Love Urban Fantasy? Don’t Miss Out on the Blog Tour with Excerpt for Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by S.J. Himes

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Mastering the Flames

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Series

S.J. Himes

M/M Urban Fantasy

Release Date: 10.04.19

Masting The Flames E-Book Cover

Blurb

Guilt-ridden after the massacre of his family, Isaac Salvatore turned to binge drinking to escape the pain. Now twenty-four years old, Isaac is a recovering alcoholic woefully out of practice in the magical arts, leaving his fire affinity hanging on the edge of disaster. After a month of rehab, he returns to Beacon Hill and his family, determined to remain sober, learn to control his magic, and figure out a plan for his life that doesn’t involve drinking.

Constantine Batiste is the oldest, most powerful vampire in the city. Born in ancient Gaul, the bastard son of a Celtic king, his long life has been shrouded in tragedy and horrors. Recent mistakes have left him wary and determined to guard his clan from all foes. When two of his clan members fall victim to an ancient evil, he summons the Necromancer of Boston for aid. Accompanying his older brother to the Tower is the handsome young fire mage once wounded by Constantine’s arrogance, and their encounter reignites an attraction that burns within both Constantine and Isaac.

The answer to who is targeting the vampires of Boston is buried in the dark, early days of Constantine’s transition to an immortal life. Isaac finds himself saddled with a painful insight into the evil cutting a swath through the supernatural population of Boston. While his brother, Angel, takes over the hunt to find and stop the threat to the city, Isaac struggles to find a balance between helping his brother and finding his own purpose and place in the world, free from his brother’s shadow.

Falling in love wasn’t part of his plan, but mastering the flames that burn between him and Constantine soon becomes the most important thing in his life, even as an ancient evil seeks to destroy them.

Mastering the Flames is the fourth book in The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series and is not a standalone. The series should be read in order for maximum enjoyment and understanding of the plot and characters.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon AU: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon FR: https://amazon.fr/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon DE: https://amazon.de/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon IT: https://amazon.it/dp/B07YM2XF52

