Review: The Mage Heir (The Life Siphon #2) by Kathryn Sommerlot

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Exiled from Chayd and pursued by Runon, Tatsu’s life twists into something unrecognizable when he escapes with Yudai into the mountains. Despite the growing danger trailing them, the biggest threat lies within Yudai and his voracious magic, a force spiraling outside his control. Their only hope is to head into Joesar in search of a way to contain the magic.

But Joesar’s desert holds perils of its own, and the only answers Tatsu and Yudai find lead them farther into storms. Friend and foe blur until impossible to tell apart, and all the while, the unchecked siphon devours any energy it can find. If Yudai can’t fix what the Runonian mages broke, the siphon could swallow the world, and Tatsu will watch the horror unfold.

No matter how tightly Tatsu’s heart is tied to Yudai’s, and after everything they have sacrificed for freedom, the past might catch up with them, murky and muddled, betrayal lying in Tatsu’s traitorous bloodline.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Mage Heir


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 stars

Picking up where The Life Siphon left off, Tatsu and Yudai journey to Joesar hoping to find a way to control Yudai’s magic before it destroys everything. Many challenges and dangers await on route to their destination and when they finally find the answer that they are looking for they learn it could ultimately part them forever.
I just couldn’t wait to read the second instalment of this duology. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and the second did not disappoint. The world building is greatly expanded on here so you get to learn more about the realms that the author has created, which are wonderfully rich and detailed.

Tatsu and Yudai continue alone for much of the novel. Whilst a part of me was saddened not to see as much of Alesh and Ral, it gave a chance to fully explore their developing relationship further. I think this was my favourite aspect of the second novel. I loved how their relationship evolved and just how much they came to care for each other. Tatsu’s character really develops as his feelings for Yudai deepen. You also see a different side to Yudai, a vulnerability that he’s hidden up until now. They are perfect for each other and I was hoping against hope throughout the novel that they would get their happy ending together. The ending itself did not disappoint and I highly recommend you checking out this duology.

Review: A Summer of Smoke and Sin by T.J. Nichols

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To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed Nobility Task Force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young noble man in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: A Summer of Smoke and Sin


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

When Detective Nathanial Bayard is sent to investigate a death at the Jericho Rose, he finds himself drawn to the charismatic club owner Jericho Fullbright in a way that he never imagined. Desperately needing a break in a case, Nathaniel enlists Jericho’s help in tracking down the man creating snuff pornography. However, Nathaniel is unaware that Jericho’s ability of drawing the truth from others comes from the demon sharing his body. And the demon has set its sights on Nathaniel as its next host.

I was really drawn to the premise of this novel. It takes place in a regency-era setting which I love, but one that has a different attitude towards same sex relationships. The paranormal aspect was a real draw for me too and I couldn’t wait to start reading. However A Summer of Smoke and Sin was somewhat of a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed how Nathaniel and Jericho’s relationship played out throughout the novel. The chemistry between them was undeniable and their contrasting personalities complemented the other perfectly. The demon part of the story I felt a little underwhelmed about. For me it felt like an addition rather than a main plot point and could have been expanded on more than it was. Also I felt that the ending was somewhat rushed to the point I was left feeling a bit taken aback by it. This was a shame as time had been taken to build the romance throughout the novel.

Overall A Summer of Smoke and Sin is an enjoyable and well-written read with a paranormal twist, but I would say it’s more a romance than paranormal or mystery.

New Release Blitz: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon

Title: Behind the Sun, Above the Moon

Author: Ziggy Schutz, Paige S. Allen, Brooklyn Ray, J.S. Fields, S.R. Jones, Alex Harrow, Emmet Nahil, Sara Codair, Anna Zabo

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 17, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB, F/NB

Length: 91300

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, trans, nonbinary, magic, short stories

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Synopsis

A Queer anthology inspired by magic and the cosmos, a vast and beautiful place where planets, stars, comets—entire galaxies, even—live without borders, specifications or binaries. Stories span science fiction, science fantasy, contemporary, fabulism and magical realism, and celebrate Non-binary and Transgender characters.

twice-spent comet by Ziggy Schutz

From Dusk to Dying Sun by Paige S. Allen

Lost/Found by Brooklyn Ray

Awry with Dandelions by J.S. Fields

The Far Touch by S.R. Jones

Ink and Stars by Alex Harrow

Horologium by Emmet Nahil

Death Marked by Sara Codair

Weave the Dark, Weave the Light by Anna Zabo

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New Release Blitz: IM by Rick R. Reed

Title: IM

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 10, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: No Romance, Male/Male

Length: 91600

Genre: Contemporary

WARNINGS: Graphic depictions of violence and mutilation, murder, pedophilia, scene of underage rape –

TAGS: LGBT, law enforcement, online dating, thriller, contemporary

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Synopsis

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. They invite him over. He’s just another trick. Harmless. They’re dead wrong.

When the first bloody body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. Sickened by the butchered mess of one of his brothers left on display in a bathtub, he seeks relief outside where the young man who discovered the body waits to tell him the story of how he found his friend. But who is this witness…and did he play a bigger part in the murder than he’s letting on?

Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth, a truth that he needs to discover before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity…his life. Because in this killer’s world, IM doesn’t stand for instant message…it stands for instant murder.

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Review: The Life Siphon (The Life Siphon #1) by Kathryn Sommerlot

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The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.

More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: The Life Siphon


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

When circumstances and rash decisions uproot Tatsu from his self-imposed isolation he finds himself with a choice; agree to the terms of the Queen and save the Kingdom or face life imprisonment for his crime. All chosen for their different skillsets, friends and strangers must work together to travel through dangerous lands in order to steal the Life Siphon that is threatening their world.

The Life Siphon is the first novel of the duology. I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing and how the events flowed together in a way that kept me fully engaged and not wanting to put the book down. Tatsu is a reluctant and unlikely hero whose standoffish mannerisms pick at the nerves of his companions to begin with. However as the truth around the Life Siphon and the personal implications for Tatsu reveal themselves, he finds something to fight for. I think it was this aspect of the novel that I enjoyed the most. Tatsu is a reluctant and unlikely hero and I look forward to seeing how his character and story develops further in the second novel.