A MelanieM Review: The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Black clouds of xenophobia gather over Radvadur, the western province of the Empire. The political climate is strained and fragile. A surge of Nymph refugees has stirred widespread hostility towards non-humans. When the investigation of a gruesome triple murder linked to the refugee camp ensues, it takes Inspector Käyru Skaer and his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn, along an unusual path, at the end of which a precious gift awaits.

Käyru and Elly are worlds apart in social standing, but they have found common ground in the bedroom—up against the wall and the stable doors, too. The arrangement between them ought to have been temporary and of no consequence. As their circumstances change, will they find the courage to risk their hearts?

Warning: Contains mentions of off page sexual assault.

Kasia Bacon’s novella Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) had included in the Author’s Book Notes a sentence or  two where the author indicated that she thought all readers should head to this story first for a better foundation on the  characters and then pick up Don’t Fight the Sparkk.  I hadn’t but wanted to rectify that as soon as possible.  Plus get a better look at Bacon’s Order Universe, which seems to be coming together much the way a quilter completes a quilt, one patch or in this case a story at a time.

Did I find that to be true? No.  Yes,The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon fills in some gaps nicely.  Like what and who is a Furia and who is that nymph meeting her at the end of Don’t Fight the Spark.  We get those answers here.  We also meet Käyru Skaer and his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn here.  And if you play with the names and take into account their looks, then you have a long established couple in Don’t Fight the Spark.  However,  this couple here is practically at the first part of the path of their relationship, however the fact that they are an established couple given what we know from the other story.  There one is practically unrecognizable in some respects. their lives having changed drastically somewhere in between this story and that one.

Which sort of makes this all the more frustrating.  The author hands you both one section here towards the beginning of their story, and then  another towards the middle or whatever latter part, and leaves you missing huge gaps in between if you have read both books.  So I will say it’s hard for me to judge this strictly on it’s own merit.

I do find that the author has a wonderful way with her characterizations.  Layered, rich, and full of life, they are easy to connect with.  The same goes for the situations they find themselves in, in this case an unequal love affair,  officially unacknowledged due to the differences in social strata (The Count’s high birth and Käyru Skaer;s low).  Also the fact that the relationship between two men is tolerated only if it appears not to be serious.  All of which is placing incredible stress on them both while they try to investigate  a local crime.

You can see the author laying the groundwork for the other story and the events that will follow in the men’s relationship.  But it ends far too soon for me to feel any sense of completion, because of my additional knowledge past this story.  It just felt too short.

There is a nice amount of suspense and drama and the established relationship feels real between the two.

The world building here is good in sections.  That is for this section of the world the author does a great job of giving us a feel for the type of culture and political life that swirls around the people and this couple.  How restrictive and yes, poisonous it can be.

For the larger framework for the entire  world, its history, geography etc.  once again you need to consult the Glossary.  Something I’m divided about.  I need to read more about The Order Universe.  Perhaps the earlier books contain within them the foundations I’m seeking like the Elf/Human wars that were so devastating that left the humans on the losing end and rearranged everything.  Somewhere there’s a story that folds it all in, rather than resorts to a Glossary for a framework and grounding.  I appreciate a patchwork quilt of short stories but would love to see them attached to one overall cohesive novel that jump started it all.  I’m still in search of that one.

If you are a fan of The Order Universe, then this is one more short story you must add to the collection.  I will be following along to see how this couple got from here to Don’t Fight the Spark status.  Should be quite the ride.  I will be waiting.  If you love fantasy and a series, try The Order Universe.  You might find it as fascinating as I do.

Book Cover art is terrific.  Bloody wonderful.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

As of 14th December 2017, The Poison Within also includes a short bonus read titled A Late Bite to Eat

Kindle Edition, 51 pages
Published March 18th 2017
ASINB06XFGX3BT
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Inspector Skaer #1
CharactersInspector Käyru Skaer, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn or ‘Elly’
settingRadvadur

A MelanieM Review: Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

As the Light Festival draws near, the Něssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year.
The Lyliňg Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration–by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki Ōren.

His last match. One he can’t win.

With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he’d stop at nothing to save.

