‘The Black Feather (The Angels and Demons of Babylon: Book 1)’ by JM Wolf #LGBT #NewRelease #Review #Spotlight #Paranormal #Fantasy #Debut

Wendy reviews ‘The Black Feather (The Angels and Demons of Babylon: Book 1)’ by JM Wolf. Published by Encompass Ink September 6, 2017, 308 pages.

Congratulations on the release of your debut novel ‘The Black Feather’!

 

Archangel turned Archdemon, Bastion (Belial) McDowell was left with the horrid memories of the mistakes he’s made that cost him not only his white wings but also caused the death of his lover.  Wandering amongst the humans in hopes of finding a way to earn his place back in the light realm, one tragic accident involving an eleven-year-old boy has changed his entire way of life. Watching over the kid from the shadows for ten years, Bastion watched him grow into a handsome young man and struggled with the decision to make himself known finally. But, is Bastion truly ready to let his past go to give this human his all? Especially since the human looks exactly like his fallen lover.

21-year-old Scott Grayson’s life had gone to hell ever since the accident when he was eleven that took his mother away from him. Locked up in his home like a prisoner with an abusive father, Scott was an empty shell stumbling through life, until he was rescued from an ambush in an alleyway by a mysterious man in a black cloak with eyes as blue as ice, who left a black feather for Scott to remember him by. After discovering a strange cafe called “Angel’s Haven” in the direction where his rescuer ran off to, Scott decided to check it out and eventually meets the mysteriously dark and sexy owner Bastion, whose eyes resemble the man in the black cloak.

Circumstances have brought these two together, and Bastion’s secrets become harder to hide from Scott. Especially when a prophecy reveals an upcoming war where both Bastion and Scott play a role in the event. Can Bastion accept the darkness that he’s been denying to keep Scott safe from the army of demons hunting for them? And can Scott find the strength within himself to fulfill his role in the prophecy and fight alongside the demon his heart belongs to?

TRIGGER WARNING:

This book contains mentions of alcoholism, abuse, past grief, violence, death, gore, thoughts of suicide, and loss. This book also includes figures from religion and demonology.


An ARC copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Where to buy:

Amazon

“I said I want to fight with you. I want to help you stop Lucifer.”

Bastion began to backpedal. This couldn’t be happening. Scott seriously wanted to fight, but why? There was no way Scott could match the strengths that demons possess. It was like jumping into a lake filled with sharks without knowing how to swim. It was a suicide mission.

“No, absolutely not. I won’t let you,” Bastion said in a shaky voice.

Scott slowly took a step toward his worried boyfriend. He wanted Bastion to understand that even though he was meant to be involved, fighting by Bastion’s side was what he also wanted.

“Bastion, I know I have a role to play in the war too. Beelzebub told me. But even so I—”

“I said no!” Bastion shouted.

Scott jumped out of his skin and back away giving Bastion enough space. The anger in the fallen angel clearly visible as his Siberian blue eyes combust.

“I don’t want you involved in this,” Bastion growled.

Scott’s own anger began to form in his expression.

“I’m already involved, Bastion. Haven’t you figured that out?”

“You shouldn’t be involved though. Not any more than you already have. I can handle Lucifer on my own. I can take you away from here. Somewhere safe where they can’t get to you,” he said.

“I don’t need you to come to my rescue all the time. I’m not some superhero’s damsel who can’t do shit for himself,” Scott said.

In a way, he understood Scott’s sentiment. Nobody liked to feel useless, but Bastion already lost someone he cared about once. He’d be damned more so than he already was before losing Scott too.

Scott held himself high determined to convince Bastion to let him do more than just sit on the sidelines. “I’m not as weak as I may look you know. Even Beelzebub noticed that. I surprised him. I can fight, Bastion. I can take care of myself.”

“Yeah because you did so well taking care of yourself that night in the alley, and when your father beat the shit out of you.” Bastion quickly retaliated then just as quickly wished he hadn’t.

As soon as the words came out, Bastion covered his mouth as if he could mentally take the words back, but he couldn’t. Scott stood there with a piqued look on his face. Like someone had just slapped him. Bastion hadn’t meant to say that. He tried telling Scott just that, but Scott shook his head looking like he was fighting back the tears.

“Fuck you, Bastion,” Scott spat in a broken voice, then proceeded to walk past the demon.

“No baby, please. I’m sorry,” Bastion begged reaching around to grab Scott by the arm, but he jerked away from his contact.

Bastion’s thick wings billowed to catch the wind as he flew up and over Scott, landing back on the ground in front of him. Bastion reached forward and grabbed Scott by his shoulders. He tried wiggling free, but Bastion had a better grip this time.

“Let me go!” Scott shouted, but Bastion refused.

He knew Scott was pissed off, and he had every right to be, but Bastion needed him to understand his concern, just like Scott wanted him to understand his own. Bastion was already on the verge of breaking down into tears over upsetting his lover. That was the last thing he ever wanted to do.

“Scott, please listen to me. I’m sorry for what I said. I’m so sorry, baby, but please just listen to me. Please. You have no idea how afraid I am of something happening to you.”

Scott finally stopped his attempt to break free and resulted to just glaring at the demon, panting in frustration. Bastion took that as a sign to keep going.

