Tag Archives: soul mates

Release Blitz: Cursed by Jackie Keswick

Cursed | Jackie Keswick

A Balance of Magic #2

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Release Date: March 23rd, 2022

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 77,000 words

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Blurb

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

Raijin killed a witch and found himself cursed.

Sandro went to Raijin’s aid and became an assassin’s target.

Neither expected that they would trigger the biggest upheaval their world had seen in a thousand years.

And that it needed the love between them to lift the curse.

Cursed, the second book in the Balance of Magic series, is a slow-burn m/m fantasy romance featuring friends-to-lovers who become soulmates, irate death gods, curses, inept, narcissistic politicians, curious, compassionate witches, and a found family.

It is the second book in a trilogy. The book does not end on a cliffhanger. Raijin and Sandro’s story ends on a HFN. The main story arc continues across all three books.

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Excerpt

France, Summer 1920

“Poplars and plane trees, beeches and birches, or a mountainside of firs.” Sandro stared into the bottom of his wine glass and tried to keep the misery at bay. “Is it really too much to wish for a few olive and lemon trees? I’ve not been near my grove in six years. Six years, Raijin!”

“I know.”

“What if they’ve dug it up?”

“Why would they?”

Sandro set the glass down. “To spite us,” he said.

Raijin stared at him.

“I know, I know. It’s not like me to think badly of people.” He waved a hand. “But what other interpretation is there for the way Tan Hao treats us? Every time we finish a task, he finds another one that keeps us from the base. Do you really think he does that to everyone?”

Raijin wisely kept his mouth shut.

Sandro was grateful. He’d never been a maudlin drunk, but the last six years had changed many things. Being prevented from visiting the only home he’d ever known… hurt. Even if he’d barely spent a day alone while the human world tore itself to pieces.

Maybe he shouldn’t complain. Especially not to Raijin. He hadn’t been home for far longer, but… He lifted a hand to summon the waiter and order another bottle of wine, when Raijin stopped him.

“Come along. I have an idea.”

“What kind?”

“The good kind.” Raijin smiled the soft, lopsided smile that Sandro had no defences against.

“Tell me.”

“In a moment.”

They paid for their meal and left the restaurant, wandering up the street towards their lodgings. They had their own courtyard garden, had food, and even wine, but Sandro had been too restless to stay home, and Raijin had indulged him.

“You’ve been doing that a lot lately.” He tried to express his gratitude.

“Doing what?”

“Indulging me. I’m… Ignore me.”

“Never.” Raijin unlocked the gate and ushered them into the place they’d made their base since the Armistice. It was clean, comfortable, and private. But it wasn’t home.

Sandro had no idea what Raijin meant to do, but he didn’t have to wonder long. As soon as he’d locked the gate behind them, Raijin took hold of his arm, opened the veil and tugged Sandro through.

Two steps later, scents of brine and citrus hit his nose. Soft, springy turf caressed his feet, and one look at the familiar trees had him fight back tears.

Raijin had brought them to the top of the Custodia base. Had given Sandro what he’d most needed: a visit to his grove of lemon trees.

If he could have touched all his trees at once, he’d have done so. Since he lacked that ability, he wrapped his arms around the nearest tree, and hummed.

The trees responded, impressions wrapping him up like a cloak: comings and goings, hot sun and sparkling raindrops, a storm from the east. Sandro soaked it all up like a starving man and shared his own experiences in turn.

After the first sharing was done, Sandro went from tree to tree, touching, checking, renewing his connection. When he joined Raijin at the centre of the grove and accepted the glass of wine Raijin had poured him, he hummed with green energy, his watcher sight as sensitive as it had never been before.

“I wish I could explain—” he began hesitantly.

Only for Raijin to wave it away. “It’s fine. You wanted to check on your family. I understand.”

Raijin wasn’t demonstrative.

But when he chose to make a point, he took Sandro’s breath away.

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About the Author

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

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Blog/Website | Facebook group | Facebook page | TwitterInstagram | Newsletter Sign-up | TikTok | Patreon

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Release Blitz: Storm Warrior by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Storm Warrior | Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Weavers Circle #5

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Release Date: January 14, 2022

Publisher: Drake & Elliott Publishing LLC

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80k

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Blurb

Hale Anderson

The Air Weaver.

He was the freaking Air Weaver. Not exactly what he expected when he got kidnapped by the pestilents, but Hale’s good rolling with the punches.

He can take a little time away from his pursuit of a doctorate in astrophysics to save the world.

Except that the final spell is poised to kill all the Weavers and their last hope lies with him finding his soul mate.

Hale doesn’t want a soul mate. He just wants Harrison.

Harrison William Davenport III

As the Keeper of the Heart of the Earth, Harrison must bring the final key to the Weavers if they’re to stop the pestilents.

He’s trained for this task his entire life. And he’s prepared to die just like his father did with the last generation of the Weavers.

But what if saving the world isn’t enough anymore?

What if the only thing that matters is saving Hale?

Storm Warrior is the final book in The Weavers Circle series. It includes fast-paced action, a dangerous cross-country roadtrip, dirty fun in tents, flying, bi-awakening sexy times, animal shenanigans, nerdy talk about the stars, jealousy, three crazy old ladies, magic, and a fight to save the world!

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Excerpt

Bullets whizzed through the air closer to him with two shots digging into a column not far from his head. He whipped the gun around to spot where two pestilents were running toward him with guns drawn. Hale gasped and backpedaled. He squeezed the trigger, but nothing happened. Shit. The safety.

