Release Blitz + Review: Darkling by Brooklyn Ray (w/ excerpt + giveaway)

Good morning my lovely readers,

I wanna shout from the roofs, this much I’m thrilled to present you this new release! 😀
Be prepared for Brooklyn Ray’s Darkling. This novella is full of (dark) magic, necromancy, a novella where friends turn into lovers, bond together, a book full of hot, steamy scenes.
If your heart sings when you hear all of those things, you need Darkling in your collection. ❤ It’s not a drill but you won’t wanna miss this. 😉

Check this post out for the review, an excerpt and a giveaway. 🙂 Don’t miss all this.

Happy reading. 🙂

I also have another special post prepared for you later this day. What I’m taking about? Well, you’ll see it later. So stay tuned. ❤

Darkling Banner

DarklingDarkling by Brooklyn Ray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

I was thrilled about this release when I’ve heared about it early on Twitter. And if you have followed me, you could see my gushing about the book on Twitter, which isn’t the only time I talked about it – and it won’t be my last – but this was my reading in process at this time and you see on the date that I was lucky to get an early copy. 😉 ❤

The book hooks you with a superb, blasting storyline. Reading the blurb even now after reading the whole book gives me chills – and not in the bad way. It’s the promise of dark events, of the danger which is coming to Ryder and Liam which let me shiver in anticipation. I can’t say I’m – and never was – not animated by & excited about it.

Brooklyn Ray writes with a finesse which might come unexpected from an author who’s debuting with this novella but it only shows that they are able to capure your attention and that they have amazing skills in word building in connection to a thrilling story.
I mentioned in the general information about the book (scroll down) that there’s a short story, Reborn (F/F), with two re-appearing character in the anthology Into the Mystic Volume One, with Thalia and Jordan, which I haven’t read yet but I am definitely want to read it soon. So we have already a tiny insight of Brooklyn Ray’s writing but this book is the first longer piece.
For the knowledge of the events in Darkling the short story Reborn isn’t necessary for the understanding & from talks with the author, they plan to write more books in the series & we can expect further stories with the characters. :3

I was while reading totally capitvated and mesmerized by the amazing developed characters. These people aren’t two-dimensional, they are this vivid and three-dimensional, I was thinking they are literally alive (or for a short time not so much 😉 *smirk*). These characters are people I could imagine be friends with, imagine they could live actually quite next door (okay, or in America, so over the ocean & of course there’s the magic part. ;))
The whole witch topic, the way how it was included and explained in the book, I couldn’t get enough. I loved the whole backround – and because I’m greedy when I read series like this, I just can say: I want more. so much more; more details about the witch circles & the families, Ryder’s family but also the other character’s.
And I really, really want a cool familiar (for a better understanding what a familiar is, look up e.g. this article, basically it’s a “magic-user’s spiritual helper in animal form”) like the characters have. We have within the book a cat, an owl, a mouse, a fox, a raven, a horse, an eagle and even a boa… ❤ How cool is this, huh? 😀

The book wouldn’t be this amazing and thrilling without the (so far) secondary/minor characters. They make the book rich of all gender and sexualities, of all kind of orientation and I loved each and every part of it. I devoured and loved the transgender topic (with Ryder we have a trangender character, who transitioned from female to male) and I had literally tears in the eyes because of the the acceptance & the on page display of this great variety. Never is Ryder quesitoned by his family or his friends, by Liam, his love interest, never do we see disgust. And we have explicit scenes with a lot of details, so there isn’t a fading out. The trangender topic is within the book, it’s a major part of Ryder’s and Liam’s life but it doesn’t define him or his relationship(s).
The fact that we have these hot, smoking scenes between Ryder and Liam makes it even more amazing but honestly I would have loved this book without any those too, because Ryder and Liam are simply beautiful together. ❤ There is this bond, not only because their destiny decided for them, it’s the whole relationship they have, the trust and the fact they know each other so well. They are friends, long time and actually best friends, know each other literally by the heart, so the emotional scenes, the emotional trusting is one of the many splendid displayed and delivered parts. I also saw clearly the conflict, the struggle, the danger in crashing this intimacy because of the upcoming  danger not just Ryder is affected by.

