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    SERIES REVIEW: Monstrous Books 1-2 by Lily Mayne

    Monstrous: Soul Eater – Lily Mayne

    Twenty years ago, monsters rose on earth and began a new age of civilization.

    One where humans live in military-controlled, cramped and dirty cities along the coasts, and the majority of the United States is known as the Wastes. A lawless, desolate and dangerous place, teeming with monsters that have claimed the land for their own.

    Including Wyn the Soul Eater.

    He appears every three years, making his way across the country and slaughtering humans randomly, sucking them dry until they’re nothing but husks.

    I’ve only been in the military for six months, but now I’m part of a unit tasked with trying to stop and capture him. And when I’m the only soldier out of hundreds that the Soul Eater leaves alive, I realise that… something about me has intrigued him.

    But what is it? What could a twenty-three year old guy from the south, with no one and nothing in the world, have possibly done to capture the attention of a death monster with horns, blackened fingertips and a face hidden in the dark depths of his hood?

    Soul Eater is the debut novel of Lily Mayne. It is the first in a planned post-apocalyptic fantasy series featuring monsters and human men falling in love. This m/m love story contains explicit content and is not suitable for young readers. It also contains scenes of violence, but don’t worry—they get their happy ending.

    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: All Over You
    Artist: Live
    Album: Throwing Copper

    Monstrous: Edin – Lily Mayne

    I was just a boy when the monsters rose on earth, forcing humans to flee to the coastlines and live in cramped, dirty, military-controlled cities. I enlisted as soon as I could to escape.

    Now, I’ve been in the military for twelve years and have the scars—and missing body parts—to prove it. As a hardened soldier who’s spent his fair share of time out in the Wastes—the dangerous place where monsters roam free—I didn’t think anything could surprise me anymore.

    But then circumstance forced me together with a big, annoying purple monster who’s arrogant and bossy and pushes all my buttons in the worst—and best—ways. I need his help, and I hate needing anyone’s help. But the more time I spend with him, the more I realise that maybe there’s more from him that I need. And that he might need things from me too.

    But I’m still a soldier. I still have responsibilities. It doesn’t matter how I feel about Edin, because we can’t be together. It’s too dangerous.

    That doesn’t stop me wanting him, though.

    Edin is Book Two of the Monstrous series, a post-apocalyptic m/m fantasy series that focuses on monsters and human men falling in love. It is best to read the series in order. Warning: This m/m love story contains explicit content and is not suitable for young readers. It also contains graphic depictions of torture and violence, and mentions PTSD.

    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Soundtrack: Be There
    Artist: Seafret
    Album: Tell Me It’s Real

    Monstrous is a series that piqued my interest because I saw some eye-catching monster/human fanarts. The next thing I knew, I was swept away into the wastelands of post-apocalyptic America, where an interdimensional tear allowed monsters to come to Earth. Humans’ only sanctuary was to live on the coastlines. The army controls everything.

    The series opens with Soul Eater, told from the POV of new military recruit Danny Sullihan, a soldier woefully ill-suited to the job. This Southern boy is too innocent and laid-back.

    For some reason, the recently captured and much-dreaded serial killer, known as the Soul Eater kept asking to talk to him. Then one day, the Soul Eater busted out of his cage and let loose all the other monsters the military kept in captivity. Danny chooses to go with him rather than risk the wastelands alone.

    Majority of the plot is Danny and Wyn the Soul Eater traveling the wastelands and avoiding the army while Danny learns why Wyn is killing people. He also discovers the person behind the dark hood might be a grumpy bastard, but a grumpy bastard who always makes sure to find him his favorite food, a.k.a. peanut butter, whenever they go scavenging.

    The chemistry between Wyn and Danny went from simmering to nuclear, and I loved them so much! I especially loved how Wyn is so ferociously protective of his sweet human, especially that innately pure part of Danny who wouldn’t even pull a gun on another monster.

    There is so much more than romance here. There’s an endless adventure and eye-opening exploration, an utterly endearing friendship between Wyn and his best friend, the purple giant, Edin, and gut-wrenching scenes that were almost too much to bear. It made me infinitely glad, Danny has the Soul Eater in his corner. All in all, this is monster romance done to perfection!

    The second book, Edin, is told from the POV of Hunter, a 12-year military veteran with a prosthetic leg and a spec ops of some sort. He and his best friend, Charlie, came across the ruins of the base destroyed by the freed monsters. Then Charlie was captured by a new group of monsters. Edin found Hunter in a bind and after helping him, agreed to assist in rescuing Charlie.

    This is what I loved most about Edin. The big guy goes around the wastelands helping people he stumbles across. Just because. He’s an adorable teddy bear who loves taking care of people. The part where he helped Hunter with his prosthetic was such a tender moment.

    Hunter might be a surly, sarcastic, anti-social bastard, but he’s loyal to a fault. Very determined to get Charlie back at all costs, he took Edin’s help for granted. But the longer they were together, he had a better appreciation of Edin’s kindness. I wasn’t too keen on him at first, but as his character grew, he endeared himself to me.

