Growing Into THE HALF WOLF–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand-new M/M contemporary paranormal romance from Jay Northcote. THE HALF WOLF is a new adult shifter romance, and I really enjoyed it. Not that I’m surprised. I’ve adored all Jay’s books to-date including SUMMER HEAT, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, and THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, and TOPS DOWN BOTTOMS UP. THE HALF-WOLF is another stellar story about getting over prejudices and accepting love at the right time, and had really fantastic anti-racism messages that warmed me up as much as the sexytimes.

About the book:
Mate, family, pack, home… can Quinn and Kellan have it all?
Quinn grew up feeling out of place in the small town he calls home. Yearning for something he can’t name, he’s always felt different but never known why.

Kellan is part of a nomadic shifter pack. When they set up camp in the woods near Quinn’s town, the humans are unwelcoming and suspicious of the newcomers. The moment Kellan catches sight—and scent—of Quinn, he knows Quinn is special. But for the first time in his life, Kellan can’t trust his instincts. Quinn is human, and Kellan is a wolf shifter, so how can they ever be mates?

Their bond is instant and exhilarating. It breaks Quinn’s heart to know their relationship can only be temporary. Love isn’t enough when pack law forbids shifters to mate with humans. Tension explodes between pack and humans, and when Quinn discovers a shocking truth about himself that changes everything, he fears he’ll have to choose between the only life he’s ever known and the man he loves.

My Review:
This book is set in an alternate reality where shifters are known to exist but are unwelcome members of society in general. They are often transient enclaves that travel from area to area subsisting off the land and whatever work they can find before being chased off by the locals.

Quinn grew up in a small town in Wales. His coming out back in school was a big scandal and he feels like an outsider, having been raised by his aunt since birth, essentially. It’s mid-summer ans super hot, and a shifter group has come to camp outside of town near the quarry where locals tend to like to swim. Quinn’s aunt has been very pro-shifter all his life, and he’s been fascinated by their experience, too, having read and watched all the roods/movies he could about shifters while growing up. And, he decides it’s important to see the shifters in their native state once he hears there are some close enough to observe. So, he spies on them. Once. And, it’s enough to recognize that one of them is supremely attractive.

Kellan, the blond god he’d seen swimming nude in the quarry, appears at Quinn’s workplace the next day. It’s a news and magazine shop owned by his aunt, and Quinn is baffled more by Kellan’s beauty up close. The confusion is mutual, because Kellan’s keen sense of smell tells him that Quinn is human, but something else. Something very intriguing. And, he’s grateful that Quinn gives him good advice about seeking a job. The two keep connecting, and the sexual chemistry is astronomical–but neither wants to give in, because shifters aren’t supposed to mate humans, and they could build a bond that’s only going to ache once Kellan’s pack moves on.

The townsfolk aren’t happy about the shifter camp, but they’re downright enraged when it becomes clear a shifter is killing farmers’ livestock for sport. The shifters claim it must be a rogue, but the humans don’t believe. And, it’s all getting muddled for Quinn who’s fallen deep for Kellan–which sparks a whole new series of changes that Quinn never anticipated.

I’m not going to chat much more about the book except that it’s a fabulously-told book of self exploration and coming to terms with who you are. Quinn isn’t who he’d grown up believing he was, and his love for Kellan, a mate match, reveals all his hidden secrets. The prejudice of the townspeople is frightening–is a mob action that’s only barely leashed. Finding the rogue shifter added a ticking clock on Quinn and Kellan’s relationship, but also turned the anti-shifter tide in many ways. The resolution is awesome, and the ending is happy. Also, some yummy sexytimes. Expect Kellan to make Quinn’s first time something to remember.

Interested? You can find THE HALF WOLF on Goodreads and Amazon (US or UK).

