A MelanieM Review: Mantled In Mist (SoulShares #6) by Rory Ni Coileain

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Mantled in the MistIn the sixth novel in the Rainbow Award-nominated paranormal M/M SoulShares series, Fiachra Dubhdara is a Fae living a stolen life, in a body that isn’t his own. He’s also the most junior detective on the D.C. Vice squad, assigned the task of infiltrating and shutting down Tiernan Guaire’s Purgatory.
Peri Katsura is the newest and hottest masseur at Lochlann Doran’s Big Boy Massage, inexplicably drawn to the gorgeous cop assigned to bust him but needing to hide a dark secret of his own.
And the owner of Fiachra’s body has a plan to get it back – a plan that may cost Fiachra his SoulShare and close the doors of Purgatory forever. Unless the Marfach gets there first…

Mantled in the Mist by Rory Ni Coilean takes one of my favorite series and with this story made it even deeper and more fantastical.  The author has added several new magical beings, ones we have never heard of before, to this tale of pain, loss and magic.  We are now introduced to races that played major roles in the ancient war that sundered Earth from the other dimension the Fae now reside in.  The price for one race?  They became the subject of mockery, bullying, and deep outright cruelty by the purer fae on the other side for their racial bloodline and past history.  The price paid by the others on Earth? Well, I’ll leave that for the story.

By overlaying such emotional elements, one you can interpret by modern standards so many ways, Ni Coileain has elevated this series to new heights.  The overlays and  similarities can be made for the aboriginal races around the world today and their treatment at the hands of the “superior” races that followed, or to the nature/earth religions who suffered at the developing cultures that encroached and exterminated them.  There is a richness of interpretation here that makes the enjoyment of reading the story swell along with the tale of romance, suspense and yes, horror that follows.

Fiachra, dark skinned, dark haired, tormented, Fiachra thought it better to fade than continue his existence as it was.  But fading did not go as planned and he ended up in another’s body.  Tall, gorgeous, blonde, everything a pure fae looks like.  I love the comparisons and problems this poses here when Fiachra meets his SoulShare and wants him to love the real Fiachra.  The problem of getting his body back was a maze of pain and problem solving that I loved  watching play out over the story.  Actually one than one problem, something else I will leave for the story.

Peri Katsura is another one of those damaged souls that Rory Ni Coileain does so beautifully.  Drag queen, masseur, Peri has many faces and a inability to trust, especially the big blond cop that threatens to bust him.  The two of them together are so engaging in their painful pasts and colliding confusions of the heart.   To help them/blockade them are all the other SoulShare couples from the previous stories still working together to stop the horrific Marfach from their planned assault on the Fae world, a task making the Fae ruthless on both sides.

The characterizations here are vivid, believable and have staying power.  I can pick up these stories and remember exactly who is who.  The terror engendered by the Marfach just grows with each story, something I had not thought possible given some of the past scenes of torture that are rendered somewhat graphically in previous books. Here it is more of the imagination because we know what it/they are capable of.

It ends, as they all do, far too quickly, setting us up for the next in the series.  If I am reading the author right, it should be an entirely different take on the SoulShares element.  Could be wrong, but I can’t see to see it play out.

Here is a series that has it all.  Fantasy, romances, bdsm, horror, mythology, beautiful world building…and six books and growing. I highly recommend it to lovers of all of the above and more.  But don’t read them out of order as they build on each other.  New to the series?  Start with the first, keeping up with me?  Pick this one up and  continue along.

Cover art is lovely, I like the celtic elements and its very different from the ones before.

Sales Links:  Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Riverdale Avenue Books

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by Riverdale Avenue Books
ASINB01AVNC1N4
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSoulShares #6

SoulShares Series in the order they were written and should be read (add them to your Goodread list):

Its Back to the Wonderful Urban Fantasy Series SoulShares with Rory Ni Coileain’s ‘Mantled In Mist’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Mantled in Mist Final

Mantled In Mist (SoulShares #6) by Rory Ni Coileain
Release Date: January 20, 2016

Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Cover Artist: Insatiable Designs

Blurb

Fiachra Dubhdara is a Fae living a stolen life, in a stolen body, and the newest detective on the D.C. Vice squad. Peri Katsura is the newest and hottest masseur at Lochlann Doran’s Big Boy Massage, inexplicably drawn to the gorgeous cop assigned to bust him. And the owner of Fiachra’s body has a plan to get it back – a plan that may cost Fiachra his SoulShare.

 

Pages or Words: 79,547 words
Series should be read in order
Categories: Erotica, Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Excerpt

The human’s laughter was completely unFae.

And it made everything perfect.

