Arden has lived his life giving back to the supernatural community he loves. Whether it is via his resorts, which cater to both human and non-humans alike, or with his community service, he has always looked after those in need. So when Eli, a visiting alpha from a pack close by, comes to the Asheville paranormal council asking for help, Arden is first in line to offer assistance. He, his close friend Whimsy, and Eli set out to visit the alpha’s home where a few members have been killed and the rest seemingly kidnapped during Eli’s solitary vacation away from his pack.
What none of them expect is to find that a demon has been summoned—one so strong that it is killing wolf pack members and living off their life essence. Now in a race against time, Eli and Arden must work together to hunt down this demon before the rest of Eli’s pack is destroyed. They also must contend with the fact that they are mates; the only problem is Arden is not wolf. He’s half-elf and Eli is trying to convince himself he’s just not interested despite his shifter side howling for him to claim Arden as his own.
Out of the Ashes by the writing duo Ari McKay had almost every conceivable paranormal entity possible and intermeshed them together seamlessly. This was a fast-moving story with a sizzling romance that could not be denied despite Eli trying to do so with all he was worth. While I felt that Eli’s capitulation and acceptance of having Arden as his mate came about suddenly, it was not due to the plot lacking in building tension between the two men. Rather, it just seemed as though one moment Eli was dug in to resist Arden and the next he wasn’t. I think I wanted to see just a few more scenes of Eli fighting his attraction before he caved and that is really more a personal desire than anything else. The chemistry between Eli and Arden was decidedly there and it was interwoven well among the action and that kept this novel exciting and entertaining.
I also loved the interaction between Arden and his best friend, Whimsy. They provided much needed comic relief and gave us insight as to who Arden was and how loyal he could be to those he considered family. Considering that Arden and Whimsy were formerly friends with benefits and included a third, the vampire Julian, in their fun, I almost wish we could have had a prequel to this story focusing on the three of them and their friendship. Together they had terrific chemistry and I wanted to know more about them.
Out of the Ashes by Ari McKay is a worthy supernatural story with a few twists and turns and some pretty hot sexual tension to boot. It’s a great summer read for those who love the paranormal genre.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.