About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

You can find Jay on his website, Twitter, Facebook Author Page, and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

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The Darkness Series by K. F. Breene–Reviews and KINDLE Giveaway

Darkness-Series-Tour-BannerHi there! And welcome to my stop on the ON A RAZOR’S EDGE blog tour. For other stops on the tour click here. Author K.F. Breene is sharing an excerpt from the Darkness Novella Series, has a Kindle Fire HDX up for grabs, and wants to remind you that INTO THE DARKNESS (Book #1) is FREE!

Into the Darkness coverINTO THE DARKNESS (Darkness #1)
I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.

Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.

No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.

I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.

I just had to know.

New Adult (18 +) due to sexual content and not for the faint of heart.

You can get INTO THE DARKNESS free on Amazon or Barnes and Noble so go on and clickity-click. What are you waiting for?

Oh, you’d like a little taste?

He stepped closer, not hearing me, or not caring that I spoke. His eyes looked at me like I was a life-sized riddle. They delved, searching. He took another step, forcing me to retreat two steps to keep distance between our bodies. Another step back had my back to the wall.

A small smile curved his lips. “I exude pleasure, you run. I exude fear, you come calling. You want me, I can smell it. I can feel it, almost like a palpable thing. Give in to it. Yield to me.”

Oh God I wanted to. His body was mere inches from mine, his intense eyes looking down into my soul from a face out of a Renaissance painting. The power of him, the sheer strength, had strange, primal fantasies running amok through my head. My core tingled, my chest surged, and my nipples were so hard they could cut this stone wall.

Why had I come here, again?

Whoa! I can tell you the sexual tension is pretty high here. Click to catch my full review.

Braving the Elements coverBRAVING THE ELEMENTS (Darkness #2)
Sasha has always known she was different, but now she also knows that the shadow men she’s seen all her life, are real. With a life goal of fitting in, Sasha hopes her strange abilities will finally make true friendship a possibility. Unfortunately, her magic doesn’t function like everyone else’s. What she thought would make her belong, sets her apart now more than ever.

Stefan, all but promised to a different woman, has tried to keep his mind on his duties instead of the irresistible and free-spirited human. But when she is threatened, he can’t keep his distance anymore. He realizes he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe, and more importantly, make her his.

Just when one thing clicks into place, another spirals out of control. Stefan’s clan isn’t the only group that would benefit from an extremely rare type of magic. And their enemies will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Braving the Elements is the second novella in K.F.Breene’s long awaited Darkness series. Sasha’s story is one of discovery, awareness, and understanding, and is jam packed with action, humor, sexual tension, and an overwhelming desire for final acceptance.

Let me tell you: the steam between Sasha and Stefan is hot. Even knowing his clan will not accept her, Stefan can’t help marking in the ancient–and nearly forgotten–custom. And, Charles is a bigger and more fun part of this segment. Check out my full review here.

You can find BRAVING THE ELEMENTS on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00011]ON A RAZOR’S EDGE (Darkness #3) Releasing April 22, 2014

Life for Sasha isn’t getting easier. She has survived run-in’s with monstrous Dulcha, lived through an abduction, and even made it passed Charles’ constant badgering for sex. But if she thought the hurdles of this new life would simmer down, she was dead wrong.

When the Regional comes to visit Stefan’s clan, the pressure increases. Sasha finds herself on a giant scale, assessed for her magic and held in the balance. If she doesn’t have the magic Stefan hopes, she could find herself on the street while still in grave danger. Even with a favorable outcome, however, her inability to use her magic presents a road block not easily crossed.

No, life is not getting easier.

Stefan feels the heat, too. He must finally declare a mate, and admitting to desiring a human is the worst form of taboo. He could jeopardize not only his place as leader, but his and Sasha’s life. His decision is like walking on a razor’s edge.

My Review:
This is my fave installment in the series. Sasha and Stefan are–without question–attached. Stefan has sent for a Council elder to verify Sasha’s superior magical rank, and to have a Mage come to train her. For some reason, Sasha’s magic doesn’t seem to work the way Stefan’s people are accustomed.

