Authors: L. J. Hamlin, Asta Idonea, Dale Cameron Lowry, Morwen Navarre, Lynn Townsend.
Editor: Deelylah Mullin
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Publisher: Torquere Press
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Heat Level: 5
Length: 32,900 words
Book/Buy Links: Torquere
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Humor, M/M Romance, Paranormal
Riverdance is a compilation of all things Irish. From fae flitting hither and thither trying to trick their quarry, to a modern-day Highland games, complete with caber tossing and traditional dance, our romantic compilation of Celtic tales and lore are sure to remind readers that love is the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow. Morwen Navarre brings us The Sidhe’s Apprentice—a tale of a young man desperately wanting to be a wizard, like his grandfather, who never banked on falling in love with his mentor. In Finding Balance, Lynn Townsend sets readers in the middle of the Highland games—as well as between two former lovers who need to forgive and forget. L. J. Hamline’s tale, Luck of the Irish, tells of some lucky days that turn into lucky nights. Born of Fire, Dale Cameron Lowry’s offering, brings readers the abduction of a human by fairies—and the greatest lesson of all: love is more than superficial. Finally, Asta Idonea’s The First Swallow of Spring chronicles an annual pilgrimage to the land of the fae, and how the wiley lord tries to keep a human for his own.
From Morwen Navarre’s The Sidhe’s Apprentice:
There was nothing for it but to follow the path which Master Lorcán had indicated. Master Lorcán's parting words had not been comforting, and Alistair had a feeling this Master Cianán would be no warmer.
Alistair took the opportunity to look around as he walked, wondering how much magic was required to maintain this place. The transition was completely seamless, as though the door to the embassy had been a gate to another realm. None of the whispers had even hinted at the existence of such a portal, though, and Alistair was not too sure he would want to ask. The illusion was flawless, the sky a pearly glow above the tall treetops. The light was softer than sunlight, but far brighter than moonlight, and he wondered if it was designed to duplicate the sun of the Sidhe realm. He could hear faint birdsong, and there was a gentle breeze that brought the scent of honeysuckle with it. If this was Sidhe magic, he wanted to learn all he could.
The stream was not very wide, where Alistair approached it. A single stride would take him over it, but he had been told to wait, and not to cross it. Obedience was mandatory for a student of the Sidhe. That much was common knowledge. There was no place to sit, so Alistair stood and waited. He let his thoughts drift, trying to imagine what it would be like to live in this tranquil place for a year and a day.
"Are you contemplating running away? I wouldn't recommend it." The speaker was Sidhe, and there was a definite lilt to his English. Alistair felt his cheeks grow warm, and he bowed hastily as he straightened up. He swallowed as he got a good look at the speaker on the other side of the stream.
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Author: DC Juris
Series Title and Number: Soulmates #1
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Heat Level: 5
Categories: Alternative Universe, Erotica, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance,
Goodreads | Torquere
Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner. But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of Ship's First Mate Mateo—who just happens to be Calliph's Omarati—his soul mate... and a werecat.
Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can't stay with Mateo—he is forced to follow wherever Obyn leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal. Previously published by Noble Romance.
"I see no wheel," Obyn observed.
Calliph followed Obyn and Captain Ba'Tal up the walkway to the deck of the Golden Magus. His nostrils twitched, catching a hint of something. Crisp and clean, he could have mistaken the smell for simply the sea itself. There were undertones, though—subtle hints of sweat, musk, and the sharp tang of manhood. The scent mingled with his own, blended harmoniously, nearly drawing a growl from his throat. The smell of a mate, another shifter, but not one of his own kind. No. A cat. And no little tabby, either. The pheromone belonged to a panther.
"No," Ba'Tal said. "These damned elf ships are all controlled by magic nowadays."
"Yes, well, you still need someone to keep her on course."
Calliph looked toward the owner of the voice...the owner of that heavenly scent. The most beautiful man he'd ever laid eyes on. He was short—Calliph had a least a foot on him—with a slender, lithe body, and long dark hair. Strong, firm muscles rippled beneath sun-tanned skin.
"That there'd be my First Mate, Mateo," Ba'Tal said. "This is Obyn and his wolf, Caliph."
"Calliph is not my wolf."
Ba'Tal inclined his head in apology. "Begging your pardon, my Prince. I thought the Queen said he was a shifter."
