Anthology, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Totally Bound

Review: Semper Fidelis – A Totally Bound Anthology

24058781Title: Semper Fidelis

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 213 Pages

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: ‘Anomaly’ by S.A. McAuley

Warning: Untested chemical reactions in process…

When Staff Sergeant Galen Welc is handed Temporary Additional Duty orders that move him to the Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, he thinks he’s prepared for what’s to come. Known for his uncanny ability to spot improvised explosive devices, he’s pitted against the latest in defense technology. He trusts his instincts and his training, but they may just be leading him somewhere—and to an explosive reaction with someone—he could never see coming.

‘Always Ready’ by T.A. Chase

Making a living on the Bering Sea is hard enough, but throw love into the equation, and things can blow into a hurricane.

Senior Chief Dean ‘Jake’ Jacobson loves his job as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Saving lives is the second best thing he could ever do. The first is loving Phil ‘Rhody’ Rhodes.

Phil is a third generation crabber who fishes the Bering Sea. Being gay and in love with Dean isn’t something he talks about, especially not with the six men he lives with on the Angela Kayla for weeks on end. But he’s been happy with his life.

Until one day the Bering Sea reminds them that she is a dangerous place to work. As her icy waters surround them, they discover one truth. Dean and Phil must always be ready to love each other because life can be taken so easily when one works on the sea.

‘A Ring and a Vow’ by Devon Rhodes

Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow.

It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together.

About time for them to fill out paperwork to re-up, Owen realizes that if they were married, they’d have a much better chance of being stationed nearby. But time is not on their side, so he’s forced to compromise on his proposal in order to make it work.

Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him. However, between the chronic nightmares he’s been fighting and the ever more complicated wedding plans, the next month could be anything but a dream.
Publisher’s Note: This book is the sequel to A Ring and a Promise.

‘My Marine’ by LE Franks and Sara York

For a man who made his career in intelligence, falling for an Afghani national in the middle of a war zone wasn’t the smartest thing a Marine could do.

Marine Captain Sean Kelley loves his country and the men he serves with, but when he meets Akim, he’s tempted to throw it all away for the mysterious man. He knows better than to chase after a local, but repeat encounters culminating in a moment of passion leave him reeling—he’ll do almost anything to figure out how they can be together.

Akim Bijan has a secret of his own—one large enough to get more than just himself killed if it’s revealed. But from the moment he first lays eyes on the handsome Marine, he’s tempted to do just that rather than hide his growing attraction to the man. Being a translator allows him access to the base and he finds Sean alone one night. They take things farther than he ever intended. If only he could tell Sean everything, but his lips are sealed.

When tragedy strikes, Akim is afraid he’s lost Sean for good and he’s forced to make a decision that will change both their lives. Will love win—or will Sean and Akim be separated forever?

‘Soul Sick’ by Kendall McKenna

Jamie thought he made it home to Tucker, leaving war behind. Now, each day he battles to fit into his own life, and save the love that saved his life.

Jamie is a captain in the US Marine Corps who carried a photo of Tucker with him throughout his deployment. His body and his heart both make it home, but he isn’t sure about his sanity. It no longer feels as if his own life even fits.

Tucker is a reformed bad boy who has an advanced degree and an important job but still sports long hair and tattoos. He missed Jamie while he was deployed, but he couldn’t stop living his own life. Now, they’re struggling to learn to live with each other again, and things are going downhill fast.

Jamie wants everything to be the way it used to, but his anger and self-destructive behavior begin to push Tucker away. Too much alcohol and a night of violence inside their home take them nearly to the brink. Tucker is willing to fight alongside Jamie to keep it all from falling apart, if Jamie can learn to accept the help he needs…before it’s too late.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of domestic violence.

‘Safe Shores’ by Morticia Knight

Kirk’s Coast Guard lover, Shane, is the only person who can save his son from a vicious storm—if he’s not too late.

Fishing is the only life Kirk has ever known. Born and raised in a small town on the Northern Oregon Coast, coming out of the closet was a struggle. Fortunately, he’s been lucky to find an amazing man to be with who serves in the Coast Guard. But he can’t help but wonder whether Shane wants more than just a shore leave romance.

Shane loves the Coast Guard, loves the sea. That’s one of the main things he has in common with his fisherman lover, Kirk. He just needs to make sure that Kirk knows how serious he is about their relationship and what he plans on doing about it.

Shane and Kirk’s joyful reunion is interrupted when an unusually vicious gale storm threatens the coast. Kirk has to stand by helplessly and wait while his lover battles the raging seas to save his son. In an instant, Kirk could lose everyone he holds dear.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of BDSM.

