Tag Archives: betrayal

Hailey lays all the groundwork for this epic steampunk fantasy

The-Prince-s-Poisoned-Vow-Amazon-EbookThe Prince’s Poisoned Vow by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that was beyond epic.

As a series opener, it gives a lot of important information but you’re not bombarded with it. Each character who will have a significant role to play throughout the saga is introduced in their own clearly labelled chapter in a Prologue which sets up the series.

There’s a fabulously complex world being built in each of these chapters and you very quickly get a sense of each of the individual countries and the Star Gods which influence them and the lives of all their inhabitants.

This isn’t just an MM romance either, there are two male pairings and OMG I adore them both, but we also have an FF couple and a potential MF pairing, and each set of characters is so beautifully suited that it’s difficult to pick favourites.

However, the FF pairing are both intriguing and also giving me all kinds of mixed feels because our main protagonist in the doing of dodgy deeds is one of them. I love the morally grey characters of fantasy romance because they make you think.

Eimarille Rourke is a wonderfully crafted character, she’s strong willed, clear of mind, determined and totally in love with her Blade (a kind of bodyguard assassin spy type) Terilyn. I can’t decide atm if I want to yeet her off the face of Maricol or cheer her all the way to the Throne she’s supposed to inherit 😂

Both of the MM pairings though, oh they are wonderous.

Soren & Vanya are Warden & Imperial Prince, such different stations in life and attitudes towards it. But since Soren saved Vanya from an assassination attempt and a bunch of revenants, their paths have intersected.

There’s such awesome vibes between these two. Vanya is fighting foes both openly and hidden within his own court, while Soren answers to no-one other than the head of the Wardens. His path is to fight the risen dead and try to prevent the spread of deadly spores.

And here I want to say ONLY because it’s Hailey Turner am I voluntarily reading a saga that has what are essentially zombies in it!

Blaine and Honovi have my heart right now. They’re everything I love in a fantasy romance. Not only dedicated to each other, this married pair are all about duty, about country, loyalty, protecting the vulnerable, and hiding secrets. Big secrets.

Finally, but very definitely not the least important, is Caris and Nathaniel. I can’t really go into much detail here at all, other than to say Hailey is on my I’m watching you list right now because of things which go down with this pair.

Throughout this book I gasped, I sighed, I had happy thoughts, I had raging almost throw the Kindle out the window thoughts.

I cried! For gawd’s sake, me, crying at a book character’s potential fate, it just doesn’t really happen outside of the fantasy genre so kudos to Ms Turner 🤣

There are secrets, plans within plans, there are deaths, there are births.

Countries fates are played with by the Gods and the threads of this series are laid down with paths that still have twists and turns to come I am sure.

And oh boy I am here for it all!

#ARC kindly received from the author via Valentine PR in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Beyond The Ruby River by Lee Colgin

Beyond the Ruby River | Lee Colgin

BANNER

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 72,000 words

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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BRR Small

Blurb

When an incubus half-breed falls for a mortal Egyptian man, will their love span centuries or are they destined to pine for each other for all eternity?

In Ancient Egypt when the pharaohs ruled the banks of the Nile, Mahu led a simple, if somewhat melancholy, life. Making papyrus filled his days. His needs were provided for, but deep in his soul, Mahu longed for companionship.

Dakarai, born of a demon mother and a human father, craved independence. A young incubus constantly in the shadows of his full-blooded siblings, Daka set out for a new city and a life of his own.

While a starving Daka roams the streets hunting for a meal, the sight of a beautiful man walking alone stops him in his tracks. The handsome stranger is just what he needs to quench his spiraling thirst.

But Mahu turns out to be more than Daka bargained for, and his heart falls for the lonely man.

What betrayal shatters their foundation, can Daka and Mahu find their way back to each other, or is each soul destined to long for the other for all eternity?

Beyond the Ruby River is an MM Paranormal Romance featuring a steamy love story, a second chance romance, and the mysteries of an ancient world. This is book three of a series and can be read as a standalone with its own HEA and satisfying conclusion.

BEYOND

Excerpt

Dakarai

Hunger stirred deep in Daka’s core, an emptiness with claws and teeth demanding to be filled. It was his first night in Naukratis, and already he wondered if he’d made a mistake abandoning the safe cocoon of his family. Though eager for a taste of independence, Daka’s nerves fluttered with unease as he stalked the unfamiliar streets.

With only a warm sea breeze for company, Daka let loose his extra sense, the one that would lead him to a meal. Entering the wide market square, he cast his gaze over dozens of stalls, their colorful awnings muted in the evening light. Laborers celebrated the end of a day’s work with beer, bread, and conversation. Street vendors peddled their offerings. Naukratis smelled of fresh spiced fish, baking bread, and candied nuts—all of which appealed to him, but none that would quench this particular hunger.

What Daka needed would be found past the town’s main market, perhaps down a side street or along a narrow alley. Inhaling through his nose, sorting the myriad array of scents, he searched for the alluring aroma of pleasure. A brothel would suit perfectly.

