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    SERIES REVIEW: Necromancer Rising Books 1 & 2 by Richard Amos

    Necromancer Rising: Death Eternal – Richard Amos

    Death is supposed to be the end.
    Not in my world.

    The dead never move on, not since Death walked off the job and disappeared. As a necromancer, it’s my job to police the spirits while they remain stuck and, well, problematic a lot of the time.

    Death really needs to take his head out of his backside and get back to work, wherever he might be.

    After a horrible incident in the tunnels of the London Underground, my life takes a sharp turn. It’s all my fault and I’m sent off to a small town, a move to keep me out of sight and mind for the time being. Shamed, reputation dragged through the dirt.

    I’m not getting that promotion anytime soon.

    On my first day in the town, I get caught up in a strange murder case, and Death saves my life.
    Yes, the Death. The delectable, mysterious Death.

    Goodness, he is hotness personified. But what happened to make him walk away from his responsibilities? And why is he so deliciously tempting, my desire a raging inferno every time he looks at me with those incredible eyes?
    I shouldn’t be thinking of an immortal being like this, but with every passing hour I can’t stop myself from falling deeper into infatuation.

    I want him.

    Resistance is… impossible.

    Death Eternal is the first book in an M/M Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance series packed with mystery, danger, a knitting necromancer, a delectable immortal being, plenty of sizzle, and rather disgusting liquid mushrooms.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Cosmic
    Artist: Benjamin Carter
    Album: Self_Portrait: Vol. 1


    Necromancer Rising: Death Enraptured – Richard Amos

    Follow my heart and make a mess…
    That’s putting it mildly.

    My life has really taken a complicated turn here in Oakthorne. I keep hoping some fairy godmother will show up and offer me a nice bit of time reversal. Not too much, just enough to ease this pain.

    Yeah. Right.

    Anyway, as much as there’s hurt, there’s also Death. He is the complication, but a beautiful one I can’t resist when I really, really should. He consumes my every waking moment, submerges me in raging desire I never want to break free of.

    Damn.

    On top of that messiness, there’s a mystery to solve, a bad guy to defeat, and other new developments within myself to deal with.

    So much to do.
    So much danger to face.

    Where the hell is that fairy godmother?

    Death Enraptured is the second book in an M/M Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance series packed with mystery, danger, a knitting necromancer, a delectable immortal being, plenty of sizzle, and rather disgusting liquid mushrooms.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Enter The Mirror
    Artist: Everything Everything
    Album: Mountainhead


    In the graphic novel Sandman, Lucifer quit his job and handed the keys to Hell to Morpheus. Then, he went on to have fun. The world went on spinning.

    Necromancer Rising, an urban fantasy by Richard Amos, sets a world where Death quit. Which begs the question, WHY?

    Death hanging up his scythe means ghosts. Lots and lots of ghosts and people acquiring necromantic powers to handle them.

    Necromancers are easily identified by their silver hair. They have five threads of magic that can be used to bind or release ghosts to sanctuaries, a place made specially for them since without Death, they cannot move on to the afterlife.

    Marcel August is a London-based necromancer suddenly transferred to Oakthorne after a mission gone awry that left his bestfriend, Jenn, severely injured. On his way to the town, he encountered a ghost that led him to the famous caves, where there were some trouble. He got injured and was rescued by a mysterious man.

    Later, Marcel met his new boss, the High Warden, a friendly man named Nicholas West and his taciturn husband, Leon. Nick was a stark contrast to the stone cold High Warden of London, Emma. Marcel has the worst luck in bosses as it later turned out.

    Marcel is tasked to look for a missing ghost. Then the mysterious man who rescued him turned up his door bearing gifts.

    This is where things get dicey and hell of a lot swoonier.

    The overarching plot is to stop the lich from taking over the world. As an urban fantasy, this is a twisty-turn-y, action-packed necromancer procedural, a.k.a. murder mystery, with plenty of magic spells thrown about. I loved how the events of Death Eternal and Death Enraptured go from grim to complete clusterfuck to freakin’ catastrophic. No rest for our weary boy, Marcel.

    Marcel goes from dreaming of a promotion to pretty much exiled to a small town to being lulled into a false sense of security to being lich fodder, only to evolved into something more. Add to that his forbidden romance with Death that has apocalyptic consequences, this series has all the mellow drama and the epic awesomeness!

    So, Death. Hmm, I don’t know. The immortal is conflicting mix of drool-worthy and cringe. That he’s gorgeous is pretty much a given. But the fashion sense, ew!

    The lich is right in criticizing his lame style. Tight leather pants, satin shirt open at the chest with multiple piercings? That screams sleazy rather than sizzling. I’d rather he go the John Wick route in tailored suits or a 70s punk in plaid bondage pants with distressed sweater.

    But as a love interest, the immortal is a master of seduction and muffins. Death could be a cheesy mofo but mostly, he says the most romantic things.