But then it faded. “Let me turn around.” Peri’s gaze dropped.

“Why do you —”

“Please.” He slid his legs off Fiachra’s shoulders, easing up onto his elbows. “Don’t treat me like something I’m not.”

Fiachra’s eyes narrowed. “Am I not allowed to treat you like a male whose smile I would give my left nut to see just because money changed hands?”

Peri stared.

“We agreed I’m not renting you, right? So I’ll do everything I can to make you pass out from pleasure if I fucking well feel like it.” Fiachra could feel his face flushing. Where is all of this coming from? Fae didn’t act like this. Didn’t feel like this.

Then he remembered Conall, looking at Josh. Cuinn and Rian, both of them Fae to the core, every breath either one took all wrapped up in the other.

Peri’s my SoulShare. Or I’m insane. And I don’t think I’m insane.

Buy the book:

Amazon | All Romance eBooks  | Riverdale Avenue Books

Meet the Author

Rory Ni Coileain has been writing almost as long as she’s been reading, and reading almost as long as she’s been talking. She majored in creative writing in college, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she designed it herself—being careful to ensure that she never had to take a class before nine in the morning or take a Hemingway survey course.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received the kind of rejection letter that fuels decades of therapy, and found other things to do for the next thirty years or so, including nightclub singing, working as a volunteer lawyer for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and studying ballet in New York City, until her stories grabbed her by the shirt collar and announced they were back.

Now she’s a legal editor, a soprano in her church choir and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Choral Society (unless they’re singing Mozart, because she’s decided that Mozart didn’t like second sopranos very much), the mother of a teenaged son and budding film-maker, and amanuensis to a host of Fae, Gille Dubh, and shapeshifters who are all anxious to tell their stories, and some of whom aren’t very good at waiting their turns.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops: January 22, 2016

Parker Williams, Open Skye Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Dawn’s Reading Nook, A.M. Leibowitz, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Jessie G. Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Multitasking Mommas, Charley Descoteaux, Divine Magazine, Molly Lolly, Mikky’s World of Books, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of the first book of the series.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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A MelanieM Review: Blowing Smoke (SoulShares #5) by Rory Ni Coileain

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Blowing Smoke coverLasair Faol, Master of the Fade-Hounds to the Royal court of the Demesne of Fire in the Fae Realm, has been exiled to the human world by the Princess Consort for failing to catch her son’s kidnapper. Bryce Newhouse, Greenwich Village investment banker, is universally loathed by all who know him. Generally, he’s perfectly cool with that, but he discovers what he’s been missing—literally — when he finds Lasair chained in his basement.

Bryce was supposed to receive half of Lasair’s soul at his birth, but thanks to the Fae of Purgatory, the Pattern — the portal between the worlds — has been damaged, and Bryce’s soul arrived 31 years too late. Now the exiled Fae is the shunned human’s only hope of healing his broken past. And with the fate of two worlds riding on that healing, Lasair is going to have to overcome both his race’s innate mistrust of genuine emotion and his own very unFae awkwardness, to have any chance of reaching Bryce’s impenetrable heart.

Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares series has always been a favorite of mine. It takes  magic, hot sex, lovers, the Fae, a malevolent monster to make the strong shudder and combines them all into a gritty urban fantasy series I just can’t get enough of.  Luckily for me, the author just released another SoulShares novel with another on the way.

Blowing Smoke (SoulShares #5) by Rory Ni Coileain may be my favorite of the series, something that kind of shocks me. The other stories had more than their share of unbelievable angst and in one case torture (see monster), plus a world building and Fae culture that was fantastic.  And then there were those marvelous couples, the SoulShares, each couple  contains a Fae soul split in two, each holding a half.   The men/Fae or Fae/Fae relationships are so complex and the men involved so different from each other, that each book was a true joy to read.

One common element in each story?  A well-off jerk named Bryce who figured largely as a boyfriend from hell for one of the main characters, Terry.  His interactions with all were not only disastrous  emotionally but physically as well.  His actions almost proved lethal several times over.  Bryce was that character you loved to hate.  And when combined with the Marfach (the evil),  well, that was a team to make your stomach churn and your heart hurt.  So guess who is a main character here?  Yes, that would be Bryce.  Blowing Smoke is all about redemption, second chances,  and the fight to become someone better, someone worthy of love.  Powerful stuff, indeed.