“I brought this danger into your life. I came into your life knowing full well the possible dangers I would bring, but I ignored them because I wanted to meet you. Ariel’s pissed with me because she knows having you around me will put your life at risk and she’s right. I should have stayed away, but I couldn’t. This baggage of mine is why I want to keep you safe though. Because I’m the one responsible for why demons want to hunt you down to get to me.”

At that point, any fury that Scott had for Bastion began to dissipate. He was left standing there dumbfounded, staring into those frigid blue eyes he was obsessed with. Bastion scooped Scott’s face in his hands, pressing their foreheads together.

“I’ll never forgive myself if you get hurt. You’re more special to me than you realize. I love waking up every morning and seeing this face smiling at me,” Bastion whispered.

Tears ran down Scott’s face, and Bastion wiped them away with his thumbs. Scott was at a loss for words. Truthfully, he did understand how Bastion felt. He understood because that was exactly how Scott felt about him. Scott wouldn’t even begin to know how to continue living if anything happened to Bastion. That alone was his biggest reason for wanting to fight in the first place. To protect Bastion as much as Bastion wanted to protect him.

Before Scott could explain all that, Bastion’s lips were on his. Soft and gentle. As gentle as the beat of his black wings above them. Scott couldn’t help but melt in Bastion’s touch. The kiss started as a closed mouth kiss, but then Bastion’s tongue stuck out seeking entrance, to which Scott gladly opened for him. Bastion’s tongue snaked its way into Scott’s mouth and started tasting and devouring as much as he could. The sensation forced a moan out of Scott’s throat as Bastion caught it in his mouth. He took as much as Bastion gave. He tasted of citrus and mint. It was a remnant that Scott always wanted to remember.

 

I love to meet new authors. Not just new to me authors, but authors who are just writing their debut novels. There is something very special in watching them grow and develop their craft. JM Wolf is one of those authors. What an accomplishment it is to write a novel. I’m honored that I was one of the people to see this story before it was released out into the world. It must be nerve wracking to put your blood, sweat and tears into someone’s hands and ask for criticism, which in all honesty is what a review is. Thank you JM Wolf for your trust. I have big love and respect for you!

The first character I’d like to talk about is Scott. He’s been abused by his father. I have to guess to the point of oppression because he’s a physically healthy young man who for some reason let his father control him so much that at 21 he has no job, no friends and feels like he can’t leave. He’s lost every opportunity to follow his dreams of professional gymnastics because of his father. He spends his days (once he discovers it) in a coffee shop that our other MC owns reading and making a friend of the barista. Though I do wish the author could have touched a bit more on that so we could have understood the depth of the emotional aspect of the abuse and gotten into the “why” of how Scott was feeling. It really isn’t hugely important in the story, it just would have filled in some holes for me. Perhaps it will all come out in the next book of this series. Anywhoo… Scott is kinda broken. My favorite part of him is that he’s a dreamer and doesn’t give up the hope for a better life. He’s always felt a protective presence in his life and that presence makes himself known one night when Scott is in dire straights! Into his life comes Bastion. Once Scott is freed from his life with his father, he really comes into his own. He’s brave and determined and not one single thing is going to stop him from doing what he thinks is the right thing to do.

Bastion is a archangel turned archdemon who has dedicated his life to watching over Scott and trying to get his white wings back. Once he saves Scott from a brutal assault, he can’t help but follow the draw to be in his life. He comes with his own set of baggage and it hinders not only his developing relationship with Scott, but also stops him from being the warrior that he needs to be in the upcoming battle to save not only Scott, but the world. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a bunch going on that you are going to want to stick around for. I know I do, I can hardly wait to see things develop and wonder just how Bastion will react.

I kind of liked the fact that Scott, the mere human was the strong character in this story and Bastion, the big archdemon was the one who ended up having the bigger issues and was the weaker one at least emotionally if not at times even physically. The premise is a nice take on the good vs. evil and I like the world that JM Wolf has created. The writing didn’t start as strong as I’d hoped, but really smoothed out as the story began to flow and I liked seeing the author become more and more comfortable as the book went along. Once again, it’s one of my favorite things to see an author grow his or her craft. This story was really heating up and I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series will bring.

 

JM Wolf never thought he would one day say that he’s a published M/M romance author. Having a poet for a mother and a sister to once ran a blog, it was only a matter of time before JM discovered his writing genes. In the beginning, his sole purpose in life was to be a singer/songwriter. Writing lyrics was the first step putting his thoughts onto paper. Even while singing, JM always found time to dabble with writing little short stories but never thought too much about it.

Once he reached adulthood, his music dreams left him, but not the feel of writing down what was in his mind. However, that didn’t mean music no longer played a part in JM’s life. His debut book The Black Feather was inspired by one of his favorite songs. Whether lyrics or love stories, you will always find JM’s heart and soul in every word on paper.

JM Wolf lives in Chesapeake, VA with his husband and in-laws. When he’s not writing, you could always find reading a good book, spending time with the love of his life, or jamming out to music. He didn’t pick the world of literature; the literary world picked him.

Email: authorjmwolf@gmail.com Official Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJMWolf

 

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