Amazon ES: https://amazon.es/dp/B07YM2XF52

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Excerpt

Isaac woke to an incessant pounding in his head. He groaned, sat up, and realized his mistake. Someone was pounding on his door and he wasn’t hungover. Being back in his bedroom in the apartment after so long was fucking with his mind.
He tossed back the covers, brushed his long brown hair out of his eyes, and got out of bed. The sun poured through the bedroom window, warming the floor beneath his bare feet as he went to the door. He flung it open and scowled at the impish grin on his best friend’s face. Daniel flung himself forward and Isaac caught him, hugging the apprentice tightly. They were nearly the same height, and both were built lean with similar frames. If not for the hair and skin coloring, they could pass for brothers. Daniel was fair and bright, and Isaac had naturally darker skin that was tanned as if he spent his days under the sun, his hair dark brown with remnants of fire-red highlights.
“You’re home! I’m so glad!” Daniel cried, and Isaac chuckled.
“Hey, Danny,” Isaac replied in greeting. “Angel said he made you go out last night. Lemme guess, Rory was lonely again?”
Daniel pulled back, Isaac’s teasing making him blush. Daniel was a pretty man. Isaac suspected Daniel was entirely unaware of just how gorgeous he was, as there wasn’t even a hint of vanity to be seen in his personality.
“I wanted to stay and see you when you got home, but Angel said you were probably going to crash.” Daniel hedged, biting his lip. “Rory is all alone out there. He still refuses to stay in the Mansion, sleeping in the greenhouse instead. I feel bad for him.”
“I’m sure that’s all you feel,” Isaac teased, and Daniel’s blush went inferno. “My first night home and my best friend bails to hang with a super-hot fae.”
“Hey!” Daniel glared, but his eyes were twinkling. “I am glad you’re home. Going to Nevermore to visit was awkward.”
After the chaos of the first week of his stay, and when his horrific withdrawal was over, Daniel came to visit three times a week, bringing news from home. The High Council was booted from New York City, Portland, Seattle, and Miami, after those cities refused to cooperate with the consulates and magisters stationed therein. They took the chance after Angel defeated the High Magister, forcing the Council to abandon their footholds in Montreal and Boston. In two weeks’ time, half a dozen American cities declared their independence, and rumors swirled that New Orleans was next, with a certain female necromancer and her undead army leading the charge. Angel was being credited with a major shake up in world governments, and he was grumpy about it.
Isaac grabbed his shower kit and a towel and left his room for the bathroom down the hall. He and Daniel shared the hall bath, since Angel had his own in the master bedroom. Daniel followed him in and sat on the sink while Isaac used the toilet then stripped, turning on the shower and waiting for the hot water to start. They didn’t really have any boundaries, not like Isaac and Angel did. Angel was big on personal space and privacy. Isaac really didn’t care. Daniel chatted away, sharing that he’d taken Rory to the City Museum, watched the Marathon at the finish line, and convinced the fae to let Angel front him some money and a credit card.
Isaac hopped in the shower, but left the curtain partially open, listening to Daniel. “I’m with Rory in the bank, and he drops a pouch of gold on the counter, and the teller’s eyes get huge! Some nuggets were bigger than a tennis ball! It was a mess though, since the bank manager thought Rory was his crazy brother, then the cops got called and I had to use the SOS on my phone and Angel came and made everyone leave us alone….” Daniel was excited and his run-on sentence was a non-stop adventure from beginning to end. “Angel puts his foot down, though by this time O’Malley has shown up, the cops are all like, ‘Where did all this gold come from, how’d ya get it?’ Some of them seemed to think Rory was suspicious—he told them his last name, and tons of the police know what Cian looks like, so things got really tense. Rory got all haughty and declared he’d got it from a Roman Caesar for dispatching an orc raid pillaging through a province over 1,800 years ago.”
Daniel shook his head, sighing. “When Angel arrived, I’d never seen humans get so quiet before. Everyone shut up, let Rory gather up his gold, and Angel gave Rory an account in his name from the Salvatore fund and the bank gave him a debit and credit card and a pile of cash.” Daniel was animated, talking with his hands, heels kicking against the cabinet under the sink.
Isaac laughed while he washed, dunking his head under the spray. Watching Daniel talk with so much emotion was enjoyable. His friend was blooming. There was a huge difference in him even in the last month.
Isaac rinsed, then hopped out, Daniel tossing him the towel. He dried off while thinking about the shenanigans his family experienced while he was going through boring group therapy and meditation sessions. “How did Angel get Rory out of the bank?”
Daniel grinned and flipped back a strand of bright blond hair from his eyes. “Eroch saw the gold, curled up on the pouch in Rory’s arms, and hissed at anyone who got too close. No one wanted to piss off the fire-breathing dragon, so Angel declared we were leaving. We went out to eat then took Rory home. Angel refused the gold in exchange for the modern currency, saying the currency was payment for restoring the gardens and the greenhouse. Rory gave Eroch a huge nugget of gold in thanks, and Eroch has it stashed in Angel’s bathroom on a stack of towels in the corner behind the toilet.”
“What? Oh, I bet Angel loves that!” Isaac laughed at the image of Eroch nesting on a gold egg, grumbling whenever Angel went in to use the toilet. Isaac stopped laughing, a sudden thought worrying him. “Wait. Eroch doesn’t think it’s an egg, right?”
Daniel shrugged, and his face fell with sympathy. “No idea. That would be sad, though. Maybe Angel knows. Poor Eroch, if he does.” Daniel paused, eyes wide in alarm. Isaac stopped drying himself, wondering what was wrong. Daniel leaned in and whispered, “What if we got Eroch’s gender wrong? What if he isn’t a he? What if he’s a girl?”
Isaac wrapped the towel around his waist. “We’ve been calling him a male for a year, Danny. If he cared at all, he would have made it known. I think we’re okay.”
“I don’t wanna assume. We’ve been so rude.”
“If he were humanoid and had human ideas of gender, then yes, we’ve been rude.” Daniel rolled his eyes at Isaac then slid off the sink. “Ok, fine. We can ask him at breakfast.” Daniel waved at Isaac over his shoulder as he left the bathroom, dismissing him. “What did I say? Make me some tea!” Isaac called after Daniel who grumbled back at him about being rude, but the water running and the clicking of the stove burner told him Daniel heard him.
Hopefully they didn’t make anything explode this time.

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My name is Sheena, and I have more pen names than I probably should. I write as SJ Himes, Revella Hawthorne, and Sheena Himes. I reside in the mountains of Maine (closer to Canada than I am to fresh lobster) on a 300-year-old farm beside a river in the woods.

My companions are my furbabies: Micah, my large dog who hates birds; and Wolf and Silfur, two cats who love me but hate each other. I write romances with an emphasis on plot and character development, and almost all my characters are LGBTQ+ and that’s on purpose.

To keep current on what I’m working on and where to find me on social media, go to my website: http://www.sjhimes.com

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A MelanieM Review: Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Detective Quinn Manning wants nothing more than to see Diamond Dace, one of Fagerdal’s most notorious drug lords, behind bars. After years of the man eluding the authorities, when Manning accidentally stumbles onto an opportunity to catch the powerful dealer red-handed, he doesn’t hesitate. But what should be a simple tail instead drops Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend.

Hush is a hulder, a forest spirit also known as a pine tree Mary. Since the beginning of time, his people have lived in the forest, feeding off the energy they derive from the lust and desires of passing hunters. But Hush is an abomination, the only male of his kind.

After a lifetime of starvation, Hush has struck a deal with a human. A simple trade that will give the human what he desires and keep Hush from wasting away completely.

When Manning saves a young man from Diamond and one of his men, his view of reality is altered forever. And Hush, who has never met anyone like Manning, finds the man’s attraction to him enough to finally stave off his constant hunger.

Together they set out to rescue Manning’s partner, and their connection to one another grows. But can a human detective have a future with a creature of the forest, a creature who isn’t supposed to exist?

