Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: THE NECROMANCER'S DILEMMA by SJ Himes (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1--TOP SERIES RECOMMENDATION!)


The Necromancer’s Dilemma
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2
Release Date: July 2016
Genre: MM Romance, Fantasy


Even love can die without trust.

Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begin to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family?

Daniel Macavoy, Angel’s new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought—especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt.

The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston’s only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon’s devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true…and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family.

Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

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Having a dragon draped all over you was a good way to get attention. Some good, some bad, most of it annoying. This case it was annoying, as the woman in front of him in line kept turning around and outright staring at Eroch. His familiar was snuggled around Angel’s neck, the collar of his heavy weatherproof sweater opened enough so the dragon could get next to Angel’s skin. Angel wore a scarf, and Eroch was tangled up in it, purring contentedly, soft puffs of smoke coming out every time the woman ogled him. Eroch was annoyed, and Angel was about to drop a hex or light the hem of her skirt up with hellfire when Simeon coughed loudly, making the woman jump and turn around. He sent a narrow eyed glare at his lover and Simeon smiled back at him, one big hand holding his elbow and reminding him he was supposed to be a grownup.

The Thinking House, a long-standing gourmet coffee house on Tremont, was overflowing with people needing their coffee hit. The line moved up, and Angel regretted his burning desire to have a peppermint latte. It was early evening, the weekend officially started, and Angel was after caffeine fortification before heading out to battle. Or shopping, really, but they felt like the same thing. He disliked people in general, and hated shopping. He got his groceries delivered, and shopping during the holidays was enough to make him exceedingly short-tempered.

This year the people he had to shop for presents was doubled, and he still felt odd about that. Simeon was simple, all he had to do was raid the Salvatore Mansion and rescue an ancient tapestry that dated back to Ireland in the 11th century. It was small, only about the size of a movie poster, but the battle scene depicted ancient Picts and Celts, covered in woad battle markings and carrying weapons of a bygone era. It was presently wrapped up in a cotton sheath and in a pine box, the restorers able to clean the tapestry and repair a decade of dust and damp damage. The mansion may have been locked up and the furniture shrouded, but Angel hadn’t been thinking clearly when he closed the old house up and he’d missed some things.

Milly was even easier to shop for. He spent all of thirty minutes searching online for a diamond necklace and a hundred-dollar gift card to The Cheesecake Factory. His teaching partner adored diamonds and cheesecake, and he had yet to vary from that very reliable and successful gift arrangement. Worked like a charm for birthdays, too. The one year he decided to change things up, she’d flat out told him to stick to what he knew, and that’s what he did.

Simeon insisted it was only polite that Batiste, the Master of Boston, receive a present from them. Angel had accepted Simeon’s courtship and Angel was now considered part of the bloodclan. He refused to obey Batiste or live in the Tower, and while Angel had the feeling that such a stance wouldn’t be accepted from any other pair, Batiste let it go. Angel was in that gray area of being a practitioner and a vampire’s bonded mate, so both sides had a claim of authority over him. Well, if he listened to any authority other than his own that is—he had trouble listening to the police, let alone the Council of High Sorcery that supposedly ruled practitioners. Though how much ruling a council of stuffy, snobbish, elitist sorcerers could do from across the ocean in Europe was beyond Angel.

Angel had no idea what to get the Master, but Simeon said he would take care of it and Angel would just have to sign the card. He’d shrugged, signed the card when Simeon brought it to him, and went back to stressing over what to get Isaac and Daniel.

He had no idea. Daniel had been in his care since autumn, two months of living under his roof and accepting Angel as his master. Daniel quickly shed any hints of his past identity, which left Angel confused and pleased, and worried on top of that. The young man was twenty years old, and had been ten years old when his whole family and two other magical clans had enslaved a vampire clan and sent them after the Salvatores. Daniel, his father Leicester, and a few retainers were all that remained of the Macavoys after the human authorities stepped in after the tragedy. Leicester avoided prison somehow, and Daniel was raised by a man who succumbed to alcoholism and agoraphobia. Daniel was no longer terrified of Angel, but he also wasn’t opening up. Angel sucked at interpersonal relationships—hell, he’d never had a lover before Simeon, and he certainly didn’t count a handful of hookups, and Angel was still learning as he went. Knowing how to get Daniel to open up to him and be his own man was outside his experience, especially since Angel was convinced he’d f*cked up Isaac while raising him.

Isaac was the biggest mystery. He knew his brother yet didn’t—he knew his brother’s likes and dislikes, but the man? No idea. Isaac steadily shut down on Angel when he turned eighteen, and grew worse as the years went by, and Angel was still in the dark as to the cause.