Every time she tries to cast a spell, it ends in a fiery disaster. Hopefully Toa, the White Mage, can help her sort out the trouble because Sasha is being sent as Stefan’s emissary to the nearby shifter population to help secure an alliance against their mortal enemy, Trek, and his minions.  If Sasha is successful she will elevated to the rank of full Mage and will be considered a worthy match for a clan leader–namely Stefan–so she is determined to work hard toward this goal.

Sasha is accompanied by her stalwart–and horny–protector Charles, and Jonas–a good friend of Stefan but someone who had sworn to get revenge against Sasha in the first book. Neither Sasha, nor Charles are certain where Jonas’ loyalty lies, however, and they both have serious reason to believe he will not protect Sashs should Trek turn up in the shifter camp.

And, of course, Sasha’s confidence is shattered when her rival for Stefan’s affection, Darla, arrives as “back up”. Sasha is sure this is a “No Confidence” vote on Stefan’s part and begins to doubt that she will complete her mission–to gain the shifter alliance–which will mean that she and Stefan cannot be linked.

As it happens, Trek hits the shifter camp hot and hard. A supposed protector is truly a traitor and Sasha must choose between leaving the shifter camp in full battle to protect herself, or turning back to help her new friends. As this is an adventure/erotic romance you can guess the choice she makes.

It’s a satisfying end, with an epic battle that proves Sasha’s true worth as both a human and a Mage. The resolution hints at further installments, but the series is fairly well-wrapped. Had a great time with Charles–Sasha always seems to get the better of him, Watch Captain or no. I think the best part of the book was the uncertainty surrounding Jonas and Darla. Both had good reason to want Sasha in harms way, but one did the right thing and proved his/herself the supreme protector.

It’s a fun spicy adventure, but there was far less spice and far more adventure which seemed to be the right mix for me this go-round. Again, not recommending this for young readers. Whole lotta lovin’ goin’ down…

Interested?  You can find ON A RAZOR’S EDGE on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author

A wine country native, she moved to San Francisco for college just shy of a decade ago to pursue a lifelong interest in film. As she settled into the vibrant city, it quickly became apparent that, while she thought making films was great fun, she lacked cinematic genius. For that reason, her career path quickly changed direction. Her next goal was a strange childhood interest, conjured at the dining room table while filling out a form. For some reason, her young self wanted to be an accountant. Thinking on it now, she wonders how she had any friends. Regardless, it was the direction she finally took.

While she could wrangle numbers with the best of ’em, and even though she wore the crown as the most outspoken, belligerent accountant in the world, her mind got as stuffy as her daily routine. It was here that she dusted off her creative hat and began writing. Now she makes movies in her head, and then writes them down. Way easier than dealing with actors–she should know, she’s been one!

You can find find Ms. Breene in the usual places: Website | Facebook | Twitter

***GIVEAWAY***
KF Breene is offering up a KINDLE FIRE HDX (US only) in her super raffle. Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!
AToMRTours_mdm

He Doesn’t Have a HEART OF STONE After All–A Review

Saving the world? That’s woman’s work!

Heart of Stone (Gargoyles, #1)I nabbed HEART OF STONE off of NetGalley just so I could see if Christine Warren could write Urban Fantasy as hot as Karen Marie Moning.

Mmm mmm mmm. Good stuff.

About the Book:

Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life?

Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone…yet.

My Review:

This was a super fun read. Ella is spunky. She’s got a terrible amount of power that she strains to contain–particularly after the last time it escaped. Becoming an instant orphan will teach a gal control. One night she’s attacked on the terrace of the art museums where she works and the statue beside her erupts into life.  It’s enough to make a gal swoon. She did.

Kees isn’t just a delicious art-come-to-life–he’s a Guardian, and he knows the world is in big trouble when an untried, untamed magical girl can rouse him from his mystical slumber. Together they learn that the Keepers of Light are being systematically hunted down by the minions of Darkness. WIthout the Guardians Earth has no hope to prevent demonic subjugation. Kees fights against his emotional reactions–claiming to be nothing more than the stone he is–but Ella insists there’s more to him than he will accept.