Let me start my review right off saying I thoroughly enjoyed this story and main couple.  I thought it ended way too soon.  My initial response was to give it a much higher rating until I realized a couple of things…

I got some of the more important information I needed from the author’s ‘About the Book’  section and not the story. This is the first novel from this author and her series, The Order. This is a universe where all the stories she’s writing are fitting together like building blocks, creating an overall enormous painting of a world puzzle, complete with a variety of beings, cultures, politics , empires, histories, you name it.  Yes, all that I gleaned from her AtB notes.  It’s there where she also writes that this story arrived as a one sentence inspiration (the first sentence in the story), demanding to be written, forcing her to put down two other Order Universe tales in the making.  Those are some strong voices and I could understand that, listening to them as the story unfolded here.

It’s also where she mentioned readers should read her story The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer, #1) first for all the foundation work it lays.  Sigh.  Ok. Didn’t do that. Get to it later.

What else did I learn?  That the author recommended I should read the Order Glossary first before diving into the story.  It’s something she puts in all her stories to help readers remember terms, geography, rulers, kingdoms, beings, terminology, and plants.  And yes, do.  Read it first.  Unfortunately, it’s placed in the back.  Still, read it first because if, like me, you have no idea what The Order universe is about, that is pertinent information you will need.  Like exactly what The Order is.  Trust me, that’s huge.

So armed with all that knowledge, I sailed into Don’t Fight the Spark and loved it!  I understood the levels of magic users and what a sand fighter is (think gladiator).  I was quickly pulled  into the hidden relationship between healer and fighter.  Oddly enough, the story is told from the pov of the healer, Ĥaiatto,  not Yüu,the fighter, something you wouldn’t get from the blurb.    He’s  a lower level magic worker, a spark.  Someone who can’t make their own magic but buys it and then uses a stone to focus the magic.  Bacon uses every bit of the 86 pages to build a tender, powerful bond between fighter and spark, one now threatened by a singular fight and imminent death.  I was so emotionally connected to them both I had tears in my eyes at certain scenes.

The action when it comes, flows so fast that you almost have to go back and reread it to make sure you didn’t miss anything, it happens so swiftly.    So does the ending, a HFN as it can only be at this moment for them both.  This is the first in a series and the start of a journey for them both, along with others we met in this novella.

I have no other stories as comparison so I don’t know if this is typical of the other Order stories in length and format.  That the Glossary steps in for foundation and the assumption is that you are reading them all.  It might seem so from the author’s words in her ‘About the Book’.

In character, relationship, and plot, this story is strong.  The reader must look elsewhere for universe building and structure for the series.   I’m already scrambling to catch up on the rest of the stories because I can see this being a new reader addiction for me.  I have to know more about The Order and yes, I’m heading towards The Poison Within already  That’s next.  I’ll let you know what I find.  Until then, consider this another fantasy novel I definitely recommend, but read the sections I mention first.  Come at this story with all the knowledge you can!

Cover art: Paul A. Bacon.  I love this cover.  I would have read this story based on the cover alone.

Sales Links:   Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBook

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 86 pages
Published April 26th 2019
ASINB 07QQNP96D
Edition Language English
Series Soldiers and Mercenaries #1

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Don’t Fight The Spark by Kasia Bacon

Series: Soldiers and Mercenaries #1

  (The Order Universe)

Release Date: April 26, 2019

Subgenre: MM Fantasy Romance

Order here:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Author blurbs about Don’t Fight the Spark:

“An irresistible gem of a love story. In just six short chapters, Kasia Bacon delivers all the goods: an adorably mismatched couple to root for, a seductive and dangerous fantasy world, and more than a spark of wit and charm. Read at your own risk: the second you finish, you’ll be afflicted with grabby-hands for Book Two.”

—J.C. Lillis, author of HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART and A&B  

“Bacon delivers a jewel box world of magic and true-lovers with a yaoi-manga aesthetic so vivid that I can practically see the screen tone.”

—Nicole Kimberling, author of Sea of Stars  

Synopsis for Don’t Fight The Spark:

As the Light Festival draws near, the Něssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year. 