It’s no secret that I am a fan of stories that contain mythological references and historical elements.  If both those items happen to be a tad obscure, even better. For it sends me running to gather more information about subjects I’m less familiar with and I love it when that happens.  And so it is with the quite marvelous story of Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd.  In all of the probably thousands of stories I’ve read by now, this is only the second story (that I can remember, tbh) that has a hulder in it. Not just as a main character, but in it at all.

And just like in that story, Pine Tree Mary sent me running to the reference books,  primarily because of the name.  Turns out yes, among the many names for this ancient forest being, the warden  or protector of a certain forest, is really Pine Tree Mary.

“Names include: huldra, huldrå, hylda, skogsrå or skogsfru/skogfru (meaning ‘lady (ruler) of the forest’ or ‘forest wife/woman/spirit’) and tallemaja (‘Pine Tree Mary’). They are often referred to as Ulda by the Sámi. The males are called Huldrekall (hulder man), huldu, or huldrekarl are often said to be hideous in appearance and have grotesquely long noses.

Both the male huldrekarl and female huldra are forest and mountain dwelling creatures that take the form of tall and very beautiful humans with long flowing hair.”*

Both can be kind or evil, depending on their own action and, of course, how you treat them.

Which lead me back to Pine Tree Mary.

The author folds a police crime story into a mythical romance and does so with to a heartfelt gritty effect. Grand gives a ruthless drug crime boss, a desperate police detective, and an abused male hulder in need and takes those elements and creates a tale you can’t put down.  The innocence of Hush translates so beautifully on the page,  from scene to scene, from the dialog to the descriptions, that you care for Hush and connect to him immediately.  It’s so easy to envision the life of pain and abuse he’s lived under his sisters, and yet, he’s still so pure in spite of that.

And the character of Detective Quinn Manning, aware of police procedures, trying to bring down one of the worst criminals he will ever face, comes across a being he has no explanations for.  The growth in feelings, acceptance of Hush and the preceding investigation all works.

Of course, there is never enough of the mythology for me.  I loved the communication with the animals, the birds and the moose.  The descriptions of Hush’s physical structure is so intriguing.

Basically, I just want a sequel!  I am really invested now in these characters and I want to know what happens next.  This is a HFN and I want nest.  You will too.  This is a fascinating story with characters that make you ask more questions and reach for the next story in their relationship.  Hopefully the author is listening.

Cover Art: Written Ink Designs is haunting and quite beautiful.  Perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 5th 2019
ISBN139781646560967
Edition Language English

*Huldra, Folklore’s Lady in the Forest – Spangenhelm Publishing

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 4.75 stars out  of 5

When evil stirs in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, heroes come in both ordinary and extraordinary packages.

Ignatius Faber knows a few things for absolute certain. He’s half-demon, his father is the unequivocal prince of darkness, and demons want to destroy his city. And if he doesn’t make the first move on his crush, they’re never going to be anything more than a teenage fantasy that’s lasted into his thirties.

Lalo Pavia grew up hard and fast, orphaned at a young age. As an autistic, he’s learned to approach life cautiously. He throws his energy into gardening and photography—allowing both to provide a buffer between himself and the rest of the world.

Except for Iggy.

Can they find triumph, life, and even love in the middle of a city in flames?

Their fight for the mile high city has just begun

Well this was just superb!  Long a fan of Dahlia Donovan’s stories, her contemporary romances, her mystery cozies here springs a totally engrossing supernatural urban fantasy yarn so full of twist, turns and great characters that I was up until the wee hours reading until I was finished.

Yes, Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan is a book whose characters I embraced and whose plot kept me guessing.

Don’t you love it when that happens?

Not only that but the relationships are so remarkable.  Starting with Ignatius Faber, aka Iggy,  and Lalo Pavia .  Their tight, bond and love for each other is so deep, compounded by Lalo’s autism and Iggy’s understanding of Lalo’s special needs and drive to insure that Lalo can live as best as possible within their universe, given his autism.  And it’s quite the universe.

Donovan has taken her time building a world full of demons, priests, levels at war with each other, scary scientists, and even Lucifer himself.  And none are exactly what you might think.  So many twists here that the plot at points resembles a maze of story threads and wandering possibilities.    None of which I will discuss, but the payoffs are tremendous as far as the narrative are concerned.

The author has built in depth everywhere you look. Layers to her characters.  She has certainly done her homework with regard to people with autism and it shows in Lalo’s character, mannerisms, and behavior.  Lalo is real!  And so is Iggy and his love and commitment to him.

The world building has just as many layers to meet this convoluted plot.  If I had any issues it’s that i  wanted more.  More of the characters, more of Lucifer, more  past the ending.  It’s that sort of story.  Your mind keeps racing past the ending into the thousands of “what ifs” the characters and story keep generating.

Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan is a splendid example of how imagination and plot plus characters and worldbuilding send a novel soaring….it grabs your heart, messes with  your mind, and leaves you wanting more. How great is that?

Cover art is just wonderful.  Works for the character and novel.

