Rafa Reviews: Undertow, by Brooklyn Ray

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brooklyn-ray-undertow
Undertow, by Brooklyn Ray
Series: Port Lewis Witches, Book 2
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Release Date: September 10, 2018

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

summary

Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is home to Crescent Cafe, a slew of micro-breweries, a downtown packed with antique boutiques, and violent, ancient storms. Thunder shakes rooftops and lightening cuts through dark skies, but Liam Montgomery has never been afraid.

Until now.

One night, Liam hears the scream of a kelpie, a Water horse whose cry foretells the beginning of a prophecy. Kelpies have not set foot on shore for decades, but as Liam digs into his magic and his family’s history, he uncovers a mysterious secret that could ripple into the lives of everyone around him.

Liam’s tea-leaves spells out murder. The life of someone he loves is on the line. An unwelcome kelpie speaks in riddles. The Queen of Water demands a sacrifice.

The Montgomery name is soaked in blood and secrets. Liam’s fate is sealed, but he’ll do whatever it takes to change it—even if it risks his circle, his magic, and his life.

tropes-tags

M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Trans Character
Paranormal
New Adult
Magic/Supernatural
Novella

Content Warning for: Blood Play, Murder

Undertow had a lot to live up to after the brilliance of Darkling, and I was over the moon that it proved to be equally as potent a read as its predecessor. The author’s prose is poetic (but nowhere near purple), using both the physical and elemental to create some highly sensual imagery in even the simplest of sentences.

Undertow picks up after Darkling left off, this time focusing on Liam via his unique POV. Similar to Ryder’s, Liam’s story has a distinct coming of age feel to it as far as discovering and navigating the newer aspects of his magical properties; their circle of witches are mostly in their early 20s so I’m guessing this will be a common theme throughout the series.

The element of the unknown really kept me guessing and the scenes involving the kelpie were particularly shiver-inducing – in all the best and confusing ways. I also like that the story takes us a little deeper into the casually cool and fascinating world of Port Lewis, including further mention of the mysterious and ancient Order.

As for Liam and Ryder, I adored how solid and goshdarn cute they were as a couple. Not gonna lie, I was especially thrilled to see that their chemistry was still steamy hot (literally) and with the added bonus – oops, I mean risk – of the dark forces at play within them. In addition to all that, Undertow quite simply contained some of the hottest, well-written trans sex scenes I’ve encountered in M/M… pretty much after Darkling.

My only gripe with Undertow is that it’s in novella format, which okay, is not a real gripe because the story was very well executed and that’s just me wanting more of this series right away. The story ends with unfinished business on several fronts, not to mention big and bad things on the horizon (although the tasty teaser that followed did plenty to lift my spirits). I highly recommend this series, full stop.

more-from-author

Brooklyn Ray is a tea connoisseur and an occult junkie. She writes queer speculative fiction layered with magic, rituals and found families.

Tumblr | Twitter | Goodreads

You can purchase Undertow from:

Publisher | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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