Dividers

Review: Anomaly by S.A. McAuley

Staff Sergeant Galen Welc has a nickname—Magneto. He has this strange ability to uncover IED’s before they take out his brothers in arms. When he is sent to a training facility to pit his abilities against that of new military drones, the last thing Galen is expecting is to meet a man who pushes all his buttons in just the right way. When he finds out that the man he has just met is the scientist behind the creation of the latest drone, sparks fly!

While I liked the promise of this story, it was so short that I found myself wondering who these guys were and how they could ever really match up beyond their love for the challenge of being the fastest man to uncover IED’s. The romance element never went beyond a seeming one-night stand and I had to make the leap from that to a potential relationship by story’s end. I just really wanted to get to know these guys more, and we ran out of story before I could do that. 2.5 stars

Always Ready by T.A. Chase

Jake is part of the Coast Guard whose one job is to save lives on the open sea. Phil is a crabber—on the Bering Sea where storms and gale force winds are not uncommon. One man lives for the danger, the other for the rescue. Each lives for the other. But Phil is in the closet and afraid to tell his family that he is deeply in love with Jake. Two years of hiding and torrid, fast hookups on a rare weekend a month have left both men wondering about their jobs and the distance it forces between them and whether they can go on living so far apart.

For a short story, I felt there was such depth to these characters. Their love for each other was as apparent as was their love for their jobs. How to rectify the great distance between them that gave them only a weekend a month to be together was an overwhelming concern for both of them. I felt the real pull that Jake felt for his job versus his lover, Phil. Jake rescues people for a living and he loves his job—despite the real fact that sometimes mother nature wins and Jake cannot save everyone. Phil is poised to take over a many generation boating legacy and already feels strongly for his crew—viewing them as a captain would. But Phil is so tired of hiding his love for Jake and while Jake would never push Phil to come out, his own disastrous coming out story shadows how he thinks. Well written, the story of love and respect that these two men have for each other is palpable and told in such a way as to also prove to be a loving tribute to those who keep our waters safe. 4.5 stars

A Ring And A Vow by Devon Rhodes

First, let me say that reading this short sequel has made me go off and purchase the original novel this short story is based on. Secondly, I am hoping that a major plot point is somehow addressed in the initial book, as I felt it was the only weak spot in an otherwise lovely finish to the tale of two young men so very much in love.

Cary is a pilot in the navy, Owen is in the marines, and at the opening of the story is deployed in enemy territory. They have spent the five years since the academy, where they met and fell in love, being stationed apart and longing for each other. During that time, Cary has been plagued with violent nightmares of Owen’s death. One month prior to coming home, Owen finally makes good on his promise, given years before, and asks Cary to marry him. Cary accepts and the rest of this story describes their time together in small vignettes leading up to their actual wedding day.

I was smitten with these two young men right away. The story balanced both their inner thoughts and fears against their love and support for each other. I felt so drawn to them and enjoyed how each chapter seemed to be another peek at their whirlwind wedding preparations and their new assignments in their various branches of service.

However, I never felt that the near paralyzing nightmares that Cary had been experiencing were fully addressed and indeed, they just seemed to disappear altogether. While I know that having Owen home would and should relieve Cary of his dreams, I also know the author chose to have Cary plagued by a last nightmare after Owen was home and in his arms their first night. For me, never really stating that Cary’s nightmares were gone left a major plot point unfinished and was, absolutely, the only flaw in an otherwise lovely story. 4 stars

My Marine by LE Franks & Sara York

Sean Green has seen the Afghani interpreter, Akim, come and go on the base and has taken notice of him. If only he could speak with the man, find out more about him. But this is wartime and while the interpreter is aiding the US, he is also the enemy. Then one chance meeting, and lust and yearning take over, and suddenly Sean knows that when he is finally sent stateside again he will do everything in his power to bring Akim with him. But what if Akin is not who he says he is? What if he is hiding a secret that will tear the two men apart?

My Marine was a sweet story with a few interesting twists and turns. When Akim’s secret was revealed I must admit I was pretty surprised and to be honest, understood Sean’s reactions completely. And it was just here that the story fell apart a bit for me. Sean began with strong sentiments about how Akin had lied to him. He admitted to himself that it was like he never really knew Akim, so why the sudden and swift capitulation at the story’s end? I felt that both men should have worked a little harder at reestablishing trust and not moved into intimacy immediately. There had, up to that point, been a plausible and very interesting story—if only the ending had been just a bit more drawn out. 3.5 stars

Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna

Jamie brings more than external scars from shrapnel home from deployment. Inside he is still trapped on the battlefield, and he is rapidly losing ground. Tucker has been waiting a year for his lover, but the man who comes home bears little resemblance to the one who left, and Tucker is worried that if Jamie doesn’t seek help soon, more will be lost than their partnership.