Sales Links: Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 27th 2019
ISBN 139781925853568
Edition Language English

If You Love Fantasy, Check Out the Blog Tour for Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky (excerpt)

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Crossing Nuwa: Escape

Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky

MM Urban Fantasy, Paranormal / Rescue, Innocence/Discovery, First Love

Release Date: 07.09.19

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer https://www.simplydefinedart.com

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Buy Link: http://bit.ly/CrossingNuwaEscape

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Excerpt

“Reality started to sink back in, and I was standing under the water, trying desperately to have the boiling spray chase away my ruminations from the previous night on the run. I don’t know how long I had been in there when a stir of air tickled across my back, alerting me that I wasn’t alone. I spun around to see him standing there. Naked! He was incredibly tall (which is saying something considering I’m six foot two and felt dwarfed), with his broad shoulders and a thick furry chest, bristly goatee, and the bright curly electric-blue hair that somehow shone in the fluorescents of the bathroom in a way that it hadn’t under the sun. His dark skin tone also shone differently with the indoor lighting, which seemed to illuminate the differences between us with my much paler skin. My eyes drifted down over his soft chubby belly to his manhood, which was sticking straight out at me! The burn of shame flowed over my entire head and shoulders as I almost lost my balance turning my immediate arousal away from him.

“Man, I hope you’re a bottom.” He exhaled as his huge arms encircled me. “I’ve never been wrong before.” His breath, warm against my ear, sent a cascade of goose bumps down my side.

My brain practically short-circuited. I was no longer thinking about Mother and my aunt chasing me. I was no longer worrying about where I was going to go or what I was going to do. The only thing I could focus on was the soft comforting pillow of his belly against my back coupled with the enticing hard pressure that slid against my rear and made my breath catch for reasons I couldn’t begin to process. I had never experienced anything like it in my life and was suddenly bombarded by too many emotions I couldn’t identify, had never experienced. Above all of them was exhilaration as every nerve felt electrified, alive. And then his hands were everywhere. He was holding… soap? The small knobbed bar of hotel soap slid across my chest and flat belly… lower, encircling me with a few gentle strokes that sparked sensations throughout my entire body, then back up over my shoulders, kneading gently but firmly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

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A MelanieM Review: Monster of the Week (The Rules #2) by F.T. Lukens

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In the sequel to F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, spring semester of Bridger Whitt’s senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. Oh, he also has this incredible job: assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn. Life is awesome.

But as graduation draws near, Bridger’s perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show’s intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.

In F. T. Lukens’ novel, Monster of the Week, it’s the end of the senior year of high school for Bridger Whitt with all the anxiety, stress, and sheer anticipation that time of year brings to kids everywhere. For Bridger that means being in a new relationship with the popular sports star boyfriend, finishing his finals, dealing with prom and the yearbook quotes!  But that’s not enough, because for Bridger, it’s also about daily tasks like gathering unicorn poop for pixies. All  part of his job as a assistant to Pavel Chudinov, intermediary extraordinary to the non human realm that Bridger is  now a part of.

That realm and it’s beings actually form an unconventional “family” for Bridger, along with his  boyfriend Leo, and bestie Astrid,a support system Bridger will need if he’s to graduate and make it through to attend college next year.

I adore this story.  It’s a sequel to The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic but if you haven’t read that one, the author does a great job in  giving the reader all the pertinent information here so  you don’t feel like you have missed too much.  Except for all the joyful and scary goings on that is but that’s another story.

Here we are dealing with the end of senior year and that plenty scary enough.  Bridger is full of senioritis!  All the “what ifs”  are filling his brain and making him crazy.  The leaving behind, the fear of the future, the new boyfriend, the what will happens, ….everything!  And Lukens makes us remember ours while bringing Bridger’s freakout front and center in funny and heartbreaking ways.

Plus there’s his job and  there is always something wonderful and fundamentally hairraising going on there. This time it’s a cable TV show headed to town for an expose to film the residents about the events that happened in the previous story.  Things Bridger was in the middle of and no one wants exposed!

The pace is fast.  The writing is excellent and the characters amazing.  Lukens has gifted the readers with a story that resonates with genuine teenage feelings, sharp, sparking dialog, and in some truly heartrending moments, recognizable angst and family drama to empty many a tissue box.  Those scenes with his returned absentee dad?  Felt so authentic and sadly real.

As this is a true YA, the sex  scenes are non existent or left to the mild kissing.  Everything else happens “stage left” as it were.  And that’s perfect.

I’m hoping this isn’t the end for this gang and couple.  I would hate to see the end of Pavel, and Elena, the pixies, and the Unicorn.  More of Astrid and Luke, and even Bridger’s mom.  She’s hilarious.  And most definitely more of Bridger and Leo.

Because this ends on a HFN, as it should.  They are, afterall, teenagers.

But wouldn’t you like to know what comes next?  I certainly would.  Here’s hoping Lukens is listening.

Until then I highly recommend both stories in The Rules series.  Read them both.  They are quite remarkable!

