Saturday, May 25, 2019

New Release & Giveaway: PROPHESY BOOK II: THE BRINGER OF WRATH by A.E. Via



Buy Links: 


Length: 87,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Jay Aheer @ Simply Defined Art

The King And Alpha Series

Prophesy 1 - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link (Currently only 99c/99p)


Blurb

Shifter and Vampire True Mates story.

Alek’s older brother, Justice—the Alpha Zenith—was the first shifter to mate with a vampire in many generations, and it was believed the rare, fated pairing would stop at him. But, it hadn’t. Aleksei ‘Alek’ Volkov was second beta, next in succession to the most powerful shifter in the world. He was proud of his title and he took his duties seriously. It was all he had. Until his true mate literally showed up on his doorstep.

While his brother—the overachiever—excelled at having a vampire as a mate, Alek wasn’t that optimistic he would. He wasn’t averse to love, and he’d often thought of how different his life could’ve turned out if he’d ever experienced the emotion. His life was a mess and he’d worn a mask of stability for a majority of that time, only showing his siblings and pack what they needed to see—a strong Volkov alpha. Not the damaged man he was, with a tortured soul and a rogue wolf.

Alek dropped his heavy head in his hands. Now, for some reason, I’ve been granted a true vampire mate. And not just any vampire. The intimidating Belleron Liatos. Lord High to the King and the leader of his army.

Belleron ‘Bell’ Liatos had come to the states for one reason—his best friend and Vampire King, Chadwick Bentley. He certainly didn’t come to be pounced on by a wolf that could act independently of its master. Not only was his destined cherished a complicated and confused man; but he was also unaware of the powerful presence that lurked in the shadows of his soul. Bell didn’t know he’d be the key to unlocking an exceptional triad that would play a critical role in fulfilling the prophesy.


This story DOES NOT contain or even mention MPREG.

No multiple pairings. No cliffhangers. Ends with a very HFN.

Warning: This book is M/M paranormal: If you DO NOT like alpha men shifting into large wolves, or vampires feeding from their destined beloveds, than this may not be the novel for you.



About the Author

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.


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Friday, May 24, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: WANT ME by Neve Wilder

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Want Me
Neve Wilder
M/M New Adult Romance
Release Date: 05.08.19


BLURB

Two roommates. One calculus exam. A whole lot of extracurricular activity.

Nate
Living with four other guys, it’s bound to happen.
Every guy’s been caught taking care of business at least once, right?
It shouldn’t be a big deal.

But I don’t know Eric as well as my other roommates, and things are a little awkward now.
He’s a loner. A mystery. Quietly confident. Smart.
Sexy as hell.

I’ve been happily subsisting on the typical frat guy diet of booze and sorority girls.
But the way Eric looked at me that night?
There was something there.
Something that’s got me curious.
Something that’s stirring up feelings I thought I’d left behind for good.

Something that’s making me think I’m not as straight as I thought I was.

I can’t get him off of my mind.
I don’t think I want to.

So when he offers to help me study for a midterm I’m convinced I’m going to fail, I take him up on it.

It’s innocent.
Probably. Maybe.

There’s no way I could’ve known what it’d start...

This is a super steamy standalone new adult/college mm romance with HEA that unfolds across six “episodes” following Nate and Eric. Now bundled up in one collection with a bonus episode for a seamless reading experience. 87,000 words.


Want Me Graphic 2


EXCERPT

“You all right?”

“Yeah, stressed, as usual.”

“Calculus? I can help.”

“Nope, philosophy this time.”

He wrinkled his nose in sympathy, then laced his fingers behind his head. I turned my focus back to the page I was reading, then realized I’d read the same sentence three times in a row. I could feel him watching me, and when I turned my head to check, I was right. His gaze trickled down from the crown of my head to my lap, slow as a drop of water down the glass of the window behind me. My c*ck jumped in my pants, and I shifted my legs restlessly. The thing needed a leash.

“You want some stress relief?” he offered.

No. It was on the tip of my tongue to say it, because I was frustrated by the whole situation, but f*ck, the way he was sitting there so casually, his legs sprawled, his thickening c*ck starting to push at his fly… I inhaled deeply through my nose, and as I exhaled, found myself saying, “Like what?”

“Not sure yet,” he mused, posture straightening. He moved to the edge of his seat, scooting his chair in closer so he was right next to me, and even though I kind of knew what was coming, I still flinched when he laid his hand over the top of my thigh.

