A big welcome to Morgan Brice as part of her blog tour with Gay Book Promotions for Flame and Ash.
I love this series and these guys, so from very happy to read the next in the series. An added bonus was Seth’s mentors and stand in dads Milo and Toby playing a big part in the story. After several cameos from them in previous books, it was great to get to know them ‘on screen.’ I loved their banter, and it’s obvious that they’re very much in love. I liked the way they accepted Evan as part of their family.
One of my favourite things about this author is the crossovers with other series. The phone calls with Simon from the Badlands series made me very happy, as did the references to other characters who have their own series within this world. I also like the sense of family, with everyone looking out for each other, and working together to lend a hand if needed within someone else’s story.
I like that Seth and Evan both have IT jobs that they can do as well as being hunters so they have money coming in. It gives the storyline more of an edge of realism, as they still have to deal with the usual day to day issues that most people do in that regard.
Another touch of realism is Evan and Seth still hoping, yet wondering, if their relationship will work out. They haven’t been together long, despite having been through a lot together, and I thought those doubts made a lot of sense. I also like that these guys always do their research, rather than rush in blindly to do battle. The author has put a lot of thought into the worldbuilding and how all the puzzle pieces of the plot fit together, and it shows. I always appreciate that these guys don’t recover instantly from a fight either. Injuries take time to heal as does the head space and emotional trauma that goes with it.
I love the magic system, and how Evan especially is growing in confidence as a hunter, and being able to work rote magic. Having the ghosts help out is a really cool idea!
I liked the supporting cast in this story. Although they were out of their depth, they rallied around to do what they could in order to keep their own safe. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Scott, Steve, and Kyle.
The final showdown is edge-of-seat turning page reading. I found it a very satisfying read, and wonderfully action packed. I liked that it was a group effort, with everyone playing their part.
I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series, especially as they’ll be heading to Charleston where Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren from Deadly Curosities are.
I’d recommend this book to readers who enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal stories with likeable well-developed characters, great banter, fabulous world building, and a plot that keeps you turning pages. 5 out of 5 stars.
Book Title: Flame and Ash (Witchbane #4)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: September 5, 2019
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal, MM romance
Trope/s: Second chance, established couple, hurt/comfort, monster hunting, supernatural creatures, magic, ghosts
Themes: Learning to trust, navigating a new relationship, sticking together when the going gets rough
Heat Rating: 4 flames
This time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?
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 rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer.
In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough?
Flame and Ash is the third novel in the Witchbane series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
After all, Evan thought, what value do I bring to the situation? Six months of training had improved his skills, taught him a few more rote spells, and helped him understand more about the kinds of things that went bump in the night. Despite it all, Evan knew he had a long way to go before he could match Seth’s abilities, and he worried that he could be the weak link that cost Seth his life.
The trip from Pittsburgh to Boone would take most of the day, and while Evan offered to take a turn behind the wheel, he knew that Seth preferred to drive. When he wasn’t chasing down loose ends about the Boone situation on his computer, Evan planned to doze in the passenger seat, but dark dreams woke him more than once, earning him worried glances from Seth.
“Hey.” Seth’s voice roused Evan from his thoughts. “Whatever you’re thinking—let me in. Don’t keep it to yourself.”
“I just don’t want to let you down,” Evan admitted.
“You don’t know that.”
“I know that you’ve saved my ass more than once,” Seth replied. “And that was before we spent the last three months doing more training.” He reached out to take Evan’s hand. “I trust you. I believe in you. There’s no one I’d rather have beside me in a fight. And I love you.”
Evan’s throat tightened. “I love you, too. And I want to be here, doing this, with you. It’s just…I’m not really the action hero type.”
Seth chuckled. “And I am?”
“You were in the army. You’re a soldier. So, yeah.”
Seth sighed. “I went into the army to get away from a bad breakup. Not exactly the most noble reason. I did okay, I guess. I was lucky enough to come home. But I knew I wasn’t going to make a career out of it. Some guys, they get in, and they know that’s where they’re supposed to be. It becomes their home and family, like they were born for it.” He shook his head. “It was never that for me.”
“I made okay money, working at the bar.” Evan looked at the road instead of at Seth. “But something was always missing, you know? What I did didn’t really matter. This…” He gestured to mean the two of them, hunting, the search for the witch-disciples. “It makes a difference. Saves lives. Stops a hundred years of killing. It just seems like fate could have picked someone who was better prepared.”
Seth laid his hand on Evan’s thigh, solid and warm. “Hunting doesn’t work like that. You’ve talked to Travis and Brent and Mark. They didn’t train to be a hunter from the time they were kids. They lost people, and it changed them. And from that point on, they learned on the job,” Seth said. “Just like you.”
Evan managed a wan smile. “If this were a TV show, I’d want to skip to the finale, where we ride off into the sunset.”
“I wish we could,” Seth admitted. “But I’m afraid there’s no fast-forward on real life.”
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. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands, Lucky Town, and The Rising, plus Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
I’ll be a Featured Author at GRL in October and also at Coastal Magic in February!
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