The Lyliňg Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration—by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki Ōren.

His last match. One he can’t win.

With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer Ĥaiatto kana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he’d stop at nothing to save.

Excerpt #1:

“Are you wishing on a star, Yüu?” I perched on his chair and moved in to extract the empty crystal from his grasp. I replaced it with my fingers, lacing them around his. 

   His gaze found mine, piercing me with an intent stare as if trying to solve a puzzle. He acted collected, as always, but his golden eyes gleamed with something foreign: resignation and sorrow. “If I could offer a lantern for a blessing bestowed upon me this past year, it would be lit for you,” he said. “I’m thankful for every moment you’ve spent with me. For your every kiss. Every smile you’ve given me.”

The teasing grin died on my lips. I knew what Yüu was doing: exactly what Rhēn had suggested I did. Saying goodbye. Preparing me. Letting go. Giving up on us.

Without realising it, I clutched his hand as if it were a lifeline slipping away from me in deep water.

Excerpt #2:

They brought him to me bloodied and beaten to a pulp three days before the Night of Lights.

Being battered black and blue after a fight came with the territory for an ih’mohrô, even one as good as Yüuzuki Ōren. Not once in the past, however, had he ended up unresponsive in my treatment room. My stomach plummeted at the sight of two guards hauling him between them like a sack of coal. Was the dread that had haunted my dreams about to transpire?

Careful not to unmask my fear, I schooled my features. “Here.” I ushered the men to the exam table, erected in the middle of my study for easy access.

I did my best not to wince when Yüu’s limp body landed on top of the linen-dressed surface with a dull thump.

I got to him in two leaps and busied myself with arranging him in a recovery position. Placing two fingers on the inside of his wrist, I took his pulse. It felt thready and rapid, but it was there. I observed his chest rising and falling in shallow but regular breaths. Having seen no evidence of a collapsed lung or any blockage in his airways, I sighed with relief.

The blood caking his body—part dried, part fresh—prevented me from fully determining the damage.

I ordered the men to step back and allow me room to work. The next moment, I snatched my emergency kit from the side cabinet and prepared a basin of fresh water, dampening a soft muslin washcloth in it. Having settled Yüu onto his back with speed and care, I proceeded to clean the skin of the wounded man.

Not just any man, but the one I loved.

The scanty outfit of a pit-fighter, consisting of a simple loincloth, allowed me to get on with my task right away, taking stock of his injuries as the sweeping movements of my hands uncovered more and more scrapes, cuts and contusions.

Yüu was as tough as they came. The toughest. I would know, having treated him and other prized combatants of the Lyliňg Fighting House for over three years. If his body shut down, going into shock from blood loss and pain, both must’ve been significant.

Excerpt #3:

I trailed a path of feathery kisses down the bridge of his nose and upper lip until my mouth met with Yüu’s equally eager one. Then I latched on with a moan I couldn’t suppress any longer.

Yüu’s kisses were always sweet and gentle to start with. They quickly became testing, inviting more engagement, only to turn bold and shattering in the end. He kissed like he fought: sounding his opponent out, cranking up the challenge, then leaving them breathless, stunned and completely obliterated.

I welcomed every such defeat delivered by his clever tongue, and this time was no different. Hot-cheeked and a tad winded, I forced myself to break the kiss, at last, gratified at Yüu’s growl of protest. “Let me take care of you, love,” I panted into his ear. “All right?” And with that, I pushed him backwards onto the chair.

Showing no signs of resistance, he allowed me to guide him into a half-lying position.

Once I had him situated right where I wanted him, I drew back slightly, pausing to study the ravishing view sprawled in front of me.

Oh yes. I knew and adored the wild look glittering in his golden eyes. That tightly-wound hunger. That unconcealed want. The way he observed me with parted lips, his body coiled in anticipation, turned my blood into liquid fire.

Without stalling anymore, I let my hands wander across his shoulders and chest, avoiding the bruises and trying not to frown at them. I took a brief detour to tease his dark, hard nipples before continuing my unhurried descent south, caressing every single one of his delicious abdominal ripples. By the time I passed his belly button, having arrived at the edge of the cloth covering his groin, the material below tented over a generously sized bulge. Twitching now and again, it taunted me into uncovering it. And in two pulls at the material, I managed to do just that.