“Not right here,” I said, lowering my voice. But f*ck if I didn’t widen my legs in the same breath, a taboo thrill running through me at being in public. Sh*t, regardless of Eric, I was starting to think I really did have a thing for being watched—or the threat of getting caught, at least.

Eric palmed my crotch, spreading his fingers over the bulge in my gym shorts. His warmth seeped through the silky mesh fabric and woke my c*ck right the f*ck up.

I glanced around. There was no one to either side of us, and behind me was just a bank of windows that looked over the main quad below. But there were a trio of heads in the carrels across from me. I could hear them when they whispered or turned a page in their books, and I had to muffle a growl when Eric tucked his hand behind the waistband of my shorts, grazing his fingertips over my swollen head.

“No?” It was practically a purr, and it rolled over my skin like warm oil and flooded me with furiously spreading heat that tightened my balls.

He took my silence for the assent it was, and I clamped my lower lip between my teeth as he wedged his hand deeper into my shorts and wrapped it around the base of my c*ck, giving it a sharp, pulsing squeeze that made me suck in a breath.

“Freeballing?”

“Yeah,” I stuttered out, my d*ck jumping in his hand as he squeezed again.

“Good deal.” He gave me a few light, feathery strokes that had my hips surging up into the contact, and then his hand tightened like a vice around my shaft, thumb tracing my head in a tantalizing sweep as he leaned in. His whisper washed over me like pure, searing desert heat, the ownership in it shooting straight to my core and making me dizzy. “I want that nut you’re working up right now.”

“F*ck,” I hissed so loud that when I glanced up, I could see the person in the carrel across from me trying to subtly peer over the divider.

I hunched over my desktop to conceal the view of Eric’s hand as it plunged deeper, scooping up my balls and kneading them.

“That sounded like a yes to me.”

“Not here,” I whispered again and yanked his hand from my pants. Even though by then, sh*t, I was definitely seeing the appeal in letting him get me off right there. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay quiet enough, and though the thrill of possibly getting caught was hot, the reality of a charge for public indecency was not. I needed some ninja skills for that, or a lot more experience, and the whole novelty of getting off with a dude who knew what the hell he was doing was still so keen-edged that I didn’t have a shot.

“Spoilsport. I was enjoying the challenge, but I guess you’re right.” Eric picked up his sucker again, stuffing the wrapper in his back pocket. “You’re a noisy f*cker, so maybe a little more buffer is a good idea. Come on.”

Want Me Teaser 2

Carra's Review

Have you ever read a book and said, “Well that one just made me adjust my heat scale!”?  Yup, that’s Want Me in a nutshell.  I mean, damn.  Just, damn.  I don’t normally find college/new adult romances that are this hot while still telling a REALLY good story, but that’s exactly what this one does.  Plot, characters with depth, a massively molten heat level, and while we’re at it, let’s throw in a one of those main characters discovering his sexuality, coming out, and undertaking a whole lot of experimentation and exploration.  

Nate is our guy who is finding out about himself—he’s a good all-around character and easy to like.  Eric is the one taking Nate on his voyage of discovery after a bit of awkwardness at the very beginning.  Some sizzling hot awkwardness that is the catalyst to the start of everything between them.  Even before they’re trying these two are off the scale.  Both intelligent, both good guys, and as we soon find out…both are pretty naughty.  And Eric doesn’t slowly work Nate up to that either.

While it might seem that everything about their relationship is just sex, that’s really not the case.  There’s a story behind it, and while yes you’re going to find plenty of page time devoted to the two of them getting physical, there are serious things happening as well.  Because remember—Nate is supposedly your typical frat guy jock-type.  So there’s a lot going on in his own head, there’s his family, there’s his fraternity brothers, there’s Nate and Eric’s roommates.  All areas where things need to be worked out.  

The sex?  Jesus.  Eric sure as hell knows what he’s doing—and he knows how to stretch it out as well.  And balance on the edge.  And take some risks.  All to Nate’s frustration and extreme pleasure.  Given the amount of naughty play you’ll encounter while reading this story, you may think it gets to the point where it’s gratuitous, and maybe it might be for some.  But one of the things those scenes contribute to is the intensity between Nate and Eric, not just physically but in the overall building of their relationship.