Cover art is sassy and fun.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2019 by Duet Books

Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky on Writing and their new release Crossing Nuwa: Escape (guest interview and vid)

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Escape: Crossing Nuwa by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 9th 2019
Cover Art: Jay Aheer
Sales Links:  | Amazon |

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky here today talking about their new release Escape: Crossing Nuwa.  Welcome!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Sean: A lot!  For both of us.  I see from slivers to full personality traits being realized in our characters. 

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Sean: Oh yes.  Connal and I are working on an MF Fantasy (Ignis Fatuus) and the sheer amount of fighting between the characters actually spilled over into some tension with us.  It’s on the far backburner for now…

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Sean: Connal would say right now Carl Jung is his major influence.  For me, I’d say that as a child, bullies were my main influence.  I tell the story of being 10 years old and moving to a small town and sitting and watching one very popular kid pick on a kid two years younger.  I went home and asked my mom Why do people put others down to make themselves feel important?  And she said I had just answered my own question.  A few years later I witnessed the same kid being yelled at by his stepfather and that sparked my empathy, but also understanding.  Human nature is my main influence – the beauty of giving, the tragedy of grief, the joy of falling in love… 

How do you choose your covers? 

We are SO lucky – the gals at Dreamspinner have been amazing.  They took our vision for the book cover and matched us with Jay Aheer (https://www.simplydefinedart.com/) whose art we had both identified as loving without having any idea that she worked for DSP!  Also, we’re in such sync that we both had in mind the same thing for the cover and when she sent back what was already living in our visions, our minds were blown!

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

Connal:  A big heart and information.  I love learning new things from people. 

Sean: I am fascinated by most traits in people (hence being a shrink).  And Absolutely!  All of my characters are very in depth with their own quirks.

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Sean:  Oh… it was ridiculously x-rated and once we were in the editing phase of the book, we realized it literally spanned 1/5 of the book!  We paired it way down – lost the erotic asphyxiation and settled on two positions… So, umm, yeah – part of it made it into the book.  (Darklight 2). 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

Connal:  At the study of Lord Elrond in Rivendell.  The combination of light, water, mountains, and nature all create a very comforting, and spiritual atmosphere in my mind.  Not to mention the countless of books that I am sure would be available for researching all kinds of interesting esoteric subjects.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

Sean: Escape – 100%.  Connal is the gestalt – the big picture guy.  He loves to stay abreast of politics and philosophy and world trends.  Me? I am the ostrich who turned off the news at 18 years old and has never looked back.  But reality encroaches and when it does that can lead to feelings of overwhelm.  Connal and I have talked about it at length, and for both of us, since we were children, we have had very rich inner fantasy worlds  – a means to escape.  So for me, that’s the main reason I write.   

What’s next for you as a writer?

We’re currently co-authoring Book 3 of the Darklight series (currently Books 1 and 2 are under contract with Nine Star press).  We strive to write each morning and some weekends when there’s time.  Having the first two book spaced out between fall 2019 and possibly winter or early 2020 has given us some room to really grow the characters and develop the world in this book.

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

Looking for Your Next Urban Fantasy? Check Out the Release Blitz for Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky (excerpt)

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Escape Tour Banner

Crossing Nuwa: Escape

Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky

MM Urban Fantasy, Paranormal / Rescue, Innocence/Discovery, First Love

Release Date: 07.09.19

Nuwa Cover

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer https://www.simplydefinedart.com

Blurb

For sheltered Robbie, one week of freedom leads to sexual awakening and adventure… but when his world intersects with Theo’s, they’ll need all their wits and Theo’s magic to fight for their future.

Rare male weresnake Robbie has had his whole life decided for him down to his meals. But when the time comes for him to perform an unspeakable duty to his clan, he runs.

San Francisco Pride is in full swing when technomage Theo spots a scared-looking young man with brilliant emerald eyes. He’s only looking for a hookup, but before he knows why, he’s taking Robbie home and introducing him to champagne and enchiladas. He doesn’t have any intention of falling in love.

Robbie doesn’t want to return to his clan, at least not without trying to fit a lifetime of experiences into a week, but every day he stays puts Theo in more danger.

Crossing NuwaEscape Teaser 2

Crossing NuwaEscape Teaser 1

Excerpt

IT STARTED in the shower. Well, okay, my story didn’t actually start in the shower, but the part where I fell for Theo did. I look back now and realize how very naïve I was, but it doesn’t matter. I would have fallen for him anyway.

I’ll get to the shower in a minute…. Maybe it’s important to explain how I got to the shower. It’s still something that’s hard for me to believe….

 

I

BREATHE. JUST breathe. Well past midnight, I sat on the edge of my bed—fully dressed. If I do this and they catch me they might kill me. But… how can I not? I can’t stay. I can’t do what they want…. Every time I thought about it, my stomach began to churn, and I felt light-headed. What other options were there?

“Come on,” I whispered, then laughed. Talking to myself? That’s what this had come to?