Angel was deep in thought when he got to the counter, and the barista coughing at him brought him back. Angel glared at the rude ass but ordered his white chocolate and peppermint latte. Simeon was in line just to keep him company, but Angel ordered a small hot chocolate for Eroch, and a scone. Eroch chirped in thanks, and the barista’s eyes went huge when he noticed the dragon curled under the collar of Angel’s sweater. Angel swiped his card, and had to reach over and grab his receipt from the machine when the guy kept staring. Eroch ate the attention up, puffing out tiny bursts of smoke and slow-blinking his bright yellow eyes.

“Stop flirting, I want my coffee,” Angel chided, and he went to wait down at the end of the counter. The barista kept on staring and Angel huffed, turning his back to the counter and crossing his arms. “My dragon. He can stare at his own. It’s so rude, like no one has ever seen a dragon before.”

Simeon laughed, and leaned next to him on the counter. “My love, no one has seen a dragon in this realm in hundreds of years. Would you be so sanguine if a unicorn were to be carried in someone’s purse like a pet?”

“I would want one immediately,” Angel said primly, arching a brow. “And I would never keep a unicorn in a purse.” He was kidding. One fantastical beastie was enough—God help him if there were unicorns out there, too. Eroch gave a meep and poked his snout at Angel’s cheek. “I’m kidding, my wee beastie. You’re it for me, I promise. No sparkly horse with an antler can ever replace you.”

Carra's Review

After reading the first book of this series, I immediately picked up The Necromancer's Dilemma to get my fix of Angel and Simeon. And yes, after finishing I am truly addicted to the series...well, at the very least to Angel and Simeon and their truly amazing bond.

SJ Himes continues the superior storytelling started in book one, and once again I found myself totally immersed in the Beacon Hill world to the point I was oblivious to everything around me. The relationship between Angel and Simeon continues to deepen, becoming even more passionate and sensual to the point that it will give you tingles...and have you desperately seeking out some ice and extra fans.

The excitement, action and suspense also continue, and these aspects of the story actually make up a good portion of the pages, and the heat between Angel in Simeon infiltrates everywhere-even in scenes that are distinctly non-romantic as their bond grows ever stronger. Add to that one incredibly adorable dragon (though don't let his diminutive appearance fool you), tension between Angel and his brother Isaac, and complications with Angel's apprentice Daniel and what you get is another fantastic story that really enhances the series.

And oh, I want more. I'm already going through withdrawals after finishing this book. In case you haven't already guessed, The Necromancer's Dilemma was another 5-star, top recommendation read for me, and it's cemented The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series as my favorite M/M paranormal romance series. You're not just getting steamy hot scenes between supernatural beings-you're also getting excellent, truly creative writing, characters who continue to evolve and develop, and little tidbits that as they show up pretty much guarantee we'll be getting more exceptional stories in the future. Recommended for M/M paranormal readers 18+ for adult language and explicit, searingly hot M/M sexual content.

Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Release Date: February 26th 2016



In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again pulled back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

MATURE CONTENT Contains graphic violence, male/male sexual contact, a cranky necromancer, a sexy Irish vampire, and a pesky demon.

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About the Author

I’m a thirty something bisexual cisgendered woman with way too big an imagination, but that comes in handy when I’m writing. I have been writing since I was a child, when I took a four page assignment on what I was going to do on summer vacation and turned it into a 100 page fantasy epic all written by hand…in crayons. No joke.

I work a day job, but I can’t share for who, since the Old Man isn’t as liberated as the people who read my books. I’m married, I have furbabies, and I live with loved ones. I adore a certain show about a British consulting detective and his grumpy army doctor, and that spawned an addiction to Johnlock fanfiction, which then evolved into me writing it. Gawd, that’s embarrassing. Put this down in the TMI section of my Bio, okay? I enjoy martial arts, movies where things blow up, and I wish I lived in a Marvel movie.

I live in the beautiful and lonely Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and I see way more wildlife than I care to on a daily basis (bears!). My perfect day is reading surrounded by friends and family who don’t think it’s odd I want to hang out but not talk, and my favorite scent of all time is a cool fall evening with leaves burning….less a scent, and more of an experience.

My writing is focused on gay and lesbian people, who are more than interesting side characters that hang out with the heterosexual MCs. My wish for the future is that when people ask me what I do for a living, I can say, “I write gay romance,” and NOT get weird looks.

My alter ego is Revella Hawthorne, and I'm writing the Bred For Love series under that name.