    Edin and Hunter have different dynamics, but their chemistry is as sizzling as Wyn and Danny’s. There is a bit of a size difference power play here, but I’m glad Hunter is a big guy himself too. At first, Hunter struggled with his attraction to Edin, but after seeing Edin’s best friend and his human boyfriend, he shed all his qualms and took the leap. They went nuclear too!

    The plot delves deeper into the Monstrous world, revealing more monster+human interactions, mostly the violent type, and a few romantic ones that surprise Hunter. The rescue mission was a thrilling, action-packed adventure and a long overdue comeuppance to those who hurt Danny, courtesy of Wyn. The ending was a lovely, cozy domestic affair, and I couldn’t be happier for our gentle purple giant and his Hunter!


    I wish like hell narrator Michael Lesley would be able to finish the entire series because his monster voices are delightfully spine-tingling! The books should be read in order and best consumed as audiobook.

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    SOUL EATERKindle | Audiobook
    EDINKindle | Audiobook

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    SERIES REVIEW: Broken Chains MC by E.M. Lindsey

    Broken Chains MC: Tidal Wave – E.M. Lindsey

    Two men, two different worlds, one destiny.

    Gunner has spent half his life running from his past, and the other half trying to protect himself from ever being vulnerable again. He’s escaped his old club and worked hard to earn the VP patch on his cut after joining the Broken Chains. But his entire life is turned upside down when Gunner’s past comes back to haunt him, and the club’s Deaf delivery guy ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    When his president asks him to protect the injured man, Gunner wants to say no. After all, he hasn’t been able to take his eyes off Logan since the day they met, and Gunner can’t afford that kind of distraction. But ignoring him is damn near impossible when every time he looks at Logan, he starts to feel something. And Gunner doesn’t think he has the power to resist him for much longer.

    There will be no promise of a future though, if the Broken Chains can’t protect Logan from the mess he’s in, but even if they succeed, Gunner isn’t sure there’s a place for Logan in his world.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Ride
    Album: Yoke Lore

    Broken Chains MC: Backfire – E.M. Lindsey

    The last thing Smokey should let himself want is this man, but he can’t seem to stay away…

    Every time Smokey stares at the President patch on his cut, he feels like an imposter. After all, that was not the life he was supposed to lead. In his former club, he did what they asked, when they asked, and that was enough for him. But thirty years later and the fate of the Broken Chains is resting on his shoulders, all eyes were on him.

    Smokey had enough to deal with after the VP of Satan’s Souls got carted off to prison on his watch, but now there’s a dead man in an alley with a cut bearing the name of The Cobras. And Smokey knows they’re not prepared to handle the consequences if the Cobras’ President thinks they’re responsible.

    However, the dead man isn’t the worst part: The only witness is a civilian.

    Eliah Burns was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it seems like fate really has it in for Smokey, because Eliah is also the one man he’s been avoiding. Eliah has been in Smokey’s periphery for years, his little brother’s favorite professor—and he’s also the one-night stand Smokey hasn’t been able to forget.

    Now Eliah’s in Smokey’s home, hiding from the men who want him dead, and Smokey’s trying to keep his heart from tripping and falling for a man he shouldn’t want while learning who is trying to set his club up to start a full on war.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Virtue
    Album: Kilo

    Broken Chains MC: Broken Wings – E.M. Lindsey

    The one thing Kicks doesn’t need in his life is to fall in love…

    The night Kicks woke in the hospital with fresh scars and a missing eye was the night he promised he would never, ever let himself be vulnerable again. And as the Road Captain of the Broken Chains MC, he managed to keep that vow for five long years. But the universe has different plans for the biker when his President sends him on a mission to escort the rabbi, Jude Burns, who is now under the protection of their club. Kicks doesn’t want a babysitting job, but he’s not sure what to think when he’s faced with a mouthy, stubborn man who seems far more sinner than saint.

    Kicks has never in his life felt more tempted to break his promises, because with this man, his vulnerability feels like power.

    Jude Burns’ world is turned upside down when his brother gets involved with a motorcycle club, and by proxy, he finds himself in danger of being killed. And after being shot at on the road, and just barely escaping a fiery death, Jude isn’t sure where he belongs. He’d spent his entire adult life dedicated to his service as a rabbi, after all, even when the temptation of life outside called to him louder than ever.

    And Jude knows the decision would be easy if it weren’t for Emilio—the dark-eyed Road Captain who makes Jude question every vow he’s ever made. Jude was pretty sure he wasn’t destined for love the way his brother was, but when Emilio falls to his knees and asks him to stay, he finds it’s almost impossible to tell him no.

    Even if it means walking into the line of fire to save a man with ragged, broken wings.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Fractured
    Album: J. France

    Broken Chains MC: Wicked – E.M. Lindsey

    Hawke doesn’t talk about his past—and it’s not because he has a stutter that rarely lets him speak more than three words at a time. The shadows of what was haunt his every waking hour, but the Broken Chains MC have been a sanctuary he never expected.

