A MelanieM Review: Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Scent-400x600 2Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.

Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self- doubt took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful, but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.

Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t help being drawn to him.

As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.

Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that means losing his heart.

Ever fallen in love with a secondary character?  Maybe two?  That happened for me in the first story of this series, Protector of the Alpha.  It was there that I met Casey Scott, best friend of Jake Davis. Casey ends up getting pulled into the drama and heartbreak that surrounds his friend and Jake’s mate, Zak.  The most human and confused of the three, he was the character who came across as the most accessible and vulnerable.  A secondary character, Casey grew in strength and depth until by the end of the story, he was their equal.

Except in accessibility. In that area, he continued to surpass them just because he was the most human.

Especially at the end, where it seemed he was the unlikely target of the ire of a skunk, one who repeatedly sprayed him to the others endless amusement.   Why was Casey the one who got “skunked”?  The last paragraph supplied only part of the  answer.  This book does the rest.  Who knew a skunk shifter could be so endearing?  Apparently Parker Williams, that’s who.

With Scent of the Heart, Parker Williams continues to build his isolated shifter universe in Alaska, filling in more of its past history and current status with its village inhabitants.  And for the most part, its a universe still on shaky ground.  Once the false Protector took over, the place became the site of torture, depravation, and constant terror for most of those who lived under his rule.  What that means exactly dribbles out in horrific details that surface throughout this story.  It cements Elizar and his wolf enforcer Kell as evils that must be defeated at all possible cost and highlights just how desperate and essential it is  that they, Jake, Zake, Casey and Hakim succeed in overthrowing him.

We bought into their mission and into these marvelous characters first, and now we see what has happened after they think they have achieved their goals.  Pretty realistically, some things are working out great, others not so much.  All three have resigned themselves to staying in Alaska.  For the most past, they like their lives and have shouldered their responsibilities but Casey is missing a relationship of his alone.  That answer to the hole in his heart is an endearing skunk shifter, Tsvetok Yerokhin aka Sev.  Sev matches Casey in his vulnerability and engaging personality.  But his past is full of pain and loss, just as Casey’s is, but in a vastly different way.  That comes into focus when it becomes apparent that he is the guardian of his two younger brothers and had had to do things he is not proud of in order to keep them alive.

As if its not enough for them to adjust to all the changes going on in their lives, it turns out that they are mated, shocking when neither has been attracted to men before.  This book is all about changes, fundamental upheavels in outlook and status that both characters must undergo and adjust to if both are to survive.  It’s a dramatic and heart-stopping journey and I loved every bit of it.  Parker Williams has made us care deeply about these men and the village they live in.  Our hearts are as engaged as Casey and Sev’s in their journey to love and HEA, a path fraught with peril and even death.

And its not over yet.  The end, of course, brings another intriguing (if foreseen) element and the jumping off point for the next story in the series.  Its delicious and frustrating because it will make you want that story now…and it’s not even written.

Until I  get my hands on that next story, I recommend that you pick up and settle into reading the first two books in Parker Williams’ Shifting Needs series.  It has romance and so many different types of shifters to love along with drama, hot sex and endearing characters you can’t get enough of.  Now if only that third book would magically appear…

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I like the woods element but the design is different enough from the first story that it doesn’t exactly pull them together. Only the framing of the title serves to brand the series, not the graphic.

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe) –  Amazon    Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 15th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781941841204
seriesShifting Needs #2

Shifting Needs Series in the order they were written and should be read:

 

M/M Shifter Spotlight: Parker Williams on Writing Shifters & the Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams (author interview and giveaway)

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Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams
Series should be read in order
Release Date: June 15, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Parker Williams
Cover Artist: Laura Harner

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)SmashwordsAmazon

-Our Interview with Parker Williams-

We are happy to have Parker Williams here today to talk a little about the allure of writing shifters and romance.

Parker, why do you love to write about shifters?

Parker Williams: I love shifters. They’re powerful. They’re quick. They heal fast. But they also find that special someone who completes them, and a bond forms, putting them together for life. To me that’s the ultimate love story, and usually one of them is definitely in charge in the relationship. I do love alpha characters.

My favorite shifter series is from Silvia Violet. She gives me so many goose bumps from he way she writes them. No matter how powerful, they always have a weak spot, some chink in their armor that people can exploit, but they also are the ones who step up to save the day.

When I decided to try my hand at a shifter story, I wanted to do something a little different. In my world, only a human can be the Alpha, because only a human has no allegiance to one shifter race over another, so he can decide fair and impartially. That’s where Zak came in. He’d been groomed for the job since he was a child, having sacrificed many aspects of his life, because his guardians told him that one day he would need to know all these things.

But Jake… Oh gods, I loved Jake. He wasn’t sure what was happening to him when he smelled that delightful aroma that was Zak. Jake didn’t know what a shifter was, didn’t even believe such a thing was possible, but after he scented his mate, his body began to change.

I think that’s what I like best about it. In my world, shifters are two souls who share one body. They’re aware of each other, but each has their own needs. Jake is the exception. His jaguar is an essential part of him, and his mind is in control while he’s in the jaguar’s body.

But for those who never gave a shifter book a chance, pick one up. If you like powerful alpha men, you may very well find yourself fin love with shifters, too.

Thank you, Parker…now more about Scent of the Heart.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering
love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he
discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he
seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.

Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The
responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self-doubt
took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful,
but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.

Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to
act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t
help being drawn to him.

As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the
enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key
to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.

Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that
means losing his heart.

