A Free Dreamer Review: Loose Ends (Badlands #4) by Morgan Brice

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato.

The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic’s past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight—and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?

Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

I love a good ghost story, so there was no way I could have resisted “Loose Ends”. And it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Like the blurb says, this works perfectly fine as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series and while it’s obvious these two guys have a past together, all the important bits are explained.

I really liked the fantasy aspects of this story. There’s a bunch of different ghosts and quite a bit of magic as well. I just wasn’t too fond of coupling of magic and religion, tbh. It all felt a little bit one-sided. There’s angels and saints and the like and it made me wonder if that really is the only way to banish a ghost. What about a Hindu ghost? Can you banish that one with Christian beliefs too? But I did enjoy how the magic was rooted in the traditions of different cultures, though.

We meet a few different ghosts throughout the story and they’re all very different and Simon had a different solution for each of them. It was actually interesting to see how he dealt with them and came up with individual ways how best to help the spirits.

Vic and Simon are in a comfortably established relationship and I often prefer that to a blossoming relationship. It leaves more room for the important parts of the plot. Here, the romance was still very strong and the two of them worked really well together. I really enjoyed how they interacted with each other.

There’s quite a bit of action and suspense going on as well. It takes our protagonists a while to figure out what’s going on and then it gets really dramatic toward the end. There was, of course, a happy end, which I never doubted for a second.

Overall, this was a good, solid book. Nothing spectacular, but still thoroughly enjoyable. If urban fantasy and ghosts are you thing, it’s definitely worth a try.

I’m not a huge fan of the cover. It’s just our two protagonists in front of a pretty landscape. I’ve seen hundreds of covers that look very similar and it’s not very memorable.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  |   Kobo  |   Nook

Book details:

Kindle Edition
Published December 29th 2019 by Darkwind Press
ASIN B0839PTFL6
Edition Language English
Series Badlands #3

Morgan Brice on Mediums, Monster Hunters, and her new release ‘Badlands’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Book Title: Badlands

Author:  Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Genre/s: urban fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

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Amazon UK 

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Morgan Brice here today talking about her latest release Badlands. Welcome, Morgan.

♦︎

Mediums and Monster Hunters

By Morgan Brice

My favorite stories have ghosts and monster hunters. Bonus points for two sexy guys who fall in love with each other while fighting off supernatural danger. They don’t always have to save the world—just each other, a few random strangers, and maybe a city while they’re at it.

Badlands, my newest release and the first in a new series, checks off all the boxes. Medium and clairvoyant Simon Kincaide owns a Myrtle Beach boardwalk shop where he runs ghost tours, holds seances, and offers private psychic readings, making a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

I’ve loved ghost stories and tales about creepy monsters and scary magic since I was a kid. Every time I go on vacation, I buy a book or two of regional ghost stories—partly for inspiration for the next book, and mostly because I love to curl up with a spooky read. On the other side of my writing life, as Gail Z. Martin, I write several monster hunter series that focus more on action, and less on romance. What’s so much fun for me with Badlands (and my other new Morgan Brice series, Witchbane) is getting to put all my favorite things together in a recipe that’s equal parts spooky suspense and sexy romance!

I’m also a sucker for a scarred and wounded hero (or in this case, two of them) who is fighting the good fight but worn down by fate. Whether the monsters are human (like a serial killer) or occult (like vengeful ghosts and other things that go bump in the night), the battle takes a toll, and finding true love can be both healing and dangerous, because daring to care means being vulnerable. Add in two good looking guys and some ghosts and magic, and you had me at ‘hello’.

As a writer, I naturally am drawn to write the kind of books I enjoy reading. So buckle up—I want to take you to cool locations, give you some supernatural thrills and chills, throw in some magic and mayhem, and hope you fall in love with the sexy main characters while they fall for each other!

Watch for Lucky Town, a Badlands Christmas novella, later this year. Witchbane is out, and you can expect a second novel and a novella by the end of 2018, so there will be more adventures in both series!

I’ll be a Hosting Author at RomCon and a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit Retreat in October, so please look me up and say hello!

Badlands is available in ebook on Kindle, Kobo and Nook and coming soon in print. We’re working on audiobook.

About me: Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions.

Follow Morgan on Twitter @MorganBriceBook, on Facebook in the Worlds of Morgan Brice group https://www.facebook.com/groups/143333126341151/ and check out the Morgan Brice Books and Stuff board on Gail’s Pinterest page at www.Pinterest.com/Gzmartin You can find more about Morgan at www.MorganBrice.com

Blurb

Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghost tours & does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

What Amazon reviewers are saying about Badlands:

“…steamy, complicated and totally engaging.”

“Highly recommend this one.”

“An excellent well written book…”

“A brilliant story that has you invested in the characters and guessing what will happen next.”

“Can’t say enough good things about this book!”

Excerpt

“Bikes are a big deal here,” Simon said to fill the pause. “I’m always amazed at how many come through for Bike Week.” Several major motorcycle events each summer turned the Grand Strand into a cavalcade of the hottest cycles on the coast.