Someone else needing a second chance?  That would be Lasair Faol, Master of the Fade-Hounds to the Royal court of the Demesne of Fire in the Fae Realm.  He and his Hounds failed twice to keep the Prince of the Realm safe.  For his failures, the Prince’s mother (now a Consort) threatens to kill all his beloved Fade-Hounds.  Instead, Lasair agrees to take the blame to save them, ending up thrown through the portal and having his soul severed in two.   The anquish of that scene would be bad enough but just  prior to the Princess Consort’s arrival, Lasair has found a newly birthed Fade-Hound, blind and seemingly dead.  But the pup blinked back to life when Lasair picked him up.  Immediately a connection is formed between the pup and Lasair, and the reader.  How do you not love a character who saves a blind puppy and his hounds from death?  That pup, named Setanta, becomes as much a main character as any of the other Fae in the series. How?  That is such a wonderful element here I wouldn’t think of spoiling it for you. I adore that hound and want more, so much more of Setanta in his adult form.

Now  you have three characters all in precious need of second chances, the one they’ve just been given.  And the obstacles in front of any possibility of happiness includes not only their own fears but the other Fae couples (from the previous novels) and the monster returning for another  battle.  This story has so many layers that it would make a onion  weep with envy.  Or just weep.  I know I was reaching for the tissues several times while reading the story.  And its Rory Ni Coileain’s writing that makes it all spring to life, with battle scenes of breathtaking action and movement, tender moments of heartbreak and pain, and finally sexy and soft ones of joy and acceptance.  Yep, this wowser of a story has become my favorite.  And Bryce and Lasair (and Setanta) my top couple.  Amazing and such an unexpected delight.

I was still sighing with contentment at the end of the story when I noticed this:

Sneak Peek: Mantled in Mist
Prologue July 17, 1913 (human reckoning) The Realm

Yes!  There’s another SoulShares story coming.  And that teaser?  Made me want to find Rory Ni Coileain and find out when I can expect this story.

New to the SoulShares series?  What a great series awaits you!  The books should be read in the order they were written and released.  That’s really the only way to understand the characters, plot development and overall series timelines.  Each book builds on the other and while the author includes some past history, it won’t be enough for some readers to understand everything that has/is occurring.  That’s the only  reason this book isn’t a 5 star rating that my heart says it deserves.

Love the   Fae and fantasy?  Love a little hurt/comfort with your romance?  And puppies too?  Blowing Smoke has it all!  I highly recommend this series and author.  Now I’m settling in to wait for Mantled In Mist (SoulShares #6), read them all and come wait with me.

 

Cover Artist: Insatiable Designs.  The men are certainly handsome and close to my idea of the characters.  But where is that magical element?

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 12th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781626012110
series SoulShares #5

 

SoulShares Series in the order they were written and should be read (add them to your Goodread list):

A MelanieM Review: Firestorm (SoulShares #4) by Rory Ni Coileain

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

FirestormFinalCoverCuinn an Dearmad is the last surviving Fae Loremaster, and he’s just seen the beginning of the death of the Realm, the land the Fae fled to after the battle with the Marfach.  The Fae sealed off The Realm from Earth to protect the last of the Fae and insure that the Marfach didn’t follow them.  The method they used cost them all the Loremasters but one.    But now cutoff from Earth’s magic, the Realm is dying and the only hope of stopping it starts with Cuinn finding the Prince Royal of Fire, a baby he stole from the cradle, and lost in the human world, many years ago.  But where to start looking?  It seems that Fate and Fae have combined to make the impossible happen.

Rian Sheridan was found and adopted by a Northern Irish Catholic family who whose Da was already deeply involved with the IRA and the liberation movement in Belfast. For all his 21 years, fire has been Rian’s companion and curse. His human parents loved him without knowing who exactly Rian was, a Prince of the Demesne of Fire and the hope of the Fae Realm. But fire was both his pain and salvation when his world and sense of self was destroyed by the Orangemen on July 12.  Now all Rian knows is pain, and a need for punishment.  But he is about to get something more…much, much more.  A future and a name for who and what he is.

Cuinn an Dearmad or Cuinn the Exiled and Prince Rian Aodan whose signet ring, Croi na Dothan, means he’s the heart of the Flame, are on a collision course with Fate and each other.  For Cuinn and Rian are SoulShares, something Cuinn thought only happened between Fae and Human, not Fae and Fae.  But will Rian be able to accept Cuinn, the man responsible for stealing him away from his Fae mother and the agony he experienced on Earth?  And Cuinn?  Can he overcome his guilt and foresworn duty to heal his SoulShare and with him save both worlds?

Firestorm is the last and, quite naturally, the most incendiary book in the SoulShares series by Rory Ni Coileain.  Through three stories and elements, we have watched the Fae of the Demesnes of Earth (Tiernan), Air (Conall), and Water (Lochlann Doran) find their human SoulShares and engage in battle with the Marfach.  Now time has run out for The Realm and Earth with the last of the magic dries up killing The Realm in the process and the Marfach plans for Armageddon on Earth.  Three couples stand prepared but they are incomplete without the last element of fire.

