Thursday, May 3, 2018

Review & Giveaway: FORGED IN FIRE by Ari McKay (Asheville Arcana #2)

Cover Design: Aaron Anderson
Length: 59,473 words
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Asheville Arcana Series


The magic touch.

Ever since Harlan Edgewood was bitten by a possessed werewolf, his monthly shifts have been agonizing. When he meets Whimsy Hickes-a mage who specializes in transformation-the attraction is mutual. But Harlan believes his curse is too great a burden to inflict on any romantic partner.

Fortunately, Whimsy thinks he can help.

When Harlan is provoked into an unexpected change, Whimsy uses his magic to help ease Harlan's pain, but with an unexpected consequence. While he's shifted, Harlan's wolf claims Whimsy as his mate.

As they draw closer, suspicious events in the Asheville magical community escalate. Shifters are disappearing, others are murdered, and Harlan's curse makes him an obvious target. It will take all of Whimsy's magic to force back the rising evil-and if he fails, Harlan will lose not only his life, but his very soul.

Carra's Review

I really enjoyed this continuation of the Asheville Arcana series—I was already a fan of Whimsy (love his name!) after reading Out of the Ashes; I love magic users in the paranormal stories I read.  Then there’s poor Harlan, lonely for so long and forced through such painful shifts every month.  He’s so charming with how he courts Whimsy, and I just loved the two of them together.

The story centers on the two of them and the development of their relationship (oh so very sweet), but there’s also the continuing arc of what’s going on in the supernatural community.  Both equally drew me in to the story, and kept my attention straight through—I didn’t want to put the book down.  I found myself just as interested in both aspects, wanting the suspense of the danger threatening the supes, but also loving the romance evolving between Harlan and Whimsy.

I like how all of the characters have depth and contribute to the overall book and series, not just the main characters.  It definitely helps in broadening the complexity of the story, and continues to pique my interest for whatever comes next (Julian’s story I hope?).

Forged in Fire was a 4.5-star read for me, and I would absolutely recommend this book and series to fans of M/M paranormal romance.  I would strongly suggest reading the books in order to get the full backstory for both the other characters and what’s going on in the community as a whole.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc's Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she's relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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