Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: A Flicker of Hope
Author: Shea Balik
Series: Druid’s Curse #2
Heroes: Kegan & Bjorn
Genre: M/M Contemporary Fantasy
Length: 139 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 29, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Kegan Tulach already knew that monsters were real. He’d faced them. Watched in horror as they killed those he loved. Then run from them. It was his response for the past two years. But now, on his twenty-first birthday, running wasn’t an option. He had no where to go. It was time for him to face his worst nightmare.
There weren’t many people who could do what Bjorn did. Fight monsters and live to tell the tale. It was a job thrust upon him as a kid. If he had known the true hell that would be cursed upon him, he would have preferred to die even though he’d only been fourteen at the time. Now, years later, he had hope that the curse would come to an end. The question was, would he choose the death he’d so desperately craved for more than a millennia, or would he do the one thing he swore he’d never do? Choose love.
If Kegan and Bjorn can find a way past their fears, they may discover something worth living for – each other.
This is a stand alone with an HEA, but reading the first book is recommended for full enjoyment.
This was a good addition to the Druid’s Curse series. I liked how different Kegan and Bjorn were from Ryley and Eirik. Kegan is really sarcastic and Bjorn is just wanting his curse to be over with. He’s not looking for a relationship and there’s no way he’d pick love over breaking his curse… until he finds Kegan and realizes some things are worth giving up. I liked them together and liked how they fit. Kegan is still sarcastic but Bjorn becomes a little softer. I will say, it was nice to see Kegan not against his heritage, although, he still found it hard to believe the monsters were real, even after seeing them and being hunted by them. I did wonder how Kegan was able to do the rituals for two years with the monsters showing up every time… how did he run away from them and not get caught eventually?
I really enjoyed this one but I had a few issues with it. For one, it was too smutty for me. Once Kegan and Bjorn start having sex, they don’t quit and it became too much for me. Add to that, I wanted to see more of Kegan and Bjorn while they were running from the Unseelie’s pets. As it was, it jumps a lot over that time and then skips to when they’re back at the mansion. I wanted to see what happened, I wanted to see how Bjorn finds his way to a hospital and the struggle of getting home, which could have all been from Bjorn’s POV but the ‘skips’ were all from Kegan’s POV. Which leads me to how sad I am that we didn’t get much of Bjorn’s POV, it’s mostly Kegan’s and what we do have of Bjorn is generally when they’re having sex. Also, I felt like this one was a bit too repetitive in the recap. We were told the same story of Kegan losing his family multiple times as an internal monologue and not as him telling anyone.
All in all, though, I really liked this one. I loved Kegan and Bjorn as a couple and as characters and really liked that this one progressed the story arc a bit more. While the blurb says that you can read this as a stand alone, I think you’d lose some of the enjoyment from the story by not reading the first book. Definitely give this a go if you’re looking for something smutty, sarcastic and a little bit suspenseful.
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*