Monday, August 20, 2018

#MysteryExchange - The Murder That Inspired a Romantic #Mystery Novel, with @Kris_Bock

Many writers are inspired by real events or people in their lives. This makes difficult situations a form of research. “This stinks, but maybe I can use it in a book!” I write romantic suspense for adults as Kris Bock and middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12) as Chris Eboch. In most of these books, the connection to real-life experiences isn’t obvious. 

In my romantic suspense Whispers in the Dark, my heroine is an archaeology Masters student working at the fictional “Lost Valley” monument, which is closely based on Hovenweep National Monument, where I once spent a week camping. In Counterfeits, the heroine inherits a children’s art camp, which I based on a camp near Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where I’ve attended many writing retreats. Using real locations helps me bring the settings to life even if I did not, for example, fall into a ravine while fleeing from a bad guy.

But What We Found was inspired by helping to uncover a true case of murder.

Lest you think that makes me some kind of amateur detective, my involvement was purely accidental. Two friends and I were exploring the mountains, looking for some suitable gravel to try gold panning (because, why not?). We found a likely spot and were about to take a sample when the guys smelled something horrible. A glance in the right direction showed them a dead body hidden just out of sight of the path.

The next hour passed in a surreal blur. We'd left our phones in another vehicle, at the base of the mountain. Once we retrieved them, we still had to find a place with cell reception. We called 911, waited for the police, and led them to the body. Later that night we were interviewed by detectives.

By the following day, they had identified the body as a woman who had been missing. Her estranged ex-boyfriend was already a suspect in her disappearance, but without her body they'd have trouble prosecuting him. Seeing her picture on TV and learning about her family made the situation real in a new way. We wanted justice for someone we’d never met.

It’s All Research

As a writer, I knew I was getting rare first-hand experience into something powerful. I took pages of notes during that first week, even though I didn’t know how or when I might use them. I was fortunate to be with two men who talked openly about their experiences: the nightmares, the guilt over violence against women, the anxiety that came from now wondering what you might see in the bushes.

Three things struck me most strongly.

First, we all felt deeply invested in the case, even though we’d never met the woman in life and didn’t know anyone else involved. We followed the news stories, even though they made us anxious. When the murderer was finally sentenced … well, we weren't happy (the sentence of less than 20 years of less than 20 years was not, in our opinion, nearly long enough), but we were relieved that it was over.

Second, it affected every aspect of our lives for weeks. Even though the likelihood of finding another body, or even witnessing a different crime, was extremely slim, we were on high alert at all times. It was a struggle to put it behind us while still honoring the memory of the victim and holding on to what we had learned.

And finally, someone in law enforcement said that often people don’t report crime scenes like these. How could someone walk away from that? I started thinking about all the reasons someone might want to cover up their discovery, even if they had nothing to do with the crime. And that inspired What We Found.

Turning Truth into Fiction

Several years passed before I felt distant enough from the experience to fictionalize it, but I still had all those notes and memories to draw on. Some elements of What We Found, mainly the emotional ones, are taken directly from that experience. Most character and plot elements are fictional, although some are loosely inspired by the real events.

This isn’t an experience I would wish on anyone, but we’re glad we helped bring a crime to light and a murderer to justice. And it led to what I consider my most powerful and personal novel to date. After all, one benefit to being a writer is that the worst experiences are still valuable as research.

That’s the truth behind What We Found.


When Audra goes back to her small hometown after college, she simply wants to fit in, work hard, and protect her 12-year-old brother from their overbearing mother. Finding a dead body in the woods changes everything.

Her former crush, Jay, insists they don’t report the body. But the dead woman was murdered, and someone starts targeting Audra. She has to stand up for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. But with danger all around, some risks are worth taking.

“Another action-packed suspense novel by Kris Bock, perhaps her best to-date. The author weaves an intriguing tale with appealing characters. Watching Audra, the main character, evolve into an emotionally-mature and independent young woman is gratifying.” Reader Ellen Rippel

This title stands alone and is not part of a series.

