Today, I’m hosting authors Nic Starr and BL Maxwell’s latest release The Slow Death, book one in the Four Packs Trilogy, a m/m paranormal romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Book Title: The Slow Death
Series: Four Packs Trilogy, Book 1
Authors: Nic Starr and BL Maxwell
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance
Tropes: Forbidden Love, Fated Mates, Reluctant Alpha
Themes: Forgiveness, New Alpha, Shifter Society
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 46 000 words/ 165 pages
Release Date: January 26, 2022
Caught in the fallout of a rare disease, and members of opposing packs, Zander and Marrok’s future as fated mates hangs in the balance.
Blurb: Alexander Kingston wasn’t destined to lead the East Territory pack, but fate had other ideas. Becoming the next Alpha in his dead brother’s place and managing his father’s expectations is a challenge, one that’s only getting harder with time. When his father, the Alpha is reluctant to accept outside assistance when one of their own is afflicted with a deadly blood disorder, Zander must take a stand against his father or lose another pack member to The Slow Death.
Marrok Blain is part of the North Territory pack. With his unique knowledge of The Slow Death, the debilitating progressive disorder that slowly kills with every shift, he offers help, knowing he’ll be met with resistance from his friend’s pack. What he doesn’t expect is the overwhelming pull to the stubborn yet undeniably gorgeous son of the East Territory Alpha.
Four packs coexisting with rising tensions, and a genetic disorder that reminds them of the common thread that connects them all. Zander and Marrok are the key to an uneasy alliance, or all the packs will suffer. Especially Zander, who discovers he’s got one more deadly fight to face.
Note: It is the first book in a trilogy, but does not end on a cliffhanger.
Purchase at – Available in Kindle Unlimited
“I need to speak to the alpha!” Marrok tried to move past the other man who stood slightly taller than his own six foot two.
“Sorry, he’s busy. Can I help you?” He stepped right in front of Marrok again.
“I want to speak to the alpha!” he gritted out, his patience gone.
“What’s going on out here?”
The power of the alpha was immediately felt and Marrok fought and lost as he tried not to bow his head in submission and respect.
“I want to know why you’re not doing more to find Grady a donor.”
The guy who’d tried to stop Marrok stayed close, his eyes focused on him. Marrok shot him a look, and when their eyes locked a force more powerful than even the command of the alpha rippled across his senses. It was there and gone so fast he didn’t have time to put a name to it, so ignoring the shocked expression that crossed the other man’s face, he forced his eyes back to the alpha.
“I want some answers, and if I can help, I want to be involved. Grady’s important to me, and if you’re not willing to help him I will. There’s no chance in hell I’ll let him die without a fight.”
Marrok glanced again at the man who still had his eyes locked on him and now had his arms crossed in obvious annoyance, before looking back to the alpha.
“You must be Marrok. I’m Andreas, Alpha of East Territory. This is my son Alexander.”
Marrok looked between the two men and saw the resemblance but didn’t care who the guy was. Whatever had passed between them didn’t matter. His friend came first, and the fact that they had let him decline so much before seeking help pissed him off.
“Why didn’t you reach out sooner? You know we’re close to finding a cure, but even without a cure our registry might help him find a donor.”
The alpha looked to his son and Alexander looked away, out of frustration or shame, Marrok wasn’t sure. He turned to Marrok again. “We’ve done all we can. Don’t you dare storm in here and talk to me this way. I spoke to your grandfather and agreed to see you as a courtesy, but I will not listen to you imply that I don’t care about our pack members. Now if you’ll kindly make an appointment—”
“Great.” The word dripped with sarcasm. He didn’t try to hide his frustration, and he wouldn’t play nice to appease the feelings of a stranger, no matter who they were. Both of them were responsible for Grady’s situation as far as he was concerned, and both of them would pay if Grady succumbed to TSD. Marrok knew he couldn’t hurt them physically, but he could withhold any information and data that would help them and their pack in the future. “How about you let me know when you’re finally ready to save your pack member?”
He realized he’d been staring at Alexander since the alpha had spoken, and he also realized he hated whatever was between them. Alexander narrowed his eyes, and Marrok knew he felt the same. He took one more look at the most beautiful blue eyes he’d ever seen, before turning on his heel and storming from the building.
The tagline caught my attention when this book came up for a review opportunity. Then I saw who the author was, and having read and reviewed a previous novel by the author, I was in.
As the tagline says, there is a rare disease that is killing werewolves. As the crown alpha of the Eastern pack, Zander is much concerned for one of his pack members who has caught the disease. Well, not caught, because it can’t be “caught” since it’s genetic, and some werewolves end up with it, while others don’t.
Marrok is a man of science and he’s been studying the disease and has made it his life’s work to stop it before anyone else dies.
First I’d like to say, because this is a collaboration, I must compliment the two authors on how well they worked together to create the novel. As I read, I forgot that two people had written the story. Their writing worked so well together that I couldn’t tell who was writing and who wasn’t. Well done. In the past, I have come across a couple of collaborating teams, and it was jarring since there was such differences in the tone, mood, etc. But these two were on the same page.
As for the characters, Zander has a wonderful character arc, something I am a sucker for. I love watching characters grow in a novel, and the authors did a great job with Zander. Marrok on the other hand, didn’t have an arc. His purpose was to stop the disease and of course he required Zander’s help. I didn’t mind this at all. Marrok was a strong character in his own right, who was on a mission that even lust wouldn’t stop.
Being new to paranormal romance (I have read several but consider myself still new to the sub-genre), I enjoyed the world building for the packs, and the explanations that were woven into the plot without drawn out segments of exposition.
The chemistry between the two main characters was hot. How these two felt about each other was a big leap off the page. And their sexual encounters were a great addition to the story that helped the characters’ budding relationship blossom.
The main conflict of requiring a donor from the Western pack who stay to themselves was also a great addition to the novel. Zander’s handling of this problem was, again, a great way to grow his character.
I recommend you give this novel a purchase. You won’t be disappointed. The writing is strong, the romance is steamy, and the suspense is the right amount without being over the top. There is even a hint of mystery of what’s to come in the next novel that did not get resolved in this one.
BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked.
Find BL: Contact and Social Media Links
Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!
When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.
You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.
Find Nic: Contact and Social Media Links
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