I stood on wobbly knees and opened my large walk-in closet. Over the last month I had been stowing things I would need in a backpack I hadn’t used since I was thirteen. An extra pair of pants, four shirts, seven pairs of underwear, seven pairs of socks, three half-full deodorants (having convinced Mrs. Matlock, our housekeeper, that I just go through them quickly), and two half-tubes of toothpaste earned with the same deception that caused spikes of guilt when I thought about it. No one had noticed these things slowly going missing, or if they had they didn’t say anything.

I stared at the backpack for a ridiculous amount of time. This is a bad idea. They’re going to kill me….

I snatched the backpack before I could think about anything else, rushed to the bathroom where I grabbed my electric razor and toothbrush and shoved them in. I slipped my e-reader from the bedside table into the front of my pack and surveyed the room. My room since I was born. My prison….

Of what few things were there, I could see no reason to take anything else. Opening the door slowly, I peeked out into the darkened hall. Shifting my eyes to my serpent’s, I double-checked the hall and sighed with relief that there were no heat signatures that would suggest anyone lurking. Except me. I was the only one who stayed in my wing unless there were guests, so the bath and two other bedrooms in the wing were usually empty.

What was I going to say if they found me? I rolled my eyes at myself. What could I say? “Yes, Mother, just out for an evening run. Oh, the backpack? Well, you know how smelly I can get, just thought I’d bring a change of clothes, or seven.” I snorted at the absurdity of the situation, and then at the fact that I had been hovering in my doorway for over a minute. A little voice in my head started the mantra, “Just go, go, go.”

I nodded and hurried out the door, down the hall, down the stairs, and paused.

The house was silent. Of course it was; no one was awake at this hour.

Food. What was I going to do for food? Good thinking…. I tiptoed around the corner and through the formal dining room, which led into the kitchen. Ms. Matlock retired to her cottage at 9:00 p.m. sharp every night. She did not return to the main house until 6:00 a.m. every morning, and Mother and Aunt Edna never came into the kitchen. Except for after midnight when there’s someone rummaging around in there, I chastised myself and worked harder to be quiet.

I held my breath and listened again.

Nothing.

I grabbed three pieces of fruit from the large bowl at the end of the counter. If I take more, they’ll notice. Heck, they’ll notice I’m gone at 7:00 a.m. when I’m not down here for breakfast, so what will it matter if they notice more fruit is gone? I groaned and stuffed four more apples into my bag. The rest of the food in the house wasn’t prepared into meals, and I didn’t know how to cook. The thought came to mind of trying to teach myself how to cook one of Mrs. Matlock’s meat loaves so I could take it with me. But the smell would probably carry, and how long did it take to cook a meat loaf? What about salad? I could probably put together a salad… but how would I carry it?

I was stalling. This was stalling. I shook my head and hurried back through the dining room toward the front door and stopped. Mother’s purse. She stored it in the entryway cupboard, but today it was sitting on the counter. I stopped breathing. Taking small gasps of air, I stood still.

She was behind me. I could feel her. Her eyes boring into the back of my skull. Her breath tickling my ear.

I whipped around to find the hall empty and shuddered with relief. A visceral thing.

Gasping for breath, I bent over and rested my hands on my knees. I’m going to vomit. Deep breath. In through the nose.

When I could focus and my stomach had stopped churning, I looked at the purse again. Why was her purse out? Did she often leave it out? I didn’t know. I glanced inside. What was I doing? I had already stolen food from the house. Was I really thinking about doing this? This was wrong… but then, leaving was wrong.

With trembling fingers I separated the leather. Her wallet sat right on top. I can’t…. The magnetic clasp easily parted, and inside I found several bills. I’d need money.

Not giving myself any more time to think, I grabbed all the bills and stuffed them in my pocket before shoving the wallet back into the purse and stepping away.

I felt dirty.

Don’t think. Go. Go, go, go! I passed by the coat closet and paused. It was autumn…. I pulled out a coat that Mrs. Matlock had purchased for me. Something I’d never worn because I didn’t go out, but that she had made sure was available and in my size if I ever needed it. I pushed it into the pack and secured the zipper before hoisting it over both shoulders.

L Blue Moon 3 Dreamer's Workshop

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sean is a shrink who by day spends time in jails and prisons (evaluating criminals) and by night writes romantic fiction. Sean and partner live in San Francisco ruled by their three cats and can often be found trying new restaurants. With the understanding that they live in Heaven, Sean adores spending time sitting near the water with a laptop in hand, gazing at the bay and making daydreams a reality for others to enjoy. To read more about Sean’s adventures, please visit www.dreamersworkshop.com.

Connal Braginsky is a tech nerd that has taken a leap of faith and took a chance on writing. Born to Russian immigrants, he came out as gay at 19, and was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome).

