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Book Blast and Review: Elemental Love by L.M. Somerton

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Elemental Love by LM Somerton
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Pages or Words: 59,472 words
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Blurb:

An untrained warlock is a dangerous man to love.

On his twenty-first birthday, Evrain Brookes discovers he is an elemental warlock. The spell suppressing his talent lifts and he has to get used to a whole new existence. The protection that kept him safe during his childhood is gone, his skills are wild and uncontrolled and there are those that seek to use him for their own gain.

Evrain’s grandmother is a witch, his godfather another warlock. Between them they do their best to keep Evrain on the right path. He learns that in order to gain control of his formidable powers, he will need to ‘channel’ through a life partner, a process that happens only with consent and through love. But how will he ever find a man prepared to put up with a Dominant warlock for a boyfriend?

Dominic Castine has no idea that Evrain’s grandmother sees him as a prospective partner for Evrain. He tends her garden and she teaches him about herbs—a trade-off they both enjoy. He is drawn to Evrain’s charismatic presence but doesn’t understand why he wants to drop to his knees and submit to him.

When Agatha is murdered, Evrain and Dominic are thrown together as she manipulates them from beyond the grave. Dominic becomes the pawn in a terrifying game between warlocks whose powers he barely comprehends.

In the end, lives will depend on his courage, his willingness to grant Evrain control and the power of love.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnap and a reference to attempted sexual assault.

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Excerpt:

Twenty-one years ago…

“Closed doors, I hate closed doors. Why don’t I have the power to see through them? That, at least, would be a useful ability.” Three-hundred-year-old floorboards creaked as Gregory Thanet paced the galleried landing of Wenlock House. He walked up and down past three doors, each fashioned from heavy oak and furnished with black iron hinges and handles. Two stood ajar, revealing hints of unoccupied bedrooms, but the third was firmly closed, a solid barrier to unwanted intrusion and the cause of Gregory’s current frustration.

“For goodness’ sake, Gregory, you’re wearing out the carpet. Be still.” Gregory’s companion leaned against the gallery rail and gave him an exasperated look.

Gregory paused his march briefly, shot a glare at the woman but then resumed his pacing with a grunt. “Leave me be, woman, I’ll be still when we know that everything is as it should be.”

“Nature moves at her own pace, you know that. There’s no changing it—nor should we. What will be will be.”

“Stop trying to sound like some wise and ancient soothsayer, Agatha. You’re not helping and it doesn’t suit you. The kid is a week late already—you’d think he would be keen to greet the world by now. When he’s grown I’ll remember that he kept me up half the night. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of opportunities for revenge when he’s older.” Gregory stopped and folded his arms across his chest.

“I might not be able to see the future, Gregory Thanet, but even a complete idiot could have predicted that my grandson would arrive today.”

Gregory examined his companion. Agatha looked tired. Her skin was quite smooth, marred only by a few laughter lines around her hazel eyes, eyes that still sparkled with warmth and intelligence. Her silver hair was swept smoothly back and fastened with a comb, intricately fashioned from beaten copper. She remained an attractive woman, who must have possessed great beauty in her youth, but she looked paler than usual and she rested her weight against the banister rather than standing in her usual ramrod-straight stance.

Gregory experienced a rare pang of guilt that he might be adding to his friend’s worries. “All Hallows’ Eve. There’s a lot of power in the air right now.”

Agatha cocked her head to one side and closed her eyes as if listening to sounds that only she could hear. “My grandson will be with us soon and there is little that you or I can do to change the course of his destiny.” For a moment, a worried frown creased her forehead. “It is not certain that he will inherit the gift.”

Gregory sighed. “In this, you deceive yourself, Agatha. The calling has skipped a generation. History dictates that the next born will be unusually powerful and that power will be magnified even further in a male child.”

“There has been no warlock in my family line for over five hundred years, only witches. Why are you so convinced that it will change now? We know of only three others living, Gregory. You, Symeon Malus and Constantine De Vries. It would be a chance in a billion.”

Gregory scratched the tip of his long nose. “I should have bought a lottery ticket then. All the portents point to it, the date alone… It is time. Time the triangle became a square.”

“I’m not sure Symeon Malus will ever be part of that square,” Agatha said. “I don’t see him as the cornerstone of anything with value or integrity.”

“True, and if the child is born with the power, you and I will need to ensure that Symeon’s gaze remains elsewhere.” Gregory shivered. “I swear to the goddess, this country is the dampest place on earth. It’s all right for you, Agatha, you live in the second dampest place on the planet. You’re used to groping through fog. I want to get back to Florida. I need to—before I develop trench foot.”

