Fast cars. Outlaw country boys. Snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, and menacing monsters.
Dawson King’s family has been hunting things that go bump in the night in Transylvania County, North Carolina, since before the Revolutionary War.
Dawson was never happier than when he was racing his souped-up Mustang along winding mountain roads and hunting monsters with his best friend, Grady. Then Grady fell in love with him, which should have been perfect since Dawson had already fallen hard for Grady.
But Grady was only seventeen, and Dawson feared that sooner or later, Grady would realize his feelings were just a first crush, and then he’d be gone, leaving Dawson devastated. They both needed space to figure things out. So Dawson joined the army, while Grady stayed on the mountain.
Four years later, Dawson is coming home. He’s more sure than ever Grady is his forever love, and they’ve both agreed to begin this new aspect of their relationship as soon as Dawson gets back.
Then Grady’s father is killed in a werewolf hunt gone wrong. Grady is devastated, and he’s throwing mixed signals about moving forward. Dawson knows he needs to hold off on this new thing between them until Grady has time to grieve. But monsters never sleep, and one hunt after another throws Dawson and Grady into constant danger, while tension and unresolved feelings ripple between them.
Making it even harder, Dawson’s got a secret. He’s dreamed of death omens—which point to something stalking Grady. Can Dawson figure out who’s trying to kill Grady, save his life, and win back his heart?
Plenty of mutual pining, hurt/comfort, spooky chills, sexy thrills, and a very happy ending. The Kings of the Mountain is the first novel in the series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
Book Title: Kings of the Mountain
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Natania Barron
Release Date: May 21, 2020
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance
Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, mutual pining, friends-to-lovers,
childhood best friends, second chance
Themes: coming of age, forgiveness for self and others,
crush maturing into love, letting go of guilt, family
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 63,000 words/238 pages
It’s the first in a new series
Starting from Scratch By Morgan Brice
Starting a new series is exciting and stressful. Exciting because beginnings are always full of opportunities. Stressful because it takes a while to know your way around—to have a feel for the places in the book and really understand the characters and hear their voices clearly in your head.
There’s a lot of worldbuilding that goes on, especially in a paranormal romance, beyond what shows up on the page. That includes thinking through how magic works and who has it, what kinds of abilities monsters can have, what sort of creatures exist, how ghosts can be summoned and banished—all of which provides a framework to tell a solid tale and remain consistent. It’s like building the foundation for a house. If I don’t get the worldbuilding right, the stories built in that world won’t hang together the way they should, and inconsistencies will happen that spoil things down the line.
It also usually takes some time to hear the characters clearly and have a sense of their personalities, likes and dislikes, fears and strengths—all the things that make them real in the minds of the readers. I always learn something about my characters when I’m writing the books, no matter how far into a series I get. That’s part of the fun.
When I start a new series, I usually have a mix of plot, people, and place in my mind. So for Kings of the Mountain, the plot bunny was ‘what would happen if you crossed Dukes of Hazzard with Supernatural, only the main characters were *together*?’ Then as I thought about where to have as home base, Transylvania County seemed like a natural choice (it’s a real place). Everything took off from there.
Starting a new series is so much fun. It’s the beginning of a journey with new friends—and you never know where it will take you!
“Dude, you can’t keep me hanging for over an hour until we get home. Please.” Dawson didn’t care about begging. He needed to know what had happened, so he could figure out what to do when he got there.
Colt slid him a sidelong glance and relented. “If I tell you, you’ve got to keep Uncle Denny from whupping my ass, because he told me not to.”
“You know I will.”
Colt tightened his grip on the wheel, his knuckles bone-white and kept his eyes on the road, a convenient way to avoid looking at Dawson. “We’ve had some problems with rogue werewolves and feral shifters lately. They like our neck of the woods because it’s remote. If they didn’t bother anyone, we might have let it ride. But there’ve been livestock kills and some attacks on people that just barely got pushed back.”
“How did you know you’ve got weres and shifters?” Dawson fell back into hunting mode out of old habit.
“It’s that time of the month,” Colt replied with a smirk. “Seriously? The weres are only out the three days of the full moon. You know this shit—did you forget it all while you were gone?”
Dawson flinched. “Just confirming. Didn’t want to assume.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time you made an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.’” Colt’s smile faded. “Anyhow, we’ve all been out trying to track down one particular werewolf. He didn’t stay in the forest and feed off the deer. If he had, no one would have bothered him. Kept coming near towns, snatching farm animals. Grady and Aaron thought they’d figured out a pattern and guessed where he’d strike next. So they did a stakeout.”
Dawson found he was holding his breath. He had an awful feeling about how this was going to go.
“They were right,” Colt continued, his voice flat. “The werewolf got the drop on Aaron. Grady shot the wolf—silver to the heart—but he’d already bit Aaron.”
“Aaron begged Grady to shoot him. Grady refused. Grady also wouldn’t just leave his gun and walk away.”
“He knew how it had to end,” Dawson said quietly, his voice thick with sorrow for both Grady and Aaron.
Colt shrugged. “Maybe he needed more than a few seconds to be okay with killing his father.” At Dawson’s wince, Colt relented. “Sorry. I don’t know what happened to Aaron’s gun; he probably lost it when he got jumped. Anyhow, Aaron went for Grady’s gun, and in the struggle, it went off. Killed Aaron. Grady walked home, covered in blood, and told Uncle Denny what happened. Denny took care of the body.”
“Jesus,” Dawson murmured. “What did they tell the cops?”
“Sheriff Rollins knew about the rogue were. He had his men out looking for it, too. So what went down could have happened to anyone.”
At least no one was going to jail. That was a small comfort. “What about Knox?”
Morgan Brice is a new author to me, but I am totally hooked. This book has it all: friends to lover, monster hunting, angst, slow burn, action and adventure. Somehow Morgan Brice ties is all up in this super entertaining story that I couldn’t put down.
The monster adventures were amazing to read, there was so much detail and imagination in each scene. I loved that we got to be in both Grady and Dawson’s head, to hear their inner thoughts and their perspective on what happened.
The flashbacks from present to past were easy to navigate, I never was confused about what was happening or when it was happening. Overall, this is one of the best stories I have read this year, I really hope it becomes a series.
5 pieces of eye candy
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.
On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.
Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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