Tag Archives: paranormal

Release Blitz: Tainted Love Anthology

Tainted Tales | Various Authors

A Dark Folklore Anthology for Save the Children

Authors: Claire Marta, Anna Edwards, Faith Ryan, Sara Dobie Bauer, Emma Jaye, T.S. McKinney, Abrianna Denae, Leigh Kenzie, Jessica Collins, L. Ann.

Cover Artist: TRC Designs

Release Date: March 26, 2020

Heat Rating: Each story has its own flame rating.

Length: approx. 200 000 words/500 pages

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

Some stories paint us sweet, told to children as they fall asleep.

Mother Earth she weaves the world with a whirl of her magic, and her kind embrace shapes us all. Father Time keeps us all, ever constant, ever moving onwards, for time never stands still.

Icy hands and a frozen touch, Jack Frost ushers in the cold snap, coating the earth with sparkly delights. If Jack brings cold, May Queen brings warmth, her delicate touch bringing forth the spring.

Follow the rainbow and maybe you’ll find, a Leprechaun with his lucky pot of gold.

The watchful eyes of Man in the Moon keeps all of the secrets of the night, shining down on us with his silvery light. The Sandman is here to soothe you to sleep, bringing all to slumber with a pinch of magic dust. Shhh, sleep now. Beware the Boogeyman lurking out of sight, waiting under your bed, to catch naughty children in the night. Be good little children, for Santa is watching, and he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.

Tales of lore, fair music to our ears. Can you hear it? Did you know? Not every tale is sweet. The truth is darker, our stories more twisted, unlike the rhymes that children hear.

All proceeds will be donated to Save the Children.

This is a mixed M/F and M/M anthology that contains trigger warnings for its dark content.

It is intended for a mature audience of 18+.

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Release Blitz: Master Wolf by Joanna Chambers

Master Wolf | Joanna Chambers

Capital Wolves #2

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Release Date: March 26th, 2020

Cover Artist: Felix D’Eon

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/38YRz0o

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vcoQGq

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2HMQrRl Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/37T878D

Apple: https://apple.co/2Vhkc4M   Kobo: https://bit.ly/37W57YQ

All other stores: https://books2read.com/u/bW1Gqx

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2SPkNsP

Master-Wolf-Kindle

Blurb

He must master the wolf within…

Edinburgh, 1820. Thirty years after leaving Scotland, Drew Nicol is forced to return when the skeleton of a monster is found. The skeleton is evidence of werewolves—evidence that Marguerite de Carcassonne, the leader of Drew’s pack, is determined to suppress.

Marguerite insists that Drew accompany her to Edinburgh. There they will try to acquire the skeleton while searching for wolf-hunters—wolf hunters who may be holding one of their pack prisoner.

But Drew has reason to be wary about returning to Edinburgh—Lindsay Somerville now lives there.

Lindsay, who taught Drew about desire and obsession.

Lindsay, who Drew has never been able to forgive for turning him.

Lindsay, who vowed to stay away from Drew twelve years ago… and who has since taken drastic steps to sever the bond between them.

Marguerite’s plan will throw Drew and Lindsay together again—and into a deadly confrontation with Lindsay’s enemy, Duncan MacCormaic. They will be tested to their limits and forced to confront both their past mistakes and their true feelings.

But it may be too late for them to repair the damage of the past. The consequences of Lindsay’s choices are catching up with him, and he’s just about out of time…

Gentleman Wolf

Capital Wolves #1

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Amazon US |Amazon UK

Amazon AU Amazon CA

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About The Author

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Joanna Chambers primarily writes MM romance. She lives and works in Scotland and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

She likes wine, loves books and hates cleaning.

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Website: https://joannachambers.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ChambersJoanna

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joanna.chambers.58

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/30WKn

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Release Blitz: Wolf Reborn by Sam Burns

Wolf Reborn | Sam Burns

The Wolves of Kismet #3

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Length: ~50k words

Release Date: March 26th, 2020

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Add To Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51887719-wolf-reborn

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Blurb

Gavin Lloyd has been a werewolf for ten months, and he’s still trying to get used to it. He wants to settle into a nice quiet life, running his coffee shop with his pack and learning how to be a werewolf.