Excerpt:

An engine started. The battered old truck stood out like a janitor at the prom. It was dark blue, splattered with mud and probably decades old, with a cap on the bed. The evening sun glared off the side window, but as I walked slowly past the front I saw a figure inside – the one-handed man. He had his hand on the wheel but his head back, eyes closed.

 I paused, studying his face. I guessed he was in his twenties, with short, light brown hair and pleasant features in a mask as still as death.

 He opened his eyes and looked straight into mine.

 I couldn’t move as he held my gaze. My heart thumped against my ribs. He studied me without expression, no smile, no frown, nothing in his face but weariness.

 Finally I had to blink, and once the eye contact was broken, I jerked my gaze away and kept moving. I quickly turned between the next two cars, to get out of his view. I’d have to cross behind his truck to reach my car, which might look odd if he was still watching, but I didn’t care so long as I got out of there, fast.

 I noticed the rusty screeching again. It was coming from his truck. I stumbled to a stop, staring at the back of the truck. What could be making that sound? The tailgate and back window on the cap were closed, hiding the sight inside, but the screech came again and again like someone – something – screaming.

 The screams seemed to echo in my head. I couldn’t take any more. I turned away with a hand over my mouth to hold back my own scream and hurried to my car.


Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. All ebooks are .99c to $3.99 or free with Kindle Unliminted.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

To learn more about her latest work, visit www.krisbock.com or her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock’s newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.


Friday, August 17, 2018

#BookReview – ‘Wolf at the Door’ by Sofia Grey


Blurb 


Love can heal all wounds…

Pop star Lillian Hart is determined never to trust another man. She has no idea that the wolf at her door is anything other than a wounded dog, much less the Alpha of the Snowdonia Wolf pack. There’s something about the wild creature that pulls at her. Then a man with her wolf’s eyes starts to invade her dreams, and reality and fantasy merge in a way that has her hoping, against all odds, for dreams to come true.

Lillian may have sworn off men, but Jake’s not just any man, he’s a shifter, and he’s about to shift Lillian’s world to make room for him. He vows to claim her as his Mate, and when Jake makes a vow, he keeps it. But Lillian wants to take it slow and Jake is not about to waste any time.
In this battle of wills, both discover giving in and trusting their hearts can heal even the deepest of hurts.  

Review 

Lillian is a pop star hiding from the paparazzi because of a bad breakup with her more famous actor boyfriend. She’s heading to a remote cabin in the snowy mountainous region of Wales and almost hits a wolf. Though she missed him, she finds blood on the road but can’t find the injured wolf. She continues to the cabin and later finds the poor wolf at her door. She lets him in, bandages the wound, and calls him Wolfie.
Jake is the alpha of his pack. Injured in an old hunter’s snare, he goes to the cabin for help since he can’t make it back to the pack. He instantly knows Lillian is his mate from first sniff and is determined to seduce her in her dreams. Probably about half the book is in dream sequences.
I couldn’t connect with the H/h. Lillian acted too flighty and had an affair with Kurt, a married man, but at least she believed he and his wife were separated and in the middle of a divorce. Kurt did a lot of awful things to Lillian and never got his comeuppance in the end. Jake took a long time to tell Lillian the truth, and when he finally did, she accepted the fact that werewolves are real pretty easily.
Other than a few typos, the story is well-written. The author flip-flopped between the H/h’s POVs way too often (multiple times, back and forth, per chapter) but at least the shifts and scene breaks were properly labeled. I liked the plot and the universe the author created, but I really wish I could’ve understood Lillian and Jake better.
3 Stars

Disclaimer – I downloaded this book from BookFunnel and volunteered to review it. I am not compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Release Tour - 'Besotted' by Madison Michael #Giveaway

Besotted 
Beguiling Bachelors Series Book 5 
By Madison Michael
Madison has put together some really awesome Prize Packages to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here 