Cop Dude shrugged. “I always liked Born to Run. Springsteen fan. What can I say?”

“Sir?” the voice called from the counter, making Simon turn away. “You’re next.” Simon had never been less happy to get to the front of the line.

“I’ll have a Dread Pirate Roberts,” he mumbled, not wanting to look like an idiot to the guy he was trying to impress. He handed over the money, took his change as she rang him up, dropped a one dollar bill in the tip jar, and moved down the counter to wait for his drink.

“I’ll try that, too,” the cop said, flashing him a grin. “What the hell? Live life on the edge.”

Le Miz baristas were fast. Simon knew he needed to come up with a way to extend the conversation without looking like a creeper or lose the connection, maybe forever. Just as the barista handed both of them their drinks, a deafening thunderclap sounded, rattling the windows, and the rain came pouring down.

“Want to grab a table?” Simon asked, nervous enough that his throat felt tight. “We’ll drown if we go out there now.”

“Sure. Why not.”

Simon led the way through the crowded outer room where the tables were all taken to the back room where there was once a display of pirate doubloons and recovered sunken treasures. The room kept its murals of sailing ships and scruffy pirates, along with the odds and ends left behind by the previous owners—a beat-up old chest, a pirate mannequin everyone called “Mo” and a bedraggled stuffed parrot on a perch, dubbed “Percy” by Le Miz regulars.

“You must come here a lot to know there’s a second room.”

“Told you, I take my coffee very seriously,” Simon teased as he sat down. “I’m Simon, by the way.”

“Vic,” the man replied. “So what’s in this mystery drink?”

“Do you like the smell?” Simon asked.

Vic leaned over his cup, took a deep breath, and his eyes fluttered almost closed. Simon’s heart did a little samba, instantly imagining what Vic would look like blissed out and debauched after sweaty sex. Simon’s erection strained at the fly of his jeans, and he was insanely glad they were seated at a table where Vic couldn’t see how aroused he was.

“Good?” Simon asked, hating that he sounded a little breathless.

“Yeah,” Vic replied, with a little moan that made Simon painfully hard.

“Glad I could turn you on to a good thing,” Simon replied, hoping he hadn’t read the signals wrong since he was blatantly flirting.

“Much obliged,” Vic replied, and maybe it was Simon’s imagination that the man’s voice dropped a little lower, a bit huskier, than before.

“You’ve been here before, you said?” Simon asked, finding that his pick-up skills were as woefully rusty as his ability to make polite chit-chat.

“A few times,” Vic replied. “I haven’t gotten to the boardwalk as much as I’d like.”

“I try not to overdo the special coffees,” Simon said with a self-conscious smile. “I know the sugar adds up. But you’ve got to do something to make yourself feel good now and then, right?” Oh lord, that sounded really bad. I can’t believe I said that.

A wicked twinkle came into Vic’s eyes. “I’m all for feeling good,” he replied, and his foot bumped into Simon’s beneath the table.

It’s just his foot. Doesn’t mean anything. Could have been an accident,Simon told himself, but Vic didn’t move away, and Simon hoped his smile looked encouraging instead of merely nervous.

“So are you in town for business or pleasure?” Simon asked, and cringed internally. What’s wrong with me? I’m never smooth, but I didn’t used to be this awful at picking up a date.“I mean, are you a local or just visiting?”

Vic’s full, sensuous lips quirked in a smile. “Neither,” he replied.

Simon tried and failed at not staring at his lips and imagining them around his cock. Get a grip!Shit, that only changed the mental image to a hand job. So not working! Don’t fuck this up.That didn’t help at all.

“Moved here not too long ago, so I don’t feel quite like a local, but definitely not a tourist,” Vic added.

“You can still take in the sights, even if you live here. Most people don’t take time to enjoy what’s in their backyards. I’d love to show you some of my favorite spots.” Oh, just shoot me now. That sounded like the worst line from a cheap porno. I totally suck at this. No, don’t think about sucking…

“Sounds fun,” Vic said, and Simon was so lost in his embarrassment that he almost missed it.

“You would?” he asked, then cleared his throat. “I mean, that’s great,” he failed miserably to cover his awkward reply. Simon was just about to ask for Vic’s number when Vic’s phone went off.

The ringtone sounded odd, and Vic’s manner shifted in the blink of an eye, going from casual and relaxed to tense and alert. “I’ve got to take this,” he said, without even glancing at the number. “I’m sorry. It’s work. Confidential—need to step away.” With that, he got up and headed toward the service corridor that went toward the men’s room, taking his coffee with him.

About the Author 

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin.

Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Group -The Worlds of Morgan Brice 

Twitter

Pinterest: See the Morgan Brice board 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three $10 Amazon Gift cards.

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New Book Release Blitz for Badlands by Morgan Brice

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Badlands

Author:  Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Release Date: June 26, 2018

Genre/s: urban fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Kobo 

Nook/B&N

Blurb

Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghost tours & does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

About the Author 

 Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions

Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Group -The Worlds of Morgan Brice 

Twitter

Pinterest: See the Morgan Brice board 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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