Holy moly, I can’t say how much I adored the “dark” topic, the combination between the “two” sides, the magic based on the elements (fire, water, wind and earth) and the dark, dangerous, deadly magic, the necromancy. It isn’t also just affecting Ryder and Liam, no, the whole witch circle is in danger and the dynamics are changing.
While reading I could literally smell, taste and feel all those scenes, I had them clear before my eyes, and I was sad but also satisfied – for a few moments – when I closed this book. But with this start of the series, with this novella of about 100 pages there was a whole new universe displayed, a world presented which is rich of so much more and I can’t wait to dive myself again into it – may it a re-read or into a new book in this series. I’m anticipated to see more from Liam’s POV, to see the other characters, how they find their love, their partner, their soulmate. ❤

The story totally grabbed me & my heart was with Ryder and Liam. Right from the start. And because the focus was more on Ryder I had the feeling I could understand him better than Liam, but I loved them equally. ❤ I don’t know why, but Ryder captivated me, I could relate to him best, maybe because he is using fire magic and I love this most, also the dark magic, the necromancy. It really touched me, in many ways and I was emotionally attached to him, to actually both of them.
Within the book I highlighted so many parts, I don’t wanna exaggerate but I believe about 80% of the book is highlighted or have some kind of notes. Reading the book was a rollercoaster ride and I adored and worshiped every up and down. I was mesmerized by Ryder and Liam, I laughed about their banter at each other and with their friends, their shenanigans, the way how the familiars, the spiritual helper in animal form, were acting (totally like animals do, but so sweet and charming). At some parts I was pretty mad & angry with Tyler. But then I pondered about him and his position, his status in the witch circle, it came clear he had to do what he did but still – irrationally  – I was mad at him several times and I  still want his story, of course. And attentive readers already get who he’s bonding with. 😉

My joy about this book is extraordenary and I can’t wait to read more, the first book, this debut novella, I wanna stress out again – because it’s remarkable – was a promsing opening of a series with characters who were able to steal a part of my heart, they clutch hard on it and I don’t wanna let them go. They have totally and legitimately a special place in my heart. ❤ And if you love paranormal, magical stories, darker themes, have a heart for necromancy ( 😉 ) you wanna grab this book and keep an eye on the author’s social media account for announcement of further books.
I wish I could give more than 5 stars, but I can’t so read these as 5+ stars. ❤

View all my reviews

Darkling-f500(1)Release Blitz / Review
Title: Darkling
Series: Port Lewis Witches # 1
Author: Brooklyn Ray
Genre: M/M Romance, Trangender, Paranormal,
magic users, bonded, demons, friends to lovers
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Lenght: 33.200 words / 101 pages
Warning: Scenes of bloodletting and death (and resurrection) of an MC.
Note: A short story connected to this series called Reborn (Thalia & Jordan, F/F) was published in the anthology Into the Mystic

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Port Lewis, a coastal town perched on the Washington cliffs, is surrounded by dense woods, and is home to quaint coffee shops, a movie theater, a few bars, two churches, the local college, and witches, of course.

Ryder is a witch with two secrets—one about his blood and the other about his heart. Keeping the secrets hasn’t been a problem, until a tarot reading with his best friend, Liam Montgomery, who happens to be one of his secrets, starts a chain of events that can’t be undone.

Dark magic runs through Ryder’s veins. The cards have prophesized a magical catastrophe that could shake the foundation of Ryder’s life, and a vicious partnership with the one person he doesn’t want to risk.

Magic and secrets both come at a cost, and Ryder must figure out what he’s willing to pay to become who he truly is.

Darkling Teaser Graphic


Chapter One

Ryder flipped over the first card.

The Magician.

He flipped over the second card.

The Tower.

