Review: Strip Shot: The Prequel to Behind the Velvet Curtain by Matt Converse

We've all seen strippers up on stage. Did you ever wonder how they got there? The answer might surprise you.

Michael is a scrawny kid from Ohio who moves to San Francisco with his boyfriend Kenny. He loves everything about the city, except the guy he's with. When things turn ugly, how will he escape and how will he survive on his own, completely alone in the big city?

Along the way, he meets an eccentric cast of characters in his own personal Oz. An unlikely and not so yellow brick road with unexpected twists and turns lead him to the stage, but what will he find when he gets there? Will he have what it takes to make it as a stripper? Sometimes, you only get one shot.






Twenty-One year old Michael has always known he was destined to move away from his sleepy Ohio town and go somewhere exciting. With his boyfriend Kenny, they take off to San Francisco, California, and Michael feels like this is exactly where he was supposed to be.

Settling into his new environment proves to be a work in progress, but he meets some great people who help him come out of his shell, and forge his path to becoming a stripper.

One of the most notable parts of this story for me, is Michael’s sexuality, and his preferences regarding sex with men. I really appreciated that Michael had very clear feelings about penetrative sex, and this was demonstrated in both his interactions with men, and his own internal musings. Most, if not all, the gay erotic stories I’ve read over the last two years, have revolved around anal penetration, and I was really pleased that Michael’s preference for oral sex only, was made clear from the beginning, and remained consistent throughout the story. It was a refreshing reminder that not all people enjoy penetration, either receiving or giving, and that sex can be just as fun and sexy without it.

Michael’s confidence was really nice. He was comfortable in his own skin, and appeared to thrive in his environment once he settled into the city. There wasn’t really a chance to find out how he was in Ohio because the story begins as he and Kenny are leaving the State, and heading towards their goal of San Francisco. All I had to go on was his memory of events and how stifling he believed them to be. I would have liked to know more about how his behaviour was different in Ohio than it was in California.

Some of the scenes in this story didn’t quite fit into the overall plot, and I wasn’t particularly engaged in those parts of the story. Michael’s dreams didn’t interest me, and I would have preferred not to read about them. I do think the author has a knack for writing some creepy shit, but I think that would have served better not to be included in this story. It didn’t seem to take the plot anywhere that I could see, and became distracting, with no clear overall message.

This story needs a thorough edit. Some parts of Michael’s internal dialogue was repetitive, and unnecessary. I think a full edit and polish would do this story a lot of good. Another thing that was missing was the engaging of all senses. It would have created a more three-dimensional experience.

I liked Michael’s journey, and I thought some tightening of the storyline would have made him a less scattered character. His thoughts seemed to jump around alot, and it took a lot longer to get to the point of the monologues. I enjoyed the direction of the story, and the reason for Michael choosing the job he did. His confidence and easy-going nature made him a nice character to follow.

I was disappointed in the flippant and dismissive nature with the complex issue of domestic violence. I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to reflect Michael’s naivety about this issue, but it certainly did showcase how young and sheltered he was, even within the freedoms and growing potential provided by San Francisco. It was a major sticking point for me, and I’ve been rattled by it for a few days.

Overall this story had potential, and was interesting. I liked Michael’s character, and his journey to a big city. I would take a chance on the author in future, as his skills in writing develop, because the subject matter overall is something I am interested in reading more about. With the small horror element added in via Michael’s dreams, I can see this author doing really well in that genre, once the writing is tightened up.

A review copy was provided by the author for an honest review


Find on Goodreads!

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9JPYQU

Review: A Fallen Heart (Zero Hour #2) by Cate Ashwood

After his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.

Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.

As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.

Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?





There were things that I liked about this book and up to the last 20% it was looking like a 3 heart read. 

Nash is the best part of this book. He's an EMT with a heart of gold. He's laid back, cares about his job, his patients, does his best to get along with his co-workers, puts others at ease and has a generosity of spirit that's readily apparent. I liked him a lot.

He meets Ford who's an ER nurse and sparks fly. It's clear they're both attracted to each other but Ford keeps putting Nash off. This is where things started to come apart for me.



Ford's previous boyfriend was a dick. Ford's feels were hurt. I get that it's hard to get back in the saddle after getting kicked in the teeth. What I don't get is the globalization that he's defective and unloveable. He keeps making references to repeatedly picking the wrong guys, but never gives specifics. In order for this woe is me I'm too damaged to ever have a relationship trope to work for me I need specificity above and beyond because reasons. I need to feel it. I need the author to make me invest in a pervasive lack of self-worth otherwise I'm going to side eye its triteness.

