Book Reviews

Out of the Ashes (Dreamspun Beyond, Asheville Arcana 1) by Ari McKay at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Magic / Shifters / Vampires / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 01-August-2017

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

I was thrilled when I discovered that Dreamspinner Press was going to be issuing a new house line, Dreamspun Beyond. Much like its existing line, Dreamspun Desires, these are category romances in a contemporary setting, that feature paranormal themes, settings, and characters. Apparently the publishers knew what I would like and created it just for me! Okay, probably not, but it sure feels that way. To have the very first installment be written by an incredibly creative writer duo had me equally jazzed as I was looking forward to their world building.

I love fated mates. That's exactly what Eli knows he and Arden are to one another the instant they shake hands. Arden, being a half elf, isn't connected the same way and doesn't recognize Eli as his. Of course, elves don't have fated mates, although they do mate for life, so Eli spends considerable time battling back his wolf, especially when Arden’s two closest friends, Whimsy, a powerful mage, and Julian, a vampire, come to help. It really doesn't help the situation - even though Eli is doing everything possible to focus on rescuing his kidnapped pack members - that it's obvious Arden and the two men have a bit of a “friends with benefits” situation. I do love a growly alpha.

“You realize we only get one mate in our lives, right? That by pushing me away, you not only decide for yourself, you decide for us both.” Eli turned his gaze down to his plate, mulling over Arden’s words. He’d been so adamant about not wanting a mate, he hadn’t considered that he was making a decision for Arden as well.”

As much as I enjoyed Eli and Arden’s mating and love story, I was equally spellbound by the paranormal element. What happened to the neighboring pack that attacked Eli’s has obviously been a slow incursion over the course of many decades. Julian knows a lot about, and is fascinated by, the soulless, although they're going to need a hunter who specializes in this form of supernatural. That's all I'm saying, by the way, because it's way too spoiler-y otherwise. I was very curious about the hunter and I wouldn't be surprised to see him, or perhaps his family member, in a future installment.

A wonderful beginning to a new series and a brand-new house line. Eli and Arden are perfect for each other and I hope to see them again. I'm definitely looking forward to more of Julian and Whimsey as I believe they need to find their loves as well. I'm certainly going to enjoy reading whatever future installments this wonderful writing duo provides.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 220 pages/59036 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-August-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link