Let’s just say this: End of times doesn’t normal equal romance, but the heat simmered from their first contact–long before they recognized the danger they were in. And, I am NOT a gal who’s going to get miffed about some serious friction. Bam-chicka-bow-wow.

Kees? D-Lish. Makes me want to hit the Art Institute just to see if I can find me some Guardian…

In any case, Ella and Kees do get it right and track down the last Keeper they can find. Unfortunately he’s torched soon thereafter by the Big Baddies. And they continue the hunt for both Keepers and Guardian statues–the remaining six which seem to be scattered to the four winds. All while dodging the Dark Ones. Ella’s standoff in her childhood home leaves her with far better magical skills, and a few less enemies.

It seems, instead of the usual rituals to awaken these magnificent defenders of humanity, a single woman of power can entreat the creature within to break his stony bonds–much like Ella did for Kees–if she is his true mate. And one of Ella’s art friends may have found another Guardian. As this is the beginning of a new Gargoyles series, I expect there to be six similar books where a smart sassy gal brings her personal stony savior to life all to save the world.

In total I liked the magical elements. I felt that Ella wasn’t clueless, but needed training to use the powers she always knew she had. And Kees did train her. Hard. With his teaching, and some books gleaned from essential support characters, Ella built herself from a danger into a weapon for good–and in far less time than Mac Lane. Also, did I mention the sex? Kinda like voting in Chicago it happens early and often… Nice.

Interested? You can find HEART OF STONE at your local bookstore, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

If you pick this one up, make sure to come back and tell me your thoughts.

In the meantime, keep reading my friends! 🙂

Freaky Freebie–DARKNESS AWAKENED

Welcome to another pre-Halloween SPOOKTACULAR inspired read. This feature is a RURAL fantasy. Ha! Coined a new subgenre right ‘ere! It’s like an urban fantasy, but the setting is rural—so, yeah…

13513078Anyhoo, Stephanie Rowe’s DARKNESS AWAKENED is not a vamp tale. It’s not an angel tale, either. It is a romantic adventure with paranormal elements, however, and that caught my eye.

Here’s what happens:

Quinn Masters isn’t just a Calydon warrior—he’s a member of the Order of the Blade—an elite fighting unit charged with keeping the peace between Calydonians and hiding their existence from the human population. Order members are virtually immortal—Quinn is over 500 years old—but they are forbidden to take mates. See, for Order members, mating women is to invite madness. Never a good idea to have lunatic assassins on the loose, methinks. While on a training mission in the untamed Oregon forests, Quinn’s team of new recruits is slain by one of his own—Elijah, a trusted mentor and friend.

When he recovers from his injuries, Quinn discovers Grace Matthews waiting on his doorstep. Grace knows revealing her presence is tantamount to a death sentence—Illusionists like herself have been hunted to near extinction—but she needs Quinn’s help to rescue her sister Ava from a malevolent being—the same one who turned Elijah on his fellow Calydonians. Quinn doesn’t realize Grace’s Illusionist powers at first, but he certainly apprehends her feminine powers—the attraction between them has it’s own GPS signal for goodness sake!—so he’s anxious to send Grace on her merry way.

Of course, when Quinn’s home is attacked with them trapped inside, he and Grace become unlikely partners in order to escape. And, it turns out, Grace is able to track Ava’s Illusions so she has value in finding Elijah before he goes psycho yet again.

On the quest for Elijah and Ava, the attraction between Grace and Quinn blossoms.  So much so that the Order is ready to terminate Grace to save Quinn from mating madness. Good thing she can conjure Illusions to protect herself! 

The plot is active and the voice is playful. It’s not too hot and spicy, but it’s clearly got strong romantic elements. I loved the banter between Quinn and Grace. This is the first in a series and we get a good look at several Order members upon which the continuing plot rests.

Even better, this fun read is FREE! [Except at B&N…?] So you can download at will. GOODREADS   AMAZON  BARNES & NOBLE

If you check this one out and like it, please let me know in the comments.

And, as always:  keep reading, my friends!