I’m just going to say buy the book, read the book, enjoy the hell out of the book…and keep plenty of ice on hand while you do (and a spare set of batteries wouldn’t go amiss).  Want Me is a fantastic read, and it’s getting 4.5 stars from me—definitely re-read material.  This book is meant strictly for readers 18+ for adult language and a plethora of erotic sexual content.


wilder_logo_4_flat

Neve Wilder lives in the southern US, where the summers are hot and the winters are...sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.

She reads promiscuously across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she's always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.



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Pre-Order, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE EARL NEXT DOOR by Amelia Grey (First Comes Love #1)

The Earl Next Door Tour Graphic
Series: First Comes Love # 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
One fiercely independent widow.
One honest proposal.
One unconventional game of love.
When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband's sudden death, she realizes she's free. At last, she can do, go, and be as she pleases. Finally, she can have the life she has always dreamed of. She doesn't need, or want, to remarry. Especially not the supremely dashing Earl of Lyonwood, who makes Adeline yearn for his desire . . .
Lord Lyonwood, son of a philandering marquis, will not be like his father. He wants to run his estates and watch them flourish - and find a wife who brings love to his life. When he meets spirited and self-reliant Adeline in a case of near-scandalous mistaken identity, Lyon feels he's met his match. But Adeline isn't interested in a marriage proposal. She will only accept becoming his lover - and Lyon finds it hard to refuse. Unless the fire of his passion can melt Adeline's resolve . . .

Excerpt

"You're much younger than I assumed the owner of this establishment would be," Lyon confessed. "And as beautiful as you are in your crimson and gold, and in any other circumstances, or another location, I would be happy to pay whatever fee you charge to fulfill my needs. However, this is a respectable neighborhood and I cannot and will not sit by and allow a madam to move in and set up her business here."

A trio of thumps resounded in Adeline's chest and then a few more. The pendulum on the clock must have ticked a half dozen times. Her brain seemed to freeze before the air swooshed out of her lungs. Shock roared through her. Her whole body stiffened before she felt her eyes narrow in outrage.

"Just where do you think you are, sir?"

"A house of pleasure, Madam."

Outrage quickly morphed to fury which flowed hot and fast, consuming her. Oh yes, she knew about such disgraceful, secret places. She'd overheard her late husband and his small group of gentlemen friends talk about visiting them. And this man thought her house was one of them

Adeline was skilled at holding in her emotions but this stranger had gone too far. With only one step she stood toe-to-toe with him. Lifting her face, she rose up on the ball of her feet and edged her nose closer to his. "You think this is one of the many private underground brothels hidden from all but Society's most elite gentlemen?"

"Isn't it?" he asked huskily.

There was no time to consider what her next move should be. Stiffening her spine and taking a step back, she proclaimed, "I am the Dowager Countess of Wake and you have trespassed too far. How dare you burst into my house and speak to me the way you have. You, sir, are an abomination to the term gentleman."

She fought to regain every ounce of her normal calm, her abiding restraint, her guiding sense of decorum in any unpleasant circumstance. But then she accidentally looked at his mouth, felt that long suppressed surge of yearning. Adeline didn't want this unusual mix of longing and angry dizziness to control her. She hated the truth of how womanly and desirable it made her feel to see hunger for her in his eyes. Hated the truth of how she was presented.

And then, in a moment of insanity, she thought of the very real possibility of those full lips on hers stirring with passion, and reason was gone.

Unable to do anything else before she lost herself completely, she drew back her hand and struck him soundly across the face. It was that, or kiss him.

Perhaps she chose the wrong one.

About Amelia Grey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.
Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia's books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.
You can email Amelia at AmeliaGrey@comcast.net.
Follow her on FaceBook at https://www.FaceBook.com/AmeliaGreybooks, or visit her website at https://www.AmeliaGrey.com
Be sure to sign up to Amelia's newsletter here.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: EIGHT LIVES by Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee (Match Made in Hell #1)



Eight Lives: Match Made in Hell #1

Author: Autumn Breeze & Ashley Chamblee

Cover Artist: Raven Brooks
Release Date: May 20, 2019
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, M/M Romance
Trope/s: Friends to Lovers, Roommates to Lovers 
Heat Rating: 3 flames






Blurb

Two Hearts. One Curse. Zero Time.

A century ago, a spiteful witch cursed Edmund.

