Friday, February 6, 2015

Quinn's Gambit by Bellora Quinn & Angel Martinez: #Excerpt & #Review @BelloraQ @AngelMartinezrr

Quinn's Gambit
(AURA, Book 1)
by Bellora Quinn & Angel Martinez

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, M/M, Romance
An unregistered human con wizard and a duty-bound, straight-laced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities, all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called Random Anomalous Reality Events or RARE, have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA, the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation, to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living in. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course, for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically induced luck, he works as a ‘freelance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small-time con, according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus, when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

“No, you don’t understand,” Quinn said, starting to lose his temper. “This chick just fell out of the sky and knocked me on my ass. She’s probably losing what’s left of her marbles after the jog down from Central Park. Can’t you just help her?”

The receptionist gave him a coolly patronizing smile. “Sir, calm down. This isn’t an adoption agency or the city dog pound. You can’t just drop people off here. Now, if you will just take the clipboard, have a seat and fill out the form, I'll see what we can do.”

Quinn stood with the clipboard in one hand, glaring back at her incredulously. “This is ridiculous! I have stuff to do, you know?” He looked down at the form. “’What is the nature of the problem you are experiencing’?” he read. “Oh my God, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! Look, can’t you just pick up the phone and ask someone in a uniform to put their donuts down and come to the lobby?”

“Yes, I will do just that. As soon as you—”

“Fill out the form,” Quinn interrupted her with a heavy sigh. “Fuck sake,” he grumbled, snatching up the pen. He refused to sit down. If he had to fill out the damn form, he was going to stand right here and remind her how stupid this was until she relented.

* * * *

“Event is local! Central Park area!” Marius cried out in triumph, his dowsing over the map pinpointing it almost at AURA’s doorstep.

Matt clapped Val on the shoulder. “No ‘porting today. Doesn’t make me sad.”

“All right, boys and girls,” Captain Lyons’ voice cut through the chatter. “We’ll quarter the park. We haven’t got a good reading on this, so weapons of choice handy at all times. Valerian, you and Kensington take the north side. McAndrews, you and Nestor on the south. Nyssa, can you fly today?”

The sphinx rose from her place by the door and shook out her wings. “Yes, ma’am. Winds are good. Pollution’s down.”

“Good. Aerial over the park. Keep in radio contact, folks. Let’s move out!”

Val grabbed his sword from his locker in the weapons room, settling the strap across his chest and feeling more himself with the familiar weight of Anvar on his back. A magical sword didn’t do much against gunfire, but it was more than helpful in subduing the most dangerous monsters. Matt carried the guns, three of them.

They dashed down toward the lobby, headed for the street, with Val in the lead. He nearly caused a pile up of human and non-human officers when he stopped short just inside the lobby.

A dryad stood there, her leaves trembling, eyes huge and glassy. That would have been arresting enough, but at the receptionist’s desk, yelling at the girl on duty, was one of the most lovely human boys Val had ever seen—lithe and lean, with cornflower blue eyes and a mop of honey-gold hair. He found himself mesmerized.

“Well, I think we found it,” Matt said with a snort.

“Yes,” Val said, his mouth gone dry. “Perhaps we have.”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quinten lives his life flying under the radar; deliberately under-preforming when his magic levels were tested. Intelligent and resourceful, Quinn chooses to stay independent, without the burden of society's expectations.

Valerian couldn't be more opposite if he tried. Once a battle prince, his skills as a warrior are formidable, but he has difficulty fitting into his new life in New York. Oftentimes confused by the mixed signals of those around him, Val longs for someone to call his own.

Valarian is instantly attracted to Quinn, but the mage is emotionally withdrawn, and rebuffs Val's admittedly awkward overtures for something more. Drawn together by a magical disaster of epic proportions, they are forced to overcome their differences in order to work towards the greater good.

I read QUINN'S GAMBIT in a single day. The witty dialog, unique variety of magical characters and dramatic story-line instantly engaged me. Quinn and Val are delightfully entertaining and have sexual chemistry to spare.  Their friends are loyal, sometimes to the point of being painfully honest, and I frequently found myself turning back the pages to re-read my favorite parts!

My Favorite Quote:
"Still, I can't imagine elf has anything on centaur. All those things they say about centaur lovers? It's all true. Every luscious, fucking word."
Quinn waved his hand airily. "Yeah, yeah, I've heard. Cheryl told me all about them. Course, you can't believe everything you hear. After all, you should hear what they say about you!" 
Pick up your copy from the publisher today!!
(Released to major book distributors on March 6th, 2015)
Bellora Quinn
Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.

The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.

Angel Martinez
The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel's cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You'll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don't expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.