“Pah. What you really want is to get back to Coryn. You’re a ship without an anchor when the two of you are apart. He could have come to see the child too, you know.” Agatha grabbed a stray hair and pushed it back into a restraining grip.

“Coryn hates airplanes, you know that. I would never ask him to fly across the pond unless it was a life or death situation.”

“If it were, you wouldn’t have to ask him.”

“He reckons that if men were designed to fly through the air, then human cannonball would be a much more popular career choice.”

Agatha snorted. “I think his phobia is a myth. He just uses it as an excuse to get a few days’ break from your—” She whistled and twiddled her fingers in the air.

Gregory rolled his eyes. “Twiddling your fingers that way will get you turned into an aardvark. It takes practice to bend your digits into shapes imbued with power. After thirty-two years together, Coryn is more than capable of dealing with my—” He whistled. “As you so delicately put it.”

Agatha snorted. “Men with magic! Whoever the hell thought that would be a good idea was seriously damaged.” She shook her head slowly.

Gregory grinned and waggled a silver eyebrow.

The mewling cry of a newborn sounded from behind the closed bedroom door, and Agatha allowed her lips to curve into a smile.

“Well, it seems the waiting is over. I have a grandchild—and, from the sound of that bellowing, he’s a fine, healthy boy.”

“About damned time.” Gregory grouched. He still smiled right along with Agatha.

Agatha crossed the landing and knocked softly on the door, which soon swung open to admit her. Gregory followed her inside, pushing down his excitement.

The bedroom was bathed in the cool light of a new dawn. The soft green of the walls seemed to shimmer and the wooden floor was burnished with gold. Gregory looked around in wonder, then dragged his gaze back to the bed.

“Lyssa, James—congratulations, my dears!” Agatha clapped her hands together in delight as she walked over to the bed.

Gregory hung back a little, giving her the privilege of first viewing.

Agatha’s daughter, Lyssa, sat up in bed propped against a mound of pillows. She was pale, her eyes shadowed in the purple of exhaustion, but still she glowed with radiant happiness. A small bundle wrapped in a pale blue blanket rested in her arms. Her husband, James, sat nervously on the edge of the mattress, looking utterly shell-shocked but delighted as the midwife fussed around them.

Lyssa held the baby out to her mother with a smile. “His name is Evrain. Evrain James Brookes. Hold him, Mum, isn’t he beautiful?”

Gregory held his breath as Agatha reached for the small bundle and cradled the child in her arms. She pushed the blanket back from the baby’s head, and a mop of thick black hair was revealed, sticking out in all directions.

“He is absolutely gorgeous, darling. Didn’t you both do well!” Agatha stroked the child’s hair.

Gregory moved in closer. Tiny fists punched at the air, so Gregory offered the boy his own hand. Immediately, the baby grabbed hold, wrapping his fingers around Gregory’s offering with surprising strength. Gregory grinned at Agatha in delight, then looked back to the baby. His eyes were the dark blue of every newborn but, as Gregory focused his senses on the child, he could see that they would become dark green. Just a shade deeper than his own.

Cooing softly, Agatha muttered a lilting incantation and rocked the baby gently. To Lyssa and James, the song probably sounded like a lullaby, but Gregory knew a spell when he heard one. Tiny eyelids closed and the baby slept. Gregory’s finger was released. After a few more minutes of cuddling, Agatha reluctantly returned the baby to his parents.

Pride Publishing  •  Amazon UK  •  Amazon

Meet the author:

L M lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

Pride Publishing page  •  Website  •  Blog  •  Facebook  •  Twitter  •  LinkedIn  •  Pinterest  •  Amazon Author Page

Our thoughts:

Elemental Love is a very different novel from LM Somerton than I’m used to. The difference is that the novels I’ve read previously were mostly BDSM contemporary. Elemental Love has the same Dominant/submissive tones that are prominent in most of her novels, just in a paranormal/fantasy setting.

Paranormal/fantasy novels are usually hit or miss for me but if I’m going with a known author, than I will take the chance. I always enjoy LM Somerton’s writing. Her world-building manages to pull me in, hold my interest, and keep me turning the page.

For me, this novel was different and therefore took some adjusting. It could have been the fact that I was expecting a little bit more BDSM for the couple. It could be the fact that I’m not sure if I even liked Evrain. I understood that he is a powerful warlock with a lot of potential.  He hasn’t controlled his power or fully come into the strength of his powers. That will come through channeling with a lover. Evrain kind of comes off as a pompous jerk at times. Arrogance is important for someone  who holds a lot of power and has the potential to do  great things. Within the relationship aspect of this story, I wasn’t real sold on the way he was toward Dominic. Dominic was a gentle soul and I thought that Evrain took advantage of that a little bit.