But now people are saying he’s some kind of prophesied werewolf messiah. He doesn’t know how they expect him to help them when he hasn’t even figured out how to help himself.

Miles Parker has lived in Kismet, Colorado his whole life, and up till now it’s been nothing but a simple, mundane existence. Then Gavin moved into town, with his sparkling green eyes and ability to make tea lattes like nobody else.

When Miles gets a call to look into a burglary at his boyfriend’s home on the full moon, though, what he finds there sets off a chain of events that will leave his life completely transformed.

And maybe, somewhere along the way, give Gavin the spark he needs.

About The Author

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Sam is an author of LGBTQIA+ fiction, mostly light-hearted fantasy romances. Most of her books include a little violence, a fair amount of swearing, and maybe a sex scene or two. Or four.

She is a full-time writer who lives in the Midwest with her husband and cat. Someday, she plans to be a full-time writer who lives near the ocean with her husband and cat.

Social Media

Website: www.burnswrites.com

Email: Sam@burnswrites.com

Facebook: facebook.com/sam.burns.52459

Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/16897949.Sam_Burns

Amazon: amazon.com/Sam-Burns/e/B07123MZ62

Instagram: instagram.com/samburnswrites

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Release Blitz: Imperial Twist by Jessamyn Kingley

Imperial Twist | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #16

BANNER

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: March 19, 2020

Fated Mates 3 flames

Buy Links:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Imperial Twist

Blurb

Even for those determined to succeed, Fate is no guarantee.

Imperial Duke Damian Draconis has always known he would have two mates. His whole life, he’s yearned to prove to his parents and the world that such a match is not doomed for failure.

His household is brimming with happy couples, and he wants the same joy in his heart—but on his own terms. Consumed with his desire to challenge the unfair assumption that his goal is foolhardy, he’s convinced it takes only determination to succeed.

A walk into a dingy coffee shop proves that Fate does indeed have two men in mind for him, and Damian moves forward with soaring resolve. Though all is not as it seems, with some convincing on Damian’s part, the three men come to an agreement to proceed. But right from the start obstacles make themselves known, pushing them to the brink.

Damian soon learns that what you want isn’t always what you need, upending all he thought he knew. He never imagined nor is he prepared for the way his true mate lights up his soul.

In the end Damian will find that determination is not everything, and sometimes you must ignore what Fate wants if it means following your heart.

Excerpt

“Aren’t you scared someone is going to bust into the kitchen and steal Chrys?” Praxis teased in between bites of eggs and bacon.

Damian gave his youngest sibling a hard glare, though it was difficult to keep his smile at bay. He liked the cheeky kid that had somehow grown into a well-adjusted teenager despite Andriana’s and Gelon’s influences. “You do realize that you’re insulting your own dad-mate, right? He’s going to be here.”

When Praxis had grown close to his father and Costas, he’d borrowed the term Trystan D’Vaire used for his own parent not related by blood—the former Emperor Conley. “No way, because he’s a financial duke, and you’re the one in charge of security. Besides, you literally never leave Chrys alone.”

“Right, like I follow him and Elf into their room at night.”

Praxis laughed so hard he snorted. “Gross. No, I mean like when he leaves the house. You’re always with him.”

“He’s not going anywhere this morning.”

“What if he wanted to?”

Chrysander said nothing as he grinned around his coffee mug. There would be no help from that quarter.

“You know what? I think there’s too much of an age gap between you and me to have sibling rivalry, and yet you’re always crawling up my butt about something. What gives?”

“I’m the youngest and you’re the oldest. It’s my job to annoy you.”

“You’re doing a great job.”

“Thanks. I’m an overachiever.”

“I know it. You got top marks in every subject this quarter,” Damian commented proudly. Not only was the kid friendly and nice but wickedly smart.

“Yeah, somehow Dad-mate has helped me not suck at math.”

