Cypress Ashes by Kai Butler
San Amaro Investigations #7
LGBTQ+ PNR/Fantasy Romance
June 19, 2023- Self-Published
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, the finale for a truly fabulous fantasy series. This series has everything- old gods, saints, werewolves, dragons, witches of every kind, the fae, and a local private investigator and his detective lover out to save the world. The individual mysteries are just plot lines in a bigger series arc that is stunning in its breadth and depth. I wasn’t sure how this author would tie it all up and give our heroes a HEA, but after finishing I can honestly say… Kai Butler knocked it out of the park.
Parker Fero and Nick King are trying to defeat the Sun god and save San Amaro. To do that they have to embrace their darker sides, gather as many allies as they can, and evade the enemy for as long as they can. Each of them wants to protect the other, which at times gets in their way of doing the right thing, and of course, Parker always thinks he can go it alone to save everyone. So much is going on, and the fight scenes are intense and frequent, but with every page, I could see it all coming together. Every plot line from past books is picked up and woven together, and every single secondary character plays a part in the big battle at the end. I was riveted.
The ending is perfect for this couple. I’m kind of sad to be saying goodbye, I will truly miss this series.
I highly, highly recommend.
Craving in His Blood by Zoey Draven
Brides of the Kylorr #2
Science Fiction Romance
June 13, 2023- Self Published
Zoey Draven is probably my favorite science fiction romance author. I will drop just about anything when one of her new releases hits my Kindle. Craving in His Blood is the second book in her Brides of Kylorr series, and features Kythel of House Kallium and Millie Seren, his human mate.
Every one of this author’s books features a human and alien pairing, in this case, Kythel is the leader of his territory and Millie is a human who is there to uncover a mystery and lay her father to rest. When Kythel comes across her he suspects that she is his blood mate, but war is coming and he has obligations to his family and territory. He needs to marry for an alliance, and Millie offers nothing but herself. He fights it, but ultimately they agree to come together until the next moon winds celebration when he will have to marry.
As you can imagine, this creates SO MUCH ANGST.
I really, really love this worldbuilding. I feel like the author does a fabulous job of balancing it with the romance. Millie isn’t helpless, she’s traveled the galaxy with her father and experienced all it has to offer. I liked her instantly. I understood Kythel’s need to protect his people, but every time he hurt his mate I wanted to smack him over the head. But it did make for a compelling romance and I found it extremely hard to find to put down, so I ended up reading it straight through to the end.