Excerpt #4:

Admitting I’d been mugged wasn’t the best way to calm Yüu down.

Fear widened his eyes. Watching him scared out of his wits for the first time—scared for me—crushed my heart to dust. “Mugged! You’ve been mugged?” he said in a low and dangerous tone, his eyes pinned on me.

“I’m fine. It’s nothing. I got lost around the west docklands and—”

“West docklands! The fuck? Why were you there in the first place? Are you mad?”

“Well…” I didn’t want to lie, but neither did I want to tell him the truth just yet. The trust Feninghan had mentioned was all very good, but until something concrete manifested, I’d decided to keep quiet.

“Ĥaiatto.” Yüu made a visible effort to curb the temper I never knew he possessed. Grinding his jaw and taking noisy breaths through flared nostrils, he looked like an enraged stallion. “I know you’ve been up to something, trying to remedy our situation. I didn’t want to pry, and gods know I appreciate your efforts, whatever they are and regardless of whether or not they will come to fruition. But I won’t stand for you putting yourself in harm’s way over this. Do you understand? Look at you! Just look!”

In an odd reverse-role scenario, Yüu rushed to my side to check me over for injuries. He opened the folds of my robes, effectively stripping me of them. His hands roamed across my chest.

I had to admit—I didn’t mind being subjected to such thorough and energetic examination, especially if I could redirect its purpose a tiny bit.

“Love, I swear I’m all right. It appears worse than it is,” I covered his hands with my own, forcing him to gaze up at me. Truth be told, I felt both touched to tears and completely aroused by his frenzy.

Yüu’s mind, however, seemed stuck on the issue, his eyes brimming with worry and frustration.

Damn, I did understand he hadn’t had it easy the last few days—forced into passive idleness, locked inside my rooms without as much as a change of clothes, deprived of any influence over the unfolding events. Waiting while I gallivanted around town doing gods knew what. It must’ve been a real headfuck for his action-driven personality, even though he had handled his seclusion better than I’d expected.

Author Bio:

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart (gluten free) addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Author links:

Website: kasiabacon.wixsite.com/orderseries

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01NBRROIR

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kasia-bacon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kasiabacon/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kate.baconbuczkowska

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kasia_bb

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16273366.Kasia_Bacon

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/JustKasiaBB/

Newsletter: http://kasiabacon.wixsite.com/orderseries/newsletter

Giveaway:
Win a physical copy of Don’t Fight the Spark or one of two Order Universe-inspired stationary sets.

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A VVivacious Review: Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
Yüuzuki Ōren is an Ih’mohrô (sand fighter) at the Lyliňg Fighting House and as the house prepares for the Light Festival,  Yüuzuki must prepare for a fight with insurmountable odds. A fight he is unlikely to survive. A fight he will survive if his lover, Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, the healer at the Lyliňg Fighting House, has anything to do about it and Ĥaiatto will go to any extent to make sure Yüuzuki lives, even if it means selling his soul.

 

This book is told from Ĥaiatto‘s perspective and primarily follows his actions as he tries to save Yüu from fighting a fight he won’t survive.
I couldn’t relate to Ĥaiatto. He is a healer but he curses way too much. Somehow my idea of healers as educated bastions of society doesn’t mesh with Haiatto swearing every other sentence. Also, somehow the word fuck brings me out of historical settings though this isn’t a historical per se this book does try to give the impression of a bygone era. The work fuck starting gaining popularity in the fifties and at that time it was no where near as ubiquitous as it is today. The use of words of modern origins or those that gained popularity in modern times in a setting which is anything but modern brings me out of the immersive experience of reading and after a time it becomes exhausting to keep re-immersing yourself. It is a weird quirk and I am not sure others would have this problem.

So, for all of the above reasons, validated or not, I wasn’t having a fun time being in Ĥaiatto‘s mind and unfortunately, this book is entirely from his perspective. This book also doesn’t focus much on Yüu and their relationship aside from cursory mentions. For a relationship that has been going on for three years, these two feel really new at stuff or maybe I just feel that way because we actually don’t get that much content to form an opinion one way or the other on their relationship and on Yüu.

