Author: Lynn Hagen (http://www.lynnhagen.com)
Genre: Alternative M/M, Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc. (http://www.SirenPublishing.com)
Steele Avery is as lazy as the day is long. When the mates of the Den show up for a night of partying, Steele and his brother Paine follow the group into demon realm. But what started out as a good time ends with Steele being bitten by the club owner, Diablo, who claims to be his mate.
Diablo Teslow is a dragon shifter. He has been tucked away in the demon realm for over twelve hundred years. He is content with running his strip club until a beautiful cheetah shifter walks into his life.
Now that he has bitten Steele, Diablo must defend his mate against the Dragon Hunters, a group of supernatural creatures created for one purpose only, to exterminate the entire dragon race.
But Diablo is not only fighting the Hunter. His mate was taught that letting another man top him was a sign of weakness. Diablo must find a way to claim Steele or remain alone for the rest of his life.
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Lynn Hagen’s Forged in Steele is the eighth book in the Brac Village series. It is hands down a five star explosion of page turning delight.
The opening paragraph places a huge ass smile on my face depicting Steele as the epitome of a lazy and untroubled man with cat like qualities. Anyone who have such finicky, yet adorable felines know this as a fact. To see such parallels is hilarious. Creatures of comfort and affection, on their terms, has Steele Avery pegged. However, don’t let his super laid-back demeanour fool you, Steele has an undercurrent of pain and shame that eats at him every day.
However, hope is not lost with Steele. When marked by his mate Diablo, all hell breaks loose in a pissed off and horny Steele, who doesn’t believe that Diablo is his mate. With no scent or pull to convince Steele that Diablo is his mate, he cruises the strip club for a willing twink for a booty call. His antics are hilarious when none of the twinks will give him the time of day as they scatter like trapped humans in an infested zombie arena.
The first chapter sets up the pull and tug of Steele and Diablo’s budding relationship. They have a fire and ice combo that singes when it’s hot and shivers when it’s cold. Steele’s denial pushes Diablo to make a decision and step up his pursuit of convincing his mate that Fate gave them to each other.
Two very different personalities clashing, with some heavy yearning, draws them together, only to be shoved a part by Steele’s past. The cruel and vicious taunts of his older brothers is drilled into his head, “Only a bitch lets a man top him.” The reader can clearly feel Steele’s turmoil and even though he says the words, they lack conviction. Finding Diablo slowly chips away his armour with his mate’s subtle seduction and honest-in-your-face mannerism. It is sheer fascination to see their struggles as they step closer to each other in a wary and delicate dance.
The balance of angst and brevity is cleverly laced throughout the book with Steele’s twin, Paine leading the way. Paine in one word is hilarious. The things that come out of his mouth has me in fits of giggles. For example, “Paine jumped up and swatted his own ass. ‘I don’t care who knows that I like a big, fat cock in my ass.’”, or another favourite that has me chuckling, “I vote we shove her into an oven and eat her house.”
Steele and Paine’s brotherly love is so believable that I can picture them bickering and teasing each other in my living room. It adds to the story, the brotherly connection and over the top antics.
The first penetrative sex scene with Diablo and Steele has tender moments that makes me respect Diablo more for how he dislodges Steele’s unhealthy view of submitting to him. It is handled with care and concern that has the reader peek beyond Diablo’s cranky, less than friendly, and don’t-piss-me-off-cause-I’m-a-bad-ass-dragon-that-could-eat–you-in-one-gulp personality.
And once Steele finally accepts that there is nothing wrong with his yearning of domination and surrender to Diablo, the sheets are burning up between the two of them. They are hot, hot, hot, which leaves me wanting more.
Forged in Steel, has it all. I love the doubt, the struggle, the reflection, the action, the crazy friends, the zany twin, the lurking danger, the well-intended help from a sexy as hell demon leader, and the sizzling sex scenes. Of course, there is a surprise closer to the end of the book that I have my fist pumping. By the end of the novel, Steel is a bonafide bottom, loving every moment when Diablo gets a hold of his tight butt.
I recommend Lynn Hagen’s Forged in Steel, for anyone wishing to be pulled into a fast paced, endearing story filled with internal angst and laugh your butt off antics between the characters. Hang on for the ride, because it’s five stars all the way.