Today, I’m hosting authors Nic Starr and BL Maxwell’s latest release The Ulitmate Sacrifice, book two in the Four Packs Trilogy, a m/m paranormal romance. Be sure to read my review (check out the first book here).
Book Title: The Ultimate Sacrifice
Series: Four Packs Trilogy, book #2
Author(s): Nic Starr & BL Maxwell
Cover Artist: BL Maxwell
Release Date: April 28, 2022
Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance
Tropes: Shifters, Fated Mates, Forced Proximity, Hurt/Comfort, Enemies to Lovers
Themes: New Beginnings, Forbidden Love
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Publisher: Independently Published
Length: approx. 40 000 words
Blurb: Grady Summerville is facing a slow and agonizing death, but has come to terms with his disease and doesn’t fear dying. However, fate has other ideas, presenting him with a future thanks to Max Steele. Grady owes his very life to Max, and as his health improves, finds himself falling head over heels with his savior.
Max Steele has been forced to leave his pack and everyone he knows to move to the West Territory to be a blood donor for Grady. He knows it’s the right thing to do, but it doesn’t mean he has to like it.
As tensions escalate between the two packs, Max finds his loyalty tested and is torn between following his alpha, or following his heart.
If Max doesn’t make the sacrifice then it will be Grady making the ultimate sacrifice and paying with his life.
Note: It is book 2 of the Four Packs Trilogy and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Max couldn’t believe he had Grady in his arms at last. And, oh my God, the way Grady looked at him with those big green eyes, as if Max was everything. He’d promised Marrok he’d wait for Grady to make the decision—not that it was truly a choice at all—that they should be together, and everything in Grady’s demeanour, in his expression, screamed he was ready. Still, Max hesitated.
“Are you sure this is what you want, Grady?”
Grady nodded, then buried his face against Max’s throat.
Max groaned at the feel of Grady’s tongue against his burning skin. “I need to hear the words,” he gritted out.
Grady paused, then pulled back, meeting Max’s gaze. “Yes. Yes, I want this. Yes, I want you.”
That was all Max needed to hear.
He grabbed Grady’s hand and almost dragged him to his bedroom. He’d waited weeks for this and with each week that passed the draw had only gotten stronger. Each transfusion had placed him on a sexual knife’s edge, and he’d almost reached breaking point. The bond between shifters was compelling, and it had been torture denying what his body was longing to do.
They stopped beside the bed where Max lowered his mouth to Grady’s once more. The kiss was intense, Grady groaning into his mouth and pushing against him. Max continued to kiss him, at the same time, fumbling with Grady’s shirt buttons. He soon had the shirt undone and on the floor, closely followed by Grady’s jeans. He finally broke their kiss and maneuvered Grady to the edge of the bed and nudged him. Grady took the hint and sat. Max knelt at his feet and took off his shoes and socks, then pulled the jeans the out of the way from where they had bunched at Grady’s ankles. Even Grady’s feet were beautiful—long and slim, with graceful arches. He stroked along one foot, and ran his hand up Grady’s leg, stopping with his hands on Grady’s knees. He looked up.
Grady met his gaze full on. He was flushed and kiss ravaged, his lids were hooded, breath coming fast. As Max looked at him, he flashed a small smile. Max rose on his knees and kissed him again. Will I ever get enough of his kisses?
He ran his hands up Grady’s slim thighs, the light dusting of hair tickling his palms. He allowed his palms to skim Grady’s sides, chuckling a little when Grady jerked. Ticklish. Interesting. As his fingertips trailed across Grady’s ribs, he couldn’t help but note how thin he still was. It gave him momentary pause, but regardless of his lack of bulk, Max knew Grady now possessed a strength that belied his size.
Grady gripped the sides of his head and Max gave in to the gentle tug, allowing himself to be drawn into another of those amazing kisses. Grady reached for his buttons, lips never losing contact, so Max raised his hands and helped. Together they made quick work of the buttons and Max’s shirt joined Grady’s on the floor.
Max skirted Grady’s sides again, lowering his hands to the waistband of Grady’s briefs. He pulled back slightly, the question in his eyes.
I must say I am enjoying The Four Packs Trilogy series. If you haven’t read the first book, The Slow Death, get yourself a copy, because book two, although a standalone, starts where the last book left off. There is also a series arc that probably won’t be complete until the end of the trilogy. As for the romance in each book, these are standalones.
Anyhoo, on to The Ultimate Sacrifice. I must say I really enjoyed the two leads in this novel. Grady Summerville, a member of the Eastern pack and a veterinarian, is dying from the slow death. He is a brave man, ready to face death, until his good friend finds him a donor from the enigmatic West pack who keep to themselves and don’t allow in any outsiders.
Max Steele, a lawyer, is a member of the West pack and the only person who has the proper blood type to save Grady’s life. The Alpha allows Max to travel to eastern territory, which seems very strange, because the West pack are real sticklers about keeping to themselves. Unbeknownst to Max, his pack has an underlying agenda why they are so quick to allow him to travel to the eastern territory to save an East pack member.
This mystery did pique my curiosity, especially what I read about the West pack in the first novel. I was a bit confused why this pack would allow Max to leave them to save someone from the East pack. But like I said, there is a hidden agenda, one I won’t disclose or I’ll spoil the novel.
Since the novel takes place in eastern territory, the reader is treated to secondary characters from the first novel. I liked how this was incorporated into the story without focusing on the previous heroes from The Slow Death. They are present, they are part of the plot, but the authors keeps the focus on Max and Grady’s budding romance.
And what a budding romance it is. They are fated, which has never happened before, because mates are within packs. Max and Grady are treading in taboo territory here if they give in to their feelings. I really enjoyed the visuals of their connection to each other during the blood tranfusion scenes, and when they stayed at the clinic together. Not only did they build a great rappot, but also a wondeful romance–one that is at risk because…well, read and find out why it’s called The Ulitimate Sacrifice LOL.
The world building becomes bigger in this novel, too. We get a glimpse into the West pack, pack politics, and family ties. I’d say Max is my fave character so far in the series.
Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy. The authors do a great job bringing the characters and worlds to life. The writing is seamless that I can’t tell where one author starts and the other ends.
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