I think in a Dominant/submissive relationship the trust needs to be there before boundaries are tested. Evrain tested those boundaries before that trust was established, however; Dominic seemed to flourish from that extra push from Evrain. He’s pretty introverted and at a loss as to how to go about asking for what he desires. Evrain was good at reading Dominic’s desires and had no issue pushing him out of his comfort zone. Again, arrogant but in this case it totally worked. So, even if Evrain was hard to like sometimes, he always cared about Dominic and was protective of him.

Elemental Love was a fun and very different story from what I normally read. An interesting world has been established and can be built upon by LM Somerton and I think that the relationship between Dominic and Evrain can only grow and become stronger. The potential for some more intense scenes between the two has been set in motion. The small issues that I had with this book did not keep me from enjoying reading the book nor does it prevent me from recommending this book to fans of paranormal or fantasy works. You can’t go wrong with an LM Somerton book!

Tour Date & Stops:
March 29, 2016

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Soul Struck (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #3) by Jacob Z. Flores

Soul StruckSoul Struck (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #3) by Jacob Z. Flores

Released on December 14, 2015

Published by Dreamspinner Press

Sales link: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

Like the electricity he commands, Pierce Blackmoor streaks through life on raw power and pure sexual energy. His conquests on the battlefield and in the bedroom form his foundation, but that bedrock crumbles when his younger brothers’ abilities surpass his own. Pierce finds himself at an all-time low, and clawing his way back to the top becomes his only concern.

Pierce’s plan to reassert his dominance, however, takes a backseat when he wounds Kale Aquilo, an emissary of the Beast King, lord of all shifters.

Kale’s beguiling nature shoots like a lightning bolt straight to Pierce’s soul, and when the soft-spoken Kale relays that a virus is killing his people, Pierce abandons his quest for power to do something he has never done before—protect someone other than himself.

As Kale, Pierce, and his brothers struggle to find the root of the magical virus spreading plague across Aeaea, the shifter island, they face a gauntlet of old and new foes. Soul struck, Pierce and Kale must uncover the truth behind the conspiracy gathering in the shadows.

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Our thoughts:

Soul Struck is the third book in the Warlocks of Havenbridge series. I anticipated this being the conclusion to the series. The final climax to all the dark magic and suspense leading up to this book. I was a bit surprised when three-quarters of the way through I realized this battle was far from over!

Thad and Mason have found their soul mates in unlikely people. One through blood bond, one through spell bond. It was inevitable that Pierce was to find his the love in his story. That person was Kale, a shifter with a pure heart and innocence so unlike what anyone expected for Pierce. Then again, Pierce was nothing like he comes across in the first two books. He’s more insecure about a lot of things: his position in the family, his powers, the families status with the Conclave. He might come across as aloof and a fighter but deep down he worries and is scared more often than not.

Kale helps in so many ways. With Kale, Pierce becomes more grounded and with that he’s more focused. That allows him to tap into powers yet unseen and experienced. He’s also clear-headed and takes on his leadership role in a more profound way. Gone is the childlike antics of the past. That Pierce is gone, he’s finally grown up and is stepping up to his role in the family.

The struggle between the dark magic of Ben and the Conclave continues. Another epic battle ensues and we find out Ben is just the tip of the iceberg. One thing the battles have done, as a family, the Blackwells are much stronger. They’re bonded to their mates, each other and their powers are stronger. They’ve shown their strengths and value to their fellow Gate protectors and they’re proven they’re quite the force.

The love between Pierce and Kale is instant, but they take things extremely slow. There’s so much chaos going on that they really don’t get an opportunity to act on anything until the very end. It’s truly all in the heart, no lust driving this union!

I think paranormal/fantasy lovers that like young adult or new adult books will really take to this series! :)

Blood Tied (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #2) by Jacob Z. Flores

Blood TiedReleased 7 September 2015

Published by Dreamspinner Press

Cover art by Paul Richmond

Blurb:

Thad Blackmoor’s heart is as cold as his icy magical abilities. He considers emotions a waste of his time and prefers to study the arcane, using the sacred books of his coven to grow in his craft. He aspires to supersede his father and elder brother Pierce in power, and now that his younger brother Mason has tapped into the rare warlock power of darkness, he needs to work harder than ever.

But Thad’s ambitions are halted when he saves Aiden Teine, a fire fairy, from a banshee. Thad’s immediate attraction to Aiden catches him off guard and thaws his cold heart for the first time. As Thad, Aiden, and his brothers investigate the connection between the banshee attack and the vampyre and shadow weaver who almost killed them, Thad tries to dodge Ben, a sexy warlock who won’t let him be after a one-night stand.

