Book Title: Burn (Witchbane #1.5)
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: September 30, 2018
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance
Sexy, satisfying supernatural suspense.
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.
Seth uncovers the cycle of ritual murders that feed the witch-disciples’ power, and he saves Evan Malone, one of the warlock’s potential victims. Neither Seth nor Evan expected to fall in love, but when the dust settles, they find themselves on the run and on the road together, heading toward Pittsburgh, on the trail of the next killer.
Seth wonders whether Evan will come to regret his choice to stay together, now that he’s living the reality of Seth’s nomadic life and the risks that come with it. He wants Evan to stay, but he’s afraid that Evan would be better off without him, living a normal life. Evan’s whole world has been upended, but there’s one thing he’s sure of, his love for Seth. Evan worries that he’s a liability, not yet able to hold his own in Seth’s rough-and-tumble world, but determined to do whatever necessary to have Seth’s back. On the way to face the next warlock, supernatural threats abound, forcing them to learn to fight as a team.
Fate and danger threw them together. But once the adrenaline fades, will love last?
The RV’s galley kitchen had all the important equipment, packed into a compact space. That made it difficult for two men to move around at the same time. Seth was broad-shouldered with plenty of muscle honed by time in the military and a grueling fitness regimen he maintained to keep him in shape so he could fight the supernatural creatures they hunted. At six-three and two-twenty, Seth took up his share of space. But while Seth had thirty more pounds of muscle, Evan wasn’t exactly small, even if he had a more slender build and a runner’s physique. Tight quarters made for plenty of accidentally-on-purpose crotch-to-ass slides that added spice to the process of cooking a meal and set the stage for sweet after-dinner activities.
Dinner wasn’t fancy—spaghetti with meat sauce, a bagged salad, and garlic bread from the freezer, but it filled the RV with luscious aromas and made Evan’s stomach rumble even more. Evan looked around at the trailer. Seth’s parents bought it for a retirement they didn’t live to enjoy. Seth had added some touches of his own, but it still felt like he had borrowed it from someone else. Maybe in time, if this thing between them worked out, Evan could help him make it feel more like theirs.
Two weeks had passed since Seth defeated the witch-disciple in Richmond and saved Evan’s life. They had gone north to Fredericksburg, to a proper campground with electric and water hookups instead of squatting at an abandoned farm. The family-owned park wasn’t fancy, but it had a fire pit and grills, as well as a rec room and a small convenience store, concession stand, and vending machines. The pool was closed for the season, but Evan could imagine kids playing and parents lounging on chairs nearby.
“Are you in there?” Seth snapped his fingers. Evan realized he’d been lost in thought.
“Yeah, just…wondering what the next stop is on the Magical Mystery tour,” Evan said. They had been glad to get away from Richmond in the wake of what happened and drove north until they found an open park. Most of the time since then had been recovering and easing into a relationship, a mixture of sex, sleep, and tentative conversation.
They were still both dancing around each other. Now that Evan wasn’t targeted for death by a psycho warlock, their initial reason to stay together was gone. In the intensity of their struggle to live through the fight with the killer, their emotions had been high, and they had declared their love for one another. It all felt genuine. Evan had never fallen so hard, or so fast before. He didn’t think Seth had, either. But when the adrenaline finally subsided, would they still feel the same?
“Everything we’ve found makes me think the next witch-disciple is near Pittsburgh,” Seth said, pushing his plate away and wiping his mouth with a napkin. He went to the fridge and came back with a beer for both of them. “Technically, we have until next Halloween. But—”
“But why not pick him off early and go on to the next one?” Evan supplied.
“That was my thought.”
Seth’s phone rang, and he answered. “Hi, Toby. What do you have for me?” Evan could hear the older man’s voice, although the words were muffled. “We’re near Fredericksburg. Need us to do something?” He listened for a while, nodding. “We can definitely take care of that. And thanks for the intel. That helps.”
He paused again. “Yeah, he’s here. Breaking him in to life on the road.” That look came back again, sad and something else, before vanishing. “Killjoy,” he chuckled. “‘Cause I’m sure you and Milo wouldn’t if you had the chance. On second thought, I don’t want to know! I’d need to bleach my brain. Some things can’t be unseen.” Toby said something else, and Seth nodded. “You too. Give my best to your better half.” He ended the call and stayed silent for a while.
“Hello? What was that all about?” Evan asked after the minutes dragged by.
Seth shook off his wandering thoughts. “Toby says that there’ve been some reports of a vengeful haunting near here. He was going to put it out to someone else, but it might be good for us to take it; you know, on the job training. Get your feet wet on something simple.”
Evan restrained himself from reminding Seth that just a few weeks ago, his feet had been very wet—with blood. They’d cut it fine and nearly hadn’t survived the encounter. But if Evan was serious about being in Seth’s life, then stopping dangerous supernatural threats—aside from murderous witch-disciples—was part of the bargain. His heart thudded at the prospect, but if he couldn’t handle hunting, he and Seth had no future.
“I’m game,” he said, hoping his smile looked whole-hearted. “What was Toby razzing you about?”
Seth’s cheeks pinked. “Ah…he wondered how we were getting on in our little mobile ‘passion pit.’”
Evan sputtered on his beer. “He said that?”
Seth nodded, grinning. “Yeah, and he must have made a list of other phrases because I don’t think he’s clever enough to just whip off one after another. “Sex on wheels. Horny home away from home—”
“I get the picture,” Evan said, laughing.
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. Look for her other books—Witchbane and Badlands. Coming soon—Dark Rivers (Witchbane novel #2) and Lucky Town (a Christmas Badlands novella).
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