The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx by Scarlet Hyacinth

Title: The Seahorse Who Loved the Wrong Lynx

Series: Mate or Meal 08

Author: Scarlet Hyacinth

Genre: Paranormal, Shifters

Length: Novella (133pgs)

Publisher: Siren- Bookstrand (10th March 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Best friend or beloved? All his life, seahorse Layton believed he loved lynx shifter Corbin. But when his body and heart reach out to Corbin’s brother, Preston, instead, he is left in absolute confusion, humiliated and afraid of his own emotions.

For years, Preston has known Layton is his mate. The only thing more painful than his mate choosing his brother over him is the knowledge of Layton’s pain at Corbin’s rejection. But then, his friendship with Layton suddenly becomes more. The knowledge that it could still be a one-time thing hurts more than Layton’s platonic affection ever did.

When as a result to their passionate encounter, Layton becomes pregnant, erratic emotions explode. What will happen when the reason behind Layton’s confusion is revealed? Can Preston and Layton overcome the threat on their hearts, lives, and families?

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Review: Layton has loved Corbin for years, but ever since THAT kiss with Alexis, a shady incubus, he’s started to have feelings for another.  When he finally acts on his attraction, he realizes the truth. Preston has longed for his mate, but knowing his mate wanted his brother, he has stood aside hoping that Layton finds happiness. But, now that Layton has turned to him the truth emerges and their families and friends are in grave danger.

A well-written novella that has added more twists to the Mate or Meal series. Ever since that kiss with Alexis, Layton has developed an attraction for Preston which is now throwing doubts on Layton’s belief that Corbin is his mate.  When the truth emerges, their families uncover a plot to start a race war. Preston has suffered watching his mate chase his brother, but now that he has his mate in his arms, nothing is going to separate them again.

I loved the new twists that emerged and I really hope that in future books it will be revealed how the other side found out who Preston’s mate was. With the continuation of these stories, new plots emerge and old plots reveal their connections and they are really good. What I enjoyed about this story was that there wasn’t too much angst or moping about the Corbin, Layton and Preston triangle.  It was cleared up quickly and the story-line progressed well, while adding in new details, so that we weren’t left hanging about the confusion of why Layton thought Corbin was his mate.

Preston and Layton made a great couple and they had some really hot sex.  I liked how there wasn’t too much angst when they got together and that they accepted quickly how they felt about each other. The other characters added to the story well and I liked the new characters that were introduced as well. There were one or two editing mistakes which really shouldn’t have been missed,  but other than that this was an enjoyable book.

So I will recommend this to those who love shifters, a touch of angst, m-preg, twists, a really good story and a happy ever after.




Last of the Lesser Kings by T. L. K. Arkenberg

Title: Last of the Lesser Kings

Author: T.L.K. Arkenberg

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Super Novel (504pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (28th January 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Fleeing Janir, the High King his magic helped create, Neathander finds a home and love in the free kingdom, Rivensed, and its King, Aorin. But when Janir’s army comes, Neathander risks everything to save the last of the lesser Kings.

After twelve years of conquest, Janir of Meanga has become the High King of all the human lands. At his side through it all is Neathander Arian, the magician who once loved him.

Neathander has since become disillusioned: with Janir’s ambition, with the violence of war, and most of all with himself. He has done monstrous things, and he’s uncertain if redemption is even possible. But when he flees north, away from Janir’s final war of conquest, Neathander comes across two lost children, and when he helps them find their way home, he meets their father: Aorin of Rivensed, the last independent lesser King.

Aorin is gentle and kind and welcomes Neathander even after learning of his past. Neathander, in his turn, grows to love the King. But Janir’s victory must be complete: he will let no kingdom stand against him. Neathander must fight against the very power he helped create, while struggling against the temptation to give into the violence he is capable of, even to save Rivensed. Unrequited love for Janir made him willing to become a monster; Aorin’s love might save him–if Neathander in turn can save the last of the lesser Kings.

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T.L.K. Arkenberg A.K.A. T.C. Mill and Therese Arkenberg

Review: Neathander is an Arian and for the past twelve years has done everything he can to ensure Janir raises to power.   But, now he is disillusioned with the wars and Janir.  As he walks away, he vows never to use his power over the ailon for bad again.  When he rescues two children from a wolf, he finds himself in a place he never thought he would, Rivensed.

A well written story with a good plot and story-line. Neathander is in the land of humans because he followed his lover who was a mercenary.  When he died in battle, Neathander was left alone to fend for himself.  When he comes to the aid of a young man, his life changes and it is several years before he realizes what he has turned himself into to try to gain Janir’s heart. When Janir insists on more war, Neathander leaves him and ends up in Rivensed, the next land that Janir wants to conquer, where Neathander proceeds to fall in love with its King, Aorin and Neathander swears to protect them from Janir.