He loves to read, and learn about Technology, Esoteric subjects and considers himself a transhumanist (the Russian Cosmism variety). His other pastimes revolve around philosophy which includes Panpsychism, Process Philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism and Gnosticism. He is also interested in various scientific fields, including Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Neurology, Psychology, and Sociology.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SeanOMeidhir/

Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/439462953480874/?ref=share

Website http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19211564.Sean_Ian_O_Meidhir

Twitter https://twitter.com/SeanIanOMeidhir

Newsletter http://www.dreamersworkshop.com/newsletter/

Connal’s Blog: http://dreamersrefuge.com/blog/

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Release Blitz – Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World #3) by Nat Kennedy (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Afflicted to the Core (Wielder World, Book 3)

Author: Nat Kennedy

Publisher: Self-Published/Lagomorph Press

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design

Release Date: June 14, 2019

Genre/s: MM Urban Fantasy

Trope/s: Teacher/Student, Friends to Lovers, Threesome

Themes: Loyalty, Acceptance, mild H/C

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames (not frequent, but detailed)

Length: 93 000 words/260 pages

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Reggie Wolfe religiously visits Kyle Landon—his student in Nerve detangling—at the Harpford Disentanglement Center, where the younger man has been incarcerated on trumped up charges.  During one of Reggie’s visits, Kyle’s able to warn his teacher of an imminent unauthorized transfer by an unknown shadow agency. Reggie demands help from his sister at the Bureau of Wielder Services but is pressed to take the matter into his own hands when bureaucratic red-tape stymies her actions.  Breaking into a secret medical installation, Reggie and August Whalen find Kyle and six other men hooked to IVs, unknown chemicals pumping into their systems.

The three are caught up in a quest to find an antidote for the drugs and discover who is behind the powerful anti-male Wielder organization.  On this dangerous road, will they forever remain friends or give in to their growing attraction?

Afflicted to the Core is the steamy third novel of the Wielder World series—gay urban fantasy full of desire, desperation, and dedication born of trial and blood.

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

A small smile brushed Kyle’s lips when he spotted Reggie through the window of the cafe. Reggie lifted his hand in a wave. Kyle jerked his chin up in acknowledgment while that hint of smile burst into a grin. His bangs nearly brushed his eyes, hiding a brow ring that Reggie knew was there. Ah, what a kid.

A kid. Recently just twenty-two. But smart and daring and gorgeous, his insistent heart kept telling him. At times, when he lay alone in bed at night, Reggie reminded himself that Kyle would find someone else. Someone more exciting, more fun, more willing to be open about his sexuality. Eventually, he would just move on.

Kyle yanked the door of Grindworks Cafe open, a gust of cool air flushing in, and joined Reggie at his table. “Going to the Black Castle tonight, wanna come?”

A cold nugget of apprehension lodged itself in Reggie’s belly. The Black Castle—a mostly gay bar and dance club that was once a haven for male cultists until the Mara Murda take down last fall. Most cultists lay low, not drawing attention to themselves. Now, those that hadn’t fled into the dark forest around the lodge occupied rooms in Disentanglement Centers. The members of other cults were keeping their noses clean, according to his sister, Bethany.

The owner of the Black Castle had also been there during the Bureau bust. One August Whalen. A man he owed on many levels.

“No, thanks for the invite though.” Reggie took a sip of coffee. “Say hi to August for me.”

Kyle leaned forward, elbows on the table, every aspect about him all youthful and earnest. “Oh, come on. August would love to see you…and it won’t be me and a ton of other students. I was hoping you could come, and me…and that’s it.” He lowered his lashes, almost shy.

Reggie’s cold knot melted and a wash of heat crawled up his neck and over his cheeks. Kyle’s hand pushed across the tabletop, meeting the halfway line. Reggie looked at it. Black fingernail polish still clung to Kyle’s cuticles. He must have been full-on goth last night, hanging out with his friends.

“Hey Reggie!”

Reggie jumped in his chair, nearly knocking over his coffee, yanking his hand away from where it had migrated to within inches of Kyle’s, and faced the newcomer.

Professor Sally Boltmier of the engineering department: his senior professor and a close friend of his on campus.

“Sally. How are you this morning?” He gripped the napkin in his lap, crumbling it up into a tight wad, and focused on her, not letting his gaze stray to Kyle.

Her welcoming smile faltered. “I’m great. Sorry to interrupt. I didn’t mean to scare you out of your seat.”

Reggie’s mind stirred to create some excuse and send her on her way, but he couldn’t say anything before Kyle stood and offered his hand.

“I’m Kyle. Reggie’s…friend.”

Reggie’s…friend.

That pause. Kyle had done that on purpose. The temperature in the room ratcheted to sauna levels. Reggie struggled to hold steady under the gaze of his senior colleague, to not look guilty. No point looking guilty. He wasn’t guilty!

“Reggie’s…oh. Oh! Oh, well, pleased to meet you, Kyle. I’m Sally Boltmier, I work with Reggie in Sloan Hall.”

Kyle’s smile brightened. “I know you. You spoke for him in that…case last fall.” Kyle at least didn’t blurt out ‘sexual harassment’ for the entire café’s knowledge.

Sally eyed Kyle, up and down, and Kyle stood tall as if meeting his prom date’s father. Then Sally’s stern appraisal softened, and she nodded and dropped her voice to say, “I knew Reggie wasn’t guilty of any inappropriate activities. So,” her consideration shifted from Kyle to Reggie to Kyle again, “you’ve been together since then?”