Pages or Words: Approximately 69,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance, Paranormal, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay Fiction, New Adult

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“This night is shot,” Casey mumbled. “Hakii, if you’re there, I’m sorry. I need to find him. I’ll try to be back as soon as I can. Oh, and if you’re not there, I hope you’re getting a damn good laugh at me talking to myself.”
The night air had chilled considerably. Casey threw on a sweater and hurried to the Alpha’s house. Before he could pound on the door, it swung open. Jake stood there wearing nothing at all.
“Oh god, my eyes.”
Jake sighed. “You’ve seen me before. A lot, if I recall correctly.”
“And every time I do, I remember that I need to create eye bleach.”
Jake faked a laugh. “Yeah, you’re hilarious. What do you want?”
“A guy came to my house tonight. His name is Sev, and I think he’s in trouble.”
All humor fled from Jake’s face. “What happened?”
Casey told him about the visit. “He…called me his mate. What the hell is that about?”
“Later. We’ve got to find him.”
In an instant, Jake transformed into a beautiful black jaguar. Zak came rushing to the door. “What is wrong?”
Before Casey could answer, Zak grabbed a heavy coat and squirmed into it. “Jake will track him. You will come with us.”
“Zak, he called me his mate. Why would he do that?”
“You worry about this now? I do not see where this matters. If you prefer, you may stay behind.”
Casey sobered immediately. “No, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
They tracked Jake as he hurried to the woods. When they heard him roar, Zak and Casey ran to the edge of the forest. Jake had transformed back to his human form and, man, was he pissed.
“Come out here, now,” he demanded.
There was no movement, but Casey heard a clicking noise, followed by the familiar stamping of feet.
“You spray me and I swear to the gods I will neuter you. Put your damn tail down and face us as a man, Sev.”

Sales Links:

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.
Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.

Where to find the author:

Connect with Parker on: Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641
Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 gift card and a skunk Beanie Baby. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16-Jun
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Cover Reveal Time for Parker Williams’ Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) (cover reveal and contest)

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Scent-400x600

Time to Reveal the Cover for
Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2) by Parker Williams
Release Date: June 15, 2015

Scent-400x600 2

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Parker Williams
Cover Artist: Laura Harner

Sales Links:  Amazon  –  All Romance (ARe)Smashwords

About Scent of the Heart

Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering
love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he
discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he
seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.

Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The
responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self-doubt
took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful,
but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.

Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to
act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t
help being drawn to him.

As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the
enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key
to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.

Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that
means losing his heart.

Pages or Words: Approximately 69,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance, Paranormal, Bisexual, Fiction, Gay Fiction, New Adult

Excerpt from Scent of the Heart


Casey had slept in the early evening, exhausted from his activities of the day. First the twins came, and their birth wasn’t easy. One of them, the boy, refused to come out. Normally shifter births were in and out in less than an hour. This one had kept him elbow deep for four. When the child was finally born, he had a full head of fluffy gray hair, indicative of his mother’s rabbit side. When they’d asked his advice on what to name their new son, Casey had said Thumper. His parents had fallen in love with the name, and Casey learned that people who had never seen a movie had no idea what humor was.
Then there was the incident with the stupid skunk in the forest. He hoped to hell Jake never found out, because after all the crap Casey had given him, he knew for a fact there would be hell to pay.
His intent had been to sleep a few hours, then try another dreamwalk. They always left him drained when he didn’t have a tether to this world. Casey shook his head. Six months ago he never would have talked about different worlds, men that could become animals, or ghosts outside of his weekly Dungeons and Dragons game. Now it seemed he was actually living a campaign. He was a shaman, a wizard of sorts. Jake was a paladin, righteous and good. Zak was…well, Zak probably would have been royalty. With his demeanor and attitude, he would have made a great king.
He’d been dozing fitfully; his dreams filled with visions of future events, where a fork in the road left him with too many decisions. One was life, the other was death, but both were fraught with peril. The knocking at his door had jolted him awake, and he was actually glad for it.
Sev looked absolutely miserable as he stood at the door. This would be only the second time the man had come to see Casey. Most everyone else in the enclave had stopped by, even for a friendly visit, numerous times. Yet Sev always hung back. This time, Casey needed to understand what was going on.
When they came in contact, skin on skin, Casey had no idea what happened. A surge ran up the length of his arm, seemingly connecting him to Sev. He could tell the man across from him needed his help. Sev was different from all the others in the enclave who’d come and talked to him in the last six months. He didn’t need advice; what he needed was someone to understand.
Sev sat at the table, looking for all the world as if he were lost. He sipped the calming tea that Casey had brewed, his eyes downcast as he told Casey his story—the death of his parents, the problems he now had with his brothers, and his uncertainty that he was doing the right thing. Never before had Casey wanted to pull someone into his arms and promise them that everything would be all right. He’d heard so many stories after Elizar’s defeat—beatings, rape, murder, and still he was able to maintain a detachment. Not with Sev.
“How can I help?”
Sev sighed. “I don’t know that you can. I just wanted to talk to someone.”
Casey could see the shine of tears when Sev finally lifted his head, and his chest tightened as he stood and wrapped his arms around the man. He didn’t have words, and he couldn’t think of any other way to comfort him. Not one of the salves, potions, ointments, teas, or other remedies on his shelves had the power to offer the healing that a hug brought.
“Thank you, my mate.”
The words were so soft Casey was certain he had misheard them.

 

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About the author:

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parker held his job for nearly 28 years before he decided to retire and try new things. He enjoys his new life as a stay-at-home author and also working on Pride-Promotions, an LGBT author promotion service.

Where to find the author:

Connect with Parker on:
Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641
Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

Cover Reveal Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Two $10 ARe gift cards. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:
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