“You didn’t suck—you didn’t have any opportunity to be taught what you needed until you arrived here,” Niko corrected.

“Sometimes you’re too nice, Dad.”

“He’s always too nice. It’s one of his many fine qualities,” Damian retorted.

Damian stood and stuck his plate in the dishwasher. “Chrys, call or text me if you need to go out.”

“Yeah, so Damianos can crap his pants as he races out of the coffee shop,” Praxis teased.

Because it annoyed him, Damian ruffled Praxis’s hair. The fourteen-year-old predictably slapped at his hand. “Exactly. I’m going to leave Elf in charge around here since the rest of you like to run amok,” Damian joked as he saluted His Majesty. He strode over to the threshold of the living area and stopped when he heard Praxis’s chuckle. “And Costas, you can give Tiri a dollar for giving me the finger.”

“He really does have eyes in the back of his head,” Praxis said as Damian got his feet moving again. He didn’t need to see behind him to know what Costas was doing. Damian had learned everything about being a duke from Costas, and they’d been side by side from the time he and Chrys were a century old. It was comforting to know your family so well you could guess correctly about their actions even when you weren’t facing them.

It was probably foolish, but Damian couldn’t bring himself to leave his communication device at home as he waved at the duke that manned the desk outside the condo and stepped into the elevator. Being the Imperial Duke is too much a part of who I am to simply clock out when my duty for the day is done, he thought as he rode down to the garage level. Since he was so often with Their Majesties, he rarely drove. However, he kept a few snazzy beasts for when the mood hit, and he chose the black Ferrari for his jaunt to the coffee shop.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

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New Release Blitz: The Prince’s Consort by Antonia Aquilante

The Prince’s Consort by Antonia Aquilante

Chronicles of Tournai #1

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 16, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 103,300

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

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Blurb

Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures are only myth.

Or are they?

Prince Philip inherited the throne of Tournai at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to do as they want both in matters of governance and those more personal. He’s become isolated and lonely. Amory is the second son of a wealthy merchant who has never approved of anything about him or had any use for him. Until now.

When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s merchant father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline—something the royal family has kept secret from all but those closest to them for generations.

Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect what those who oppose their relationship will do to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.

Excerpt

The Prince’s Consort
Antonia Aquilante © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Amory giggled as he and Tristan practically fell through the garden gate. He slapped a hand over his mouth, but Tristan must not have heard. If he had, he would have teased without mercy, as was his right as Amory’s closest friend. But Tristan tugged him along, barely giving him a chance to latch the gate behind them so the lock spell would reengage.

All morning, Tristan had been in high spirits—unusual as he was usually the more focused one in classes. But when Amory asked him what was going on, Tristan only shrugged. Maybe it was the weather. All of Jumelle seemed livelier since the warmth of spring had burst over the city.

He let Tristan pull him down the stone path to a secluded corner of the garden shaded by large trees. The walled garden was blooming, giving them plenty of dense foliage to duck behind. With a wicked grin, Tristan turned and pushed him back against a sturdy tree. Before Amory could say a word, Tristan sealed his mouth over Amory’s in a breath-stealing kiss.

The kiss wasn’t a surprise, not then. They had been kissing a lot over the past year or so. The first time had been a surprise, even for Tristan who’d seemed shocked at his own actions. Amory never thought his friend would want to kiss him. He hadn’t thought Tristan saw him in such a way, was attracted to men at all. Their first kiss had been tentative and awkward. They’d gotten better at it quickly.

Much better.

He moaned into the kiss and pulled Tristan closer, urging him to settle his weight against Amory and relishing the feel of Tristan’s firm body against his even as it pushed him into rough tree bark. But who cared about tree bark when Tristan was kissing him as if he wanted to consume him? Deep and passionate, with tongues tangling and teeth nipping. Yes, they had definitely gotten better with all the practice.

“Tris,” he gasped when Tristan pulled back. He wasn’t done with the kiss. But Tristan said nothing, just began kissing along the line of Amory’s jaw. The light little kisses made him shiver and stifle another moan. Though they were in a back corner, away from the house, they were still in his family’s garden, and he didn’t want anyone finding them. They should go somewhere else. A nip to his earlobe made him shudder, and a nuzzling kiss under his ear drove the thought right out of his head.

