Book Blitz ~ Third Mate by Rebecca James ~ (Interview, Excerpt, Series Review + Giveaway)
Title: Third Mate
Author: Rebecca James
Series Title and Number: River Wolf Pack Series, 3
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs
Release Date: July 16th
Heat Level: 5
Pairing: Male/Male and Male/Male/Male
Length: 176 pagesGenre/Tags: poly, contemporary, paranormal (wolf-shifters), M/M and M/M/M romance, paranormal romance
After the birth of River and Josiah’s twin girls, pack tensions increase. The presence of rogue wolves, females, and humans have many pack members uncomfortable. In exchange for Leo’s help, Stone offers Leo the position of second alpha should Stone succeed in usurping River. Leo’s conflicted between his desire to rise in the pack, his dislike for Stone, and his increasing feelings for both Sam and Foster. Sam and Foster are best friends, but as a coyote shifter, Foster yearns for his true mate and doesn’t believe he will find him if he stays with the werewolves. Jax knows he must make a difficult decision before he’s turned out of the compound. When David finds out Brooks is considering mating Stone, he determines to stop it. The Angel Hills pack offer a deal in exchange for omegas for their pack.
“…no place for females. Do they even have any werewolf in them?”
“Of course they do; they’re mine. They are developing as quickly as any werewolf child.” River said more calmly than Leo would have under the scrutiny of so many condemning eyes.
“But have they shifted?” someone asked.
“Not yet. You know as well as I do that they could be a year old before they shift.”
“If they shift,” Stone muttered. “And most do by seven months.”
“If they don’t shift,” someone else said, “they aren’t werewolves. They’ll have to leave.”
“They don’t belong here.” Stone stood, feet apart and hands on hips. Justin, Stone’s pregnant omega, cowered in submission at the sound of Stone’s displeased voice. His three beta mates sat with eyes downcast, although Leo saw Canaan glance up more than once. There was something shrewd and calculating about Canaan, and although Leo felt sorry for him after his son was killed, it didn’t make it any easier to like him.
“As my children, they certainly do belong here, as yours do, and the progeny of everyone else present,” River said, tone brooking no argument.
Stone made a frustrated sound and looked around, eyes landing on Griffin, an alpha of Stone’s age.
Griffin stood. “Your own father drove your mate’s father from the pack for having relations with a human female.”
“My father did not drive him out. Derrick was punished—told he couldn’t leave the compound. But he ran away.”
“This is true,” Old Ben called out.
“The fact remains that Thorn did not approve of the boy’s actions,” Griffin argued. “He didn’t invite Derrick to bring his female lover into the pack because females don’t belong with werewolves.”
“I don’t know what you’re getting at,” River said with a sigh. “I am not attempting to bring a female among us. My daughters were born to me, and are therefore a part of this pack.”
Before Griffin could speak again, Stone interrupted. “Which wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t mated with the half-human, which you did without consulting the pack.”
“Josiah is a werewolf,” River said. “And I do not need to consult my pack before mating.”
“Half-werewolf,” Stone corrected. “Unlike someone who willingly takes the bite and transforms, your mate will always be part human. Which is why he spawned twin abominations—”
In two steps, River crossed the room and had Stone’s neck between his hands, thumbs cutting off the alpha’s air flow. Leo glanced at the humans. Several flinched, and others looked horrified.
“Don’t you ever,” River breathed heavily into Stone’s purpling face, “ever speak of my mate or children in that manner again. Am I clear?”
Stone’s eyes bulged and his mouth gaped as he tried to dislodge River’s grip. Leo stood, along with the other alphas in the room. As pack alpha, River had the right to kill Stone for such an insult, and Leo found himself almost hoping River would. He got the feeling Stone’s mates felt similarly.
- Where did the desire to write M/M romance come from?
I’ve always wanted to write romance—always felt I could do it. But it wasn’t until I found fanfiction that I got into slash (M/M) and that’s all she wrote, because I loved it. Suddenly I realized there was a bunch of other people out there who get all squishy inside when they see two men expressing feelings for one another. And then I realized how SEXY that was and-BAM! I was so hooked. So, of course, I started writing it. I wrote for several fandoms before I decided to branch out and write stories for original characters.
- How much research do you do when writing a story, and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
I’ve had to do research for places and jobs in order to lend realism to stories. I’ve done a little research recently into vampires, as I’m writing a vampire novel. So far I’ve used the internet for most of my research, although I did buy a book on police procedure for the Partners series. I’m always reading M/M romance, as I enjoy it and like to keep up with what other authors are writing.
- What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book, or the cover design process?