The bulk of the story focuses on Ĥaiatto trying to solve Yüu‘s predicament which he does without consulting Yüu something I found weird. I  also don’t get why he didn’t just tell Yüu the truth about the crimping or atleast about his deal with the Order. It didn’t make any sense for him to withhold that information. Here is someone preparing for death wouldn’t you try to alleviate their fears with legitimate hope? Leaving that aside, this is the part of the story that I enjoyed the most as Ĥaiatto interacts with members of The Assassin’s Guild. All members of the Guild made quite an impression on me. None more than Lu Feninghan, the grandmaster himself. If I am right he is Lochan’s father and now I really want to see him pop up in Lochan and Ervyn’s story because that would make for one hell of an interesting dynamic. I actuality won’t mind more of Lu.

Cover Art by. Can I just gush over that cover? It is amazing. It is definitely the best cover of the year because I really can’t foresee any cover topping it. The infinite cosmos and the two kissing faces forming out of the ether are so gorgeous. Just break my heart already.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 86 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2019 by The Order Universe
Edition Language English
Series Soldiers and Mercenaries #1

A Vvivacious Review: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (The Order #2.5) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 5 *can’t wait for more* Stars out of 5

Verhan Tŭrryés loose of tongue and looser of morals finds himself blackmailed into helping Hernan Seinnès the green eyed auburn haired Asirhwӱnian in a unit composed entirely of Highlanders.

As Verhan starts to train Hernan he finds himself exquisitely drawn to him, a whole horde of unknown feelings finding residence in his heart but will he find the courage in his heart to own up to his feelings…

I really love these elves and their shenanigans. God! I want another story with Verhan and Hernan. I really can’t believe that we didn’t get more of these two in this one. I need, I physically need the story about what happens at the Archer’s Fete. You can’t entice us with the most exquisitely set buffet and then slam the doors just when we are salivating and drooling all over the floor. That’s just unfair. At this point, I don’t even know what I want more Ervyn and Lochan or Verhan and Hernan. Can I just have more of both, pretty please?

Now that that’s over, let me get into a more wordy review compared to the squeefest above. For those like me who have completely forgotten the names of all the characters, let me reiterate. Verhan Tŭrryés is Ervyn’s annoying cousin, annoying is my adjective as far as my assessment of him in the first two Order books goes. He is the guy who tells/informs Lochan what mu’hrōnye means and what its special significance to Ervyn is.

Hernan Seinnès is the guy at the trials who is trying, trying being the operative word, to get a position with the scouts by competing with Ervyn. Basically, the guy who lost at the end of Highlander to Ervyn.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s get on with this review. So yeah, I had completely forgotten the names of these two characters which didn’t bode well for me but considering how long its been since I read “Highlander” coupled with the fact that the unusual spellings of their names really trip me up, I am actually having a hard time remembering anyone’s names in the Order Universe not that I don’t remember their characteristaions. Like someone just had to tell me that Verhan was Ervyn’s annoying cousin and I would have remembered because I guess in the Order Universe I am so so partial to Ervyn and Lochan tthat I basically can recall anything when you relate it to them. So yeah, I had my apprehensions but I sometimes really wonder why Kasia Bacon has delivered excellence time and again and so far as this Order series is going she can do no wrong because wow! I was so drawn into this story.

Verhan has a lot of growing up to do but I liked seeing him do it right in front of my eyes though I somehow came to like him even at his mischievious best, it was amazing. Hernan was the character who really rose in my eyes, he was not a character we were introduced to in Highlander but God! in this story I fell in love with him just as quickly as Verhan does.

This was so so good and God! that first kiss. I can’t believe we didn’t get any more of those tender moments between these two. Please don’t let this be the end for these two.

I loved this one so so much. Meeting these two characters along with all the interesting side characters and getting to know them was amazing. This was such a simple tale of love but it was almost magical in the feels.

I can’t *clapping my hands in glee* wait for more.