This was a very raw look at the effects of PTSD on a returning soldier. Jamie simply comes unraveled, going as far as physically threatening Tucker. Jamie wants to have everything as it was, but even the smallest of things picks at him, making him bleed a little more each day. It is both sad and scary watching Jamie devolve into a madman who cannot always be reasoned with before he lashes out.

My only regret with this story was the way it jumped, seemingly without a segue, into the future, where Jamie was apparently beginning to turn things around with the help of counseling. Admittedly and wisely, author Kendall McKenna did not allow Jamie to be instantly “fixed”; rather, we saw his ongoing turmoil right up to the end. But it was the abrupt way in which we were thrust into this future time of recovery that jangled a bit. Suddenly we were there and made to understand that during this unmarked time, Tucker and Jamie had actually been sleeping apart. Because the ending seemed to thrust us into a future that had no explanation, I felt the story rushed to the end and we never had a sense of healing or, more importantly, rebuilt trust between the two lovers. 3 stars

Safe Shores by Morticia Knight

Months go by before Kirk, a small time fisherman, and his lover Shane, a coast guard diver, are able to see one another. But their relationship has only gotten better over the last two years, and this visit finds both of them contemplating saying those three little words that every one yearns to hear. But Kirk is older than Shane by ten years and has a son by a long dissolved marriage that keeps him tethered to the small town he grew up in. Can these two make a go of it when distance and time seem intent on keeping them apart?

Safe Shores is a full out love story between two men who are ready to take the leap at a future they both desire. Even though both feel deeply for the other, saying I love you does not roll easily off the tongue, and both Shane and Kirk are worried that the other may not be ready for such a huge commitment.

I really enjoyed this story. I felt immediately drawn to these characters and felt completely invested in their story as a result. I particularly liked how both the men were very strong in their own right—while BDSM was a brief part of this love story, it was done with strength and truth, making it very erotic. All in all, Safe Shores was a nice way to end this well done anthology. 5 stars






Semper Fidelis is currently available for purchase only from:

Totally Bound

Totally Bound

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Three – The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway

2014

Greetings, everyone!

The Best of the Best continues today in our selections for top reads of 2014. Just in case you missed them, Sammy’s and Tina’s choices can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s and Jules’ choices can be found HERE, and just like those, we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win e-copies of any TWO of the titles in today’s selections, winner’s choice. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Kendall McKenna, MLR Press, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Storming Love: Austin & Troy by Kendall McKenna

Title: Storming Love: Austin & Troy

Author: Kendall McKenna

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 140 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Hurricane Lauris tore through North Carolina, leaving devastation in her wake. When the Marines of Camp Lejeune respond with help and resources, Staff Sergeant Troy Matson immediately volunteers. His mission is to assist Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Delaney and his K9 partner, Decker, search for trapped survivors. Their mutual attraction is instant and intense, but all of the destruction leaves Troy conflicted. Austin proves to be a surprising source of comfort and understanding in Troy’s search for redemption, but returning to their daily lives might end what has only just started. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Kendall McKenna, MLR Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Chris, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Survival Depends Upon The Strength Of A Bond In Kendall McKenna’s “Strength of the Mate”

Title: Strength of the Mate (The Tameness of the Wolf #3)

Author: Kendall McKenna

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 356 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Rampaging werewolves cause the True Alpha to send his Omega, Dawson Rivers, to bring them under control. Can Adam Madison help or hinder Dawson’s mission?

Adam Madison is in Iraq, driving supply trucks for the Marines, but he still can’t outrun his personal ghosts. Outside the wire, insurgents are a relentless threat. Inside, renegade werewolves are a constant danger. Continue reading

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Cherie Noel, Jambrea Jo Jones, Kendall McKenna, MLR Press

Herding Kendall McKenna, Jambrea Jo Jones, And Cherie Noel To Share The Men Of The “Big Bone Lick Pack”




The Novel Approach is thrilled to welcome the three authors of the Big Bone Lick Pack anthology! Kendall, Jambrea, and Cherie are touring the internet to talk about their wolves and to give away a great little prize at the end!

We’re touring in support of the Big Bone Lick Pack, an anthology which came out January 24 from MLR Press.

It features stories written by Kendall McKenna, Jambrea Jo Jones, and Cherie Noel.

