A Caryn Release Day Review: Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell

Standard

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

We all nudge Fate every day, with every choice we make.

I just love this author when she’s being playful!  Those who loved Cutie and the Beast will also love this book.  It is not explicitly in the same universe, but still involves beings from various mythologies (the MC in this one is Norse) who are interacting with the morally ambiguous and manipulative world of the Fae, as well as mundane Earth.  This book is set primarily in the Interstices, “the pockets in reality where … magic from all supernatural realms could coexist”.  In addition to the Fae, this book has an eclectic mix of supernatural beings from just about every folklore and tradition that I can think of, cleverly integrated into a cohesive whole.  It was only as I was writing this review that I realized how very clever the author was in taking such complexity and making it seem effortless!

I will save you the trouble of looking up the norn (which I just had to do because I didn’t want to wait for the author’s specific explanation).  In Norse mythology there are three divine female beings who influence the destinies of gods and men (roughly corresponding to the Greek Fates), Norns with a capital N, and then there are other norns of lesser strength and influence.  Anders Skuldsson is one of these – half human son of one of the big three, which makes him outcast for being a half-breed, but also mistrusted because when you are around him, how to you know that he didn’t just make things happen according to his will?  Despite his questionable status, he’s a good guy just trying to do the right thing and earn a little respect.  He’s the Senior Event Coordinator of Enchanted Occasions Event Planning, and has been chosen by no less than the Fae Queen herself to be in charge of her son Prince Reynard’s ceremony to choose and bond with a consort.  This job is not only his greatest challenge so far, it is also a make or break event for Enchanted Occasions and his employees – all of whom are half-human and looked down on by most of the Pure bloods of the other supernatural races.  Anders has a lot to prove with this gig.

Prince Reynard, on the other hand, has no desire to participate in this Faerie version of “The Bachelor” and get hooked permanently to some suitable consort chosen by his mother.  He’s all about a life of freedom and promiscuity.  His half brother Conall of Odstone – bastard result of the Faerie Queen’s own consort’s infidelity centuries ago – has been blessed/cursed with the gift of responsibility:  he does what’s right, even when it’s difficult or inconvenient.  Rey is used to exploiting this trait, and Con has ended up impersonating Rey multiple times over the years for any events that Rey finds boring, or onerous, and Con once again found himself uncomfortably forced into a predicament that unfortunately has much higher stakes than he’s ever faced before.

Through a comedy of errors and missteps, these two unlikely men end up thrust together – while each impersonating someone else – and find that they really like each other, and their chemistry is off the charts.  But they are both basically men of truth and integrity, both responsible for others and wanting to do the best by them, and how can anything real and true come from such deception?

I laughed out loud at the antics of the MC’s, and at the ridiculous situations they ended up in despite the best of intentions.  The secondary characters – Talus, man of iron, arbiter and dispenser of justice for Faerie, and solid supporter of Con; Brooke and Smith, the other half-breeds who work with Andy who are brilliant at creating the perfect worlds in the Interstices; the other characters that are pure comic relief like the goblin chef who creates the most incredible and delicate food but goes into a rage when people don’t appreciate it – were just pure genius.  The Interstices themselves were an incredible and subtle weave of magic from different worlds combined with the best of Earth.  And the plot, while superficially a romp of increasingly ridiculous circumstances, was really a story of integrity and kindness overcoming manipulation and selfishness.  It’s a romantic comedy with a moral, in the style of a fairy tale, but so much more fun.  I can’t wait for the next book, and there were definitely some clues dropped about who might star in the next one…

Cover art by Aaron Anderson actually detracts from the book.  The story is otherwordly, beautiful, and magic, and this cover is downright boring…

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 15th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640805064
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEnchanted Occasions #1

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

Standard

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.

21643754._SY540_

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

archer copy

Giveaway

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Gay-book-promotions-logos-jayAheer2017-square2