Also, will we finally get to see Ervyn buy a horse for Lochan in the Scouts because you just can’t have Verhan mention that particular custom twice in two successive books without there being some hidden meaning to it. Right?

Cover Art by Ying Draws. What an amazing cover! That is Hernan Seinnès on the cover and he is gorgeous.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published June 11th 2018 by Kasia Bacon
ASINB07DDL4RNW
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Order #2.5

Release Blitz Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (Order Series #Book 2.5)

Author: Kasia Bacon

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Ying Draws

Genre/s: NA Fantasy

Length: 23 000 words/ 100 pages

Release Date: June 11, 2018

Other stories in the series: The Mutt #1, The Highlander #2

Goodreads

Blurb

An archer’s heart is a hard target to hit… 

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark. 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

Taking a step too wide, Hernan faltered at the very end, finishing the last form atthe wrong angle. The error turned his stance rigid, his poise evaporating before my eyes.

“Not bad. For an Asirhwӱnian,” I grinned and winked. “Let’s repeat it a few more times without stopping. I want to try something. Close your eyes and picture the forms in your mind. I’ll be behind you, guiding your steps, alright?”

Hernan nodded.

Slowly, I approached him from the rear and placed my hands on his hips.

That first time I touched him, my heart downright assailed my rib cage, beating out a rhythm violent enough to cause me internal damage. To my dismay, I felt more riled up by that innocent contact than the last time I had my trousers around my ankles and a bulky sergeant pressed against the wall. Silently swearing, I tried shutting down those thoughts and refocusing.

And so we moved in a half circle, gliding through the air, in tune with one another.

The sweet spiciness of his scent reminded me of darhê. Hyperawareof the warmth emanating from his body, I lost all sense of time. It might’ve been a few minutes or an hour before we came to a stop.

As if bewitched, both of us remained still. It was Hernan who eventually turned his head to the side. He looked up at me over his shoulder.

The air seemed to shimmer around him, the edges of my vision distorted. I took in his smooth, flushed skin embellished with a few freckles. His slightly parted lips, plump and rosy. His wide, pale eyes, as green as a forest fern. All the colours that defined him filled me with a sense of wonder.

About the Author 

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Sign up for Kasia’s mailing list to receive freebies and updates and learn about new releases.

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies from Kasia Bacon’s backlist, including the new release.

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A VVivacious Review: The Highlander (Order Series #2) by Kasia Bacon

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 Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

  Lochan Féyes has never been so dependent on his feelings but he can’t seem to overcome his connection with Ervyn. As an assassin who specialises in making sure that people stay at a distance, he can’t seem to understand how Ervyn wriggled his way in. But as Lochan’s experience tells him people die and people leave and as he gets commissioned into the Scouts this fact becomes abundantly clear. Destined on two different paths will Lochan and Ervyn find their way to each other?

This story was amazing, so amazing in fact that I have already read it twice.

I loved “The Mutt” and before starting this one I was wondering if I would love this one too. The Mutt had a really interesting premise with how Ervyn is really just edging the line between affection and obsession and I really wondered if this book had anything that wonderful to offer. But as it turns out, I had nothing to fear on that count for being in Lochan’s head was a surreal experience.

 “The assassin in me rejoiced. The Elven soldier complied. The human lamented.”

This time around we didn’t get such a dark dilemma but a really heartrending one, the dilemma between wanting what you can’t have but wanting it anyway, basically Lochan faced the age-old dilemma of love and you would probably wonder how Lochan’s dilemma would hold a light to Ervyn’s but amazingly it is the other way around and that is the reason why so many stories in the world focus on love because there is something new to explore every single time.

Lochan’s feelings are mired with sweetness and pain and you can feel every bittersweet bit. I loved Lochan, I loved his mind and I loved hearing his side of the story. Lochan is so amazingly written that if the author hadn’t pointed out the fact that most of this story takes place in Lochan’s head I would have definitely not noticed the paucity of dialogue because as it so happens with people who speak less when they do speak it is almost always worth hearing. It bears repeating being in Lochan’s head was such a vivid experience, there are these lines that just kind of stayed with me and others which give you a wonderful insight into who Lochan is, how he thinks and what he feels.

