Trysts and Burning Embers Lijun Book 2 Angel Martinez & Freddy MacKay M/M Paranormal/Shifter Mystery Pride Publishing November 20, 2018 444
Fire. Water. Burn.
In the two months since the All Hallows’ Eve party, Tally has courted Haru, buying expensive gifts, taking the two of them to upscale restaurants and trying to find a balance in earning Haru’s fragile trust while being new parents to the Cohen joeys. Tally sees hope in the new domesticity the family has settled into, despite having some bumps along the way.
Gifts and treats have satisfied Haru’s otter, but the human half remembers the brutal lessons of giving their trust away. How can two lijun who barely know each other anticipate what will happen when times get tough? There are circumstances Tally doesn’t understand yet, and Haru struggles to find their feet with an Urusar who doesn’t know the rules.
A revelation not only throws the tentative relationship between them askew, but also starts Tally and Haru down a path the two of them can’t escape, one so heart-wrenching Haru’s not sure their heart will survive.
Traditionalist concerns that have always nipped at the Bastille clan’s heels come roaring to the forefront with demands and ultimatums. Tally needs to fall in line or face further threats to his otter, his family and his clan. Haru needs to find the strength to believe in the good despite the bad. In an environment where it’s vital to know ally from foe, Tally and Haru need to stand united or watch the community Tally’s family has built fall under the thumb of heartless, greedy autocrats.
Reviewed by Melissa Brus
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Wow. The writing in this series is just phenomenal. This second book is even better than the first. The depth of the cultures that McKay and Martinez have created is flawless. In this second installment, the issues facing Haru and Tally have expanded to include traditionalist shifters or Lijun. Added onto the already huge differences in not only their human upbringing but also their animal compatibility and this couple is holding on by their fingernails. When their children are attacked, Haru and Tally have to find a way to communicate despite their differences.
Gender identity, tradition vs. progress, cultural identity, privilege: these are huge issues. Yet McKay and Martinez address them all in this book with a deft and graceful hand. This is not an easy series to read. It is tense and there are times I just want to shake the characters. But the moments when there is revelation and progress are that much sweeter because of the way they unfold. As a true romance fan, I keep hoping for that happily ever after. After two books, I am not sure what that will look like anymore. But I will for sure be looking for the next book to find out.