About Besotted: 
Time is Running Out…For Both of Them 
Regan Howe, won her coveted CEO position through hard work and a willingness to buck family tradition. Now, Brandon Hockney, a handsome US Senator with his eye on the White House, wants her to give it up, along with her home, friends and family for a move to DC and marriage to him. 
Regan wants marriage and family but this choice will require she leave everything she loves, including the alluring Tyler Winthrop. Regan has waited twenty years for Tyler to commit. He once promised her forever, then destroyed her trust and her hopes for a future together. Still, she cannot break the ties between them. Regan is besotted. 
Tyler’s moment to win Regan is slipping through his fingers. He has remained on the outskirts of Regan’s life, reluctant to reveal his true past and expose her to danger. Despite their obvious attraction, Tyler has remained her friend and protector, keeping Regan at arm’s length for her own safety, When Regan determines to test the waters with Brandon, Tyler is tapped as acting CEO, throwing the pair together for one last chance at love. 
Can Tyler shake off the thugs threatening to expose his past mistakes? Can he earn Regan’s trust and woo her away from Washington? Battling overwhelming odds and a racing clock, will Tyler be forced to release his one true love to find happiness with another man? How can he when he’s besotted?
Join Tyler and Regan as they seek their happily ever after in the conclusion of the steamy, contemporary Beguiling Bachelor romance series. 

Besotted is a contemporary erotic romantic suspense story.

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2AiK2MQ




Excerpt from Besotted:

Regan was just too damn alluring in that dress for him to accept that he couldn’t have her if he wanted her.
He was an idiot. He should have told her years ago. He should have told everyone. Despite the tongue- lashing he was silently giving himself, Tyler was certainly no fool. “The professor” to his friends, he was generally serious and professional. He had the smarts necessary to obtain both an MBA and a law degree, and he was now CEO of LHRE and on hiatus from one of the fastest growing tech companies in the country. He kept his cool in general, but again and again he behaved like an idiot around Regan.
Since that damn frog almost thirty years ago, he had loved no one but Regan. Sometimes they made it work together, like in high school, but most times not. His feelings were unchanged, but something always stopped him from declaring his love and asking her to do the same. This time it was something insurmountable.
And yet Tyler couldn’t stay away. He was the proverbial moth to the flame, flirting with disaster every time he flirted with her. He had promised to stay away, to keep her safe,but the attraction was undeniable. Yep, prize idiot.
Returning to the ballroom after the latest threats, Tyler briefly considered sharing the conversation, coming clean with Regan and perhaps moving their relationship forward. He was at a fork in the road but remained silent, Tyler knew he was on the wrong path but couldn’t summon the will to fix it. Not only were his problems unsolveable, but she was involved with Brandon. Tyler felt hopeless.
He was preoccupied just as Regan accused, but Tyler tried to give Regan the attention she deserved. He failed miserably until Regan suggested they just leave. That got his attention. Who knew when he would hold her in his arms again.
“Come dance with me again. It would be a crime to waste that dress.”
Encircling Regan in his arms, his body responded to her nearness, even as his mind worried over the earlier texts. He was unaware of his hand stroking her back, fingers lightly skimming over her bare skin. He wasn’t thinking clearly when he pulled her close or when he dropped kisses on her hair. He wasn’t paying attention, just acting on instinct, Regan was responding, her breath growing uneven, her hands clinging to his shoulders.




Other Books in the Beguiling Bachelors Series:

 
Bedazzled (Book 1)
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2K3OL4D
Bedazzled is now on Kindle Unlimited 

Beholden (Book 2)
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2AjMtPg
Beholden is now on Kindle Unlimited 

Bedeviled (Book 3)
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2uUHsYu
Bedeviled is now on Kindle Unlimited 

BeWildered (Prequel)
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2uXZXeu
Bewildered is now on Kindle Unlimited 


About Madison:
Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books.


Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.


After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

Social Links: Website: madisonmichael.net

Maddy's Romance Madness: madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Blog Tour - 'Ghost of a Chance' by McKenna Dean #Giveaway

Ghost of a Chance 
Redclaw Security Book 2
by McKenna Dean

Madison has put together some really awesome Prizes giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here


About Ghost of a Chance by McKenna Dean:

At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart.

Ghost of a Chance is a paranormal romance story.

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2nbVC33

Excerpt:

For some reason, he glanced back at Sarah where she waited by the door. The backlight of falling snow through the glass in the shadowed hallway created the suggestion of a black-and-white photograph. The only spot of color was the bright red scarf at the collar of her coat and the wine-dark lipstick she wore. She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Something inside him clicked, as though recognizing a scene from a movie. His heart stopped a beat, flipped over, and thudded again with increased intensity.

No. It couldn’t be. Not her.

He hurried away, head still reeling at his reaction.

When he returned with an armload of clothing, she was nowhere to be seen. Her laptop sat by her shoes, one pretty little pump turned over on its side. As expected, he discovered her in the living room, staring at the pictures on the wall. “There you are.”

She jumped at the sound of his voice.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” He adjusted the heap of clothing piled over one arm and held out a pair of snow boots.

“She had so many photographs of me.” Sarah took the boots almost automatically, and indicated the walls covered with pictures, ones Casey had seen many times.

That had to be it. Why she felt so familiar. Why she seemed to be the one. Relief washed over him. Obviously he’d spent too much time alone if he thought Sarah Atwell was his destined mate.


 

The Panther’s Lost Princess
Redclaw Security Book 1 
Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2LSf9UL 

About McKenna Dean

McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.
She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock.
She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

McKenna Dean's Social Media Links:
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX
Website: http://mckennadeanromance.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075CRHQ7B/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/McKenna-Dean-Author-262328784224302/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/McKennaDeanFic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mckennadeanromance/?hl=en
Tumblr: https://mckennadeanromance.tumblr.com/
Email: mckennadeanromance@gmail.com

Friday, August 10, 2018

Author Interview with Andrea Ramos #MysteryExchange

Welcome Andrea Ramos! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and answering a few questions. I'm happy to have you here. Well, let's get started... 

Interview
  1. What process did you go through when you picked your characters’ names for Gumshoe Girl?  This is actually a funny story, my main character’s name is Sheagan. I knew a girl from my old secretary job, she used to come in once a week for specialty work. She introduced herself as Sheagan, so I would call the appropriate persons and let them know she was there. As the months went past, we had gotten to know each other a bit and I told her how much I loved her name. I asked her if I could use it for the character in my book. She told me how much she was honored and said, “you know that’s my last name, right?” “What, no!” I apologized for using her last name (as her first) this whole time. “No, no, it’s fine, really. I actually love my last name and introduce myself that way on purpose. Everyone calls me Sheagan.” I loved it even more after that!
  2. What do you prefer: ebook or print? Why? Gumshoe Girl is available in ebook only, unfortunately, but I would love to get it to print someday. As a reader I love print books, so it’s kind of ironic that mine is only available electronically. I work on a computer all day sometimes, I love to just unplug. I also love the feel of holding a book, you don’t have to worry about solar glare, you can mark where you left off and find it easily and make personal notes in the margins with thoughts and feelings.
  3. What did you do when you received your first Acceptance Letter? I am a debut author and the process went very fast for me. I was so lucky! I had just finished the edits to my novel in December when PitMad came around. I wasn’t prepared, I actually had my dates mixed up and thought it was the next day. It was past 4pm and I didn’t think anyone would be paying attention at that point. I thought everybody would all be gearing up to go home, not looking at tweets. But I took a chance, I threw a tweet out there and it was favorited by a couple of people, one was from Tirgearr Publishing. I received my acceptance letter in February by Tirgearr Publishing and Gumshoe Girl was published in May. It was like a whirlwind!
  4. Any advice for the aspiring authors out there? Particularly those who are feeling a little discouraged? Grow tough skin and don’t give up! To be a writer you must have thick skin for all the rejection you will receive…not might receive…will receive. It doesn’t stop with a publisher offering you a contract, you must endure tough critiques and bad reviews, even the best, most well written novels get criticized- it’s simply part of the business.  Hang in there, take chances and don’t give up! If I had thought about it for longer, I would have chickened out of throwing something up on PitMad, but As the Great One, Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
  5. Are you a writer who plans out your story ahead of time (a plotter), or do you let the story develop as you go along (a pantser)? I am definitely a plotter! I use a program called Trello to help plot my books, however I am not married to the outline when I plot it. If the story takes me in a different direction I go with it and adjust later. What is great about a plotting a story is it ensures that I don’t get too far off course and write myself into a box, I always have a path to where the story is heading, it just may take a different route than originally intended to get there.