Reggie wanted to crawl under the table, maybe dig his way into the linoleum, and hide. He could still salvage this if he got up, spoke out, explained everything. “Well, it wasn’t…we weren’t—”

Kyle’s laughter cut off Reggie’s bumbling. He brushed through his hair, giving it a tousled look, showing off his brow piercing. “Oh, well, we weren’t together, then. But we knew each other.” He looked down at Reggie and gave him such a besotted look, that Reggie knew he was staring back like a devoted Labrador until his colleague laughed and broke him from his trance.

“Well, I’ll let you two get back to your afternoon. Enjoy the spring weather! See you Monday.” She gave Reggie a look that suggested there would be more to this conversation on Monday, but he knew she wouldn’t spread any rumors about him on campus or anywhere else. Except to her husband maybe. They shared everything.

Reggie’s eyes flicked to Kyle. Kyle knew almost everything about him, too.

About the Author

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1-mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay romance–steamy to tame. Bored of het romance, she jumped into writing her fantasy with gay romance swirled in, like a raspberry ribbon in vanilla ice cream.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website |  Facebook  |  Instagram

CHECK OUT THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE WIELDER WORLD SERIES HERE

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $25 Amazon Gift Card

one of five ebook copies of Edge of Desperation (Wielder World 1)

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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An Ali Review: Hunter (Roam #2) by Dez Schwartz

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Grady Hunter has a vampire infestation on his hands in the town of Shady Pines but he’s been deserted by those best suited to help. After enlisting Chris Reed, a techno-mage, they find the vampires might only be the tip of a deadly iceberg.

Returning home from his dream travels, Ethan Roam is eager to experiment with his newly discovered powers. But Ethan isn’t the only familiar arrival in Grady’s life. As more reminders of his dark past crop up daily, Grady and Ethan are swept up in a mystery of cosmic proportions.

Grady must fight to keep an ever-evolving Ethan on his side while being challenged by the ghosts of his past.

This was an interesting urban fantasy type story.  I did not notice this was the second book in the series when I requested to review it and I think that negatively affected my enjoyment.  There was a lot going on and a lot of characters and I was struggling to follow along.  It was not that it was badly written it was just that I had not read the first book.  Completely on me, not the author.
That being said I did enjoy this.  The author has created some interesting and unique characters and I enjoyed their various relationships with each other.  It’s action packed and entertaining from the very first page.  I liked Ethan and Grady together and I enjoyed their romance.  The side characters all added to the story and I felt they enhanced the overall story.
I would recommend this to people who enjoy paranormal romances.  I do not recommend that this be read as a standalone though. You’ll be able to follow along as I did but I think you’ll miss some of the emotional connections.
Cover:  The cover was done by Natasha Snow and I love it.  I think the colors are really eye catching and the cover fits the overall vibe of the story really well.
Book Details;
ebook, 188 pages
Published April 8th 2019 by NineStar Press (first published April 14th 2017)
ASINB07PXQYNRJ
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: All Souls Near and Nigh (Soulbound #2) by Hailey Turner

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Navigating his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

I loved this book.  Urban fantasy is my favorite genre and we rarely get true UF with the main characters having m/m relationships.  I had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it but felt it had a lot of problems with repetition and clunky world building.  I felt the writing was good but that it really needed better editing.  I almost didn’t try this but I had really enjoyed the characters themselves and felt the series had a lot of promise so I decided to give it another try.  I am so glad I did.  All of the issues I had with book one were absent here.  This was really well written and I felt there was a marked difference in the quality of this story.
 
I love the world the author has created and there are a lot of really interesting and well developed characters; both the two main characters, Jono and Patrick, as well as all of the side characters.  There are a lot of types of characters too which is always a bonus for me.  There are magic users, various types of shifters, vampires and gods.  The gods are one of my favorites and are not seen very often in most UF series so I find that a creative touch.  The author has done a great job of including gods from various cultures which I’m also a fan of.
 
The story is action packed and filled with twists and turns.  I found it all easy to follow though and I was immediately caught up in the plot and the new adventure these guys were on. 
 
The romance is lovely and is a unique twist on the fated mate trope.  I’m a sucker for fated mate stories and I’ve read a bunch of them.  This is the first time though that I’ve read fated mates that have a slow burn also.  These two know they’re fated to be together and they accept that but they’re taking their time developing their relationship and they stop and question different things.  They want to make sure they are clear on what things are the bond and what are their actual feelings.  They’re also very respectful of each other’s differences.  They have the potential to become a favorite couple of mine I think.
 
This could be read as a stand alone but I think you could easily follow along.  I would recommend you read book one first.  You meet all of the characters and it’s a good story overall.  This series is a must read if you like UF series with two male leads.  
 
Cover Art:  This cover was done by AngstyG and I love it.  I think it’s gorgeous and it really sets the vibe for the story and matches how I imagine Patrick. 
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published March 19th 2019
ASIN B07PLQBLH3
Edition Language English
Series Soulbound #2