"He is a shifter." Obyn looked Calliph up and down, upper lip curled into a sneer. "However, wolf is a term reserved for the free of his kind, and he is not free. He is merely a dog."
Calliph swallowed down the words he knew he'd regret.
Mateo turned. A dizzying, hot wind swirled around Calliph as his eyes locked with the man's amber gaze. Time seemed to halt, as the deck seemed to spin in a lazy circle, Calliph in the middle. His head felt heavy and wobbly; his neck and shoulders lacked the strength to support it.
Calliph struggled to make sense of what was happening as a jolt of recognition raced up his spine, even though he'd never met Mateo. His feet seemed to move of their own volition, carrying him forward—answering a call he heard in his heart and felt deep in his bones. Made no sense, yet Calliph kept walking.
"Where do you think you're going?" Obyn demanded, tugging sharply on Calliph's leash.
Calliph's head snapped back and his steps faltered. Obyn. Somehow, he'd actually forgotten about his Master. "To see how it works." He recovered quickly. "With your permission, I'd like to learn the steering mechanism in the event danger should befall our voyage."
Obyn's eyes narrowed and he glanced at Mateo. "Fine. I expect you below deck in an hour."
Ba'Tal lead Obyn away, and Calliph closed the distance to Mateo. "May I?" He nodded toward the steering column.
"Be my guest." Mateo guided Calliph's hand. "Magic controls the orb. Feel that?"
Calliph felt something, but nothing to do with the ship. Mateo's hand on his burned. He fought against the desire to pull Mateo close and smother him with kisses. "What is it?" he asked, not referring to the mechanism.
"You're connected. The magic regulates the pitch of the ship. Left and right—back and forth. Keeps the deck level. Simple, really. You just have to get the feel of it." Mateo pressed his hand down on Calliph's and moved them both slowly from side to side. "There. See? Just a slow, soft touch."
Calliph wasn't interested in the orb—wasn't even looking at it. Mateo tilted his head toward him, bringing their lips inches apart. Calliph's mind reeled. Mateo moved closer; his grip tightened, his breathing quickened. He felt it too. Calliph's gaze dipped to Mateo's lips, parted ever so slightly. Mateo must've licked them a moment ago, because they looked moist. Calliph imagined those lips were soft and warm as well. Oh, so soft and warm. Gods, he wanted to kiss them. Calliph's cock twitched and hardened and he marveled, almost having forgotten what an erection felt like.
Something nudged Calliph's leg and he looked down. A tail. Mateo moved his head; his hair shifted, revealing the sharp upward curve of his ears. Cat though he might have been, Mateo's tail should've been nonexistent, and his ears should've been human ears. Calliph noticed other things then: the fine dusting of dark fur on the back of Mateo's hands, the not quite feline but not quite human shape of his nose and his eyes.
"They're permanent," Mateo interrupted his perusal, obviously used to being questioned.
"How?" Calliph swallowed hard. He knew of only one explanation.
"Alchemists." Mateo hung his head.
Calliph snarled, his suspicions confirmed. "It's nothing to be ashamed of. Can you shift?"
"I can but not for long. The transformation is painful and leaves me exhausted."
That Mateo shared such a fact with him thrilled Calliph. He gestured between the two of them. "You feel it too?"
Mateo's face flushed red; he was panting, trembling. "I do. We're Omarati."
Omarati. An ancient term. No common translation existed; the best Calliph knew was soul mate. Far beyond that, Omarati were shifters who were created—literally—for each other, drawn together by a bond unbreakable, unending. Animal, age, gender—none of that mattered, for Omarati were compatible by design, made to accept and overlook any flaws in favor of their bond. Their hearts and their souls knew each other already, even if their minds had a bit of catching up to do. A connection like this, as far as Calliph knew, existed between no other beings. Mateo's small hand slid into his.
"What are we going to do?" Mateo asked.
Calliph ran a finger under his collar. What indeed.
Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we're talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake-making, football-watching, rubber-duck-collecting, drag-show loving, full-of-fabulous-with-a-capital-F kinda gal. She's also an ordained minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she's not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching Star Trek and Supernatural repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::
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Drako is an author and blogger, writing paranormal romance and LGBT fiction and reading almost any genre to review.