If your life of subservience was finally over and your blood brother had returned, would you be contented? Tristan is finally free from his homophobic father who is in bed with the cartel, but the fun isn’t over yet. Russell returns to the man he bonded with as a child, determined to protect him at all costs. These two had an uphill battle from the start. Tristan’s father was against them, and Russell’s father was taking his blood for his own nefarious purposes. Put these two together and Tristan and Russell were in for a whole lot of pain. This was a fast-paced novella with Tristan and Russell being friends for years but only just reconnecting. I would love to see this fleshed out into a full-size novel, just so I get all the nitty-gritty parts of the story that aren’t in here. If not a full novel, then at least a series, just so I can read more about both Tristan and Russell but also others in their world. It was very well written, with plenty of characters introduced that help to make this an explosive story. There is action aplenty, both in and out of the sheets, and the story is wonderful. I loved this story and have no hesitation in recommending it.
Tristan Marik fell in love when he was too young to understand that he wasn’t allowed happiness, particularly not with another boy. As the son of Edmond Marik, ruthless owner of Monolith Enterprises, he had an image to maintain. After his father threatened his boyfriend’s life, Tristan spent years pretending he'd never sworn a blood oath. But now, everything has changed.
Russell Kelvin dreamed of the day he'd return to Tristan because he thought it would happen on his terms. He thought they’d be free to love. Instead, his ability to call his beast is the only thing that can keep Tristan alive when enemies want him dead.
Fear keeps Tristan from fully trusting Russell’s intentions. Instinct keeps Russell by Tristan’s side, even in the face of doubt. But oaths made in blood never fade, and the drive of the beast is stronger than either of them realize.
Be Warned: m/m sex
The heat that flashed through them with Russell’s touch almost brought Tristan to his knees, but he grabbed onto the granite counter behind him and held on with all he had. “Russell, you don’t understand—”
Whatever he was going to say disappeared from his head the moment Russell’s lips touched his. Tristan gasped, shocked and aroused and completely unbalanced, but Russell didn’t seem to be nearly as confused as Tristan felt. He tilted his head and assaulted Tristan’s mouth as if both their lives depended on this one, vital moment, and this one, vital connection.
And maybe it does, Tristan thought as he scrabbled at Russell’s shoulders. His friend was hot as hell, and strong, and the most stable thing in his life, both now and in the past. He moaned, or maybe Russell did, he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that Russell was finally here, and he was fucking real in a way that nothing and no one had ever felt before. He opened his mouth, and Russell’s tongue slid inside as if he owned the place. Tristan tried to kiss him back, but Russell growled and bit his lip. Tristan choked as his ridiculously hard cock pressed into Russell’s hipbone. “God,” he tore his mouth away, gasping for breath. “What are we doing? This is crazy.”
“If you think for one moment I’m going to let you shut me out like you do everyone else, Tristan, you’re sadly mistaken,” Russell murmured, hips doing a slow, devastating grind into Tristan’s body.
Tristan could feel Russell’s erection, thick and hot, and for a moment he wished his friend hadn’t bothered with clothes, but then he remembered that his mother was dead. And it was his fault. “Wait,” he said, when Russell lowered his head again.
“No. No more waiting. We’ve waited a damned lifetime already.”
Tristan twisted his face away. “My mother just died, Russell. What the fuck are we doing, here?” He slid his fingers into Russell’s hair and tugged, hard. The energy flowing between them didn’t let up, and it felt like a tornado just about to sweep them away, or possibly a tsunami poised to smash them flat. He could barely breathe. He wanted Russell with a desperation he hadn’t realized he had.
Meanwhile, Russell’s eyes had shifted from dark brown to golden amber. He stared at Tristan unblinkingly, and with intent. Suddenly, Tristan realized that his friend wasn’t entirely human. Tristan inhaled, more aroused than ever, and then he tried to shutter his mind. He’d somehow cast his power wide open, and everything he felt rushed through him and into Russell in a wild, volatile exchange of energy. He grabbed the doors of his mind, and he tugged hard, trying to close up tight again, but Russell growled. His mental presence chased away Tristan’s resolve.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Russell said, thrusting a leg between Tristan’s. “Don’t you shut me out now.” This brought their cocks into contact, and Tristan shuddered. Even trapped behind his jeans, Russell’s erection felt like perfection shoving against his. He’d never felt so perfectly turned on. He gave up trying to shut away the energy and let Russell kiss him again.
“Yeah. That’s better. Give it to me,” Russell muttered, biting at Tristan’s lip, and then down his jaw. “Fuck, this is insane. You drive me crazy, do you realize that?” Russell demanded as he slid his hands inside Tristan’s robe. When his fingers touched Tristan’s skin, they both shivered. “And yes, I know your mother died, but would she want you to keep putting your life on hold? Especially now?” He dragged his lips along Tristan’s neck. “How much longer do we have to wait, Tristan?”
Tristan stared at him. Somehow, Russell had hit the nail squarely on the head. His mother had never wanted him to lock himself into the box his father had created for him even before she’d died, and she wouldn’t want him to do it to himself, especially not now, when no one could hurt her any longer.
“No, she wouldn’t,” Tristan told Russell, hips grinding against his friend’s. His power was wide open and surging wildly, and his ability to think had all but disappeared. “But you’ve only just come home.”
“So what?” Russell asked him. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop.” He punctuated his statement with a devastating roll of his torso. “Not now. Not ever again.” He put his head close to Tristan’s. “I want to strip you naked and bite you and fuck you senseless, Tristan. I’ve been waiting my whole life to touch you.”
Jesus God. Tristan gripped Russell’s ass and squeezed, hard. If they kept this up, he’d come without anyone even touching his cock. Crazed with need, he fumbled Russell’s pants open, cupping his erection when it pushed out over the zipper. He could barely believe he was here, touching Russell like this. Except for the one kiss he and Russell had shared all those years ago, he hadn’t ever been intimate with a man. It felt … good. Too good. “So hot,” he whispered, fingers surrounding Russell’s cock as if he could memorize the skin.
“I’ll show you hot. Stroke me harder,” Russell said, hips moving faster. “Tighter. I don’t mind a little pain.” With a sudden move, he grabbed Tristan’s robe and yanked it off.
Tristan’s skin burned, and so did his mind. Energy rocketed through them as if they stood in the center of an electrical storm. Russell’s eyes had bled to amber, and Tristan could see the echo of his beast inside.
“Touch me back, Russell.” Tristan gripped Russell’s erection firmly enough to bruise, wanting it in his mouth. Wanting it in his body. “Please. Just … touch me.” He’d never wanted anything so acutely, not even through all those long years of hiding himself in plain sight. He wanted Russell, not just because of the sex, but because his old friend was the only living being who saw him for who he truly was.
I'm glad Erin has written another M/M paranormal romance. I really enjoyed Russell and Tristan's story.