End Street Detectives are Back in End Street Vol 2 by Amber Kell & RJ Scott (Series Recap Tour and Giveaway)

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Series Recap Tour & Giveaway

 End Street Vol 2 

 Amber Kell & RJ Scott

Authors: Amber Kell & RJ Scott
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
 
Blurb
 
The Case of the Dragon’s Dilemma

Dragons, battles, a Siren attack and a deal Sam may come to regret leave Sam and Bob in danger…and result in Mikhail finding a mate. 

Bob and Sam take their kind-of-adopted-now vampire daughter Mal to look at new schools. Mikhail is left to babysit the last of the remaining rescued children whilst they are away. 

When Sirens appear to steal her away, he is left facing the attack alone until a mysterious hero comes to his aid. Ryujin, or Jin to his friends, is a dragon shifter and his role as Captain of the Dragon Guards puts him in direct conflict with Mikhail. 

The minute he sees Mikhail he knows what he wants. Now if he can only get Mikhail to see the same. 
 
The Case of the Sinful Santa 

Zephariel, the Angel of Vengeance, Nick Klauson, nephew to Santa, Christmas magic, zombies in the school and a necromancer causing chaos…and at the centre of it all-Mal. 

Zephariel is the Angel of Vengeance and is tracking down his cousin Danjal for misuse of brimstone. When he walks into a bar and finds Nick Klauson drowning his sorrows, he is instantly drawn to him. Could this be his fated mate? 

When Nick and Zeph join forces to deal with zombies in Mal’s school, sparks fly. Add in a demon, a wolf and a necromancer, and Sam and Bob have a hunt on their hands.
 

“…With stories that are written by more than one author, there are sometimes gaps in the flow of the writing. There are none here. The writing flows smoothly and seamlessly I wouldn’t be able to tell you who wrote what. The world describe within the story was easily imagined as where the characters….”

 

Author Bios

 
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.
 
When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life, he told her to go have fun.
During those seconds she isn’t writing, she remembers she has children who humor her with games of “what if” and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author nameótwo things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.
 
Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius, she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.
 
She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.
 
 
E-mail: amberkellwrites@gmail.com

 


RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 
 
RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.
 
The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.
 

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Review of The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

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Rating: 4.75 stars

Sean O’Hara has not had an easy life but he never knew what terror was until the nightmares started.  Night after night he relives the torture and death of a young man.  It all started after he inherited an Irish stone from his great grandfather. After seeing every type of doctor and taking all sorts of medicine, Sean is at wits end until he sees an advertisement in the paper and decides this is the only way he is going to get the help he needs, even if it takes him to Ireland.

Cormac Kelly is a Druid.  He runs a paranormal investigation business that is also his family’s calling.  Like his father, and his grandfather before him, Cormac sees the world in layers, including the realm of the fae.  He doesn’t have time for frivolous calls from American tourists wanting to see the Ireland of the movies and fairytales.  Cormac knows those fairytales have their basis in things humans should not meddle in.

But when Cormac meets Sean, he realizes that the stone Sean carries is hexed and Sean’s plight is all too real.  The haunted, pale American touches Cormac on many levels.  He hasn’t been more than just physically attracted to someone in a long time but now Sean pulls at him both physically and emotionally, although Cormac is loathe to admit the latter.  As they investigate Sean’s stone and the meaning of his nightmares, they find the sidhe of Ancient Ireland are deeply involved and not just in Sean’s case.  Ten years earlier, Cormac lost the love of his life on a night he was to destroy a changling child, now both cases are twining together.  As the danger surrounds them, Cormac and Sean must journey into the past through the realm of the sidhe to solve both cases and save their burgeoning relationship as well as their lives.

I am becoming obsessed with the stories of Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane.  As they did with Hawaiian Gothic, they throw us pell-mell into another land, mire us in its customs and cement upon us both the fascination and obsession that Ireland holds for us. They do this as they weave a story of two men of Ireland, one so rooted in the old ways that he cannot bear to leave the family lands and township.  The other, Sean O’Hara, is of Irish descent.  Ireland has a deep hold on both of them but only one is aware of its true power.  The authors use  these wonderful characters to explore Ireland and her mythology, sink us deep into her alluring land, her people, and the Fae of Ancient lore. Belleau and Vane feed us information about the Irish countryside and folklore so skillfully that not once did I feel as though a info dump had occurred.

