Helpmate, book four in the Chess series by Sean Michael, is so sad in many ways, it’s sad and painful because honestly you don’t know if Knight will make it or not, and his so very lost and hurting more than because he broke every damn bone in his body. Not quite but almost. Knight seems ok at first but after a while he just gets so depressed that you think he might just be dramatic enough to end his own misery.
I love this book, just like the others, but I have to say this book is a hard read in a way, an uncomfortable read, because I feel as if the characters are being disconnected somehow to each other. I think this is on purpose by the author to put doubts in the reader’s head, to make us wonder what the hell is going on here, to build angst and questions. I feel especially sympathetic towards Jason and Rook, because yes, they have each other and they love each other best, as they say. But Knight and Bishop seem to have this bond and connection that leaves Rook and Jason on the outside, or maybe it is just my thoughts on the matter because much of the book is about helping Knight and getting him back not just home from he hospital and alive, but having him back as the man that he once was.
The best thing in this book besides the angst and the harsh story of dealing with a hurt lover, is that Jason gets to shine. He really steps up to the plate in this one and not only speaks up but shows that he’s not just this random guy who lives with them but that he’s a part of their family and is there to stay. He fights for Knight and him getting better and truly show that he loves him. That after already being the pillar supporting Rook and Bishop when things were touch and go with Knight.
Book four in the Chess series is very much about dealing with crisis, in coming together when it counts and being there for each other when it counts. It’s about being together when you are apart, to know that even if one of you or several of you need time away it doesn’t mean that you are loved less. And it is about believing in that and fighting for that. Helpmate is about becoming a family for real and all members of it believing that they belong.
You can find Sean on the following:
Sean Michael Website
Sean Michael Blog
I am giving away copies of Haven’s Revenge for Valentine’s Day all you have to do is do something nice for someone else, not because it gains you anything but only because. It doesn’t have to cost you a dime or it cost you plenty in dime, time and care.
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This short approx. 14K Caddo Norse Novelette takes place before Haven's Revenge, and consists of three parts. I wrote this simply because there were "things" in Haven's Revenge that I felt could help deepen the story for those who read Haven's Revenge but also give those who hasn't read him yet a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Fated Future is divided in three parts, or three chapters, and gives you deeper insight and how it all got started, and as for Haven and Alexander you get to share their first heated moment together and learn why Haven hates Annabelle Harris so much.
Amazing Cover by Sidney Lowell.
1964. Vojin Naranjo is a young Caddo man in his small workshop, together with his best friend Gabriel working. What he doesn’t know is that the man who he’s known all his life isn’t who he’s said he is. Gabriel carries a secret, one that no one knows nothing about but that Vojin now is to take part of. There’s only one catch no matter what Vojin can’t share it with anyone or if he does he will seal a deadly fate for everyone involved. The question is how will Vojin Naranjo react to the news of what fate has already decided for his unborn son and grandson? How will he prepare himself to save those he loves?
1992. Years later, in another part of the country, the Asa Guards are preparing for war, with their Gods leading the way. The cunning Asa are using the little more than human Guards as their willing-to-die soldiers in the war against the Fenrir Ulv and his new born children, the shifters. The man leading the Guard, Colonel Gustav sells his soul to the God of the sky, Odin in hope of spending eternal next to the mighty God. Will the Guard follow him or desert him?
2009. Haven is having his twenty-first birthday, Reid and the other ranch hands have taken him to Tom’s bar in town. There he is, at his dismay, propositioned by the town skank, Mrs. Harris. Giving the woman’s very touchy-feely nature, he finally gives her a piece of his mind, leaving her with her mouth hanging open and he himself is pissed off. Back at the ranch he goes to see Bullet, a white and brown mottled horse, and his birthday present from his friends. Looking for peace he's instead confronted by the eighteen-year-old Alexander. Already riled up and riding his emotion Haven let himself get carried away in a heated moment with the boy of his heart's desire. What will Alexander
and Haven do when the moment is gone and reality comes crashing down?
Here are three short excerpts from each part/chapter, enjoy:
(All the excerpts are unedited. So I apologize in advance for any and all grammatical issues.)
Chapter One: Vojin and Gabriel:
Voijin wasn’t sure he understood fully why but of course he was willing to help his friend if need be. He only hoped he was up for the challenge. Giving his answer, Vojin nodded.
“You’re ready for what I’m about to tell you?”
“How would I know? I don’t know what you are about to tell me?”
Gabriel chuckled. “Always the sensible one, this is why the spirits chose you, Vojin Naranjo.”
“I never doubt the spirits, so they must be right. Now tell me, my friend. No more ripped skin. Simply tell me.”