Blurb:
Sheagan O’Hare got more than she bargained for when her newly inherited detective agency lands its first case; a missing person, embezzlement, and murder. Sheagan’s out to prove she can hang with the pro's, despite the constant reminder of her amateur status from an annoyingly attractive FBI agent, Colin 'Mac' MacEvine, who’s forced himself into her life.
How does she feel when an old high school friend hopes to ignite a new romance?
Will she be able to discover if detective work and love can mingle before someone gets hurt?

Buy Links:


Author Bio: 
Andi Ramos is a debut author from central Massachusetts where she lives with her family, goat, and Boston Terriers. Her love for reading grew into a passion for writing. She dabbled with pen and paper for a long time and eventually stopped pushing her amusements aside and started developing those stories into novels. One of her favorite things to do is to hop into her motorhome with her family and write while traveling down the road as they journey to various destinations.
Excerpt
Sheagan blinked back the sting in her eyes as sweat drizzled from her forehead. Her shoulders and forearms cried out as determination inched her body forward through the tin walls that framed her slender figure. The narrow shaft rendered her legs useless as they dragged behind her like dead weight. She made a vow to start working out as she approached her destination, the metal grate that looked down into the sweetheart suite of the Eliot Hotel. 
She shimmied her binoculars out of her bag and clutched them in her sweaty palms as she readied herself to delve into the world of private investigating. The friction of her movements caused her mahogany mane to cling to all the surfaces of her temporary confinement. Perched behind the filigree frame, peering like a caged animal, she was a mere 20 feet from her target. Her target? The Rat Bastard, who up until this very moment she’d called boyfriend. 
She wasn’t there to kill him, even though the thought had crossed her mind; no, she was there to catch him in the act. She suspected he had been cheating on her for some time, so proof would end her suspicion or the relationship. Spying on her significant other through an air-vent of a swanky hotel room was hardly a promising start to her so-called glamorous career as a private detective. But it snapped her back into the reality that her new chosen profession would often be messy and difficult. 
She peered through the grate and envied the spacious room below, but her viewing angle was no good for the task at hand. She could feel the heat in her cheeks rise along with her anger as she scanned the room and soaked in the extravagance–the hardwood tables, the Italian marble fireplace, the opulent sheen of the fabric on the overstuffed furniture that glimmered in the soft candlelight. The Rat Bastard was not known to overindulge on frivolous expenses, unless it was on her dime. Thoughts of killing him resurfaced. 
What is wrong with me? Why did I wait so long? 
She immediately regretted the fleeting question. She knew why. The answer brought back the pain and significance of her father’s sudden death. He had been the only family she had left, and he was gone. All that was left behind was his detective agency. She had thought about giving it up, but she couldn’t; it was her only connection to him, to her family. 
She closed her eyes briefly, realizing that now she was facing more loss–even if he was a lying, cheating Rat Bastard. 
No! It’s better this way, stay focused
She choked in a breath and turned her attention back to the room. His secret love nest was finished with soothing tones on the walls and thick, plush carpeting. 
What is that on the end table? 
Her gaze was drawn to the bottle label as it bobbed upside down in the melting ice. She sharpened the focus of her binoculars, and her eyes widened in recognition. 
Her cheeks flushed. Cristal, she scoffed. Who is this Bimbo, anyway? 
As if she had room to criticize this girl’s intelligence, when Sheagan was the one sweating her makeup off in a four-by-four-foot air-duct. 
Yeah, who’s the stupid one? 
She heard passionate sounds coming from the right of the room and recognized his tone. Leaning sideways, Sheagan pressed her face to the grate, but her limited 
view revealed only a portion of the bed and unable to make out major details, like faces. 
Crap, I can’t see anything. Damn! She needed to get a better look 
As she shifted her weight, the metal walls started to reverberate and Sheagan stifled a gasp, willing the rumbling to cease. Her breathing became labored as the musty air stole the aroma of the sweet perfume wafting up waft from the suite below. She stilled her movements and did the only thing she could think of... nothing. Nothing but stare at the heap of blankets and wait. 
Come on, bimbo, come up for air. I know he doesn’t last that long.
Her discomfort increased as the noise from their passion became more intense. Ugh, that’s it, I’ve had it!She mashed her cheek and upper body against the grate.
I just need a peek to confirm.
She pressed harder, ogling the bed. Finally, she caught a tiny glimpse.
Just a little further.
She pushed and heard a chirring sound, then a scraping. She froze in place, but 
the grate gave way with a creaking groan and crashed to the ground. Time stood still as Sheagan realized there was nothing between her and the floor except air. 