He and Nash spend virtually all their free time together and things are going SO WELL! The strongest point of the book was their relationship development. The connection between them is clear, the sex was hot enough, Ford even gets along well with Nash's parents. There were any number of great moments and then Nash (very naturally) utters the L word and Ford freaks.

I can actually buy this reaction, because LOVE... WHOA. But when Ford trotted out the whole I can't do a relationship because I'm defective it felt like a lazy plot device that had me looking for the check. 



That coupled with the 180 from I can't to I can that happened at headspinning speed made it seem like an alternative fact of which I am not a fan.

I was surprised by the thriller storyline and I would not have been mad if this plot had been more prominent. A serial killer has been wreaking havoc by carving up homeless kids and Joel somehow escapes. He and Ford form a bond immediately. All of their interactions were heartwarming and had me hanging on Joel's every word for clues. The case isn't solved and there is definitely a to be continued. I have a suspect in mind for who could be the ring leader, though I kind of hope I'm wrong. To be honest, I may read the next one just for the thriller aspect alone.

Also, I didn't read the first one in this series and had no trouble keeping up with who the secondary characters are, all of whom contribute to the narrative to varying degrees. 

I'd still recommend this to MM romance fans despite my lackluster reaction to it since mileage will inevitably vary on the trope I took issue with.





A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.

Review: I Love You More Than Pierogi by K.A. Merikan

Marek and Adrian dated in high school, but a bitter breakup led them to choose different paths. Adrian is out and proud while Marek is in the closet. Adrian embraces his eccentricity while Marek clings to a conservative image. And while Marek worked hard to build a successful life and financial stability by climbing the corporate ladder, Adrian threw caution to the wind and has spent the last five years backpacking across the world.

Now Adrian is back in Warsaw, Poland, but while Marek thinks they will have a hookup and have a blast from the past, Adrian is just looking for a place to crash. Worse still, Adrian turns up at Marek’s advertising agency for help with his outrageous new business venture, and if Marek wants to get promoted, he might have to work with the guy who broke his heart.



Second chances in love... in a job... in life... I Love You More Than Pierogi is about being able to start over, no matter your choices in your past.

Adrian and Marek couldn't be more different. Adrian is out, adventurous, and willing to take risks. Marek is firmly in the closet, very cautious and conservative. After a bad breakup after high school, they spend years apart. While Marek was working himself to the bones trying to further his career, Adrian was out seeing the world.

When they met up again, they didn't automatically fall into old patterns like they assumed they would. I liked that about them. A lot of time had passed and they weren't the same people anymore. Even though they were together before, their relationship wasn't easy. They still had some of the same issues, along with some new ones. This almost had an enemies to lovers feel to me. They didn't seem to like each other much, despite not being able to stay away. The arguing got a little old for me, but when push came to shove they made the right decisions for themselves and each other.

For the first half I wanted to smack Marek more than a few times. His attitude toward Adrian seemed all over the place. Marek was so uptight and judge-y. He was hard for me to like a lot of times. Adrian was a much more likeable character. Being so open and easygoing, it's hard not to like the guy. But he wasn't perfect either. While he seemed to have taken the better path in life, he had his own mistakes, too.

The romance was light and so were the sexytimes. Especially for K.A. Merikan. Adrian and Marek were cute and sweet, but ya know... it's The Merikans.

I loved the setting. I've never been to Poland and don't know much about it. I especially enjoyed all the food! It sounds so different from anything I've had before. It definitely left me wanting to seek out some traditional Polish eats.

I Love you More Than Pierogi is sweet romance about second chances with a good dose of culture.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads and Dreamspinner Press

Did you see our I Love You More Than Pierogi blog tour stop here?

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Whiteout (Seasons of Love #1) by Elyse Springer


Welcome Elyse Springer and Riptide Publishing to the clubhouse for the Whiteout (Season of Love #1) tour! See our review here

Check out Springer's tour stop and enter the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!




Hello! I'm Elyse, and welcome to the blog tour for my new release, Whiteout! This is the first book in the Seasons of Love series, and I can't wait to introduce you to Noah and Jason.