Liam watched him carefully. His hands were folded together, chin perched atop them like he might be praying. He tipped his head toward the cards on the table, gaze resting on the vibrant curved arcs of The Magician, a shadowy figure holding a scepter, his shape accented by a billowing red cloak. The card was faded and the edges torn, a testament to how often it’d been drawn.

How often Ryder had drawn it.

“So?” Liam prompted. His clear brown eyes flicked to Ryder.

“Nothing new,” Ryder said. It was the truth and it wasn’t. Ryder had pulled The Magician many, many times, but he’d never pulled it alongside The Tower.

Liam tilted his head and strands of chestnut hair fell over his brow. He sat back and pushed it out of his face, scrubbing a hand on the freshly shaved side of his head. They’d been friends for too long for Ryder not to know that gesture. It was frustration, the quiet, mellow kind that Liam had mastered over the last twenty-two years.

“That—” Liam pointed to The Tower “—is new.”

Ryder rolled his eyes. “C’mon then, Princess. It’s your deck, what does it mean?”

“Don’t call me that,” Liam snapped. He narrowed his eyes. Ryder heard the click-clack of his tongue ring bounce across his teeth, another Liam mannerism he’d become accustomed to since he joined the circle two years before. This one was a louder kind of frustration, a haughtier, angrier kind. “The Magician is a card of intellect. Yours is inverted, meaning you’ll be making an illogical decision soon. A…” He sighed through his nose and struggled to find the word. “A partnership, maybe, through magic. The Magician channels through his own body, meaning ownership of oneself. But it’s inverted, so you’ll be giving something away soon.”

Ryder licked his lips. Ownership of his body had been a struggle since he was a child, and he wasn’t looking forward to giving any part of it away.

Liam glanced at him. “The Tower is a card of sudden change. Chaos, even. This—” He tapped The Tower. “—with that—” He tapped The Magician. “—is a witch’s worst nightmare.”

“It doesn’t sound that bad,” Ryder said. “I’ll be having a sudden magical change soon. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing,” Liam said. He lifted his brows and slid the two cards off the table to shuffle them back into his deck. “If that’s how you want to look at it, that’s how it’ll be.”

“Let’s see what the cards have in store for you, Liam Montgomery,” Ryder said.

Liam’s eyes settled on him for a moment too long. Ryder’s gaze darted away, over the sharp edge of Liam’s cheekbone, the line of his jaw and slope of his nose. Sometimes Ryder wondered if Liam did it on purpose, if he tilted his head the way he did to catch Ryder’s attention, if he breathed the way he did, or smelled the way he did, or walked the way he did to distract Ryder from everything and everyone else.

“Where’s your deck?” Liam’s tongue clicked against the back of his teeth again.

Ryder huffed an annoyed sigh, embarrassed he’d been caught looking. “In my jacket behind you.”

Liam handed Ryder his jacket. The deck was in a maroon felt bag, tied shut with delicate matching strings. Ryder pulled the cards out, their black backs a stark contrast to his pale skin, and shuffled them. Magic stirred and hummed. It looped through his knuckles, invisible, thrumming heat, and Ryder imagined it sinking into every card. He thought of Liam, who sat across from him, watching intently. He imagined Liam’s mouth and the line of his broad shoulders, how his jeans hung low on his waist—stop. Ryder closed his eyes and redirected his thoughts to Liam’s magic, the strong course of Water inside him, waves breaking and the sound of a river flowing over rocks.

There. Ryder swallowed hard and handed Liam the deck. “Shuffle then draw two cards.”

Liam drew his cards and laid them on the table.

Something wicked lingered in the space between them. The air pulled away from whatever it was, as if the elements knew something the two boys didn’t. It crept under Ryder’s skin, nibbling at the darkness he’d kept at bay for years. It was getting harder and harder to control, and whatever this was, it wanted Ryder’s twisted, unnatural magic to make an appearance.

Ryder focused on the Fire inside him instead and nodded to Liam. “Go ahead.”

Liam flipped over the first card.

The Devil.

He flipped over the second card.

The Lovers.

