Book Title: Unholy (Witchbane #5)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: February 8, 2020
Genre/s: Urban fantasy MM paranormal romance
Trope/s: monster hunting, paranormal, supernatural, magic, ghosts, curses, cursed lovers, hurt/comfort, established couple
Themes: loyalty, brotherhood, found family, keeping promises, trust, commitment
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 66 000 words/ 224 pages
It can be read as a standalone, but is book #5 of the Witchbane series.
A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out.
Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?
A cycle of ritual murders. A coven of dark warlocks, drawing their immortality from the magic of their dead master. Two men sworn to stop the deaths, destroy the warlocks and avenge the victims. Except this time, the killer is hunting the hunters.
Seth Tanner swore vengeance on the dark witches who killed his brother, Jesse. He rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is still new, tested at every turn by danger and magic.
Seth and Evan head to Charleston to stop the next warlock and save his intended victim. But this time, they’re too late. The warlock has already powered up, and he’s determined to destroy the two hunters one way or another. A deadly curse on Seth and Evan means time is running out. Can they find a way to turn the tables, or is Charleston their final destination?
Unholy is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with plenty of supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, hot sex, found family, dark magic and paranormal thrills. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
“Hi, and welcome to Charleston,” Alicia said. “I’ve heard a lot about both of you.”
That left one other person. He looked to be in his late twenties, with blond hair in a trendy cut, high cheekbones, and gray eyes the color of the sea after a storm. Unlike the others, he didn’t have a drink or a plate in front of him. The man’s appraisal made Evan shiver, although nothing in his manner seemed hostile.
“This is Sorren,” Cassidy said. “He’s my business partner, and he and my ancestor founded Trifles and Folly—my shop—back when Charleston was first chartered.”
Seth and Evan exchanged a glance. “But Charleston is over three hundred years old,” Seth protested.
Sorren smiled, and Evan caught his breath as he glimpsed the tips of fangs behind his lips. “You’re correct. And I am nearly six hundred. I am deeply interested in finding out about this witch-disciple you hunt. He has, apparently, gone to great lengths to avoid my notice.”
As soon as Sorren spoke, Evan wondered how he could have thought the man was close to his own age. Sorren had a presence that made it easy to believe he was immortal. Instinct warned him not to meet Sorren’s gaze, and he remembered stories about a vampire’s ability to glamour mortals and bend their will.
“Don’t worry. You’re safe here,” Sorren said, apparently noting Evan’s uneasiness. “You are guests in Cassidy’s home, and allies. That puts you under my protection—something I take very seriously.”
Evan pasted on a smile and nodded. Holy shit. What have we gotten ourselves into?
“You already know Teag, and I believe he and Seth have bonded over hacking to get information on some of the cases we’ve worked on. But his ninja computer skills are really an outgrowth of his Weaver magic,” Cassidy said, “which you know at least something about, from the spell-woven braided bracelets you gave each other for your birthdays.”
She sat at the table beside Teag. “Eat first, and then we all want to hear your story.”
Evan wasn’t sure what might pass for normal conversation with this crew, but the banter felt comfortable and familiar. They obviously knew each other well and were friends as well as colleagues. While they ate, the conversation drifted to local happenings, upcoming events, and the shared frustration that went with having to avoid road construction. Even Sorren commented now and again, and Evan noticed that no one at the table seemed to regard him fearfully. Evan glanced at Seth and knew from the look on his boyfriend’s face that the mental wheels were turning, appraising their new allies.
When everyone had their fill of the pizza and had topped off their drinks, the chatter stopped, and they all looked to Seth and Evan. Teag stepped away and returned with his laptop.
“We know a little bit about your hunt for the witch-disciples from the information Teag helped you find in the past,” Cassidy said.
‘Unholy’ is the most recent addition to Morgan Brice’s ‘Witchbane’ series and for me as well as becoming my favorite in the series, so far, it’s also accomplished two things…first it’s simply taken things to a whole different level and secondly, more so than any of the previous books, it’s connected the ‘Witchbane’ series to both her ‘Badlands’ and ‘Treasure Trails’ series as well as her ‘Deadly Curiosities’ and ‘Night Vigil’ series which she writes as Gail Z. Martin.
While this may all sound a bit confusing and maybe even overwhelming because one might ask ‘Oh lordie, you mean I have to read all these series to keep up with this one…the answer is no.’ The connection from series to series is the characters and what they all do. In general, in each one of these series the MCs are dealing with the paranormal either relics or creatures (ghost, ghouls, vampires, etc.) and while the MC’s interact from series to series the author provides enough background to comfortably enable the reader to read as many or as few of the series as you’d like. Personally, I’ve been reading the ‘Badlands’, ‘Treasure Trails’ and obviously ‘Witchbane’ series but haven’t even dipped into ‘Deadly Curiosities’ or ‘Night Vigil’ which isn’t due to lack of desire but a lack of time…so many books, so little time.
Here in ‘Unholy’ Seth and Evan are once again hunting one of the dark warlocks responsible for killing the descendants of the deputies who participated in their hanging only this time they’ve lost the element of surprise and the warlock not only knows they’re coming, he’s taken his sacrifice early and now he’s hunting Seth and Evan. He’s placed a curse on them, one that comes with an expiry date. So, time is of the essence for Seth and Evan. Thankfully here in Charleston, Seth and Evan discover that while time may be running out their resources are stronger than ever.
Without a doubt the absolute best part of this story for me was how much the characters from all of the series that I’ve mentioned got to interact and while I haven’t read them all I had no trouble following what was going on and who was who but, I also developed a strong urge to read the books that I haven’t gotten to yet. So yes, my goal is to do a big binge read on everything that I’ve missed to date and happily while the series are somewhat connected the timeline for each series stands separate and apart from the others.
I’ve been a fan of this series and ‘The Badlands’ from the first books. However, I have to admit until now the ‘Badlands’ has been the series that’s held the stronger attraction for me but with ‘Unholy’ all bets are off and I’m every bit as addicted to Seth and Evan as I am to ‘Simon and Vic’.
This story hooked me quick and fast. I stayed up well into the wee hours of the night reading and then I was awake in the wee hours of the morning to jump back into things. With the events of ‘Unholy’ the author has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for how things play out as Seth and Even continue their efforts to end an age old curse that began over a hundred years ago with the hanging of a coven of dark warlocks and I’m more than a little curious to see how things play out not just for Seth and Evan but for the full cast of characters that that author has introduce us to in this series and the ones that it shares a connection to.
An ARC of ‘Unholy’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
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, and Treasure Trail. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!
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