“I held my breath as if the stream of air from my lungs had bearing on Ervyn’s accuracy.”

 “At times, he felt, smelt and tasted like my fate. At others—my biggest mistake.”

Lochan and Ervyn stole my breath. I can’t wait to read entire novels based on these two, like I really can’t wait. I am extremely glad we will be getting a short story to tide over the time because ever since I read about these two characters I haven’t been able to get them out of my head and considering that they only had some forty odd pages to convince me they not only have me convinced, they have me buried in conviction. Now I basically stalk the author almost relentlessly for more information on these two.

There is one scene in this book that is simply so beautiful, the magnitude of its beauty is unexplainable. It’s the scene at the very end when Ervyn is second guessing himself with Lochan and how much that hesitance gets to Lochan. All it takes is two lines to convince you that Lochan loves Ervyn relentlessly and unflinchingly. Now I just can’t wait for these two to finally confess.

“In a startling moment of clarity, with his fingers running through my hair, it occurred to me that just as he considered me his centre, I’d found mine in him.”

The only bad thing about this short is the wait that is bound to follow till I get more on these two. But I for one look forward to re-reading these two shorts while I hungrily wait for “The Scouts”.

Cover Art by Marek Frankowski. I loved the cover. I really liked how the brightness of this background contrasts with the darkness of The Mutt’s background because that is now how I see these books.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 58 pages
Published August 31st 2017
ASIN B074L31YFK
Edition Language English
Series The Order #2

Release Day Blitz for The Highlander (The Order #2) by Kasia Bacon (excerpt and giveaway)

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ELFYY_2_NOWSZA_Novelette

Book Title:  The Highlander (The Order series #2)

Author:  Kasia Bacon

Cover Artist: Marek Frankowski 

Release Date: August 31 2017

Genre/s: Fantasy/Paranormal M/M Romance

Length: Words: 16K  No. of Pages: 65

Buy Links

Available on Amazon and KU.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

Blurb

I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series and not a standalone instalment. Reading The Mutt is crucial for its full enjoyment.

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Excerpt

I knew my insomnia worried him. Elven Army regulations regarded bedtime as a serious matter. A soldier’s body—well-honed, fed and rested—served as their primary weapon. A tired soldier made errors. And errors claimed lives.

To escape further scrutiny, I backed towards my cot and hopped under the blankets.

Of course, Ervyn took it as an invitation. Not that he ever acted as if he needed one. He shrugged out of his heavy leather jerkin and pulled off his boots.

“Come now.” In the near darkness, I heard a smile in his voice. “Let me tuck you into bed, mu’hrōnye.”

He’d fallen into the habit of calling me that. I asked the meaning of it once, but he simply laughed and distracted me by biting on the shell of my ear.

Ghor still hadn’t stirred. For once, I didn’t mind his snoring.

The narrow cot made for a tight fit for Ervyn and me.

Something else felt tight, besides. The crotch of my trousers.

Ervyn’s hand immediately rose to brush my cheek and jaw line. “I missed you,” he murmured.

My pulse jumped a notch.

He tended to say things like that, nonchalant, as if betraying one’s thoughts cost nothing. His impulsivity meant he rarely bothered to conceal his wants and intentions. Such a barefaced approach shocked the hell out of me, although I partly admired, partly envied his readiness to show emotion.

My eyes slid closed at the warm, rough feel of his thickened fingertips: the draw hand of the archer. Somehow this heightened my pleasure. The smell of pine needles, leather and horses hit my nostrils.

His thumb skimmed my bottom lip.

I moaned, already so aroused I could kill with my hard-on. Which, in fairness, would be a handy skill to have for an assassin.

Mountain Forest Covered By Fog

Meet the Author

Kasia Bacon Pic Bio

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Pinterest

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win an ebook from Kasia Bacon’s backlist, including The Highlander.