Ever since then, he has lived as an immortal house cat—short one life.

Anselm is a mildly depressed vampire with a soft spot for the feline he calls friend.

They live together as equals, companions for eternity—or so they hope.

But their lives take a dark turn when the witch who cursed Edmund long ago dies.

And suddenly, he is human again.

In a race against time’s cruel hand, Anselm and Edmund must make a decision.

Do they find a dark witch and re-enact the curse that plagued Edmund so they can be together for an eternity? Or . . . does Edmund give up forever as a cat to be with Anselm for now as a man?


Excerpt

I clenched my jaw. If this stranger had hurt Edmund, there would be hell to pay.

My immortal cat, as irritating as he could be sometimes, was my best friend. We’d been a pair since the beginning of the twentieth century and . . . in reality, he was all I had.

Everything changed but not Edmund. Nor me.

He was a cursed cat, once a young man in the prime of his life. I was the vampire he called friend.

“Edmund,” I called, dropping the bags I held. The fresh fish and blood I’d bought cascaded to the floor. Some of the packets burst open, but I didn’t care about the mess the blood would make or the smell that would linger for days; I cared about my best friend. “Edmund?!”

The stranger turned; his sharp gaze followed me though he was rooted to the spot.

I rushed through the living room, heading deeper into my home, knowing that if my heart still beat, it would be pounding against my chest like a sledgehammer.

Where was Edmund? Why wasn’t he answering?

Hunting through the rooms, I checked in all of Edmund’s favorite hiding spots—on top of the bookshelf, on my side of the bed, behind my pillow, in the perfect patch of moonlight that streamed through the bay windows in my office—but Edmund was nowhere to be found.

He was missing, gone, disappeared.

“Where is he?!” I demanded as I raged into the living room and caught the stranger by the throat. My fingers tightened as my anger—my fear—tainted the air, sending the thick stench of decay curling around us. The strange young man’s lips parted, opening and closing like a fish out of water as he grasped my wrist and fought for breath. “If you hurt him—” I couldn’t even finish the thought, much less the sentence.

The very idea of not having Edmund, of being without him . . .

I shook the man impatiently. “Where is he?!” I bellowed, shaking the boy.

He appeared desperate as he clutched my wrist and tugged on my arm, attempting to remove my hold, but my grasp was absolute as my fingers tightened around his neck.

Panic danced across his face. His wide eyes shined, a familiar neon blue that I knew.

My lips parted. “Edmund?”

I loosened my hold. It wasn’t possible. Edmund was . . .

The man I held by the neck trembled in my grasp, one minute a man, and in the next, thick black fur sprouted out of his transformed body.

“Y . . . You choked me,” he gasped as I gathered him close.

“You turned into a-a-a man!” I pulled him away from my chest, inspecting him as I did so.

How was this possible? He was cursed by a witch to live the rest of his life, or at least nine lives—eight now that he’d died once—as a cat. Right now, the fluffy black thing I peered down at looked like my housecat, but seconds ago . . .


Carra's Review

Eight Lives is a relatively quick urban fantasy/paranormal read.  It caught my attention with the concept of a vampire’s faithful century-long feline companion suddenly becoming human.  Since I hadn’t read anything by either of the authors previously and liked the idea of the story, I decided to dive right in.

Anselm, our vampire, has been around for a pretty long time.  His attitude has pretty much become one of apathy, though he clearly has a soft spot for his best friend Edmund.  You know, Edmund the talking cat who used to be human and who seems to be turning back into a human again.  The conundrum of that for Anselm and Edmund?  They both want to stay together forever, which seemed to be assured as a vampire and cursed cat…but if Edmund returns to being human, will he now grow old and die?  Neither of them wants that to happen, so they set out to find a way to keep him as a cat.

There are times when the story felt very surface-level as not much about the world they live in was fully explained—the world building was mostly cursory, and sometimes the characters felt lacking in depth.  But there are also some interesting tidbits (like Edmund’s sensitive tail), and secondary characters I found intriguing (their neighbor’s werewolf boyfriend, and Anselm’s vampire friend who helps them out).  I thought that the solution Edmund found was a bit out of the blue though, and that his and Anselm’s relationship at the end of the story felt more like a happy-for-now rather then a happily-ever-after.


