February 12th, 2017

Winter Duet

Rainbow Snippets - 12/2/17 - Comes a Horseman

Life’s been a little hetic for a while so I haven’t been posting in Rainbow Snippets. I figured it was long past time to do something about that, especially as I’ve really missed it.

This snippet is from Comes a Horseman, which is book 3 of my WWII series Echoes Rising. It’s being published by DSP Publications later this year.

Kristopher looked up at Liang, this time not bothering to hide the pain in his eyes. “This is the only way. I’ve thought about it and—”

“When were you going to tell me?” Michel interrupted from the doorway. “You were going to tell me, weren’t you?”
Winter Duet

Book Review: The Necromancer's Dance by SJ Himes

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer – Book 1

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again pulled back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

MATURE CONTENT Contains graphic violence, male/male sexual contact, a cranky necromancer, a sexy Irish vampire, and a pesky demon.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Dance-Beacon-Hill-Sorcerer-ebook/dp/B01C8VW8GC/

I read a lot of books in e-book format, mainly because of availability and price, but I prefer to have hardcopies of my favourites. This book by SJ Himes, and its sequel, are ones I want to purchase in hardcopy, and on my list of favourite books I’ve read in 2016. I’m now hanging out for book 3 of the series.

I’ve always enjoyed a good urban fantasy story, and bonus points for vampires. The Necromancer’s Dance hooked me in immediately. Angel is an interesting character, a necromancer who lost most of his family in a war between them and vampires. He doesn’t make connections easily, and he also makes mistakes. These traits made him very appealing as a character—I prefer reading about flawed men and women as those who are “practically perfect in every way” tend to become boring very quickly. The other MC in this book is Simeon, an old Celtic vampire. Celtic and vampire. That got my attention very quickly, as did his personality quirks. He is another man who keeps to himself, and is very patient waiting for what or rather who he wants. The supporting characters are also interesting, and I’m hoping to learn more about them in future books. I especially loved Eroch, especially in his later form.

The world building in this book is very detailed, which along with its characters, was something that very much appealed to me. I felt as though I’d walked into a world with history. It’s our world, and yet it’s not as the public are aware of the presence of supernats, and have been for a while. I enjoyed the care the author took with this world’s magic systems, and how the various supernats’ powers etc worked.

The plot sets up the world and its characters very well, but although it can be read alone, it definitely sets up for further stories. I was on the edge of my seat reading, and sat up far too late needing to know what happens next.

Although there are a few repeated bits of information which I thought weren’t needed, and some typos, it definitely didn’t distract from the story or my enjoyment of it.

More please.

I’d recommend The Necromancer’s Dance to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with interesting characters, romance which doesn’t slow down the pace, and detailed world building. 5 out of 5 stars.
Winter Duet

Book Review: The Necromancer's Dilemma

The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Book 2
Even love can die without trust.

Angel’s brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begin to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family?
Daniel Macavoy, Angel’s new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought—especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt.

The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston’s only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon’s devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true…and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family.

Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Dilemma-Beacon-Hill-Sorcerer-ebook/dp/B01HVJZEM6/

An enormous thank you to Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for my review copy of this book. I love it when the sequel to a book I love turns up as review copy. Although I read these back to back, I’m playing catch up writing reviews, hence reading these last year yet only reviewing them now.

Book two of this series by SJ Himes continues the story of Angel and Simeon and the two younger men they’re now responsible for—Isaac and Daniel. As well as building on the relationship between Angel and Simeon, there’s also more screen time from Isaac and Daniel. I enjoyed the different perspectives in this story, and the expansion of their world as backgrounds were explored, and some of the history hinted at in the first book was revealed in more detail.

I loved the bond between Angel and Simeon in particular, and the way it affected both men as they learned to adjust to the presence of each other in their lives. As with the first book I was on the edge of my seat and needing to keep reading to find out what happens next. The action is exciting and I was caught up in the story from the beginning. The reveal of the bad guy is very well done, and Eroch is just wonderful throughout.

There’s a bonus short at the end of the book too—very enjoyable.

I’d recommend The Necromancer’s Dilemma to readers who enjoy urban fantasy series with detailed world building, layered characters who grow as the story progresses, hot vampires, and lots of action. 5 out of 5 stars.