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Release Blitz Schedule

Highlander SCHEDULE

August 28

Gay Book Reviews  The Mutt #1 The Highlander #2

From Top to Bottom Reviews  

MM Good Book Blog Tours  

Lily G. Blunt  

August 29

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words   

Rainbow Gold Reviews 

August 30

We Three Queens  

The Way She Reads 

August 31

Making it Happen  

Valerie Ullmer 

Tangents and Tissues  

Louise Lyons

Bayou Book Junkie  

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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A VVivacious Review: The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
Inspector Kayru Skaer has fallen in love with his aristocratic lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jann, an action he considers to be full of folly. Because as he rightly suspects their society will never be accepting of a love between two people from such different classes of society especially if the relationship were to show any sign of permanency. As things would have it this is going to be the least of his worries with his lover presenting with the early signs of a hereditary lung disease which has proven to be fatal and three viciously murdered dead bodies to contend with.
 
I quite liked this story. It is short and sweet but engages the reader in a way that you really can’t stop reading. I really love the way this author writes, because it never fails to arrest my attention and simultaneously gets me really invested in the characters and their story.
 
This is a paranormal established couple romance with elements of mystery though I think I should warn people that it is not much of a mystery as things get clarified pretty early on but I think that this was a decision in favour of the story because it helped bring the focus on Elly and Kayru.
 
I absolutely loved Kayru and Elly, their relationship is simply adorable and I know for a fact that their relationship is something that I want to know more about and I also desperately want to know more about these two. They made for such interesting characters, from different societal classes but despite all odds in love.
 
I think overall this story is quite commendable despite the fact that the author doesn’t try to draw out the mystery with suspense. This book had some really strong characters in Yben and Eryssa. I found both characters to be immensely interesting especially Eryssa considering she is a furia, a species I have never encountered. Also I wonder if there is any difference between the furia and the vampers and if they both need blood to survive. Also I loved how the author has drawn from current events to write this story it added a whole new dimension to this story which would have otherwise never have existed because I think somewhere along the way I felt that these events were not only relatable but something that gave a perspective to both worlds.
 
This story has managed to capture my interest and I am definitely hooked onto these characters. I can’t wait to read more.
 
Cover Art by Kudi-Design. The cover is amazing.
Sales Links   Amazon | Amazon UK
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 51 pages
Published March 18th 2017
ASINB06XFGX3BT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesInspector Skaer #1
CharactersInspector Käyru Skaer, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn or ‘Elly’ settingRadvadur (the western province of the Empire)

A VVivacious Review: The Mutt: An Order Short Story by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
 
the-muttErvyn Morryès is a Highlander, a dark elf from the Black Mountain clan participating in the training camp which is recruiting soldiers for the Queen’s National Army. He is mesmerized by the half-breed, the mutt Lochan Fèyes who is a blue-eyed assassin, deadly to say the least. But Ervyn is unable to let go of his obsession, he needs Lochan to notice him…
 
I think I successfully butchered the blurb for this short story. Basically this is like a prequel to the “The Order” Series which is going to centre on Ervyn and Lochan and this short story is the author’s way of giving us background on these two characters.
 
Personally I am amazed with this short story. It is so well-written. Ervyn is literally tight-rope walking the line between attraction and obsession. But the way everything is worded makes it just perfect, it is never unhealthy enough for you to question Ervyn’s motives but at the same time it is not entirely healthy, what it is, is the right amount of attraction and obsession making for a heady mix.
 
This story is told from Ervyn’s perspective entirely which is perfect to understand Ervyn’s thinking and Lochan’s outward demeanour. But I for one am really grateful that the author plans another short story from Lochan’s perspective prior to commencement of the series because I really want to know what’s going on in Lochan’s head and what kind of an impression Ervyn makes.
 
For a short story, which is just a set-up for a series, this story is just so good. I just loved the story and I loved the introduction it provides to these two amazing characters. I feel like these two characters have such contrasting personalities but at the same time I felt like these two have complementing personalities.
 
Personally I can’t wait to see more of these two and will be anxiously waiting for the next in this series.
 
Cover Art by Marek Frankowski. I liked the cover but I feel like the darker colours used to depict the background make this story feel like a dark one but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 40 pages
Published January 20th 2017 by Self-published
Original TitleThe Mutt: An Order Short Story
ASINB01N9P0LNX
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingThe Elven Country