Overall, this was a cute story and it did pique my interest for more in this world, though I’m hoping things will be more fleshed out in future books in the series.  3.5 stars for Eight Lives!


About the Authors

Autumn Breeze


Autumn Breeze is a bestselling LGBT+ author, and current Radish Content Provider. She is also the winner of a 2015 Watty Award, a former Wattpad Star, with more than 70K followers on Wattpad who was featured in Cosmo in 2017 “My Lessons with the Sexy Dance Instructor.” In 2017 she worked as a Freelance Writer for 20th Century Fox on, “A Cure for Wellness: Seeking A Cure.”




Ashley Chamblee

Ashley Chamblee is a bestselling author with 10+ years of experience who specializes in writing horror, fantasy, paranormal, and romance with LGBT themes. Currently, she has 35K+ followers on her combined Wattpad accounts EzraWinn and HonestDying. When Ashley isn’t writing she is either working with special needs adults, playing video games, reading or spending time with friends and family. 
Blood Prize, her bestselling novel is available on Amazon. 




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Monday, May 20, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE MAGE ON THE HILL by Angel Martinez (The Web of Arcana #1)


The Mage on the Hill
by Angel Martinez

Series: The Web of Arcana #1
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Tuesday, May 7 2019
Word Count: 53721
Cover Artist: Tiferet Designs
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pairings: M/M
Tropes: May/December, teacher/student, not good enough, tortured hero, shared peril, tragic past, scars
Keywords/Categories: acceptance, danger, grief, guilt, hope, survivor guilt, magic, spring, mage, professor, witches, wizards, age difference, bisexual, depression, wizard, dark, forests


Book Blurb

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. 

For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.



Excerpt

It’s killing him. We have to end this.
Too cruel to force him to keep struggling.
I don’t understand. He should be finding a minor channel at least. Something. He shouldn’t be at this level of physical distress and still be able to throw so much.
We can’t condone pushing on. Dangerous for him and for everyone in a five-mile radius. We’ll have another Darius situation on our hands.
You’ll tell him?
As soon as he’s able to hear it, yes.
Toby drifted from gray misery to scarlet agony, the voices floating to him in fits and starts. His instructors, the director—they were talking about him and they sounded done with him, just like the previous six guilds that had tossed him to the curb. Wild magic. Unplaceable on the web of Arcana. Unsustainable and eventually deadly. The only remaining bets anyone could make now were how many people he took with him when he went out with a catastrophic bang.
Hands lifted him. The familiar sensations of stretcher and rolling followed him down into the dark.