BIG BONE LICK PACK (ANTHOLOGY)

Bad Wolf & Devil Dog by Kendall McKenna
Big, Bad Bear by Jambrea Jo Jones
Shifty Fox Shenanigans by Cherie Noel

Blurb:

Welcome to the Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves you’ll never meet! Visit with; Devil Dog & Bad Wolf, a Big Bad Bear and enjoy some Shifty Fox Shenanigans. Watch yourself, ’round the state park, ’cause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if you find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Kris: How to control three completely different authors and make them meld together in an anthology? It’s a mystery to all but a select few.

*peering thoughtfully into the distance as she runs a finger around the rim of the glass holding her beverage of choice*

Could actually be compared to herding a bunch of playful toddlers really. Imagine a big playroom full of FUN stuff to play with: hot men that turn into wolves or a bear or a fox; a hot Marine that doesn’t believe that shifters exist; and three authors that want to go left/right/backwards/forwards.

Cherie: Oh, dear. I will admit to running off in several different directions. I think Kris’ arms got quite the workout hauling me back in line time after time. Sweet Jambie even had to crack the whip a time or two. I couldn’t seem to stop complicating things. Sheesh.

*Yes, it probably is an adult beverage Kris has in that glass…look the group of authors she’s dealing with O.0 She needs the fortification*

Jambrea: I do remember cracking a whip—maybe. Lol I remember saying whoa a couple times in the beginning.

Kendall: *arching eyebrow* Well, we are all a little on the hyper and talkative side. He he he. Strap in! We’re erotica writers… so you post a picture of a place named Big Bone Lick… I was calling it Big Boner Dick as a working title the whole time I wrote it. Once Kris Jacen said she would edit it I couldn’t not write something.

Kris: *ahem* Add in a deadline and a strict rule of FUN! You’ll need to have some structure…you can always do a group FB message (I hear the authors made a rainbow Google doc to help them).

Cherie: *facepalm* I will never live down the multicolored google doc, will I? Nor the angst driven half a chapter that I had to edit out whilst Kris tap-tap-tapped her toes and gave me the sad editor face. I hate the sad editor face.

*snickers from Jambrea and Kendall*

Kendall: Yes. Rainbow hued goole docs. *shaking head* Well, that was where we shared our story ideas, character notes, our research and…I found out the mayor of Rabbit Hash has a border collie. That had to go in the book. That’s not a joke. It had to be written.

Kris: *clearing throat and giving Jambie, Kendall, and Cherie a very stern look*
What was fun for me about the whole experience? Seeing the three authors step out of their “normal” box and just have fun and try and mesh without reading each other’s stories. I think they did a pretty good job.

Jambrea: Yeah—I think we did a pretty good job of melding together to get a great story. I know I loved reading Cherie’s and Kendall’s stories and it is always awesome to have Kris helping us out and keeping us in line.

Please enter to win a mini Simon and Josiah!

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Cherie Noel, Christian Baines, Eileen Griffin, Hayden Thorne, Hayley B. James, Jack Byrne, Jambrea Jo Jones, Kendall McKenna, Storm Moon Press

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!



Welcome back, everyone, and happy polar vortex! Ugh. Not really. But at least it’s a great excuse to curl up with a good book. We’ve got an outstanding week ahead, filled with reviews, interviews, and giveaways, so here’s what’s coming up in the week ahead.

Monday – Hayden Thorne returns on her Icarus in Flight Blog Tour, with an exclusive excerpt and giveaway.

Tuesday – We’ll have a whole pack of authors with us today — Kendall McKenna, Jambrea Jo Jones, and Cheri Noel — as they tour the internet on the Big Bone Lick Pack Blog Tour, and they’ve got a special little giveaway in store.

Wednesday – Christian Baines is our guest today on The Beast Without Blog Tour, and he’s giving away an E-copy of the book

Thursday – Storm Moon Press is back today with another feature on their 4th Anniversary Blog Tour. They’re offering someone the chance to win a year’s worth of free books from SMP.

Friday – Eileen Griffin is our guest today, on the Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition Blog Tour, and there’ll be a giveaway too.

Saturday – Jack Byrne will be here today all the way from down under to introduce himself and his new book The Billabong.

Sunday – Haley B. James stops in on the Polyester Prince Blog Tour. We’ll have an interview with Hayley as well as details on all the goodies she’s giving readers the chance to win.

Until next week, happy reading!