Definitely the title! Titles are hard. I haven’t gained any real insight on how to choose them, although a few years ago when I was trying to find a title for a piece of fanfiction, someone told me to look into poems on the theme of my story. I found a great title that way! Naming my characters is easy, at least the first names. I’ve made a list of male names I like, although I am trying not to always have too exotic-sounding names for my MC’s. I mean, not everyone’s named River or Briar. As for the covers, my publisher takes care of them, and I’ve always been very happy with what she comes up with.
- If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
I would love to go somewhere like Montana and stay on a ranch, or up in the mountains somewhere. Quiet and water nearby would be perfect. Although I love the beach, the constant sound of the ocean gets to be too much.
- What's the one thing you can't live without?
Easy, that would be books. I’ve always been a big reader, and it’s what I like to do to relax. Writing is my hobby, and it isn’t always relaxing! Or maybe I should choose a computer, because I could read, write, and surf the internet on one of those!
- What internet site do you surf to the most?
Facebook, because I like to stay in contact with other authors and with readers. I have an author’s page, but I also have a regular page under Rebecca James where readers and other authors can friend me. Facebook has many great groups for authors where we can share information and promote our books.
7. Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
Don’t think you can’t do it, because you can. Practice. Fanfiction is a marvelous way to practice, as you get instant feedback and there are a lot of beta readers to help you. Fanfiction gives you ready-made characters and sometimes setting and conflict, too, so you can concentrate on plot and dialogue. Get yourself a good beta, but not one who will drive you into the ground with negativity. You need someone who can encourage and praise you just as much as they can tell you honestly what’s wrong with your work.
***A Copy of these books was provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review***
19-year-old Josiah Kimbrel is excited about the month he'll be spending with the River Wolf Pack. He's been wanting the opportunity to learn all that he can about werewolves since humans and shifters have always been segregated. He has every intention of proving that werewolves are more civilized than humans think.
Pack Alpha River is a good leader. All he wants is to ensure the safety of his kind, especially his pack. He believes it will be helpful to allow a human to visit his pack and learn their ways in hopes that they will see that werewolves aren't the vicious snarling beasts the humans perceive them as. It will also help his pack to learn a little about the humans and their ways, too.
Things become complicated when Josiah, a human visiting the pack unexpectedly goes into heat. His scent calls to River and unable to deny what they feel during such an intense time, the two mate. Unfortunately when the lust fog clears, Josiah realizes what happened and is horrified. Now Josiah must come to terms with being half werewolf and an omega, as well as whether or not he wants to turn his world completely upside down by being River's Mate. As if Josiah doesn't have enough to think about, someone is trying to kill him and while he knows it's a werewolf, he has no proof.
Will Josiah come to terms with who he is and what he wants? Can he and River actually be happy? Or will someone kill Josiah before he ever gets the chance to tell the Alpha how he really feels about him?
I really enjoyed First Omega but I have to reveal a little secret. I read this book, book 1 last. It wasn't a conscious decision to do it really. I just happened to stumble across book 2 and not knowing it was a sequel I devoured it in an afternoon. I really liked it and promised myself to go back to number 1 but life happens and I didn't get to it. When I finally read book 3 and loved that, I made sure to go back to book 1 and finally find out how everything begins. Wow! I thought I would get bored since I knew what eventually happens, but honestly it didn't detract from the story at all. I loved Josiah, much more than I previously had and River, well, I am in love with River.
These two make such a good couple, I loved their chemistry and the way they had to really learn how to adjust to each other's roles in the pack. Josiah had to learn to trust River as well as what it's like to be a werewolf, an Omega and a mate. I liked that River was a lot more patient with Josiah than I expected him to be.
There is plenty of action in the book along with world building in order to get the reader acclimated to the way everything works. It's definitely a sexy read yet has some great moments of sweet as well. And as far as the "whodunit" moment of the book, I think the author did a great job of keeping the reader guessing.
So, would I recommend First Omega? Yes! If you like werewolves, ABO dynamics and mpreg, this series is a great pick.
As Second Alpha of the River Wolf Pack, David takes the safety and wellbeing of his pack seriously. He has never been a fan of humans and was extremely wary of Pack Alpha River bringing one into their pack to learn more about them, he’d rather they avoided humans altogether and went back to how they once were. Now that River is mated to a half human, half werewolf, he is tasked with learning as much as he can about the humans in hopes of maintaining peace between the two species. As ambassador to the Human/Werewolf Congress, he finds himself traveling back and forth between pack lands and human cities more than he’d like. Luckily he has Jax, the human ambassador by his side, not to mention in his bed.