I have always loved Irish folklore and have the groaning library shelves to prove it.  And reading an author(s) take on the Fae is almost a compulsive read for me.  Belleau and Vane did an outstanding job of bringing the Sidhe to life in all their seductive and terrifying ways.  When Sean meets Finnbheara, the Sidhe lord, you feel Sean’s helpless attraction as well as his fear so real, so powerful does Finnbheara come across. Almost half of the book takes place in the realm of the Sidhe and the vivid descriptions keep the reader engaged, pulling us into a world so authentic that the characters fears become our own.

Along with Ireland itself, the characters of The Druid Stone are as believably realistic as the people next door.  They have made mistakes, have faults and histories of loss and love. Cormac shows an amount of arrogance and pride that at times makes him dislikable but hidden behind it is a need to keep himself separate from others and from the possibility of love so deep is his hurt and guilt over Michael’s loss. Sean is a beautiful character, with unexpected facets and layers that quickly endear him to the reader as well as the other characters in the book, human and otherwise. Sean’s sexuality is also an area of confusion for himself and the reader.  Cormac is his first real male love but his previous encounters with women have been unsatisfactory. So it is never completely resolved as to whether Sean is bisexual, gay or “gay for Cormac”.  I don’t think it really matters to either the story or their relationship, but Sean reads bisexual to me.  There are aspects to his sexuality that I cannot discuss because of spoilers but in the end, it is the love between two individuals that matter and not labels.

If I have any quibble, it is that towards the end, their journey towards happiness has one too many obstacles to overcome to my satisfaction.  Perhaps, I was getting too impatient but one less jump to clear would have made this a 5 star instead of 4.75 star read for me. As it is this story ticks so many boxes for me.  I am of Irish and Scottish ancestry and have had three Irish Wolfhounds to enrich my life.  I love Ireland with a passion, the land, the culture, the feeling of coming home when I visit.  Reading this book took me back there, what a gift. I loved this book and will reread it again.  I hope you will yourself doing the same.  Slainte!

Cover: Gorgeous cover.  I couldn’t locate the name of the cover artist.  My only quibble is that I would have loved to see a Irish Wolfhound somewhere on the cover.  But that’s just me!

Read my review of Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane here.

Review of Ruffskin (Dance With The Devil #4) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 5 stars

It is a typical night at The Bremmer, it’s pouring outside and Johnny is arguing with Grimm inside over an alleged flirtation at a party they just left.  A messenger interrupts them looking for Peyton Blue, the werewolf coowner and bartender of The Bremmer.  The strange courier has a package to deliver, one that has an immediate effect on their beloved barkeep.  When Grimm chases after the courier, he disappears  under a magical spell.

The package is from Peyton’s past, bringing with it bloody memories and a death sentence.  It is up to Johnny and Grimm to find the messenger, and finish the conflict started years ago when Peyton still belonged in the Blue Pack.

Ruffskin is a short story that follows the characters of Dance in the Dark (Dance with the Devil #2), Johnny Goodnight and his boyfriend/guard Grimm,  and their friend Peyton Blue, a werewolf.  Without reading Dance in the Dark, you will miss the backstory on all the characters involved in the case here which would be a mistake and leave you confused as to the elements involved in Ruffskin.  That said, this is a marvelous addition to that universe.  Most of the denizens of The Bremmer, local bar and hangout, have interesting pasts and it’s bartender and owner is no different.

Of course, it is a dark and stormy night that brings Peyton’s past home to him, a past he has tried so very hard to forget and one that could cause his death.  Johnny Goodnight is none other than John Derossiers, son of The Dracula Derossiers who rules the territory they live in. When the mystery and conflict from Peyton’s past intrudes on the bar and his father’s land, Johnny is called in to investigate and solve the problem.  And what a problem it is.  A dreadful dark secret that is at the heart of the chaos in the Blue werewolf pack. This is a very sensitive subject matter that Megan Derr gives a delicate and compassionate treatment, identifying the matter through the use of a poem instead of outright stating the nature of the abuse. Simply and elegantly done.