About Whiteout

Noah Landers wakes up one day with a headache and no memory of where—or who—he is. Jason, the man taking care of him, tries to fill in some of the blanks: they’re in a cabin in Colorado on vacation, and Noah slipped on ice and hit his head. But even with amnesia, Noah knows Jason is leaving out something important.

Jason O’Reilly is sexy as hell, treats Noah like he’s precious, and seems determined to make this the romantic getaway they’d apparently dreamed of together. But Noah’s more concerned that he’s trapped alone with Jason in the middle of a blizzard while his slowly returning memories bring hints of secrets and betrayal.

Noah’s not sure what’s the truth and what’s a lie.  But as he learns who he is—and who Jason is to him—he’s forced to reevaluate everything he believes about himself, about loyalty . . . and about love.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/whiteout


About Elyse Springer

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, El spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.

She’s always happy to chat with other readers, and you can find her online at:



Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Whiteout, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 28, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: In Enemy Hands by M.A. Church

Two very different civilizations—one bathed in bright sunlight, and the other veiled in shadow.

Bad decisions, declining resources, and a king on the brink of madness force Prince Varo Kutchif, third son of the royal family and a starship captain, to attempt the impossible: barter for Black Phospolrock, an energy source the mysterious Helkan kingdom has in abundance. Varo opens a line of communication with Adlar, an intriguing Helkan who seems to reciprocate Varo’s interest. He hopes so, because if negotiations collapse, Varo has orders to attack.

The Helkans preside over a planet shrouded in perpetual darkness. Several species have tried to exploit its natural resources through trade with them, but all have failed. Adlar Mondur is the older brother to the Helkan ruler. An assassin of the highest order, he’ll do anything to protect his king and his people—including tracking down the Yesri prince who crash-lands on their planet, leaving an ugly scar across its untouched beauty.

Thus begins a journey where two men from disparate civilizations grow from enemies to lovers.




I was really looking forward to this sc-fi romance. I love the cover and the blurb sounded promising. But it just... didn't quite hit the mark.

When Prince Varo crash landed on the Helkan planet, he was immediately taken captive by Adlar, an assassin for the king. They had spoken prior to the crash and (of course) had immediately felt an attraction to each other. So when Adlar captured Varo he thought that would just naturally progress into more? After he slaps a collar on his neck and tells Varo he can never leave? Apparently so.

I wish there was a little more resistance from Varo. I am all for a good slave/capture romance, but I felt like Varo's resistance was half-hearted, at best. If you're gonna fight it, then fight it! He was too unsure of himself and "damsel in distress" for me. I was almost embarrassed for him.

There were major differences between the characters and the planets they were both from. I found the stark differences so extreme they were almost comical. Dark/light, day/night, industrial/natural... it was too much. Couldn't there have been a little more creativity here? They had to (very literally) be exact opposites?

I almost liked the story, but it felt too simplistic. Like there was something missing. That little something extra to make the story special. The writing left something to be desired in both the characters and the plot.

Overall, In Enemy Hands did not work for me and I didn't jive with this author's of writing style. I know there are a lot of M.A. Church fans out there, so maybe it's just me.

I mean, there was some sexy alien sex happening. So there's that.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press! 

Blog Tour + Giveaway: PeopleFish by Medella Kingston


Please welcome new author Medella Kingston to the blog. Along with IndiGo Marketing, Medella drops by to promote her psychic romance, PeopleFish! Check out the excerpt and her writing playlist below. As well as the Nine Star Press ebook giveaway!


Title:  PeopleFish
Author: Medella Kingston
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: January 23rd
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 118000
Genre: Romance, lesbian, bisexual, paranormal, Addiction, psychic ability, romance

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Her Cree grandmother called it the gift of seeing, but for Petra “Pete” Orvatch, knowing things in ways that defy explanation has made reality and fantasy blur in a world where the clocks literally go backward. Her fascinating and clairvoyant mind is a riddle that many doctors have tried to solve with medication. Love comes her way unexpectedly when she meets Fiona Angeli, a stunningly beautiful single mother. A risk-taker by nature, Fiona is not scared off by her new lover’s psychic abilities and eccentricities.

The two of them share passion and secrets on a magical and surprising journey, and their torrid love affair takes them to thrilling new places until betrayal divides them. Both these women fight battles within themselves; Fiona must gain control of her dangerous compulsions, and Pete’s onerous gift ultimately puts her at risk of losing herself in the gap between delusions and the real world.

