Title: Forged in Fire
Series: Asheville Arcana 02/ Dreamspun Beyond 19
Author: Ari Mackay
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Length: Novel (220 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1st May 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: The magic touch.
Ever since Harlan Edgewood was bitten by a possessed werewolf, his monthly shifts have been agonizing. When he meets Whimsy Hickes—a mage who specializes in transformation—the attraction is mutual. But Harlan believes his curse is too great a burden to inflict on any romantic partner.
Fortunately, Whimsy thinks he can help.
When Harlan is provoked into an unexpected change, Whimsy uses his magic to help ease Harlan’s pain, but with an unexpected consequence. While he’s shifted, Harlan’s wolf claims Whimsy as his mate.
As they draw closer, suspicious events in the Asheville magical community escalate. Shifters are disappearing, others are murdered, and Harlan’s curse makes him an obvious target. It will take all of Whimsy’s magic to force back the rising evil—and if he fails, Harlan will lose not only his life, but his very soul.
Review: Forged in Fire is the second book of Ari Mackay’s paranormal mystery series, Asheville Arcana from Dreamspun Beyond. I was really looking forward to reading this as I had been surprised at how much I had loved the first book in the series and got invested in two of the minor characters, one of which is the MC of this book.
If you haven’t read the first book in the series, you need to read it before starting this one or else there will be a lot of confusion. Although a different couple is at the center of the plot the actual mystery of the first book is carried over as more strange information from the paranormal council of the Asheville area indicates continued danger for the paranormal citizens of the area. There is danger in the shape of rogue and possessed shifters and a council so stuck in their ways that they can’t see that they should help their citizens to the point of being suspicious.
At the front of everything is turned werewolf Harlan and the young mage Whimsy. Whimsy’s best friends, the half-elf Arden (MC from book one) and brooding vampire Julian, as well as Arden’s born-werewolf mate, Eli are right there along for the ride. They want the best for Whimsy, but they do worry about him. After all, always one to want to help, Whimsy promises he will do what he can to help turned-werewolf Harlan control his wolf. Ever since he was turned by a werewolf possessed by a demon two centuries ago, Harlan’s shifts have been painful, and he finds it near impossible to control the beast inside him. Whimsy knows if he gets it right, he can use his powers to help Harlan. Funny thing happens along the way though, because Harlan and Whimsy are mates.
This is a fun and action-packed book. Anyone who loved book one will be more than satisfied, although probably like me, now anxiously awaiting to see his grumpy, antisocial Julian can find a mate and a HEA in the near future.