Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This story of a parallel magical universe offers a welcome twist on the usual werewolf romance. Eli is still the typical redneck werewolf, but his fated mate is half-elf Arden.

This is a fun romantic adventure. Arden and Eli chase a pack of demon-possessed werewolves with the help of their friends. There is a little bit of suspense but this remains light and pretty fluffy with some great comic dialogue.

This story combines familiar tropes from both high fantasy and shifter stories. I enjoyed the world building and character development more than the romance in this book. The fated mate storyline doesn’t allow for the romance between Eli and Arden to build and the chemistry between them might be explosive but it lacks subtlety. However, these two do complement each other. Both love the forest and Arden’s gentle magic is balanced by Eli’s brute strength.

The characters in this story are a full mix of magical and supernatural beings – we get drydens, wizards, vampires, elves, demon hunters, and werewolves all mixing together with interesting abilities and character quirks. Arden’s relationships with his supernatural friends are fun and Eli’s relationships with the other werewolves are also interesting.

I enjoyed the genre twists and I’m hoping for more books in this series.

ARI MCKAY is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full-time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay to read and review.

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