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Kendall McKenna, MLR Press

“Strength of the Wolf” Gets Everything Right



”Everything changes. Everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing…changing.” – Steve Maraboli



Before I jump into the review of this book, I just have to tell y’all a couple of things. I have been so psyched about reading this book. I have heard so much about in on Facebook that I just knew it was going to be great. Well, embarrassing as it is, I hadn’t read Strength of the Pack yet! I know I know, how did I let that happen? It was basically one of those situations where the books I got for review kept jumping line in the TBR mountain on my Kindle. So, I sat down and read Strength of the Pack, and while I was buried in the book I actually received emails making sure I was okay because I had “radio silence” for longer than normal on Facebook and email. Yes, “SotP” was THAT good!

Now moving on to Strength of the Wolf. Tim Madison was introduced to us in “SotP” as a Marine officer who is very well schooled in most everything were-related. He helped Noah and Lucas get a handle on their bonding, and was there as the human counterpart to the True Alpha of the Armed Forces. In this book we get to know Tim a lot better. We get to see him promoted, we get to meet his family, and we also get to learn about him as a man and a Marine. Another thing we learn about him is that no matter how much he knows about weres, or about the Marines, he is still just a man, deep down.

One night while out celebrating Lucas’, Noah’s and Tim’s promotions, the men run into a Lone Wolf. Not only is Jeremy Wagner a civilian werewolf, but he is also a transitioning True Alpha. I don’t feel we got to know Jeremy as well as we did Tim, but that’s ok. I think we know exactly what we needed to know about him. Jeremy was a middle of the pack wolf. Jeremy’s transition was late to start and when his old Alpha realized Jeremy was going to be a strong True Alpha, he cast Jeremy out of his home pack. This left Jeremy out of sorts. He was supposed to be mentored and trained to help him reach his potential. Instead, he was alone trying to deal with all the changes happening to him. Luckily Noah realizes immediately what Jeremy needs, and he takes on the role of mentor for Jeremy.

Tim and Jeremy end up spending time together at Noah’s house, and they fall into bed pretty fast. Now, as much as Tim knows about weres, it should have been obvious to him where the relationship was leading, but he ended up having to be hit over the head to realize he and Jeremy are mates. Once they admit this to themselves, the two men work together to strengthen Jeremy both physically and mentally to get him ready to lead a pack. They have a lot of obstacles to overcome; Tim’s younger brother, the Marine Corps, Jeremy’s self control and self esteem, just to name a few. Will Tim and Jeremy be able to overcome these issues and come out the other side as a strong unit? Well, you will have to read it to find out.

Some of Tim’s time in this book is spent over in Afghanistan making sure the new regulations are being implemented for the weres serving there. It seems all the attention Tim, Noah and Lucas have been getting has gotten some pretty high ranking officials setting some pretty lofty, if not insane, goals for Noah and Lucas. I believe these will be addressed more in future books in the series, and I can’t wait to see how these men handle it.

This book is not just a story about Tim and Jeremy. This book is part of an ongoing series, so don’t be surprised when you read it that there are other aspects of the series that are given equal time along with our MCs. We get to see a lot of Noah and Lucas, which is great because they are still very pivotal to the plot. I wouldn’t have minded getting a little more info about Jeremy’s past and his family, but the lack of it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. Kendall McKenna has a knack for writing military books. Not only does she get the military aspects correct, but she also gets across the deep camaraderie service members share. I have to say that of all the military based stories I have read, Kendall’s have struck me as the truest to date. As a veteran myself, as well as being a military spouse, I have to say it means a lot when someone takes the time to get it right.

I am looking forward to the next story in this series as it seems Noah’s Beta, Terrell, will be finding his mate and all of our favorites should be there again to take up the fight. So, come along on a wild ride with us and witness the Strength of the Wolf.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Strength of the Wolf (Northern Shifters #2) here:

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Kendall McKenna, MLR Press

Kendall McKenna Is Here Today To Talk Wolves And Dog Tags And Giveaways!



Hello! I’m Kendall McKenna and write M/M Erotic Romance Novels. I’m best known for characters that are authentically written U.S. Marines right down to the jargon they use and the cadence of their speech. When they’re not falling in love, I like to send my Marines into realistic combat scenes that will get your heart racing.

I threw a curve into my series, The Tameness of the Wolf, by adding werewolves who serve openly alongside their human counterparts…and fall in love with them, too! The first book, Strength of the Pack, altered the landscape of the paranormal genre. The main characters, Lucas and Noah, have earned themselves a fierce and loyal following. Their commanding officer, Tim Madison, is a supporting character who generated his own fan base.

The second book in the series, Strength of the Wolf, was released a week ago and has quickly clawed its way up to the top of the bestseller lists. Tim Madison returns in this book, and he gets himself his own (civilian) werewolf to challenge him. Noah and Lucas are back, although in a supporting role. Strength of the Wolf expands the universe I introduced in the first book, giving a deeper look at werewolf biology and culture. Set in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Strength of the Wolf also takes a closer look at humans and werewolves working together in close pairings, like many of the ancient warrior cultures and brotherhoods.