Jax Moreau loves David, however, he is unwilling to take the bite and become a werewolf himself. He understands why David wants it as much as he does, but Jax isn’t ready to give up his human life, not to mention his family. He’s willing to continue their relationship just as it is, they love each other, that’s all that matters. The more Jax shows his reluctance at becoming one of them, the more David is convinced that they won’t last, and maybe he should end things now, after all he knows Brooks, a sweet and attractive pack Beta, would love to become his mate.
When a visit by a group of humans at the werewolf compound doesn’t go very well, the prospect of an impending war becomes more likely. The humans who live very differently are disturbed by the lifestyle and culture of the werewolves. Their homosexual and sometimes polygamous matings, the fact that the men can bear children, not to mention the idea of Alphas, Betas and Omegas is too much for many of them to accept and they make sure to report this to the Congress. So when David and Brooks are both kidnapped by the Congress's vice president, David is forced to make a decision that will hopefully save his pack,even if he himself won’t survive.
I really liked Second Alpha, I loved that it was a great combination of action and romance. This book is mostly about the relationship between David and Jax and their struggles with being an inter-species couple and the bigotry by humans and werewolves alike. There is a lot of coming to terms of how being an Alpha and dating a non-submissive reflects on David's wolf and how he's always thought of himself. As well as the emotional toll on both because of Jax’s reluctance at becoming a werewolf and whether or not he may not be as accepting and comfortable with werewolves after all. This was one of the hardest parts of the story for me because I truly felt for David. He is struggling with a lot of self-reflection and doubt. He loves Jax fiercely, but feels helpless when it comes to making things work in the long run. While I understood Jax’s points to some extent, I had trouble not getting angry with him and ultimately siding with David.
As David is trying to navigate his love life we also have the relationship between humans, specifically the members of the Congress and the werewolves. As we saw in the first book there is a real danger of war and the werewolves would like to avoid that as best they can. This is where the action of the book takes place and I loved seeing David as well as Brooks have to decide how to get through it and ultimately help the pack.
The first time I read this book I gave it 3 stars, however, now that I've gone back and read the first book I found I enjoyed it even more. I loved David, I liked Jax. They had great chemistry and were definitely sexy together. I really can't wait to see what happens as the series progresses.
Would I recommend Second Alpha? Absolutely!
In the third book in the series, aptly name Third Mate, we are given not only the continuing story of Alpha River and his mate First Omega Josiah, but also of David, Second Alpha and his human lover Jax. We also find out more about Leo (Third Alpha) and the Omega Sam along with Sam's best friend, coyote shifter Foster.
While Alpha River and Josiah have been busy tending to their newborn twin girls, the pack has grown increasingly unsettled. Between allowing humans on pack grounds and the Alpha accepting Rogue shifters into the pack the pack has started questioning whether or not River has their best interests at heart. Now though many are ready to call for River to step down, they can't allow the female abominations being born into the pack to stay. They don't care that they are their Alphas offspring, females have no place in a werewolf pack.
Jax is still stalling on accepting the bite from David. He knows it's what David wants, what he needs but he just can't bring himself to do it. With the pack in conflict over Jax being human and staying on pack land as David's lover, Jax is wondering if their relationship will have to end soon. He loves David and wants him to be happy. He'll do what's necessary for that to happen, but does that mean he'll need to go against his decision and become a werewolf after all?
Leo has been tasked with taking care of Foster and Sam and while he resents it just a bit, he can't deny the fact that he is starting to grow protective of the two. With Sam approaching his first heat, Leo is finding he is becoming increasingly attracted to the Omega. He's never wanted an Omega mate but the closer he grows to Sam not to mention Foster the more he realizes he has little choice in the matter.
While at first I was a little wary of so many characters and couplings, I quickly found myself completely drawn into the story and didn't struggle with the "who's who?" after all.
I definitely think before reading this book you need to read the first two, there is a lot of insight into pack dynamics and the humans vs. werewolves politics that are explained in books 1 and 2. This is an entirely different world than what we live in and I think the author did a wonderful job creating such vivid details that easily bring it to life. The characters are well thought out as well as the story as it's progressed throughout the series so far.
I am excited to see what is in store for the pack in the future. Where the road leads them and their relationships. I also am anxious to see what is in store for River and Josiah's twins, I know there has to be something extra special about the little girls.
Would I recommend Third Mate? Yes. If you are a fan of paranormal romance, shifters, ABO dynamics and mpreg this is a fun and sexy read.
Meet the Author
Rebecca James has written all her life, mostly to entertain herself and friends. An English major, she currently writes as a second job but would love to do it full-time. Her first book came out in October of 2015. Since then, she’s written both contemporary and paranormal and hopes to put out a sci-fi book soon.
She’s fortunate to have a husband who supports her in her writing career, three wonderful children, and a rat-terrier.
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