He grabbed the back of Tristan’s neck and pulled his lips back to Amory’s own for another kiss. Tristan’s slightly larger frame still pressed him into the tree, but Amory took control of the kiss, deepening it and exploring Tristan’s mouth with his tongue. He nearly laughed when Tristan whimpered, loving his ability to provoke such a reaction in the other man. Tristan pulled back with a gasp, and they leaned there together, panting.

“I love kissing you,” Tristan gasped.

Relief exploded in Amory’s chest. Tristan hadn’t said he loved Amory. Tristan was his best friend, but even with all the kissing, Amory wasn’t in love with him. “Me too.”

Tristan grinned and dropped a quick kiss on Amory’s lips. “I want to do more.”

“M-more?” His cheeks heated at the stutter.

Tristan grinned and kissed him again. “Yep. More.”

Amory’s nerves didn’t abate at the confirmation, though he wasn’t sure where they came from. In all the time since that first awkward moment, they hadn’t done anything but kiss. Oh, they touched a little, but never on bare skin and never below the waist. They’d never discussed the concept of “more” before.

The idea did intrigue him. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t thought about what it would be like—he had. But imagining it and doing it were two separate things, and the idea of doing more with Tristan made him vaguely uncomfortable. He wasn’t sure why. They were best friends, and they’d come this far. There was no reason not to go a little farther.

Tristan watched him, his blue eyes intense and a little quizzical. How long had Amory stood there, not saying anything? He smiled past his nerves. “Like what?”

Tristan grinned, slow and wicked, and reached out to unfasten Amory’s pants without a word. Before Amory could protest, before he could decide whether he wanted to protest, Tristan had his hand inside Amory’s pants. He gripped him and began a tight, slow stroke. The feel of another man’s hand on him for the first time stole Amory’s breath, and when he got it back, all he could do was moan.

Tristan’s grin widened at the sound, and his hand sped up, working Amory faster. After a few moments standing there, struggling to breathe, Amory realized he wasn’t doing anything for Tristan. He scrambled to unfasten Tristan’s pants with fumbling fingers as Tristan whispered encouragement. Finally, Amory wrapped his hand around Tristan’s hard member and began to stroke him in time with Tristan’s strokes. It felt awkward at first, different from touching himself yet not so different, but Tristan didn’t voice any objections.

“Yes, yes, yes. Amory,” Tristan gasped into Amory’s ear.

It didn’t last long. Amory might have been embarrassed at how quickly he found his release if Tristan didn’t finish just as fast, spilling over Amory’s hand, and collapsing against him. He was glad of the tree at his back, rough bark and all, because his wobbly knees didn’t have a chance of holding both of them up.

He didn’t know what to think about what they’d done. He’d enjoyed it, but the uncomfortable feeling still plagued him. Before he could begin to analyze it, Tristan was chuckling, low at first, quiet in Amory’s ear, his body shaking against Amory’s chest. Tristan pulled back enough to look at him. His eyes sparkled with happiness, and Amory’s laughter bubbled up to join his friend’s.

The laughter eased the way as they fumbled for handkerchiefs, cleaned themselves up, and neatened their clothes again. Then they leaned against each other and the tree, still laughing a little. It was Amory who moved for another kiss. Both of them were grinning when their lips met, and they couldn’t seem to stop laughing as they kissed, as they kept kissing. But the laughter was soft and light, like the kisses, and Amory relaxed into them, wrapping his arms around Tristan. Telling himself he would think about everything later.

“Good afternoon, brother.”

The unexpected voice and its snide tone had Amory jerking away from the kiss. The back of his head thunked into the tree trunk behind him. Tristan jumped back, separating them much more effectively. Amory almost wished he hadn’t. The short distance between them seemed like a vast gulf, and Amory felt very alone as he straightened away from the tree and turned to face his older brother.