Having brought her characters and readers to this highly suspenseful and anticipatory state, author Rory Ni Coileain ups the stakes with her last two major characters.  One is Cuinn an Dearmad or Cuinn the Exiled, the last Fae Loremaster, the missing chink in the Pattern.  The absent Fae of the Demesne of Fire? A Prince stolen at birth from Queen Nuala, the Fae ruler and deposited with a human Irish family.  The culprit?  That would be Cuinn an Dearmad who to the day carries the burden and guilt of the pain he inflicted on an innocent.

Ni Coileain’s complicated plot becomes even more convoluted with the pairing of Cuinn and Rian, each carrying with them a past and foretold future even more tortuous and tangled then any of the others.  Cuinn has been the willing puppet of the Loremasters  plans and manipulations with Rian one of their subjects in the harshest way.  Rian has paid in anguish and torment just as he turned 21 and came into his magic.  Now Cuinn must not only heal Rian, convince him  about the reality of Fae and his own true birthright but get all of them prepared for the final stage of the Loremasters machinations.   Rory Ni Coileain is quite the puppetmaster herself to keep all these major themes and plot threads unreeling simultaneously while building the suspense and anxiety for all involved.

The point of view changes from the SoulShares (all of them)  to Marfach’s zombie host and back again.  Its effective and harrowing if a little complicated. But it’s Rian who captures our empathy and shared pain with his constant, overwhelming need for abuse and  sexual punishment.  The basis for this need is shattering for the readers and for Cuinn who by then has become his SoulShare.  Cuinn also has secrets he has been hiding and all must come out. Not just to Rian but all the other couples involved in the battle against the Marfach and the ley lines under Purgatory, the DC leather bar.

How I loved this part.  I adored having all the couples I have become so fond of here at the final installment and still managed to make more room in my affections for the tormented couple of Cuinn and Rian.  Rian is fire!  The images that Rory Ni Coileain uses to build his portrait are as combustible as his element.   Hot, powerful and quick tempered, Rian is as incendiary as it comes.  But the center of Rian is total darkness and pain and the author brings that to life as well.  Cuinn is all cold guilt and responsibility to Rian’s heat. Cuinn’s character is more removed from emotion, more bound to service and the change that happens to Cuinn is purposeful and believable.  Great characters both of them, Ni Coileain balances the growing relationship between Rian and Cuinn against the ever increasing desperation of the Marfach and the Realm.   And at times, the balance is undone by the emotions and events that are occurring within the story.  The march towards action or Rian and Cuinn?  More of the story  comes down on Rian and Cuinn here and while that works beautifully towards making their SoulShare real, it takes away from the Marfach’s impact at times.

Never more so than at the ending.  Some will love it,, others not so much.  Yes, there is resolution to be found here and yet there are also plenty of openings for this series to continue.  I wish I knew which way the author was leaning.  I was almost satisfied and yet….I left the story and the series with a vague sense of  incompleteness and a bit of irritation.   Normally, that would bring the rating down considerably.  But Firestorm and the entire SoulShares series  is so beautifully woven through with its lore, imagery, characters, and plot, that its hard not to celebrate Rory Ni Coileain’s writing in this series with a high  rating.

Do I recommend this book and series?  Absolutely.  Its remarkable, its entertaining, and its magical, full of pain,obstacles,  heartache and love.  Don’t miss out on any of the four stories and like me, continue to hope for a fifth.

Cover artist:  Allen Penn.  Of all 4 covers, this is my favorite.  Dramatic and hot!

Sales Links:        Ravenous Romance          All Romance eBooks                 Amazon        Firestorm

Books in the SoulShares series in the order they were written and should be read are:

Hard As Stone (SoulShares #1)
Gale Force (Soulshares #2)
Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3)
Firestorm (SoulShares #4)

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 248 pages
Published February 27th 2014 by Ravenous Romance
ASINB00IOWB2BW
edition languageEnglish
seriesSoulShares #4

A MelanieM Review: Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3) by Rory Ni Coileain

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

DeepPlungeCoverFor over two thousand years Lochlann Doran has wandered the continents of Earth, watching as little by little his magic dwindled away to nothing. For Lochlann Doran’s a Fae torn from his war torn world, his soul sundered as he was sent through the Pattern by fellow Loremaster and friend Cuinn to Earth. Now only his faceted aquamarine eyes and the fact that he can’t die remain as reminders of his true nature. Also lost? The ability to heal that goes along with being a Fae of the Demesne of Water.