    And Hawke is the sort of man who knows better than to cross lines, especially when it comes the safety of his brothers. But when Jax, the VP of the Cobras, looks at him like he’s a whole man instead of shattered pieces of the person he was before he left his home behind, he can’t help but want to be just a little bit wicked.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Heal
    Album: Yeule

    Broken Chains MC: Rising Tide – E.M. Lindsey

    Once upon a time, Ghost was the best enforcer the Reapers MC had ever known—until the Hydra appeared and destroyed everything he’d worked for. After witnessing corruption down to the very core of their club, his only option was to take off his cut and leave.

    But no matter how far he’s run, or how many things about himself he’s changed, Nate has come to realize he will never be able to escape the man he was. Ugly monsters have risen from the ashes of everything he burned down, and now they’re threatening his future.

    Nate understands that the only hope the Broken Chains have to win against Hydra is to cut out his heart. And he’s willing to risk anything to make that happen, including his own freedom, to ensure everyone walks away from that final fight. Especially Rory, the only man who has ever held Nate’s heart in a vise.

    For Rory, Nate’s willing to be reckless. For Rory, Nate’s willing to take every single one of Hydra’s hits. For Rory, Nate’s willing to do anything.

    Rory knows the chaos must end—one way or another, someone isn’t walking out alive. He’s tired of running, and he’s tired of hiding. He didn’t ask to be born into the MC life, and he knows it’s not his future, but a man with a Nomad patch on his cut and tenderness in his calloused hands gives him a reason to stay. All Rory really has to do is live.

    Well, that, and to convince Nate that in spite of their age difference, and in spite of their history, they can survive this rising tide.

    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: Surrender
    Album: Bassnectar feat. Haley

    Broken Chains MC is my first series from E.M. Lindsey. It’s one of those stories that sneak up on you, and you end up binging the entire thing.

    Oddly enough, this isn’t what I call heartwarming comfort reads nor was the romances swoony. But there’s something really compelling about this club of broken bikers trying to make name for themselves in a small tourist town in Florida.

    The series tackles themes of second chances, abuse, disability, survival, found family, and the past coming back to bite you in the ass. The Broken Chains is a club of bikers who either ran away or were thrown away by their old clubs.

    The club was founded by their president, Smokey, formerly known as Wrath. He was the son of the president of another club, an abusive father who would have gladly disposed of Smokey’s blind younger brother, Rory because he considered him a liability. Learning this, Smokey grabbed Rory and ran far, far away.

    Smokey is overprotective of his much younger brother. He runs a mechanic shop and is well-respected by his members. Though, as a character, he left me wondering why he remains the president. His book, Backfire, starts the overarching thread that connects the entire series.

    The Broken Chains bikers are haunted by Hydra, Smokey’s former club brother, who was secretly abusing Rory before. The psychopath made his presence known and hurt Eliah, Smokey’s boyfriend. The Prez made many bad decisions, some of which betrayed the trust of his brothers. Yet they still let him lead.

    The rest of the books follow the club as they deal with Hydra’s looming presence and the crimes he committed to the club. Each book features Broken Chains officers.

    Kicks is the laidback Road Captain. He’s missing an eye, for which Rory jokingly considers them sort of a team. He was assigned to babysit Jude, Eliah’s twin brother and a rabbi questioning his faith.

    Hawke is the the Enforcer. He’s slightly built and has a stutter so bad he had to use sign language. The man is deadly and dominant. He found his person in Jax, the VP of another club they’re trying to make an alliance with. Hawke is also the character that intrigued me the most. He’s mostly in the background, so I was surprised that he’s a man who likes to take control.

    Gunner is the VP. His book, Tidal Wave opens the series. His story is different in that it’s not connected to Hydra. But it is also about trying to outrun old ghosts that refuse to stay in past. Gunner ran away to protect his then-baby sister. Now a precocious 5-year-old, Maddie led Gunner to her favorite dance teacher, Logan, hearing-impaired but one heck of a dancer and a talented chef.

    These four books are gritty hurt comforts that I finished in one sitting. They are not standalones because they are essentially club business, as seen through the POVs of its key members. I was deeply invested in it too.

    The final book, Rising Tide, was a huge disappointment, though. It’s Rory and Nate’s book. Nate was Smokey’s brother in their old club who looked after Rory when his brother was away. Rory has a huge crush on the older man since childhood.

    Rory is quite an inspirational character. He has street smarts and academic intelligence, and is well on his way to becoming an Ivy League professor. Confident and capable, he could also be abrasive, all sharp tongues and sharp edges, thanks to being abducted and beaten too many times.

    Unfortunately, he hatched a harebrained scheme of using himself as bait to draw Hydra out because Smokey was too afraid to act. The brothers didn’t endear themselves here. While the plan might have worked, the plot was too thin, and if you removed the sex scenes, the book would have been a lot shorter. I ended up skimming.

    I haven’t read many MC stories, apart from The Kings of Men MC, and compared to that, Broken Chains has a more serious, morally grey vibe. I also had a better understanding of MC life, especially its politics, its language, and the importance of names.

    And while the finale didn’t live up to expectations, the series as a whole is a gripping rough ride.

    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to buy your copy of Broken Chains MC As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

    Broken Chains MCUS | UK

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