Neathander is a complex character.  On one hand he is strong, scary and powerful.  On the other hand he is weak, pitiful and spineless.  and I really have to admit I wanted to smack him and tell him to grow up and stop latching onto every King he saw. Janir is a power-hungry tyrant who was created with the help of Neathander.  Who, at first, wanted justice for Janir, but it wasn’t long before he was doing anything to gain Janir’s approval. even knowing that Janir sneered at his sexuality. Aorin is a strong, compassionate and thoughtful King, but he has a lot on his plate and Neathander isn’t helping with his infatuation and promises to do anything to help.

I have got to say that I was disappointed with this as a gay story, as the only person in this book that I can say for definite is gay is Neathander.  Janir isn’t… he uses men to humiliate and punish and Aorin seems to be reluctant to have anything to do with Neathander, in a sexual way.   It felt to me more like a straight man being pursued by a gay man and finally giving into the inevitable.  There isn’t that much m/m contact except for a few kisses. The actually story-line and plot was intriguing which is why I bought the book, but the execution sadly failed and for 504pgs I was expecting more world-building and character development.

Okay, so as you are all aware I am a Fantasy lover and the bigger and more epic the better.  And when someone advertises that it is an action, adventure fantasy then it had better be action, adventure fantasy.  and with this book the action, adventure was missing or did I blink and miss it? I was so not impressed that all the exciting stuff was in the twelve years that was missing with only one of two small shows of power after that. I also wasn’t impressed that Neathander’s character seemed so weak.  That he would do anything, even murder people, for a few crumbs of affection from a man who he knew despised him for his sexuality.

This book could have been so much more. But, that isn’t to say that the story isn’t good, because it is. I am just a hard-core fantasy fan ;-).   So, if you like fantasy, magic, volatile kings, an interesting story-line and plot then give this one a go.


I Am Fallen by Scarlet Blackwell

Title: I Am Fallen

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

Genre: Historical (1888) Angel, Fallen Angel/Demon

Length: Novel (192pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (17th March 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Children’s book writer Jacob Bailey has retreated to Scotland to die in solitude, tormented by the loss of the love of his life and wishing for an end to his suffering. In the remote house on the cliff, he is visited by an angel with history and pain of his own, a being who brings far more to Jacob’s final days than he could ever hope for.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains a bittersweet ending.

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Review: Jacob is a man who knows that the end is coming.   He knows the cancer has come back.   He doesn’t need a doctor to tell him. Now, at a remote cottage away from family and friends, he has choices to make and as the pain gets worse, he is visited by angels.

This really is a bittersweet story that tugs at your heart-strings. Jacob has had one gay experience in his life and he hasn’t really been happy since the love of his life sailed for America. Now knowing that the dreaded cancer is back he isn’t sure if the angels he sees are real or not but he believes that they are. There are three underlying stories twisted together, we have Jacob and his lost love Lucien, we have Lucifer and his lost love Raphael and we have the comfort that Jacob and Lucifer offer each other.

This story is bittersweet all the way through.  There are sparks of happiness or joy, but all the way through, we know that there will not be a happy ending.  as we read,  we can see Lucifer trying to give Jacob comfort and Jacob trying to understand what Lucifer could want with him, if not his soul. We also have Lucifer and Raphael hashing over the past and what they both felt.  Raphael knowing that spending any time with Lucifer will get him punished and Lucifer *sigh*, Lucifer feeling hurt that Raphael had denied his love.

This is a story that is not your usual Fallen Angel/Lucifer story.  There is a unique reason for Lucifer’s fall from Grace and what his duties are. And this story is all about lost love and at the end maybe new beginnings. The way this story is written is brilliant.  It is the touching, agonizing drawn out last weeks and months of a man’s life as he reflects on what he has done, but Lucifer feels a certain kinship for him and tries to ease some of his pain and to keep him on the right track.

Scarlet Blackwell has written a story that makes you live the agonizing, pain-filled moments of Jacob’s last weeks and months.  the descriptions of the agonizing hell he goes through while his Guardian Angel stands by his side watching,  makes you question why is suicide a sin , when Angel’s won’t give them respite from the pain?

This for me was a great read… a different reflection on Heaven and Hell and Heaven doesn’t come out smelling of roses. I recommend this to those who want a slightly whimsical, reflecting, regretting, and truth facing, longing and forbidden love.