A big welcome to Morgan Brice as part of her release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for Burn from Darkwind Press.
This story picks up a couple of weeks after the events of Witchbane. I really liked that both Seth and Evan are still finding their way in their relationship and that neither settles into it like they’ve been together forever, and ditto with the monster hunting. They both have doubts about the other’s feelings, and this story explores that, which makes their situation and growing relationship much more realistic.
One of the other things I love about this story is that Seth has a ‘day job’ to bring in money when he’s not monster hunting, and in this vein he gives Evan the opportunity to do the same. I also liked that Evan didn’t automatically know what to do to take on his new role to have Seth’s back, but had to train hard to learn about the new world he’s now in. On the flip side, I thought the author did a great job in showing how Seth has to rethink his own strategies. There is a big difference in going into a fight not caring if you survive, as opposed to having a reason to live. The fight scenes are very edge-of-seat and wonderfully tense and action-packed.
As with the other stories by this author, there are references to characters in their wider universe, and I must admit I squeed a little at that, although it makes me realize I have a lot of backlist to still read through as I’ve ‘met’ some of these characters, but not others yet. I really like Toby and Milo and would love to read more about them, so hoping that is coming in a future book—or is in one I still need to read. Watching the slow building of a network of “overly independent hunters” is going to be fun, and I’m very much looking forward to it.
Although this story is a novella, it felt like I was reading a novel because of the depth of the world building, and characterisation, and my only complaint is that I’m now waiting for the next story in the series.
I’d recommend Burn to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with realistic characters, fabulous action scenes, and a story that is part of a larger universe. 5 out of 5 stars.
Book Title: Burn (Witchbane #1.5)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: September 30, 2018
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance
Sexy, satisfying supernatural suspense.
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.
Seth uncovers the cycle of ritual murders that feed the witch-disciples’ power, and he saves Evan Malone, one of the warlock’s potential victims. Neither Seth nor Evan expected to fall in love, but when the dust settles, they find themselves on the run and on the road together, heading toward Pittsburgh, on the trail of the next killer.
Seth wonders whether Evan will come to regret his choice to stay together, now that he’s living the reality of Seth’s nomadic life and the risks that come with it. He wants Evan to stay, but he’s afraid that Evan would be better off without him, living a normal life. Evan’s whole world has been upended, but there’s one thing he’s sure of, his love for Seth. Evan worries that he’s a liability, not yet able to hold his own in Seth’s rough-and-tumble world, but determined to do whatever necessary to have Seth’s back. On the way to face the next warlock, supernatural threats abound, forcing them to learn to fight as a team.
Fate and danger threw them together. But once the adrenaline fades, will love last?
“What do you mean, you’ve got a surprise for me?” Evan Malone’s tone was wary. “The last big surprise involved armed men shooting up my apartment before they burned it down.”
His boyfriend, Seth Tanner, winced a bit at that, and Evan wished he could take back the words. “I didn’t mean—”
Seth managed a smile. “It’s okay. And…it’s true. But this is a good surprise. Even if it’s kind of connected to that other time.”
Now Evan was really confused, but he let Seth lead him from the bedroom of the fifth-wheeler RV they shared out to the living room. With an electric fireplace, flat screen TV, and cushy leather furniture, it was easy to forget that their home was on wheels. On the table in the dining area was a large box and two smaller ones.
“It’s not Christmas—or my birthday,” Evan said, glancing at Seth again, who shooed him on with an expression Evan didn’t quite understand, something between pleased and sad.
Evan saw that the boxes weren’t taped shut, so he went for the big one first, indulging his inner ten-year-old. The new laptop inside made him catch his breath. “Seth—”
“You still have two more.”
Biting back a comment, Evan opened the next biggest box to find a good quality, SLR digital camera, definitely capable of taking professional photographs. Knowing Seth would object if he didn’t finish his task, he opened the smallest box to find a cell phone.
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Look for her other books—Witchbane and Badlands. Coming soon—Dark Rivers (Witchbane novel #2) and Lucky Town (a Christmas Badlands novella).
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