Their search leads them to the Otherworld, where something even more insidious is at work—something Thad will need more than logic to stand against.

Sales links: Amazon  •  Dreamspinner Press

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Our thoughts:

The second installment in The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge Series is sure to be a favorite amongst mm paranormal fans. Jacob Z. Flores goes all out with the magical creatures and level of suspense propelled across the pages.

Although this is primarily Thad’s story, it involves all the Blackmoor brothers. Mason and Drake are still madly in love and working through all the changes that occurred in Spell Bound. Thad hasn’t come into the full potential of his powers yet. He has the typical middle child syndrome, the forgotten/neglected child. He’s always masked his emotions never giving into them fully after losing his temper and being out of control once as a teen. That seems to be what’s holding back his magical potential. The fact Mason has come into his full powers and is more powerful doesn’t sit well with Thad. He studies and makes it a point to know and learn as much as he can and now he’s being eclipsed by his goofball brother. Oh hell no. That just won’t do.

At first Thad comes across as a bit cold or even callous. That’s him reining in the emotions and remaining removed from everyone. The only person he was ever close to was his mom. After her passing, he’s feeling even more isolated and alone.

I was actually shocked at how easily Thad fell into a casual hook-up with a guy named Ben. There so much more to this guy. From the onset he seems like he’s up to something and not completely trustworthy. Like he has an ulterior motive. He definitely wants Thad. But when Thad meets a Fire Fae in the woods in need of assistance, Ben is a thing of the past. The intense feelings and desires Thad has towards Aiden is much stronger than the pull he experiences in Ben’s presence.

The magical creatures the Conclave fight against in book one return and there’s even more afoot for the magical Protector families to contend with. The brothers find themselves thrust into the melee once again. Thad will be tried more than the others. Their world and that of Otherworld where the Fae reside will be pushed to their breaking point.

Kudos to Jacob Z. Flores for bringing a story that changes and shocks at every turn. Good, bad, death, life. We’re always wondering what will happen next and who will come out unscathed. There aren’t many not touched by the strong evil magic being wielded against the Conclave. The warlock brothers of Havenbridge will be tried and tested over and over but their intelligence, love, strength and resilience will stand up to the tests.

So many twists and turns, this is a must read book within the series. There’s so much more to learn and more evil to fight before all can be as it was in their world. Will the Blackmoors come out unscathed? Will Thad gain in love or will he lose out on that front again. Two seek his attentions but will any of them prevail?

RATING: BAD ASS SPELLS AND MAGIC!!

Spell Bound (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #1) by Jacob Z. Flores

Spell BoundReleased on 27 May 2015

Published by Dreamspinner Press

Cover art by Paul Richmond

Blurb:

Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.

When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.

Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.

If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spellbound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.

Sales Links:  Amazon • Dreamspinner Press •  All Romance eBooks

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Our Thoughts:

Lovers of paranormal will enjoy the first book in a trilogy from Jacob Flores. Spell Bound is the first book, Mason’s story. We’re introduced to workings of this paranormal world where warlocks, witches and wizards exits.

Mason is the youngest in the Blackmoor family, at 18. He hasn’t come into his powers yet and it’s a tough spot for him. He doesn’t deal well with the scrutiny from the other families. His defense is to throw off a bad boy image to everyone around, especially at school. He’s curt, delivers sharp comments and isn’t the nicest guy to be around.

When a new kid, Drake, dares sit with him and his cronies at lunch, he’s shocked. At the same time he’s intrigued by this new kid with the nerve to stand up to him and brush him off at the same time.

Add in a few mysterious murders and Mason trying to decipher strange happenings, smells and his increasing, yet uncontrolled, powers and we have ourselves quite the story.

Mason has two brothers, Thad and Pierce. Their banter and differences are an entertaining addition to the plot. Pierce is 28 and Thad is the middle child. Each is very different in personality and their strengths as a warlock.

On top of the paranormal dealings, Mason finds he is attracted to Drake. He also incorrectly assumes Drake is from the magical world as well. It was interesting to see that Drake was the reason Mason was coming into his powers. He struggled to bring forth his powers on his own but whenever Drake was in danger, it was game on. I found that sweet and interesting. Drake and Mason have a lot of obstacles to face while trying to get to know each other. Nothing is ever dull when you’re a warlock. :)

Book two in the trilogy is Blood Tied and it’s Thad’s book. I cannot wait to see who can win the heart of the serious brainiac!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!