1291250_424258644349183_722154818_nStrength of the Wolf, like Strength of the Pack before it, is a healthy, compelling, and very satisfying full length novel. The stories and relationships unfold before you, instead of exploding into existence and concluding before you’ve really gotten to know the characters. And since natural wolves are loyal, loving, and physically affectionate, you can bet the open-door love scenes between Lucas & Noah and Jeremy & Tim are affectionate, intimate, and just plain hot!

Reader affection for these pairings is so strong that when it came time to have swag made for the series, I couldn’t do any of the typical trinkets. Instead, I’ve had authentic dog tags made for the individual pairings. These dog tags are the same as those worn by U.S. military personal, except they’re for characters that inhabit a universe where some people shift into an animal! Lucas and Noah have a set, and are highly coveted. Just yesterday, I received the dog tags for Tim and Jeremy!

Today is my birthday, so I’m in the mood to celebrate! I’m going to give away an e-book copy of one of the Tameness of the Wolf titles. I’m also going to give away one set of dog tags, either Noah & Lucas or Jeremy & Tim.

More on that later! First, here’s a quick look at why Strength of the Wolf is climbing the bestseller lists:


Blurb:

After a fiery exit from Afghanistan, Tim Madison is promoted to major. Jeremy Wagner is a civilian, just beginning his Transition to True Alpha. As a lone wolf, he has no one to teach him the vital principles of strong leadership. After a volatile chance encounter, Tim and Jeremy form an intimate bond.

As Jeremy prepares to someday lead his own pack, Tim struggles with military werewolves being needlessly maimed in combat, as well as specifically targeted by hostile forces. Despite Tim and Jeremy’s feelings, werewolf and human politics or family conflict could prevent their mate-bond.



Excerpt:

The crowd of Marines backed away, forming a wide circle around Tim. To his left, Lucas dropped what he was carrying. Glass shattered on the wooden deck and dispelled the food it contained. To Tim’s right, Jeremy’s clawed hands wrapped around Terrell Hubbard’s throat. His lips pulled back in a ferocious snarl, revealing long, wickedly sharp fangs. Hubbard’s fingers were claws, as well. One gripped Jeremy’s bicep, the other was fisted in Jeremy’s shirt. Hubbard bared his fangs, barking and growling in Jeremy’s face.

Adrenaline surged into Tim’s bloodstream. His heart pounded, his mouth went dry. “Jeremy! Knock it the fuck off!” he shouted, reaching for the brat’s shoulders to pull him away from Hubbard. “Sergeant Hubbard! Stand down! Right the fuck now!” Tim’s skin tightened over his bones and his clothes were suddenly painful.

Tim hadn’t been this afraid in combat. Hubbard was inches taller and tens of pounds heavier than Jeremy. He was a trained Marine, battle hardened. Jeremy was outclassed and that scared the shit out of Tim.

“Submit, Terrell,” Noah shouted, voice rough and commanding. He sounded more wolf than human.
Just as Tim reached for Jeremy, strong hands grasped his wrists.

“Stay out of it,” Lucas said, trying to drag Tim away from the embattled werewolves. “You’ll only get hurt.”

“Jeremy’s no match for Hubbard,” Tim said angrily, trying to shake off Lucas.

“Yes, he is.” Lucas put himself between Tim and the shifters, giving a mighty shove. “Let Noah handle it.”

Tim stumbled, Lucas’ shove sending him off balance. He started back toward Jeremy, desperate to get him away from the larger, stronger Hubbard. Lucas blocked his path. Dawson was suddenly behind Lucas as silent reinforcement.

“Submit to him, Terrell,” Noah ordered again. He stood beside the two werewolves but didn’t touch. Tim wondered why the hell he didn’t break up the fight. “If you make him shift he’ll rip your throat out.”
In the blink of an eye, Hubbard gave up the fight and let himself be carried to the ground by Jeremy’s weight. Now on his back, Terrell let his arms go limp beside him. He tilted back his head so that both his throat and his belly were vulnerable to Jeremy’s attack.

A strange silence fell over the yard, save for Hubbard’s labored breathing as he struggled to get air past Jeremy’s grip on his throat. Jeremy crouched over Terrell’s supine form. He gripped Hubbard’s throat with only one clawed hand now. He leaned down until his open mouth hovered just above Terrell’s throat.

“My wolf has submitted, Jeremy,” Noah said calmly. He knelt next to the combatants, still not touching Jeremy. “You’re the victor. He submitted. Let him up.”