Excerpt

PeopleFish
Medella Kingston © 2017
All Rights Reserved



Pete looked up from the mystery she was reading and scanned the faces in the waiting room. There was Tired Pinched Mom, with faded blond ponytail and dark roots coming in. She had one kid under control and was now quietly negotiating with the other. Next to this trio sat Man Too Large for His Seat, who seemed to be staring at his shoes or sleeping with his eyes open. In the corner was someone so nondescript she couldn’t instantly name her—then it came to her: Any Woman. This woman was neither thin nor large, short nor tall, and had a slightly exotic yet familiar face. She looked as if she could be from many different places, like Greece, Morocco, Central America, or New Jersey. She was text-messaging so quickly, Pete half expected her thumbs to spark and set fire to her phone.

Doesn’t anyone people-watch anymore? Was she the only person left who liked to read faces and create narratives? Maybe so. She’d never stop doing it. She’d been spinning this stuff since she was little—much to the annoyance of her mother. Instead of acknowledging the creative gifts of her child, or at the very least being entertained by them, she’d say, “God will punish you, Petra Marie, for thinking bad thoughts about people and making up lies.”

Some traits must skip generations, because Grandma Sweets had the right attitude. She’d join right in and embellish her granddaughter’s rough outlines of strangers’ lives with additions that could only come from a seasoned mind. If Pete said a passenger on the bus looked guilty, Gram Sweets would say, “Of course he looks guilty, he ought to! Instead of cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving, he cooked his wife!”

Her reminiscing was perforated by the staccato ring of a telephone.

“Cambridge Holistic Health and Wellness Center, please hold.”

Please hold? No one else is on the line; is this receptionista just fucking with the caller? Pete dog-eared the page in her paperback, closed it, slipped it into her bag, and decided to devote all of her energy to observing. She was just about to make up a story about the receptionist when her eyes landed on something strange. She hadn’t noticed the cheap plastic clock on the wallpapered wall before, but now she couldn’t take her eyes off it because the second hand was moving backward.

At first she thought she was seeing things, since her imagination was such a well-developed muscle. So she did something that made her feel seven instead of thirty-seven. She closed her eyes to reset, inhaled a long, slow breath, and then opened them, hoping this simple act could alter what she saw, or make things feel right again. She didn’t return her gaze to the clock right away, but rather avoided its face like you would dodge direct eye contact in a volley of flirt-and-stare with a stranger who’d caught you looking.

She panned her eyes evenly over all she had just taken in. Now the previously obedient child of the two was acting petulant, Man Too Large for His Seat actually was asleep, and Any Woman had stopped texting and was staring back at Pete. This startled her a bit. She looked away and then forced herself to look at the clock again. The red second hand was still moving backward and now instead of 2:27, it was 2:26, and the room seemed brighter to her than it had been just a minute ago.

“Petra Orvatch?”

She heard the automaton call her but she couldn’t move—she felt obligated to monitor the clock and confirm that it was in fact going backward, but knew she shouldn’t say anything about it. It was one of those times when she couldn’t expect people to understand her. These occurrences had happened ever since she could remember and could be confusing, amusing, or even downright dangerous.
***

A Special Playlist That Helped Me Write Love/Sex Scenes...


Though I do like to write in silence, or wrapped in the random white noise of a cafe, or better yet: by the ocean, sometimes I need music to create a scene. Some of the sex scenes in PeopleFish started in my mind while driving, showering, or walking. Some were a mosaic of memory and fantasy, and others seemed to come from the momentum and chemistry of the characters themselves, if that makes any sense.

1. Pull Up To The Bumper by Grace Jones
2. Doing Nikki by Prince
3. I Want Your Hands On Me by S'inead O' Connor
4. Wild Ones (featuring Sia) by Flo Rida
5. I Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode
6. Fire and Ice by Omnesia
7. The Sweetest Taboo by Sade
8. Slow Love by Prince
9. Big Stuff by Billie Holiday
10. Give It To Me by Madonna ( Paul Oakenfold Edit)
11. Kiss by Prince
12. Secret Love S'inead O' Connor


Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

 

Meet the Author

Medella Kingston fell in love with writing at an early age and published articles, poems, and stories when she was growing up. She wrote, performed, and sold songs for movie soundtracks, and continued writing short stories for her own pleasure. She currently sings in the band Omnesia, which has aired locally on UC Berkeley’s radio station and been heard as far east as Goa and the Mumbai University. She lives with her partner and their two dogs in the East Bay. PeopleFish is Medella’s first novel, and she is currently working on a new book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Tag Team Review: The Alpha King by Victoria Sue

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.
Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.
Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.
Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.
Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?






