Witchbane: The Devil You Know – Morgan Brice
Seth and Evan met “on the job” when Evan was the intended sacrifice of a dark coven, and Seth came to the rescue. Now, they’ve teamed up to stop a century of ritual murders and get justice for Seth’s brother Jesse and the other victims.
Seth and Evan have a plan to stop the next witch disciple, plus new allies and magic. But this time, the warlock knows they’re coming, and he has plans of his own. When Seth disappears and is trapped in a spell that gives him his heart’s desire, can he free himself in time to help Evan?
And when Evan’s younger brother shows up unexpectedly, can Evan trust Parker to have his back? It all comes down to trusting the devil you know!
The Devil You Know is a thrill-paHotcked urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with plenty of supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, hot sex, found family, and dark magic and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels.
I’ve been diligently following Witchbane since its not-so-impressive beginning. I almost gave up on the series but I’m glad I stuck around because it gets better and better with each new installment. Morgan Brice spectacularly outdid herself in this latest offering.
The series follows boyfriends Seth and Evan in their quest to hunt the serial killing witches responsible for the deaths throughout the century of the firstborn sons of the men who hang their master. They do this to prolong their lifespans. Seth and Evan were survivors who vowed to stop the cycle.
The Devil You Know is a book of reunions and do-overs, grief and closure. Seth relives his fondest memories and deepest regrets, while Evan has an unexpected meeting with his estranged brother. I’m not going to reveal many details because it’s best experienced knowing little of the plot going in. But if you have been following the series, you’d have an inkling that this is going to be hella bittersweet and cathartic, especially for Seth, a few chapters in.
The story is about the witch-hunting boyfriends’ usual adventure, except that their target knows they’re after him and goes on the offensive. There are the welcome appearances from characters from the author’s other series, supernatural allies who had Seth’s and Evan’s backs.
I’ve read some comments where they weren’t pleased with Seth and Evan mostly separated the whole time. I’m also not a fan of separation, but this time it worked brilliantly with the plot, paving way for the most emotionally wrecking moment in the entire series.
I could count in one hand the times a book moved me to tears. The Devil You Know joins the illustrious ranks of The Book Thief for making me cry. It was just that heart-wrenching! That poor Seth had to go through something like that! I would have dropped the book at the unfairness of it all. But the author pulled it off so well, especially the resolution, I was completely riveted! It was a one-sitter because I just couldn’t tear myself away!
The Devil You Know saw major character developments and closure for our boys as well as changes to the team dynamics. Loving where Morgan Brice is taking the series! All in all, deeply moving, deftly executed and so far, the best book of all.
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
Witchbane books can be read as standalones but I highly recommend starting from the beginning for maximum enjoyment.
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Wild Hearts: Prince of Flowers – Nazri Noor
He captured a fae prince. But can he capture his heart?
Lochlann Wilde walks in the shadow of his father, a legendary summoner who commanded mythical beasts in battle. But Locke isn’t legendary. He’s barely a summoner, never passing his academy’s trial of the elements.
And then he accidentally summons a fae prince with a beautiful body and a bad attitude.
Sylvain is fiery and ferocious, stronger than anything Locke has ever encountered. And hotter, too. But time is running out. Locke must tame the prince’s wild heart. If he fails his trial, he’ll lose his inheritance and ruin his family’s name.
Without Sylvain, Locke could lose his chance to become a true summoner… along with his shot at true love.
Prince of Flowers is a contemporary fantasy romance with an HFN ending. Can a snarky summoner and a fickle fae prince endure mythical creatures, meddling goddesses, the fury of the elements, and each other? Only one way to find out. If you like sorcery, spice, and everything nice, you’ve come to the right place. Start the Wild Hearts series today.
Prince of Flowers has a gorgeously captivating cover that is hard to resist. I had to grab it immediately! I was thrilled to learn this is part of the fabulously magical Nazri Noor universe that always has plenty of adventures and misadventures in store for our brave, if sometimes cocky, heroes.
Our hero today is Lochlann Wilde, a super senior at Wispwood Academy desperate to earn his Summoner’s Crest and graduate so he could live up to his father’s illustrious name. At yet another of his attempts to summon a magical creature to serve as his eidolon, he inadvertently summoned a fae. And not just any fae, but a fae prince.
Loch and Sylvain are characters that I have come to recognize as the author’s style. They tend to be unashamedly arrogant and cocky golden boys, courageous in battle and quick of wit, and quite aware of how badass they are. It’s a nice change to how chosen-one characters usually bemoan their fate.
The two MCs’ first meeting would have been a grumpy yet adorable meet-cute had it not been overshadowed by Loch going on and on about how hot Sylvain is. Yeah, I get it. The fae are extremely good-looking, but one doesn’t need to sound like a broken record.
The writing is on the wordy side. The jokes would have been funnier and have more impact had they been more succinct. However, I appreciate the details about Wispwood Academy and its adjacent worlds, as well as the many magical creatures and goddesses that appeared in the story. There are slight similarities to Harry Potter, but the Wild Hearts series stands on its own, even among the related series.
One thing I love about the author’s books is that they are guaranteed to be action-packed, full of magic and mayhem, and HELLA FUN! And I’m so glad Greg Boudreaux is the narrator because his style suited the book’s spirit to perfection.
There’s an adventure to be had, a quest to retrieve the Blood of the Earth, and the mystery of the Withering to be solved. There’s also the very intriguing Three Headmasters, who are definitely not what they seem. I’m most curious about them. There are a lot to discover in the Wild Hearts world, and I’m eager to explore.
Loch and Sylvain bicker and banter their way through the story, throwing off USTs like fireworks, then deliciously succumbing to the inevitable. They were quite the happy power couple, but they were hit by the third arc curse. I’m not a fan of the third arc separation, but it paved way for dramatic entrances and spectacular displays of magic. There were many awesome, adrenalin-pumping fight scenes rendered in cinematic detail, and I relished every minute!
I love being part of Loch and Sylvain’s adventure, and it only just begun. Prince of Flowers is a fantastic opener, laying the foundations of a very promising series while giving us a riveting tale of overdue graduations, super cool plant magic, and a hot, very, very hot fae prince because Loch won’t shut up about it. Snarky and fascinating, it might be on the flowery side, but it will definitely grow on you!
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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This is a round up of the rest of the books I read this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.