Jeremy continued to crouch over Hubbard. He snapped audibly at the vulnerable flesh of Terrell’s throat. Hubbard flinched. Tim clenched his jaw, silently begging Jeremy to accept Hubbard’s submission.

“You can’t filter this through any human or military standards,” Lucas said quietly. Tim had nearly forgotten he was there. “I know you think it’s too soon, but do you feel a connection to Jeremy?”
Tim swallowed hard, his throat tight. To his relief, Jeremy released Terrell, rising gracefully to his feet. “Yes,” Tim admitted, eyes following Jeremy as he stalked back and forth, glaring at the werewolves circled around them.

“Let him mark you, then,” said Lucas. “Right now, in front of the Pack.”

Tim realized everything had been leading him to this very moment, despite his efforts to deny and avoid it. “Yeah,” he sighed. He had feelings for the kid he knew weren’t mixed up with Jeremy’s, or tied to the full moon. Jeremy’s well-being mattered to Tim, but he was the reason Jeremy was angry and aggressive. Jeremy needed Tim to stop hiding.

“It’s got to be a visible mark,” Lucas reminded him. “He’s going to want to get his scent on you, too.”

None of that bothered Tim. Well, the visible marks made him apprehensive. He’d had such sympathy for Lucas, watching him struggle with werewolves making things public that humans usually kept private.
“The brat had better be worth all the drama,” Tim muttered darkly, decision made.

Lucas chuckled. “You wouldn’t like him if he wasn’t a challenge.”

Lucas and Dawson both stepped aside, leaving Tim free to approach to Jeremy. Or Jeremy to approach Tim. It wasn’t clear yet how this was going to go down. Terrell had rolled onto his side, but he still lay on the ground at Jeremy’s feet. The neck of his muscle shirt was darkened with blood. Jeremy’s claws had done some damage. Thankfully, it didn’t appear too severe.

Jeremy stopped pacing. Noah stood behind him, speaking quietly. Jeremy stood tall, shoulders squared, staring directly at Tim. His eyes were amber and those of a wolf. His chest heaved with each breath. At least his hands were no longer claws. Tim couldn’t tell if Jeremy still had fangs.

It didn’t matter if he did. Tim knew he was in no danger from Jeremy. Focusing all of his attention on Jeremy, Tim realized he should have done this before now. Jeremy’s need was a physical ache. His desire to mark Tim, and be marked in return had always been there. It lingered at the back of Tim’s mind like white noise, making it easy to ignore. Tim’s own regret poured through him, drowning out everything else. He hoped this effort would make up for his mistakes. Releasing a shaky breath, Tim silently acknowledged that he’d wanted this all along.

Tim saw the moment Jeremy sensed that their needs finally synced. He closed the distance between them in a few long strides. Tim clutched at Jeremy’s shirt as Jeremy wrapped his arms around Tim’s waist, pulling their bodies together roughly. Their open mouths collided and Tim felt the hard press of teeth. Jeremy did still have his fangs, their sharp tips drawing blood from Tim’s lips. A thrill ran down Tim’s spine, knowing Jeremy’s lethal strength was leashed, just for him.

Jeremy licked deep into Tim’s mouth, their tongues tangling wetly. Jeremy’s body was flame-hot, pressed to the length of Tim’s. His breath was scalding as it ghosted across Tim’s cheek.

Breaking the kiss, Jeremy buried his face in the join of Tim’s neck and shoulder. Tim shuddered. He pushed his hips against Jeremy’s, feeling Jeremy’s already hard cock. Tim tilted his head slightly, asking at the same time he gave consent.

Jeremy pried Tim’s fingers from his shirt. Tim gasped as Jeremy forced his arms to cross at the small of his back. The strength in Jeremy’s hand was surprising as he restrained Tim’s wrists. The arch in his back pushed Tim’s body hard against Jeremy’s. His own cock was completely hard now and he rubbed himself back and forth against Jeremy. Tim closed his eyes, letting his head fall back in silent pleading.

Jeremy kissed up the length of Tim’s throat, dragging the sharp tips of his teeth along the edge of Tim’s jaw. The slight sting sent a thrill down Tim’s spine and he wanted more. Jeremy nipped at Tim’s pulse where it throbbed just below his skin. Tim moaned when Jeremy soothed the spot with his tongue.
His body went rigid and Tim unleashed a decadent groan when Jeremy’s hot mouth latched onto the side of his neck. Tim’s blood rose to the surface as Jeremy sucked hard at the spot. Jeremy soothed the bruise with a swipe of his tongue. Tim relaxed into Jeremy’s hard body, moaning each time Jeremy sucked a bruise into his throat, or nipped sharply at his too-sensitive skin.