Ruffskin contains all the usual elements I have come to expect from Megan Derr.  Great characterizations, smart dialog and a storyline that keeps the reader engaged right to the end. Ruffskin is listed as the fourth book in the Dance With The Devil series but the author states at the beginning that this story fits in right after the second book as I have noted above.  While Midnight could almost be read as a stand alone (it figures into the books that follow it), the first three books should be read in the order I have indicated below:

Dance With The Devil (DWTD#1)see my review here.

Dance In The Dark (DWTD#2) – see my review here.

Ruffskin (DWTD#4)

Midnight (DWTD#3) – see my review here.

Cover:  Again another gorgeous cover by London Burden in keeping with the series and containing a simple graphic of a object center to the storyline.

Review of Dance With The Devil (Dance With The Devil #1) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4.5 stars

Chris White is a detective with a unique caseload and an even stranger group of clients. Or it would be unique if Chris wasn’t a detective of the supernatural in a City ruled by a storm demon.  And as for Chris White himself?  Well, he’s not exactly a normal either.  The son of a black witch and a ghost, he can become transparent and walk through solid objects, an ability that comes in handy if you are a detective. Doug, a free imp is his friend and co detective, a situation that came about from one of Chris’ first cases.  No case is refused, whether it be a missing normal, a sleeping alchemist who won’t wake up, a runaway vampire, warlock in search of a book, a frightened goblin and a demon lord with one interest, that of Christ White himself.

Megan Derr just keeps the terrific reads coming, one captivating book after another.  Dance With The Devil is the first book in the Dance With The Devil series and introduces us to Christ White, supernatural detective,the demon Lord, Cadfael, also known as Sable Brennus whose consort just happens to be Chris White, and all the denizens of the storm demon’s territory and neighboring lands.  I loved the structure of this book.  Instead of chapters, Derr gives us case files from the White’s Detective Agency.  The lower the case file  number, the earlier in the time line of the  book which starts at Case #503, which is present day with Chris already Sable Brennus’ Consort and Doug, a full grown imp, a friend and co detective.  They are looking for the daughter of a missing “normal” friend of Sable’s.  The next case? In another book, it would be a flashback but here it is Case No. 37-Devoured which brings Chris into his first contact with the storm demon ruling the city and our first look at the beginnings of their relationship. And so the book continues, after each case in present time, we get the characters backstory in a case from their past.  Case load by case load, we gather together the histories of the beings we meet and the social structure of the world they live in.  I loved this element. Already a mystery addict, this was a story construct that had me glued to the pages from the very first sentence.

The dimensions here are not only in the demon worlds, but in the characters created for the story.  I loved Chris White and his unusual family and backstory.  Even in a world full of supernatural creatures, he was still a small boy made fun of at school because of his ghostly half nature.  Chris, with his determination to take care of those in need, even if he doesn’t like them very much, is a honorable, if prickly Knight in jeans and leather jacket.  And the Woods, a section of town he lives in with all the other marginal creatures trying to get through every day, is so vividly described right down to the sad sack buildings and structures long past their glory days full of victims and predators is easily visualized by the reader. Doug is worthy of our sympathy for his beginnings and our delight in a knowledgeable, lonely being craving a love that he believes will never be his. Then there is Phil, Philipa actually, who starts out as a victim who dusts off her Louboutins (or the demon world’s equivalent) to become so much more than she started out to be.  One after another, memorable characters march into view to capture our hearts and tether our hopes to their efforts at achieving self worth, companionship and love.

And at the end of the book, I wanted more, much, much more! Dagnabbit! At 146 pages, it was just too short for me.  Happily, there are other books in this series which I have listed below and will review in the order they were written.  Next up?  Dancing in the Dark (Dance With The Devil #2).  Look for it coming soon.  Until then, it’s back to Case No. 629 and Phil’s first case!  That’s right, Philipa became a detective, ok a junior one, and got involved with a goblin….well, you just have to get the book and find out for yourself.  Trust me, you will love it!

Dance with the Devil (Dance with the Devil #1)

Dance In The Dark (Dance with the Devil #2)

Midnight (Dance with the Devil #3)

Ruffskin (Dance with the Devil #4)

Sword of the King (Dance with the Devil #5)

I like this cover but the rest of the series has a uniform format and design that I find much more appealing. London Burden is the cover designer and does just an outstanding job with Megan Derr’s series.