Alban’s handsome face was twisted in a sneer even more disgusted than the one he habitually wore when looking at Amory. He studied Amory and Tristan in silence while Amory struggled not to squirm. No use saying anything to Alban, he knew from bitter experience.

“Now I know why you wanted no part of that pretty little maid last week.” Disdain dripped from Alban’s every word. “You’re more of a disappointment than I thought. Worthless. How are you even my brother?”

With a shake of his head, Alban turned and strode away, likely heading directly for the house. Amory remained frozen for a long moment, not even blinking.

“He’s going to tell your father.” Tristan’s voice was flat, so different from its usual exuberant, almost musical quality. The shock of it broke Amory’s paralysis, and Amory turned to face him. Tristan still stared at the spot where Alban had stood.

“Yes, he is.” Amory ran a shaking hand through his hair and slumped back against the tree. Alban hadn’t hit him, which was a pleasant surprise, but the consequences were still going to be bad. How would Father react? With disappointment, certainly, but that was nothing new. Most likely with anger as well. However disgusted Alban was, their father would be ten times more so.

“Do you think they’ll tell my father?” Tristan turned fear-filled blue eyes on Amory.

“Tris.” Amory reached out. He couldn’t bear seeing him so afraid, and though he couldn’t say much to reassure him, he couldn’t stand by while Tristan was upset either.

But he stepped out of Amory’s reach. “Do you?”

Amory tried to hold back a flinch. “I don’t know.”

Tristan groaned and scrubbed his hands over his face. “He can’t. I don’t know what my father will do if he finds out I prefer men. I’m his oldest son. I’m supposed to take over for him in the business, get married. Have sons to take over the family business after me.”

“You still can. All right, the children part would be difficult if you don’t marry someone who can carry them, but you can still take over the family business.” He didn’t bother mentioning that Tristan had four younger brothers and a younger sister. Surely at least one of them would have children someday who could inherit the family’s business if Tristan never had any of his own and his father insisted on an heir of their blood. But Tristan took his responsibilities as first son seriously. Too seriously. He wouldn’t want to hear that at the moment.

“Not if he disowns me.”

“Now you’re being dramatic. Preferring men is not illegal. It’s not wrong. Your father loves you. He’s proud of you, and you’ll be the same son he’s proud of after he finds out.”

“You don’t know that, Amory.”

No, he didn’t. But Tristan had a better chance of everything working out fine than Amory did. Tristan’s father was proud of his accomplishments, which was more than Amory could say.

“I may not, but I believe it will be all right. Don’t borrow trouble. My father and brother might be too busy killing me to remember to tell your father.”

Tristan huffed out a half laugh and whacked him on the shoulder. “Don’t joke about that.”

“Who’s joking?” Amory smiled crookedly. “Seriously, though, I do think everything will be all right with your father.” He took Tristan’s hand and squeezed and then let go before Tristan could pull away.

“Maybe. I need to go.”

“All right. I’ll see you soon.”

“See you.” Tristan slipped out of their little corner of the garden and was gone before Amory could get another word out. He tried not to think about how unsure Tristan’s parting words sounded. He didn’t want to lose Tristan. Not when he would likely need his friend more than ever.

He didn’t think Father would kill him, but he couldn’t rule out Father hitting him. It was partly why he was so surprised Alban hadn’t—his older brother was a perfect replica of their father in every way. But even without actual murder, Father could make Amory’s life miserable, and Amory wouldn’t be able to do anything until he came of age next week. A week seemed like a short time but was long enough for his father to…

He needed to think about his options. Father would never accept his preferences. Once his father knew, Amory’s time in his family’s house was limited. He hated to leave his younger siblings, especially Adeline, but he doubted he would have much of a choice. It might be best to leave before he was thrown out.

Sighing, he pushed himself away from the tree and started for the house. He hoped he could avoid Father long enough to spend a little time with Adeline and make some plans. And to get his hands to stop shaking.