He wanted to touch. Tim struggled to free his hands from Jeremy’s grip. When Jeremy released his wrists, Tim buried his fingers in Jeremy’s hair, holding him close. Jeremy nosed at Tim’s ear, dragging his sharp teeth along the sensitive lobe. Tim shuddered again and moaned.

Lowering his head, Tim found Jeremy’s mouth. He chased Jeremy’s tongue with his own. Curling his fingers in Jeremy’s hair, Tim used it to tilt his head back. He skimmed his lips and nose over the pounding pulse in Jeremy’s throat. Tim pressed his open mouth to the same spot and drew heated blood to the surface. Jeremy panted. He cradled the back of Tim’s head, encouraging him. Tim sucked blood to the surface of Jeremy’s skin. He was deeply satisfied that Jeremy wore his mark. The werewolf pack that surrounded them would know that Jeremy was his, and only his.

Jeremy pulled back abruptly. “Okay, that’s enough,” he gasped. “Any more and we’re going to put on a much more revealing show than I’d planned.”

Tim blinked, struggling to understand Jeremy’s words. He watched Jeremy’s eyes roam over his throat, taking in the bruises Tim could feel darkening on his skin. Jeremy’s expression was satisfied, bordering on arrogant. Tim couldn’t help but chuckle. It was such an Alpha thing to do.

The world began to move around them. Dawson directed someone to clean up the shattered glass and spilled food. Noah tried to save the meat left forgotten on the grill. Mundane conversations swirled around them.

Tim and Jeremy stood alone, completely surrounded by Noah’s Pack, breathing heavily, looking only at one another.

“How long do we have to stay?” Desire was obvious in Jeremy’s still-amber eyes.
“It would be polite to eat something, then help clean up a little,” Tim replied, already calculating how he might maneuver them into an early departure.

“Stay with me tonight?” Jeremy asked.

Tim nodded emphatically. “Of course.” Everyone associated with a werewolf pack was excused from duty for the next two days for the full-moon run. He imagined the two of them had much to discuss over the course of the next twenty-four hours.

“Good,” Jeremy said. He turned toward the cluster of Marines who had begun to serve themselves food. “Now let’s go let them all know it’s time to keep their hands off of what’s mine.”

Jeremy’s possessive words should have angered Tim. Instead, it made him consider being rude and skipping out on food.

If anyone would understand, it would be Lucas and Noah.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



1368869_424259297682451_2131068159_nYou can find all you need to know about both Strength of the Pack and Strength of the Wolf at my website: http://kendallmckenna.com/books/the-tameness-of-the-wolf/

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Kendall McKenna, MLR Press

Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword – Nights in Canaan by Kendall McKenna

Forever — is composed of Nows —
‘Tis not a different time —
Except for Infiniteness — Emily Dickinson

Here are two souls, one the embodiment of sin, the other the embodiment of salvation, that wage an eternal and epic battle between good and evil, between love and hate; traveling through time, across the millennial planes of human existence, to arrive in the place where they began forever, reborn time and time again to participate in an infinite dance of life and death.

This is the fate of Jayden and Kareem, who begin as Jesse and Saul more than a thousand years before the common era, to die and be reborn some two thousand years later as Imad and Christophe, only to die again and to be resurrected once more in the modern era as the vampire and the avenging angel whose destiny it is to slay his lover infinitely, and act as the shield between the vampire and the humans he wants nothing more than to enslave.

This is the story of two men whose bond is irrevocable and painful and spiritual and primal. It is the story of the balance between passion and horror and the horror of the passion they feel for each other, tormented by their love yet consumed by their need for it and for each other.

This is a gorgeous story of contrast that Kendall McKenna has written, one I can’t recommend enough if you’re looking for something that falls outside the definition of everything you might think of as romantic yet is undeniably just that. There are no happy endings for Jayden and Kareem. How could there possibly be when theirs is an endless pursuit of the unattainable? But, in their infinite beginnings and preordained endings, there is the satisfaction of knowing that there is no true end to them or to their love for each other.

I thought this story was practically perfect in every single way, atmospheric and simmering with the sexual tension between the sinner and the saint, who was not in any way infallible or immune to the temptation of the darkness in spite of the side of the balance he fights for. I loved the loyalty and faithfulness to duty and the sacrifices each man made to honor their roles in the script of their existence, and that they themselves fought for the balance between them, the balance between their love for each other and the loathing for what each was sworn to uphold.

You can buy Nights in Canaan here:

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