Jenni Lea 


Look out world, JL’s got her hands on some mpreg!



Oh, how I do love me some mpreg!  It is my number one most favorite guilty pleasure.  And when it’s mixed with Alpha/omega dynamics?  Well, that just makes me want to roll around on my bed and kick my heels up into the air.  I am actually giddy that I get to feed my addiction with all the cracky goodness that it provides.  I don’t know if I can explain what it is about this sub-genre that gets me all in a lather but I’ll give it my best shot.

You see, for an A/o mpreg book to be truly delicious it has to be written a certain way.  You have to have a strong, almost overbearing Alpha; one that will protect his omega.  He has to be a leader and have a strong personality.  This can vary a little, maybe he has a chip on his shoulder or starts off being a bit of an asshole.  Maybe he’s a bit of a player or maybe he’s the strong, silent type.  But one thing he definitely needs to be is big, as in tall, muscular and a bit intimidating.  The omega needs to be smaller but only in size.  Omegas can vary too.  They can be bratty or mild mannered, possibly super smart or even the life of the party.  But they are never weak.  No pushovers allowed!  The omega is there to temper the Alpha’s overbearing personality and bring out his gentle side.  And when they get together is where the magic happens.   The sex is usually rough with a lot of grabbing and biting and an overwhelming need to Claim His Mate.  There’s so much passion and need and it usually burns my screen it’s so hot!

And this book had it in spades.

Luca is an Alpha-heir who’s finally come of age and can choose the omega who will be his mate.  On Choosing Day he’s offered a wide variety of omegas to pick from but he can't help but feel disinterest.  While all werewolves are bisexual for the most part, Luca prefers men and there are only two being offered and he’s sure they’ll be snatched up by the other Alpha-heirs before it’s his turn.  But none of this matters when he looks into the eyes of a lowly human servant boy who is about to be punished for not being strong enough to do an impossible task.

This was a great story, well above par for the mpreg genre.  All of the characters were engaging and I was so invested in what was happening that I couldn’t put the book down.  The world building, though there were a few inconsistencies, was fascinating.  I couldn’t tell if this was an AU or if it was earth set thousands of years into the future.  Some passages in the story alluded to a future earth but there were two suns so I’m not really sure.  That didn’t stop my enjoyment though.  My belief was already suspended (hello… mpreg) so it didn’t take much for me to accept everything and skip merrily along through the story.

My only snag was the angst.  I’m a Big Ole Chicken (bawk bawk) when it comes to relationship angst.  I avoid books with the Big Misunderstanding caused by a Lack of Communication trope.  It causes my stomach to knot up and I just wanna shout “Talk your shit out you morons!”.  I had to drag my best pal Red into a buddy read so she could hold my hand through it.  Seriously, I’m surprised I don’t break out in hives when I come across angst like that.  But here, I can kind of understand why Luca did the things he did.  He hasn’t had a positive role model in his life.  His father is dead.  When he was alive he let Luca’s raging bitch of a mother walk all over him.  His brother betrayed him and now he’s become the first Alpha king in over a thousand years. He’s afraid he won’t be able to live up to the role he’s been thrust into and doesn’t have anyone he can seek out for advice. He has no clue what he’s doing so he makes mistakes – a lot of mistakes.  Boy, does he make a shit ton of mistakes!  He jumps to conclusions about Kit and nearly leads their relationship into disaster.  Thank goodness for Kit, who now has a newly stitched pocket waiting for him.  I adored Kit.  His life has been absolute crap up until he meets Luca.  He’s so strong!  I would have cracked under all the pressure of everything that he’s been through.  He’s vibrant and charming and has a great sense of humor.  Once Luca got over his idiocy they were perfect for each other.  They’re both great individually but together they can rule the world, quite literally.

Overall, I enjoyed the hell out of this story.  It was a fast-paced adventure full of intrigue and red herrings that kept me guessing until the very end.  The ending was a bit rushed though.  I wish that it could have been expanded upon a little more.  The climax of the story was a bit anticlimactic.  It felt like a big part of it was skipped over and I needed to see what happened in more detail.  I want to know more about this world and the lives of the people in it.  Thankfully the author is planning a second book so hopefully I will get the answers I’m looking for.  I recommend this to all those who love mpreg and are looking for a story with more meat to it.  It was so much more than merely an mpreg story so if the blurb has caught your interest and mpreg doesn’t squick you out I say give it a chance.  Who knows, you may end up becoming just as addicted as I am.


