Title: Forged in Fire (Asheville Arcana #2)
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May1, 2018
Page Count: 220
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
The magic touch.
Ever since Harlan Edgewood was bitten by a possessed werewolf, his monthly shifts have been agonizing. When he meets Whimsy Hickes—a mage who specializes in transformation—the attraction is mutual. But Harlan believes his curse is too great a burden to inflict on any romantic partner.
Fortunately, Whimsy thinks he can help.
When Harlan is provoked into an unexpected change, Whimsy uses his magic to help ease Harlan’s pain, but with an unexpected consequence. While he’s shifted, Harlan’s wolf claims Whimsy as his mate.
As they draw closer, suspicious events in the Asheville magical community escalate. Shifters are disappearing, others are murdered, and Harlan’s curse makes him an obvious target. It will take all of Whimsy’s magic to force back the rising evil—and if he fails, Harlan will lose not only his life, but his very soul.
I’ve wanted to read Whimsy’s story ever since I read the first book in the series. It was good seeing Arden and Eli again and Whimsy and Harlan promised to be as interesting as I hoped.
Harlan is cursed to change into werewolf at every full moon. His inability to control his change cost him his family and friends. When Whimsy offered to help he is grateful and their friendship grows from there. Despite the situation there is no angst or pressure just budding connection between two men. It’s a good take on mate bond as they don’t jump immediately into bed. They are allowed to get to know one another. It’s very sweet. The villain from the first book makes an appearance but it is not overdone and Harlan’s and Whimsy’s relationship stays at the forefront.
Harlan’s background story plays a role in the way they interact, making the story more plausible.