Liam’s breath hitched. He stared at the table, arms flexed and trembling beneath a tight-fitted black sweater. Heat darkened his cheeks and turned his tan skin the same color as Ryder’s maroon deck-pouch.

“Fatality,” Liam whispered.

“To ravage,” Ryder corrected gently. “To undergo extraordinary efforts. Don’t immediately jump to the cards worst meaning, Liam.”

“And—” Liam flicked his wrist toward The Lovers. “—I’m about to make a fool of myself, apparently. Right?”

“It’s not inverted, so no. You’re going to go through something dark and difficult.” Ryder tapped The Devil. “And it will either push you toward a new love, or it will be because of a new love. The Lovers can mean anything, you know that. It could be a partnership, a romance, a fucking…” Ryder shrugged and sighed. “A meaningless hookup.”

“You know it never means that.”

“Okay, but it could,” Ryder hissed.

“I’m about to do something terrible with someone,” Liam said. He looked at Ryder and shook his head. “Keep this between us?”

Ryder cocked his head. Liam never wanted to keep things from the others.

“Tyler will worry, so will Christy and Donovan.” Liam sighed. His bottom lip was white under the weight of his teeth. “Please?”

“You’ve never been one to break circle pacts,” Ryder said.

Liam’s lips thinned. “I haven’t, but you have.”

Ryder narrowed his eyes.

“Ryder.” Liam breathed his name, pleading in a way Ryder hadn’t heard before. Apologetic, almost.

He tilted his head and dragged his gaze from Liam’s pinched mouth to his feet. “Begging looks good on you.”

“Are you done?” Liam’s cheeks flushed darker. “Yes or no?”

“Fine,” Ryder said. His lips curved into a sly smile. “I’ll keep your dirty secret.”

Liam didn’t thank him. He shifted his gaze toward the candles on the other end of the coffee table and they went out, fizzling as if they’d been drowned. He sighed and pushed the two cards toward Ryder.

“Put them away. We’re meeting everyone in a half hour.” Liam’s bare feet on the worn wood floors in Ryder’s lackluster apartment was a familiar sound. He brushed past one of the many plants Ryder had littered throughout the living room, in baskets on top of the bookshelf on the far wall, in planters beside the entertainment stand, lined up in small pots on the kitchen counter. “Can I get a light?”

Liam plucked a bundle of sage out of a mason jar next to the sink. He walked back over and stood in front of Ryder, still seated on an ottoman in front of the coffee table. Liam held the charred end of the sage in front of Ryder’s mouth.

“Can you?” Ryder teased.

Liam rolled his eyes. “May I, English major.”

Ryder reached for the Fire buried deep in his veins, opened his mouth, and blew gently across the sage.

It lit.

“Whatever showed up to watch my reading, I want it gone,” Liam said. Smoke drifted into the corners, over the table, all around. The window next to the front door was closed and the blinds were cinched shut, causing the tangy smell of it to fill the air. “Something about it wasn’t right.”

Ryder nodded. No, something about it wasn’t right. But he couldn’t say that, because Ryder shouldn’t have been able to sense it. That was Liam’s reading. Those were Liam’s cards.

Only people affected by the reading should’ve been able to feel what Liam felt.

But Ryder had sensed the wickedness. He’d felt its eyes on them, lurking above and around them, like a wraith with a crystal ball looking at their future before they’d lived it. Their future. He stood, turning from Liam to conceal the surprise on his face. Understanding slithered restlessly in his chest. He wrenched the blinds up and opened the window, shooing whatever strange entity hovered in the apartment out with the smoke.

Whatever it was, it had tethered them. Chills scaled Ryder’s arms.

The Magician. The Tower. The Devil. The Lovers.

A magical catastrophe brought about by a dark, vicious partnership.

Liam was probably right. They shouldn’t tell the others.

Author bio  – Brooklyn Ray


Brooklyn Ray is a tea connoisseur and an occult junkie.
She writes queer speculative fiction layered with magic, rituals and found families.



Author links / get in contact


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