    At first doing the hot/cold dance, then later a steadier presence in Marcel’s life, Death fights a secret battle against the forces that kept him and Marcel apart. Been doing so for centuries, he and Marcel are cursed to repeat the cycle of love and destruction.

    In Death Eternal, it took a while for the book to get to the meat of things, taking its time to establish the world and have Marcel interact with the secondary characters. Death lacked depth as a character since he was presented as a mysterious entity.

    In Death Enraptured, the lovers work to circumvent the curse. They make questionable decisions, suffer betrayals, and just plain suffer. High Warden Emma is the worst character here, absolutely heartless.

    The books in the series end in cliffhangers so they must be read in order.

    Necromancer Rising is an entertaining series I’ll be reading till the end. The romance is one for the ages, heartbreaking but so fun to root for. The characters are a mix of intriguing and abysmal. The fight scenes pulled no punches. Overall, a bit all over the place, but worth hanging up the death scythe.


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    REVIEW: Peacemaker by Morgan Brice

    Sharps and Springfield: Peacemaker – Morgan Brice

    Secret agents, forbidden love, danger, and magic!

    Supernatural Secret Service agents Owen Sharps and Calvin Springfield meet on the train to their new assignment in St. Louis, and sparks fly between them. But it’s 1897, and they need to be very careful—falling in love can be dangerous for men like them.

    It’s their first case together, investigating mysterious disappearances—including the two agents who preceded them. Grim evidence leads them to look for a darker purpose. Old ghosts haunt the railroad line, zombie rise, signs point to ritual sacrifice, and they suspect someone is trying to open the gates of hell.

    Can Calvin and Owen stop the mayhem, thwart the vampires, and find true love, or will everything go up in smoke?

    Peacemaker is a high-stakes steampunk MM romance thrill ride filled with found family, paranormal Pinkertons, intrepid reporters, mysterious disappearances, nefarious land brokers, hellhounds, zombies, vengeful spirits, dark spells, absinthe magic, a ruthless vampire railroad baron and a love that won’t be denied.

    Before Colt and Winchester, there was Sharps & Springfield!

    Peacemaker is the first book in the new Sharps & Springfield series


    Finally, gay Pinkertons!

    I learned about Pinkertons from Whyborne & Griffin, the latter being a former Pinkerton detective. I haven’t encountered many MM stories about these detectives, so I was super excited for Morgan Brice‘s latest steampunk series, Sharps and Springfield.

    Peacemaker is Book 1, and while there are no cosmic apocalyptic threats here, there are plenty of things that go bump in the night. The story opens with SSS Agent Owen Sharps’s anonymous meeting with his soon-to-be partner, Agent Calvin Springfield. The two somewhat hit it off, parted ways, met again, and were surprised to learn about each other’s identities.

    The new partners were tasked to take over a case from two missing agents. It involved a massive railroad construction by sketchy billionaires headed by an even sketchier vampire. Later, there were encounters with hellhounds, zombies, witches and gates of hell.

    As a means to lay the groundwork for future books, this opener built a fascinating world of magical secret agents, supernatural allies, badass non-magical humans, and enigmatic villains. As for the steampunk, it was sadly missing.

    A highlight was the Pullman, a historical equivalent of the trailers rockstars use on tour. This one, though, was incredulous. The way it was described, it has three bedrooms with full-sized beds for people over six feet. There’s a kitchen, a shower, and an honest-to-goodness fully stocked library, armament room, AND research laboratory.

    The exact size wasn’t mention, but the damned thing sounds like it’s bigger than my house. And it’s pulled by horses. HOW?!

    I’m on the fence with the storytelling. On one hand, it was consistently engaging, and I had fun. On the other, the investigation involved many interviews with contacts and witnesses. This is realistic, but then most of the key events were told rather than shown.

    Owen and Calvin danced around each other, trying to suss out each other’s gay vibes, but held back from openly pursuing their mutual interest. They practically just met, and with some homophobic folks publicly stirring trouble, they can never be too careful.

    Majority of the time, they spent it apart, individually pursuing certain leads. So it was a stretch when the two suddenly declared they were in love. I would have preferred that they took at least the second book to actually get to know each other before throwing around ILYs.

    Owen is a medium. It amuses me that he’s fan of Dracula the book. He has a Southern drawl and the charm, too. Calvin is a psychometric. He’s a bit more serious, but he loves comics. He used to run with a gang before being a Pinkerton.

    I like Owen, Calvin, AND Winston, the witch butler and the most important character, because the boys are lost without him. I would also love more appearances by the rest of the cast. There’s a wonderful found family forming here, and I’m all for it.

    Overall, Peacemaker has a great premise, the writing worked well for me, the characters are intriguing, and I loved this paranormal world the author created. I’m still wondering where this series fit in her multi-series universe.

    It might be a mix bag, but if there’s one thing I love about Morgan Brice, it’s that her series gets better and better with each new installment. Witchbane is an excellent example. I can’t wait when Sharps and Springfield finally hit its stride. 

    Rating:
    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Peacemaker
    Artist: Animal Collective
    Album: The Painters


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