 
Sara


In a new order where wolves rule and humans are categorized into groups, we enter the world of Askara…


With the prologue, we meet werewolf Luca Hightower as he is wounded after being attacked and poisoned via revenge by his twin brother Kieran. Luca fears he is dying until he hears a voice, a voice belonging to a young human boy who appears to have knowledge of who Luca is and who he will become. The young boy with the lightest blue eyes Luca had ever seen, prophesizes Luca’s rise to be the Alpha King.  Unfortunately, the boy is taken away and though Luca is saved, he has no idea who they boy is but he will never forget being saved and the blue eyes of the boy who saved him.


From the prologue we move forward seven years to Luca’s 25th birthday and the ceremony which will allow him to pick an Omega so that he can come into his Alpha powers and lead his pack. But fate has a way of stepping in and when Luca comes to the rescue of a human slave who is about to be whipped, things get way interesting.

True mates were so rare they were merely whispered about.
I have to tell you, I truly adore the fated mate trope and this one made me all sorts of gooey. Not only is Luca destined to be the Alpha King but his destiny comes wrapped around a True Omega and no one ever said an Omega had to be a wolf or female now, did they?
Goodness. I have a whole list of reasons as to why I adored Kit but each of them could be a spoiler so I will try to slow my roll and just say he is adorable AF but he does have a few issues. His gift of foresight is amazing and how he instantly changes all that Luca is as an Alpha to an Alpha King was great to read but these two, they have some issues they need to deal with.
Luca. My mate. The Alpha King destined to heal a fractured Askara, and me, Kit, a guttersnipe bastard orphan destined to help him.
This book, it comes with angst and I am a self-proclaimed angst whore. I love the hell out of it and this book delivered. Sure, some of the angst could have been avoided but when you really look at Kit and Luca, they are babies in this new world of Alpha King and True Omega and any newlywed couple is bound to have communication problems.
Luca, I swear a few times I wanted to throw my Nook at you but you are the best at getting forgiveness and you really do love and adore your mate. Kit, you are not without fault in the angst that was created because all you had to do was ask. And yet again, the way you and Luca make up is so very worth it.

“You are my life. Every second of every day I thank the fates for being poisoned.”

So while we have the fated mate romance with knotting and yes, mpreg, we also get this wonderful world building of the story that I fell hard for. When something is introduced, I need to know all about it and the author does a fantastic job of building a world where wolves rule and humans are slaves all while giving us a detailed history on it so that it’s easily understood. The rift between human and wolf was one of importance to the story and how both sides would accept the mating of the Alpha King with the True Omega. There was a lot of knowledge being shared and yet it was never an info dump nor too complex to go over my head. Not only do we get the wolf/human dynamic but we have this history, an almost mythology of the Alpha King and True Omega that leaves so much to be learned. It was helpful to have Gabriel along to aid Kit and Luca in what their mating would lead to and I really wish they would have used him much earlier when they had questions but once again, all of this was new to them.

Luca’s sisters were remarkable when we meet them and all they do for the couple. I could have dealt without Luca’s mom as she is awful but I like how she was dealt with. Those Luca holds close and whom he trusts gave a richness to the story all while fueling my desire for more stories with other couples that we meet along the way and one I just need desperately *cough* Sam *cough* Asher.

…he is the hope for all humans. If Kit can stand by your side then it gives us all hope that one day there will be a chance of equality for everyone.

This story moved at a fast pace and I swear I read it just as fast. Once things started to get going, I couldn’t stop reading and where I usually take notes, I just read until the end. That end? It felt a little rushed to me and I wondered if I was missing pages because I needed more. Is that me being greedy for all that the author gave me? Possibly and yet the epilogue was so stupidly sweet, it pacified me for the moment. But I am not done with this world and I hope the author isn’t either. I need to see what Luca and Kit were preparing for at the end and I really wonder if Kit’s vision of the Black and White pups weren’t something entirely different. Cause, you know?

At the end of it all, this was truly romantic in only the way a true mate story can be. It had everything I love in a shifter story and then some. The history and mythology was magnificent, the romance angsty and swoony and the story, beautifully told.

Now… I just need more. 

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