About the Author

Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent—they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats (which she shares with friends and family), and of course, reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to e-books, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Antonia is living there again after years in Washington, DC and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

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The Princes Consort Now Available

Fabulous exploration of the Norse Æsir in Hailey’s latest paranormal romance

Soulbound-4-FullSize (1)A Vigil in the Mourning by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I think Hailey Turner has written her best book, she produces another which knocks the socks off me.

This one is just the same and is fighting with book one in this series as my favourite yet.

I love how she constantly surprises me with her mix of well-known mythologies – here it’s the Norse Æsir getting an airing – and lesser known but equally as interesting Gods and legends.

We meet Hinon, (also known as Hé-no, an Haudenosaunee/Iroquois thunder god) and his arch enemy the water serpent Oniare, hiding beneath the waters of Lake Michigan 😁

It’s also the first book to venture out of New York to another American location (rather than the jaunt through Ireland in A Crown of Iron & Silver and sees Patrick hunting for the Morrigan’s missing staff in Chicago.

I loved the whole premise of this book. The separation tension grows between Patrick and Jono, as he’s left behind in New York to deal with the treacheries of the other God Pack’s alphas, build alliances with unlikely allies and avoid ancient hunters sent to end his life.

But, even when they’re angry with each other, the love and connection between them is still powerfully emotive. These books are paranormal suspense and mystery first, but the heart and soul of them is the relationship between the mage and the wolf shifter.

A complex plot weaves its way into Norse legends but it never feels overwhelming and as the drive towards the ending grew closer, I couldn’t put my Kindle down!

While each book in this series follows a similar pattern, I never feel like I’m reading the same story over again, there are always subtle differences and each book brings a new level of depth to the relationship between the two men.

Bring on the rest of the series because I cannot wait to see where Hailey’s going to take me next, especially given the revelations of what occurs in this book’s narrative.

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

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New Release Blitz: Thicker Than Water by Becca Seymour

Thicker Than Water | Becca Seymour

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Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing

Release Date: March 14th 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 65,000

Buy Links:

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Thicker Than Water Cover

Blurb

Outcast operative in the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau (SICB) Callen Blackheath finds himself doing what he does best: defying orders and giving his boss a headache in the thick of an operation he shouldn’t be in. And there’s no way he’s walking away, not when the investigation has become deadly personal.

Needing to protect the only family member he has left, this wolf shifter will do whatever it takes to stop the blood farms and destroy the dangerous drugs the vampires will kill for. But he doesn’t expect Liam “Thatch” Thatcher, the head of a special task force team, to receive a bite that pulls him into the centre of Callen’s world.

Bonded by memories and blood, together they navigate the operation that has wider reaches than they could ever imagine. And when it comes to matters of the heart, Callen knows in order to win, he needs to risk it all.

Excerpt

Heat rippled over my skin. The singed scent of hair clogged my ability to track the way out, leaving me momentarily cursing my stubbornness for going this alone. My boss would never let me live it down if I got myself charred to a crisp or killed. At least the latter would mean I wouldn’t have to listen to his pompous spiel about following protocol. The dick had it out for me. He had since I’d joined this team three years ago, and despite my success rate on missions, he hadn’t taken kindly to the son of the Blackheath alpha joining the Supernatural Investigation & Crime Bureau.

Creaking beams followed by the crash of timber had me blinking hard against the blackening smoke. There had to be a way out. While Brent, my division leader, thought I was foolhardy—or perhaps simply a fool—I had studied the schematics of the lab prior to entering. What I hadn’t planned for was Jonas Cartwright to set the damn thing on fire with me in it.

Focussed on pushing my senses beyond the sound of the licking fire and groaning foundations, I closed my eyes, hoping for a ripple, something, anything that would get me out of this situation. Two beats, three, four… but nothing. I could either stay planted, hoping a miracle would happen, or I could act. Neither seemed like a smart move but staying put and being roasted was not an option. The raw heat travelling up my arms, removing my hairs along the way, cried out for my retreat.

Action it was.

In barely a split second, my eyes shifted. While the heightened sight wouldn’t help with the smoke, the electricity had been tripped by the fire, and I needed all the help I could get.

