Today, author Morgan Brice is guesting. She’s talking about her latest audiobook release Huntsman, book one in the Fox Hollow Zodiac series, a m/m paranormal romance. Be sure to read my review.
Morgan Brice: On what inspired her to create the Fox Hollow series and the Huntsman
I had read a bunch of shifter books and they were a lot of fun. Then I got the idea for a town that was a haven for misfit shifters and psychics, and since I had grown up going camping in the Adirondacks, that seemed like the ideal setting. Then I had to come up with who the people were who were going to fall in love! While I love wolf shifters and the other alpha predators, I wanted to also write about less traditional shifters—like foxes, otters, squirrels, possums, raccoons, etc.
The idea of the Huntsman as a bad guy actually came out of one of my other series (Unholy in the Witchbane series). Once the concept of trafficking shifters and psychics came up, it fell into place as the conflict for the first book!
Series: Fox Hollow Zodiac, Book 1
Author: Morgan Brice
Genres: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance, shifter romance, gay romance
Tropes: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, learning to trust, second chance at love, fated mates, small town romance, found family
Themes: Love conquers all, starting over
Narrator: John Solo
Length: 5 hours and 36 minutes
Release Date: August 23, 2022
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Fated mates, thrown together by chance, and the looming threat of a fabled Huntsman who might tear them apart forever.
Blurb: Fox shifter Liam Reynard is running from a killer. He uproots his life to find sanctuary in Fox Hollow, deep in the Adirondack Forest in New York.
When his car breaks down, sexy wolf shifter Russ Lowe comes to the rescue, and one touch makes it clear they’re fated mates. Neither man was looking for love, and both are still mending from past heartbreak. When mysterious fires and disappearances threaten Fox Hollow, Liam fears the killer is hot on his trail. Can he protect the town and his fated mate from the evil hunting him, or will an ex-lover’s betrayal cost Liam everything he loves?
Huntsman is full of sexy shifters, hurt/comfort, second chance love, sincere psychics, hot first responders, found family, and fated mates. Intended for readers 18 years of age or older.
Note: It is the first book in the series. It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Audio Buy Links
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Flashing lights broke Liam out of his gloomy thoughts. The tow truck headed toward him, then did a U-turn and pulled in front of Liam’s car, backing up until it was close enough to hook up the Honda.
The truck driver got out and walked toward Liam, who reluctantly got out of the car. Even though he had called for assistance and it was clear the stranger was a legitimate responder, Liam couldn’t help feeling jittery, with his hands sweating, and heart thumping.
Those reactions doubled when he got a good look at the driver.
Oh, just shoot me now. Fuck my life. Why did he have to be so fine?
In the glare of the truck’s spotlights, Liam made out all the important details. The man had broad shoulders, strong arms, powerful legs, and a solid chest, standing a good five inches or more over Liam’s five-foot-seven frame. Liam had thought he might be saved if the driver was ugly as sin, but he was out of luck. His face was as utterly lickable as the rest of him.
“You called for a tow? Mr. Reynard?”
“I’m Russell Lowe—everyone calls me Russ. I own Lowe’s Auto Shop in Fox Hollow, and tonight I’m your personal tow truck driver,” he said with a broad smile and dimples. The man’s sharp cheekbones, full lips, and strong chin were highlighted by dark brown scruff. Liam’s gaze traveled upward, surprised at gray hair flecked with brown framing a face that couldn’t be older than thirty-five. Green eyes made Liam wonder what kind of shifter Russ might be.
He swallowed hard and might have blushed when he realized Russ seemed to be checking him out too. No matter how attractive his roadside savior might be, Liam’d had enough man trouble to last an eternity, and he sure didn’t need more in a new town.
“Yes, I’m Liam Reynard. Just Liam,” he said, wishing he could conjure up the natural charm that had always served him well in community theater performances. His fox could be quite dramatic. But now, on the run, scared for his life, and in the dark with a stranger in the middle of nowhere, he couldn’t muster his usual flair.
“The engine started making strange noises, and I pulled off. I didn’t want to break anything.” Liam cringed because heknew next to nothing about cars. Admitting that takes points off my “man score,” doesn’t it? Then again, so does being a sports-hating, gay fox shifter twink.
Well, at thirty, I’d thought my twink days were behind me. But when he compared his own shorter, lithe, dancer build to the solid man-mountain in front of him? Yeah, twink still fits.
“I’m glad you stopped the car without waiting for the car to stop you.” Russ finally shifted his attention away from Liam and focused on the Civic. “Let’s get the tow set up, and then you can ride in the cab with me to Fox Hollow.”
Huntsman is the first novel in the Fox Hollow Zodiac and it starts off with a bang. You read the blurb, so I’ll get straight to the review. First off, I really liked the setting. It sort of reminded me of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in some ways. There are plenty of woods, a small town with some very interesting folks, and a great mystery to solve. I was in from the get-go.
As I mentioned in previous reviews, I don’t read a lot of paranormal, so I’m always interested in what take the author will have on the paranormal people. In the Fox Hollow Zodiac series, there are plenty of shifts and physics. I enjoyed this concept, especially the library where hero number one Liam Reynard, a fox shifter, seeks sanctuary from the fabled Huntsman who is stalking him, or so Ryan believes.
Then there is local townie Russ Lowe, who wears many hats at the mechanic, volunteer firefighter, a wolf shifter, and he’s got all sorts of jobs going on. He’s a widower, two years into grieving, so imagine his shock when his fated mate shows up.
I really enjoyed the world-building, told through dialogue and plotted-out scenes, instead of being bogged down with narrative and exposition. Well done, author. I was fed what I needed when I needed it, and this is where the author excels. She doesn’t waste time with paragraphs of the stuff, or stiff conversations to explain how the world of Fox Hollow works. She lets it all unfold as the characters are moved through the story.
I also enjoyed the arcs of Russ and Ryan. The two have lots of hurdles from past relationships to climb, and the “mystery” of the novel is what pushes them together.
The mystery is also a good one. Because I love mystery served with my romance. Fires are starting, shifters are missing, and nobody knows what the heck is going on, but Ryan and Russ have a good hunch.
The secondary characters also lend a hand without being intrusive. They are there to help the main characters and push the plot forward.
I must say I really enjoyed the Huntsman to kick off the series. Would I read the second novel? Yes. I really love the small town of Fox Hollow, and I’m wondering if Russ’ brother Dean will get a story of his own. I recommend you give this a read. The author is a wonderful writer, who brings to life her own Sleepy Hollow.
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!