Daka’s intuition guided him forward, but before he could cut south to chase the divine smell of arousal around the corner, his gaze landed on an elegant man and refused to budge. His eyes possessed a will of their own, such was the man’s appeal.

He was taller than Daka’s average height, long of limb with wide shoulders and perfect posture. He wore cornflower blue linen, belted at his narrow waist, skirt hanging to a svelte pair of thighs. Dark onyx tresses hung past his chin, straight and prob‐ ably silken to the touch. Daka couldn’t be sure of the texture at this distance, and it was suddenly of the utmost importance to find out.

Though brothel workers would make for an easier target, Daka veered off course to pursue the handsome man instead. To seduce him and touch his lovely hair for himself. He followed through the square—dodging people and slinking amongst the crowd, stealthy as a cat and just as light on his feet—until he was no more than ten paces from his quarry.

This close, Daka could pick up the scent lingering in the man’s wake. Earthen and woody, like the papyrus that grew in the marshy lands nearby. He inhaled greedily. What would he smell like aroused? Daka had to know.

The man left the busy center of town, turned west, and continued between rows of mud brick houses, his pace steady as a pulsing heart. He had the stride of a man to a purpose. Daka’s curiosity grew with each step. Instead of catching up to begin the seduction, Daka shoved his appetite aside in favor of learning the man’s destination.

They walked for another quarter hour until the chirps of bugs overtook the noise from town and houses gave way to farmland. Daka spotted the neat rows of tumuli leading to an ancient mastaba, and their endpoint became clear.

The man had led him to the final resting place of Naukratis’ dead.

Well-maintained burial mounds, with funerary gardens throughout, lined the landscape. Daka hung back so as not to be noticed or to disturb this man in his grief. The perfect posture he’d noted earlier began to sag, shoulders drooping forward, head bowed as he knelt by a triad of graves. He sat back on his heels, long thighs stretched thin, the blue linen of his skirt revealing smooth bronzed skin.

Daka could not help his appetite, inappropriate as it may be, though he would strive to contain it. This man was in no mood for the sort of amorous encounter an incubus like himself fed on. He needed a warm, familial embrace, not the frenzied release Daka itched to provide.

He slunk back into the shadows to watch from under a sweet-smelling date palm. The man sat with the dead. Daka sat by himself, wondering who the man had lost.

Daka’s family possessed immortality. At least, his mother and siblings did. His father was human, but Daka had never met him. As a half-blooded demon, he’d staked claim to immortality but not to all the gifts that came with it. His powers of sway and persuasion were paltry in comparison to his full-blooded brethren. Unable to bend people to his will, Daka could only nudge. He might never develop the skill of astral projection. But he would live forever, a feat which seemed unfathomable at only twenty-two years into eternity.

The man bent over the graves had a decade or so on Daka in age, perhaps more. Maybe thirty-five or forty, Daka couldn’t tell. A man in his prime but worn around the edges with the melancholy that loss thrusts upon the living.

About the Author

Lee Colgin has loved vampires since she read Dracula on a hot, sunny beach at 13 years old. She lives in North Carolina with lots of dogs and her husband.

No, he’s not a vampire, but she loves him anyway. Lee likes to workout so she can eat the maximum amount of cookies with her pizza. Ask her how much she can bench press.

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Lacuna hit all my fantasy high notes perfectly

55703944._SY475_Lacuna by N.R. Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that was a cracker!

I absolutely adore fantasy, it’s my first love and I’m always really happy to see more authors in the MM genre writing it.

With Lacuna, Nic does an excellent job of not only creating a fully immersive world, but bedding a romance into the heart of the narrative.

The premise is simple, four kingdoms, four rulers, one rare event requiring them all to gather, then betrayal and threat from outside forces. But it’s the way she then weaves the culture of her creation into the story which worked so well for me.

Crow, King of the Northlands, and Tancho, King of the Westlands, couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. There are influences in their Kingdoms from our own cultures, the Northlands are icy and vaguely Scandinavia, the Westlands are all watery and heavily evocative of Japanese culture.

An unexpected event at the gathering of these four rulers forces Crow and Tancho together and theirs is a sort of “enemies” to lovers romance.

They were never actual enemies but there’s animosity at first, which slowly, because of circumstances, turns into mutual admiration and respect – and a possibly slightly unhealthy dose of jealousy which provides a lot of the humour in the story.

With a wonderful cast of supporting characters, this story races through a complicated, but never confusing, plot involving alchemy, astronomy, a wee bit of magic and a lot of collaboration and bravery.

While the main plot is resolved in this story, there is enough left that I think there could be more to come and I would very much love to read more. Crow and Tancho’s relationship may have originally begun through forces outside their control, but it very much became one of mutual love and trust.

I also loved the other two rulers of the Eastern and Southern Kingdoms, both Elmwood and Samiel (the only Queen) were engaging characters with definite personalities and I’d be very happy to read more about them too.

Definitely one of my favourite books from Nic and I absolutely LOVE the cover.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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