I cursed up a storm in my head as I raced the way I’d come. With a leap over a toppled cabinet, a swerve away from the licks of fire trailing along workstation dividers, I swore the whole time I would find Cartwright and put him to ground once and for all. The way ahead was blocked, and no barrelling through would solve that. I screeched to a stop. “Shit.” I looked left and right, thinking hard about the drawings I’d glanced at ten seconds before entering the lab. Screw Brent and his demands for being well-prepared. I had no doubt my name, Callen, was already a regular curse from him. This would simply give him more ammunition. It was better than him seething my surname, Blackheath, I supposed, but still, ten seconds of my eyes roaming over the layout was as good as studying in my world.

Before I could figure out my next move, a small scrape of metal to my left had me turning in that direction. I seriously hoped I wasn’t racing towards more flames, but the sound was distinctive, controlled.

On reaching a hallway I didn’t recognise, I stumbled. “What the hell?” At the end of the darkened hallway was a glass door. While smoke spiralled through the space, it wasn’t as black, the fire not yet having reached the area. I crouched low to avoid the white smoke, my eyes focussed on the hand scratching against the glass door. Blood smeared with every gentle swipe, the movement slowing down.

No one was supposed to be here. Ignoring the fact that Cartwright had blown my half-arsed recon out of the window and taken me by surprise, there seriously shouldn’t have been anyone else on site. An unfamiliar edge of panic flared to life in my chest. This was not good.

I charged towards the glass, stopping short of barrelling into it to try the handle. It wouldn’t have been the first time I’d broken down a door unnecessarily. I didn’t want to crash through a glass door unless I had to. While I healed quickly, shards of glass cutting through my skin still hurt something fierce.

Testing the handle with one hand, I hit the glass lower down, trying to get the attention of the person attempting to get out. Their bloody hand peeking out a white lab coat twitched at the loud thud. “Shit,” I grumbled. The door was locked. “Hey.” I beat against the glass panel harder. It was partially misted for privacy, and visibility was unclear. Unable to tell who was on the other side or whether the smoke had breached the room from another direction, for once, I considered my options.

“Hey.” I tried again, my hand smacking the glass harder, not yet intending to break through. “Can you hear me?” Steadying my breath took concentration, but I needed to listen carefully.

“Code.” The voice was gravelly. “P-Panel.”

I searched quickly and found a panel off to my right. “I need the code.” Each word came out calm and clear. Panicking now could possibly get us both killed.

“Five.” A cough wracked through him, loud and sounding painful. I squinted, wondering what the hell this guy had been through. “Two. Seven. Seven. Four. Nine.”

I hit the numbers as he said them.

“Hash,” he finished, and the door clicked, swinging open when the guy fell against it. He landed on the floor.

Unconscious at my feet, the man was sprawled on his front. I tugged him to the side. With no idea where we were, I couldn’t simply throw the guy over my shoulder and start charging around, hitting dead ends and burning doors wherever we went. Decision made, I cast a quick glance at the man. Wet blood covered his rich black skin, but his moving chest indicated he was breathing. Barely. Christ, I hoped he didn’t die on me. After a final glance, I rushed into the unlocked room. Just because it had been sealed from the inside didn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to get through another exit.

A door on the opposite side of the room was my target. I headed straight there, spotting vials and another room off to my right. Before I reached the exit, the scent hit me. Blood, and it wasn’t from the unconscious lab tech in the hallway. I took a tentative step in the direction the scent came from, bile already churning in my gut.

No. It couldn’t be.

Another step forward, and I held my breath, not wanting to believe it could be true.

Wide-eyed, I gasped for breath, then regretted the action immediately. Metallic, familiar, and dead. The combination of the three threatened to buckle my knees. Unable to look away, I stared hard, hating every second. But I had to do this. Flesh, torn muscle, mutilated claws; the image seared itself into my mind. Once there, a shockwave of pain ripped through me.

No.

This time I let my knees go and landed on the floor, my knee finding the blood the same shade of my own. It was her. Hazel. My baby sister.

Meet the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

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