Will. I’m sure you’re not, in fact. So I’m giving you the courtesy of not treating you as one. A courtesy I hope you’ll give me too.”

“Implying that I have not so far?” he asked, stepping toward me again.

My pulse spiked. “I wasn’t implying that at all.”

We were face-to-face, a step apart at most. My mind stuttered over the few stray thoughts I managed to recognize. It was unusual someone’s presence would affect me this much, this soon. Was he that special? Was our chemistry that special? Or was he using some sort of spell on me? I didn’t think that was beneath him. Magic wasn’t beneath any magic-wielding fey, just like changing into a wolf wasn’t beneath me as werewolf. It was a natural part of who we were. I just wasn’t that used to his natural part, and the very idea made me smile.

“What could I offer you that you’d like to have?” he asked as his breath touched my face with every word he uttered.

“Oh, I could think of several things,” I replied.

He leaned toward me. His lips brushed against mine now when he spoke. “I could think of several things I’d like to offer you as well.”

I gulped. Shit, I couldn’t think with my dick. Not now at least. I so wanted to. It would be so easy to whisper it sweetly: “Fuck my brains out and I’ll be on your side.” But I wasn’t here for shits and giggles, so I couldn’t. There was no reason I couldn’t hope I’d get a fuck out of the situation somewhere down the line. The more time we spent together, the better chance of that happening. That was pretty solid motivation to spin things in a way that would benefit us all in the end. There. I wasn’t doing this for my selfish fuck-greedy self but for the greater good. I was a fucking humanitarian, feyitarian, whateveritarian.

“I’ll only ask for one small thing for myself,” I whispered softly.

He brushed his lips against mine. The touch sent little fiery thrills down my nerve endings, from the skin of my lips right to the pulsing muscle of my heart. I felt his breath hitch at the contact, and the idea it might affect him almost as much as it was affecting me sent a shiver down my spine. We could have been faking it, both of us. This was a negotiation of sorts, and now was the time to bring on our top game. But I felt it in my gut that this connection was real, that it wasn’t bullshit for either one of us. I just knew it in the pit of my stomach. I wondered if he knew it too, as clearly as I did right in that instant.

His scent didn’t assault my senses since he’d been hanging out in my personal space for a while now. My senses were bathed in his scent already. But I could feel the pounding of his heart as I deepened the kiss; I could feel his muscles clench and unwind with sensual tension while my body sang with it. Fuck me sideways, I wanted him right now. I wanted him so bad it almost gutted me. The feel of him languidly moving his tongue against mine made my blood turn into liquid fire, scalding my insides and bringing up my body temperature to heights I didn’t think I’d felt before after just kissing. Everything in my body screamed, This. This is it. This is what you’ve been waiting for, for so fucking long!

“What do you want?” he asked after he pulled back, his forehead leaning against mine.

Fuck, fuck it, fuck! “I want all the information you can get from the Archives on a certain topic.”

 

Buy the book:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7849

 

 

 

 

Meet the author:

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.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

30-Jun

Parker Williams, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews,

MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade, The Dark Arts, Book Lovers 4Ever, Velvet Panic,

Charley Descoteaux, Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly, Oh My Shelves

 

1-Jul

Bayou Book Junkie, A.M. Leibowitz, BFD Book Blog, Full Moon Dreaming, My Fiction Nook,

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Havan Fellows, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat,

EE Montgomery, Gay Media Reviews, Kirsty Loves Books, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

V’s Reads

 

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