Series/Universe: Mortals & Myths, Volume One
Author: Corinna Rogers
Publisher: HarperImpulse/HarperCollins UK
Publication date: September 25th 2014
Page Count: 156 pages
Age Rating: Adult (explicit sexual scenes, blood, gore, violence, explicit non-con)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Icebound
The first book in an intense, thrilling and erotic, m/m urban fantasy series from an exciting new author in the genre!
It’s been ten years since Shane Conell sold his soul to the Ice King in order to save the life of the man he loves. Correction, loved.
After ten years, it’s growing difficult to remember love, and hate, and laughter – until a chance appears to get back the only thing his frozen heart still wants…
Drake Young is doing fine. Really. He’s got a good job, nice benefits, and the soulless husk of his old lover only comes by to torment him every so often. However, it only takes the appearance of a creature from the Etherworld wreaking havoc on the decidedly nonmagical city streets to drag him out of retirement, forcing him to team up with the one person he can’t bear even to look at!
Now, Drake and Shane must race against the clock to keep their city from being destroyed, even if it means working together. And no matter how difficult it is to catch the creature, it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to resist the urges that ten years haven’t managed to kill.
Shane is a powerful mage. Drake is his human lover. Ten years ago, Shane sold his soul to the Ice King to save Drake’s life and that was the end of their grand love affair. Without his soul and indebted into service of the Ice King, Shane has become an unconscionable killer and at complete odds with Drake, who is now the Champion of the Church and sworn protector of innocents. Shane’s love of Drake has turned to a burning obsession and Drake tries to stay away, knowing that Shane’s body is simply a shell of his former lover without soul or emotion or morality. When the two men find themselves hunting the same creature, it’s clear that the pull between them is still strong, leading to some intense, angrily passionate encounters and more misery for both, because unless something drastically changes, there is no future for these two star-crossed lovers.
This book is intense. I felt like I ran the complete gamut of emotion while reading this, from captivated to disgusted, from hopeful to disheartened, and I couldn’t put the damn thing down no matter what happened – and some bad, bad things happened. Shane is soulless and pretty much devoid of humanity, doing anything, anyone, just for kicks and to anger Drake, who he desires more than anything else, with the last of his dwindling emotions, knowing that while Drake may give into the flaring passion between the two briefly, he cannot and will not love Shane the way he is. And Drake feels plenty of self-recrimination for giving into the body of what used to be the man he loved, knowing it isn’t really him, but helpless in the face of his soulless soulmate. So heartbreaking.
I don’t usually like to give spoilers, but I feel there are a few things readers might like to know before going in. One is that Shane is a bit of a bastard and sleeps around without shame, sometimes right in front of Drake’s face. This is both mentioned and graphically illustrated. The second is a spoiler and a trigger warning. There is an extremely explicit, graphic, and detailed non-con scene. It involves multiple people of multiple genders and paranormal species. The good news is that since I read it, you don’t have to. The scene illustrates, brutally, the loss of what little humanity Shane has left, but you won’t miss much from glossing over it when it begins and picking up on the last page of the chapter.
As far as the plot goes, I was so lost in Shane and Drakes emotional story that I barely noticed it. While we get a clear resolution in Shane and Drake’s relationship by the end of the book, the rest of the plot is kind of just left dangling. Not even a cliffhanger really, the book just kind of… ends. I had no idea the book was coming to a close until I flipped the page and there were no more words. That was a little off-putting, I’ll admit, but forgivable since the next book in the series comes out in January 2015 (I can hold out a few months, I think).
All things considered, this book is an intense, emotional ride, but well worth it. If you like erotic urban fantasy and intense books that grab on and don’t let go, and you can handle the explicitness, I think you’ll like this.
Icebound is all about the ice – from the malicious and manipulative Ice King, to the debauchery and depravity of the Frozen Court, to the icy tendrils slowly freezing over every aspect of Shane’s mind, body, and emotion. As a perfect accompaniment to all these frosty features I recommend CoffeeAM Peppermint Flavored Coffee – a super minty coffee that is very popular and very strong, each sip is an intense icy peppermint experience.