He fumbled with the little switch, but it was the pounding of feet racing his way from the other end of the porch that caught his attention. A tall man in a suit with raven-black hair and a stern expression was racing to him. Wow. Gorgeous. He was simply gorgeous.

So gorgeous in fact, that it took Hale an extra second to realize the man had a gun in each hand.

Fuck! He was only starting to swing the gun toward the man when he fired off several shots right past Hale. The Air Weaver spun to see the bullets hit their marks in three pestilents, killing them instantly.

The stranger saved him. What the—

“What are you doing out here if you don’t know how to protect yourself?” the gorgeous man shouted.

Hale took a breath to say something, but he wasn’t quite sure what. His brain wasn’t working, and his tongue was all tied up. He was overwhelmed. He generally wasn’t the type of person who got overwhelmed, but that described him in the middle of the bloody chaos.

Which was probably why it was so easy for the man to holster one of the guns, grab his wrist, and pull him back into the house.

Hale stumbled after him, trying to get his brain to process the events happening. The man turned toward the left but only glanced in the dining room before sneering at something and moving to the right. He made the same face when he peered into the library.

“Too many damn windows.” Twisting to face Hale, he jerked his arm as if trying to get his attention, but the stranger had all of Hale’s available brain capacity at this point. “What room doesn’t have a lot of doors or windows?”

Well, there was the downstairs half bath that had no windows, but there was no way he was getting shoved into that room, with or without the sexy man.

“The-the armory has no windows and only two doors,” he stammered at first, but finished, proud that he’d clearly remembered the room.

The stranger blinked, seeming surprised to hear the house had an honest-to-goddess armory, but he recovered fast enough. “Good. Take me there.”

Hale hesitated and sniffed the air. “You’re not a pestilent.”

The man gasped, looking appropriately horrified. “Of course not!” Well, that was a plus for him. Not only was he human, but he also knew what a pestilent was.

“Then who the hell are you?” Hale had already met all the Weavers, mates, and goddesses. He couldn’t even begin to guess who this handsome yet scary person was.

“A friend of the Weavers. The goddesses sent for me. Now, the armory? Where is it?”

Oh! That was much better. The guys had never mentioned the goddesses sending in more help, but they certainly needed it.

Hale took the lead, hurrying down the hall toward the armory. There was one main entrance to the room and a set of narrow French doors that connected to the front porch. That made the space much easier to protect.

The man’s quick dark eyes darted across the long table filled with weapons. He released Hale only when he had his back shoved against a bookcase in the far corner that gave him a good view of both doors. The man then moved to the French doors and peered out between the thin white curtains.

“Which of them are you?” the man inquired.

“Hale. Hale Anderson. I just arrived. I’m the Air Weaver.”

The stranger’s head slowly turned toward Hale. His eyes were wide, and his face had become incredibly pale. The bloodbath outside had not disturbed him, but something about what Hale had said had clearly shaken him.

“It’s true,” he whispered. “The Weavers Circle is finally complete.”

About the Authors

jocelynnrinda

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments.

Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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The Weavers Circle concludes on a bit of a mixed note for me

StormWarrior_500Storm Warrior by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Righto, I’ve had a think and revised up half a star but I have to say – while I enjoyed Hale’s story – it felt a little bit anticlimactic overall as the final book for what has been a truly fantastic paranormal series.

Each of the previous books leading up to this final battle has seen the discovered Weaver drawn into their new world and all the perils they’re facing.

But we’d got a lot of that in the previous book when Hale was rescued from the pestilents.

So it meant things kicked off on a different note from the start. Now, don’t take it as me saying I didn’t like Storm Warrior, my rating shows that’s not the case.

I loved the push and pull between Hale and Harrison, I loved the way the other Weavers and their Soulmates pulled together as they fought the ever increasing numbers of pestilents.

***SPOILERY BIT***

Although, it’s not just me surely, who thought it was blindingly obvious who Hale’s soulmate was from the off?

And I even guessed the reasons why he wasn’t showing up with the red ribbon.

I think part of my ‘problem’ and it’s honestly a very minor one in the grand scheme of overall enjoyment, is that it couldn’t have been anyone else because of the narrowed aspect of the journey the Weavers were taking.

***ENDS***

As a narrative choice, I appreciated that they had a connection from the start and that both were drawn to the other. I also appreciated Harrison’s very possessive nature even while he fought against his attraction.

And it was super sweet that they fell for each other even though they thought there was someone else out there for Hale.

Still, Hale’s relationship with Harrison was an absolute delight throughout, as they worked out the strange pull between them.

The sex was, as it always is with these two authors, both ridiculously hot and deeply emotionally connected.

The tensions rose more and more as the Weavers discovered new information from Harrison, who brought them hope in the form of a magic pendant, and then they faced rising despair as it looked like they wouldn’t survive the final battle. All this part of the plot was well done.

But that final battle is where it fell a bit flat for me.

I don’t want to go into massive detail, but I was expecting more from the confrontation.

John, the pestilent’s warlock leader, has been a thorn in their side for so many books now I was sure there’d be some epic scenes with him and the Weavers, especially Grey.

And there just wasn’t.

I mean, I loved how they resolved the final inevitable outcome of the Weavers giving their powers to close the rift, and I loved how the soulmates were what made the difference to all the hundreds of attempts before.

But I wanted John to meet a particularly visceral end, one I could exult in, given all the pain he’d caused, and that didn’t happen.

As Epilogues go too, we get a wonderful rounding off of each of the six Weavers’ futures and a very definite HEA for all.

The Weavers Circle really is a fabulous series, it’s an interesting take on elemental magic blended with the otherworldly villains.

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

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