“What’s this?” Toby peered at the papers on the rolling tray, not quite up to focusing through his pounding headache.
The director pulled a chair close and cleared his throat uncomfortably. “We discussed that this might be a possibility someday, Tobias.”
“We’ve talked about a bunch of stuff.”
Director Whittaker let out a sharp sigh.
“Not saying it to be a smartass, sir. I can’t get my eyes to read this just yet.” Toby shifted on the infirmary bed. His fifth stay in this wing of the guildhall and the mattresses hadn’t managed to grow any more comfortable. “Couple hours I should be able to.”
“Ah. My apologies.” The director returned to a concerned parental pose, hands clasped between his knees as he leaned forward. “These are your separation papers from the Montchanin Guildhall.”
Toby swallowed hard. “You’re giving up on me? Already?”
“I’m so sorry, Tobias.” Director Whittaker patted his arm. “The Kovar method is nearly infallible—”
“Nearly. You said nearly.” Despite his pounding head, Toby sat up, hanging on to the director’s hand as hard as he could. “Please don’t do this. You said you’d help me.”
“We said we would do the best we could. Wild magic…. It’s unusual, certainly, but cases of unplaceable wild magic like yours aren’t unheard of. We should have seen some sign of channeling by now. Some directed trickle that would have let us help you find your place in the web.”
Toby let go to fall back against the pillows, hurting, nauseated, and dizzy. His uncontrolled magical explosions, each one harder on him than the time before, had only been getting more volatile and unpredictable. “I don’t have anywhere else to go. Can’t I stay here? Until, well, until….”
“It’s too dangerous for the other students. For the staff and other guild members.” Director Whittaker took his hand again. “Tobias, you blew a hole in the guidance room’s wall today.”
Ten feet of weapons-grade Kevlar and steel—that shouldn’t have been possible. Holy crap. “Did I hurt anyone?”
“Not today. But I can’t risk lives any further. It’s reached that point where we’ve tried everything we could. When you feel up to it, read the packet. There are several wonderful hospice options nearby. Beautiful places where you’ll be cared for and made comfortable. The guild will take care of you and cover any expenses.”
Drugged to the eyeballs so I won’t do any more damage. Allowed to starve to death in the nicest possible surroundings. Toby closed his eyes, his exhausted brain banging up against walls of possibility, trying to find him a way out. All this time he’d been sure one of the guilds would find a way. They were the experts. Now? Now he was terrified. The experts were telling him he needed to accept his impending death. No, no, no, f*ck that. “Sir, who’s Darius?”
“Ah, you heard that, did you?” The director sat back and pulled out a microfiber cloth to give his glasses a meticulous cleaning before he went on. “Darius Valstad caused one of the greatest magical disasters in recent memory. He nearly destroyed Pittsburgh. He pulled magic too far from his channelings, the result much like a wild magic accident. The catastrophe was narrowly averted.”
“Oh. That sounds about as bad as it gets. What happened to him?”
“He nearly died. His guild status was revoked, his teaching of any more students forbidden.”
Toby turned that over a few times, his brain fumbling and dropping concepts along the way. “So, but he’s still alive?”
“As far as I know. He lives in isolation, oh, not far from here, with the promise that he will no longer attempt anything beyond personal magic.”
“But he was once like me? And he lived?” Toby knew it was conclusion jumping, but he was desperate enough to reach for anything.
The director’s sigh was slower this time, more melancholy. “Tobias, he found his channels long ago, both his major and minor Arcana. Yes, he lives because as long as he respects the web, his magic won’t tear him apart. He had some early success with teaching unplaceables, but Pittsburgh was the ultimate result of his unorthodox methods.”
“Yes, sir. Of course.”
Director Whittaker rose with one last pat to Toby’s shoulder. “Get some rest. We’ll talk again in the morning. Please keep in mind we’re not simply turning you out onto the street. We want to be certain you’re looked after properly.”
Toby nodded, no longer trusting his voice. He didn’t turn his head to watch the director leave, staring at the white ceiling tiles instead. Ugly ceiling tiles. Places where you have to lie in bed like hospitals and infirmaries should have nice ceilings with meadows and bunnies painted on them. I don’t want to die. Oh gods… I don’t want to die.


Carra’s Review

Boy, do I love a good M/M urban fantasy…and here in The Mage on the Hill, the author has done a spectacular job in crafting a unique and intricate world of magic and magic users that drew me in from the very first page.  It has an interesting premise, with the majority of magic users having a clear major arcana affinity and belonging to guilds.  But there are also those few who don’t fit into the guilds’ neat little boxes, either by having only a minor arcana affinity or none at all (known as a wild mage).

Toby hasn’t been able to channel anything at all, major or minor, and that doesn’t bode well for his future given the guilds’ narrow-minded, backward, and uncompromising view of those who have been deemed a wild mage.  Seeking out the reclusive Darius in a last-ditch effort to get help starts the two of them on a path of discovery fraught with dangers not just from the magic, but from those within the guilds who only see things in black and white.

The way this story unfolded, it held my rapt attention—I devoured it in one sitting.  I thought the intricacies of the magic in this world were well thought out, and while complex they were still easily understandable.  I really liked the cast of supporting characters and thought they brought more depth to the overall story with their specialities and insights.

As for the romance between Darius and Toby, I would have liked to have seen more page time devoted to relationship building.  The story takes place in a relatively short time period, and it felt like the basis of their relationship was more rooted in the intensity of the events surrounding  the discovery of Toby’s affinity.  Granted, in urban fantasy and paranormal stories I tend to give more leeway in relationship formation, but usually I reserve that more for fated mates rather than magical intensity.  I still really like the two of them together (I’m such a sucker for age gap matchups), and think they complement each other quite well.


Since this is the first book of the series, I’m definitely curious to see where the author plans to take things.  For The Mage on the Hill though, it’s hovering between 4 and 4.5 stars for me, and is a story I’d absolutely recommend for M/M urban fantasy readers 18+ (that’s for the language and some sexual content).  This was also the first book I’ve read by this author, and given how much I liked it I’m now loading up on more of her books ;-)


About the Author

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, gave birth to one amazing son, and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.



Giveaway!
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