Title: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1)
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond #1
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.
Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.
Except for one man.
As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.
“EVENING, ARDEN. You want the usual?”
is how the book starts: it’s the best way to describe it, as I’m happy to compare the book with spending a relaxed evening in cozy surroundings, in company of old friends.
Out of Ashes has its own setting, but the world building is done without bombarding reader with details: we are introduced to Arden, an half elf who serves on area’s paranormal council.
He is friendly and approachable, but doesn’t suffer fools gladly. The council as every bureaucracy in the world, is not short on fools but Arden tries to do his best, which is how he meets Eli.
Eli is pack alpha who comes to ask the council for help. His pack was attacked. I have to say, it was a relief to read about an alpha werewolf who doesn’t immediately hare of into danger but instead takes time to asses situation and asks for help when necessary. The council rebuffs him, but Eli is in luck: Arden volunteers to help him.
I had a little scare at this point because I’m not a fan of insta-love trope, but luckily that wasn’t the case. Their relationship didn’t feel forced. The story has good flow and the characters are engaging. The pacing is excellent and events were very well balanced.
The only quibble I have is demons as villains, but that’s personal preference and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.
I’m hoping author writes stories for both of Arden’s friends: Julian and Whimsy!