Stripper Garrett Templar has been dancing along time. The club Purgatory, prior to being bought by Tiernan Guiare, was a hard, indifferent place to work. Garrett turned tricks in the back room to pay his bills and rent, something that would never happen now. But then? The dancers were unprotected by management something Garrett found out the hard way when at eighteen, one of the johns he entertained infected him with HIV. And while it may have been a “manageable” disease” with others, in his system the virus has inexplicably mutated into full-blown AIDS. And no known cocktail has managed to work to slow it down. Now the only place Garrett can find solace is to loose himself as he dances on stage, always alone by necessity and by choice.

Then Lochlann’s travels brings him into Washington, DC and to the very stage in Purgatory where Garrett is dancing.  It only takes a few glances for the SoulShares bond to snap to attention, startling Garrett and freaking out Lochlann deeply.  Lochlann never expected to find his SoulShare after so many centuries alone.  And then he finds out from Garrett that he is dying from AIDS.  Lochlann is devastated.  If he had his magic back, he could heal Garrett immediately.  But his magic is gone.  And Garrett flees from Lochlann, not wanting to hope for a future he is sure they can never have.

But Purgatory has more surprises in store for Lochlann when the SoulShares appear along with his ex friend and now old enemy, Loremaster Cuinn.  It seems their ancient evil, Marfach, has  stirred and wants access to a unSouled Fae to return Marfach to the Realm.  And Lochlann is the key to the  survival of all.

Deep Plunge is the penultimate story in Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares series and with it Ni Coileain’s achieves a remarkable bit of storytelling. There is a huge amount of world building going on here.  Two universes, that of the Fae Realm and that of modern urban Washington, DC, are both rendered with equal amounts of realism and imagination.  Then the author builds onto that an epic battle of good and evil (evil being the Marfach) where evil almost conquered all.  It left behind a blackened Fae landscape and a multitude of dead or dying Fae.  To support such a cataclysmic event, Rory Ni Coileain builds a Fae society in dire straits, one that has to re-imagine itself in order to survive.  That aspect of this story is mesmerizing, the history constructed to make all the events that occur in the books not only necessary but manipulated and foretold (yes, two different things are happening here…this layering is magnificent).

Facts about the Fae and the Pattern that we thought we knew from prior events are turned on their head here.  Nothing is as it has seemed.  There are so many elements in play here that you almost have to pause in your reading to make sure you have it all straight, including the latest revelations that have knocked you (and the characters) right on their butts.  I love it when that happens.  Smoke and mirrors, or merely the Fae at work…doesn’t matter because the end result is magical, suspenseful, and downright addictive.

The two protagonists here are unarguably poignant,  deeply damaged characters, each with an emptiness inside where their other souled half should reside (more universe building).  That they have found each other should be cause for celebration.  Instead its marked by pain, and enough angst to fill a bathtub. Ni Coileain pulls off  terrific non-human characters in her Fae.  They do not have the same emotions as humans so that the fact that half their souls end up in humans is not only a neat twist but helps pull all the author’s Fae back down into characters we can empathize with as well as connect with on an elemental basis.  For their human Soulshares it is easy to believe in them and their myriad lifestyles and issues.  All couples from previous stories appear in important roles here as Ni Coileain starts pulling together all the threads she has been sowing in the books so far.  But of them all, Garrett and Lochlann have to be among the most star-crossed.  Garrett who’s HIV became full blown AIDS in almost no time and Lochlann the person who loves him and should be able to cure him but can’t.  It’s both poetic and unbearably painful.

Trust me when I say it almost hurts not to spill all the details that are revealed here, the twists, the turns, the “never saw that coming” revelations.  And Deep Plunge sets all the  elements rolling for the final story in the series, Firestorm.  The final battle between the Marfach against the Fae and humans is almost here.  Who will be able to stop them?  I can’t wait to find out!  Mark this series down as a Must Read and this story as one of the best of the year!  What an adventure Rory Ni Coileain has pulled us into!  A multidimensional saga with characters who continue to astonish and deep loves that have me swooning for more.  Consider the series, the story and the author among ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Highly Recommended Reads!

Cover art by Allen Penn.  Does a great job branding the series but missing the fantasy element.

Sales Links:      Ravenous Romance        All Romance eBooks (ARe)     Amazon          Deep Plunge

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published August 28th 2013 by Ravenous Romance
ASINB00EV7OAYU
edition languageEnglish
seriesSoulShares #3

Books in the SoulShares series in the order they were written and should be read are:

Hard As Stone (SoulShares #1)
Gale Force (Soulshares #2)
Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3)
Firestorm (SoulShares #4)