Thursday, August 9, 2018

#BookReview – ‘Moonlit Majesty’ by Crystal-Rain Love

Blurb

She is the mother of the werewolf race and the heroine that her people have waited over a century to be saved by. 
He is the forbidden fruit that caused her banishment and the key to her return. 
When the man Zaira blames for the curse hanging over her Pack appears to ask for her help, her first impulse is to rip his throat out, but Addix has been cursed as well. 
The two must work together to defeat a common enemy, a dangerous journey which brings them closer yet threatens to separate them forever as they struggle to choose between love and duty. 
The 4th installment in the Moonlit series tells the story of the mysterious White Wolf and how forbidden love created an entire race of shapeshifters.


Review


In the fourth novella in the Moonlit series, Zaira and Addix were once in love, but the evil queen of Imortia punished them for their affair and banished Zaira from her home. Zaira is now the mother of all the werewolves on Earth, and she’s spent over a century protecting them. Though all of the wolves revere her as the White Wolf, none of them really know Zaira or anything about her tragic past or their own history.
After years of punishment, Addix and his team of shifter outcasts finally escape their tormentors and find Zaira. They need her to help them overthrow the queen. Addix and Zaira are still secretly in love with one another, but years of pain and betrayal are stacked against them. As they learn to work together for the common good, secrets and hard truths come to light.
Zaira and Addix are wonderful characters. They are both great leaders, and they did everything in their power to take care of their people, even at the sacrifice of their own happiness. Mercury and Merta are great secondary characters, and I loved their side romance. I also really enjoyed the world of Imortia, the various realms, and all of the mythical creatures (dragons, unicorns, gargoyles, etc). The details and descriptions were great.
The story is well plotted with wonderful characterizations, but it needs an edit to fix some spelling typos and timeline issues. Sometimes I didn’t know who was speaking/thinking because of the continual use of “he” and “she.” Though I found some of these errors distracting, I really enjoyed the story and felt emotionally involved with the characters. This is a clean read (no sex), but the romance and connection between the H/h was real and strong even without sex scenes.
I read paranormal romances pretty often, but this book felt more like fantasy. Even so, I really enjoyed it, and I’m happy I read it.
4 Stars

Disclaimer – I won a print copy of this book in a contest. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.