“Your Wyanet is carrying a son,” Gabriel looked at him as he spoke and smiled, just like Vojin felt he did at the mention of his bride and his unborn child, that he now knew would be a boy. “Your son has his own fate, set by the spirits…”
He knew instinctively when Gabriel stopped talking that it wasn’t good.
“Just tell me, Gabriel. I need to know,” he said quickly swallowing the lump that suddenly had appeared in his throat. It was hard to not think the worse and to not let his anger start to boil in his blood.
“Your son will die at a fairly young age, so will his wife. But not after giving birth to a beautiful son, your grandson.”
Vojin gasped instinctively, closing his eyes and clutching his hand over his heart at the sudden pain of loss crushing his heart. It wasn’t fair, his son hadn’t even been born yet, he didn’t even have a name and he was losing him already. He mourned the loss of his unborn child even if his life was yet to be cherished and they would still have many years together. Fate or not, there were times when even Vojin wanted to curse the spirits.
“Do you want me to stop?”
Vojin, took a deep breath, then another, blinking away a few unshed tears before lifting his gaze, shaking his head.
“No, go on. Please.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I need to know.” He did, he needed to know there was a purpose for this tragedy and now he was happy there was time left before his son was due, because he would need time to accept this particular fate.
Chapter Two: Gustav and Odin:
“I won’t, My Lord. Thank you for the information and the warning. But how long has this been going on My Lord?” It couldn’t be that long since Odin was there now. He wouldn’t let it get out of hand. It had already been going on for long enough but up until a a few centuries ago all the Fenrir Ulv’s attempts to procreate had failed.
“This time around, a millennium.”
Forgetting his place Gustav yelled out in shock. “A millennium, and you are just now telling me! Think of all the time we have been wasting.” The room went still. Silent. For a moment Gustav thought Odin might have left. Then the wind started to whirled around him, caressing his body like he was being rocked in someone’s arms, cradled.
“Yes, My Lord?”
There was no time to react before there was another push and shove, and he was knocked down, falling to his hands and knees on the hardwood floor. His protest died on his lips, when a rush of wind was forced down his throat, choking him. He brought one hand up to his throat, clawing at his skin while the other grasped into the empty air. If anyone had been around, they would probably have seen the panic in his eyes. Deep inside his mind, his heart, he knew that Odin wouldn’t hurt him. Right? What use would he be for him dead?
The pressure in his body was building up, making him feel like someone was lifting him up and spreading his limbs out for inspection. He was going to die; he was sure of it. But when the same force that entered his body, left, he fell into a heap on the floor gasping for air.
“Your doubt in me, Servant, is disappointing. I could so easily wring your neck. But I really can’t blame you for the weaknesses of humankind. But don’t worry, from now on, your human soul will start to die. Before the next full moon, you’ll be the best image you can be of me.”
“What do you mean, My Lord? I’ll be you?”
Odin’s roared out a laughter, his laughter almost as painful as his yelling, the aching in his ears made Gustav cringe.
Don’t flatter yourself, Servant. You’ll never be me, all you’ll ever be is a simple image of me, but at least you’ll be better than a mere human. Don’t disappoint me further, Servant.
Chapter Three: Haven and Alexander:
“What I'd do, I just got here?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know why. I’m not stupid and I know for a fact that neither are you. You can feel it; I know you can.” A wide grin spread across his face, there was no way he couldn’t hold it back, hopefully Haven wouldn’t take it as him laughing at him and get pissed off, because he wasn’t. Alexander was just so damn happy, being around Haven made him happy, most of the time. It felt good, he was finally doing it; he was going to tell Haven how he felt. No he was going to show Haven how he felt. Haven was his true mate and he was going to know it. Maybe not the mate part put how he felt.
“Kid I think you gotten way too much sun today because seriously you are making no damn sense.” Haven said with shake of his head and turned to walk away. No way, not now he wasn’t going to allow it. Before knowing he was going to do it Alexander stepped in front of Haven, blocking his way. Being almost the same height it caused them to be chest to chest and Alexander could without much effort push Haven’s hat back to give him clear solid contact with his eyes.
“What the hell are you doing?” Haven’s question filled with uncertainty, Alexander had managed to get Haven of kilter. He hadn’t planned it but now when it was happening it was nice having the upper hand over his stubborn mate for once.
“I want you. I’ve always wanted you and I am going to have you because you are mine. But for now I’ll settle for a kiss,” Alexander leaned in closer and with his lips just inches from Haven’s he whispered, “but a real kiss. Not one of those half assed pecks you get from your grandma. Show me you care Haven.”
“What the fuck….” Haven’s protest was cut off by his mouth crushing Haven’s lips in a heated kiss.
With their lips still touching, he whispered. “Kiss me Haven. Just give me this, us, this. We deserve it. I love…” He didn’t get to finish because this time his words were cut off by Haven attacking him or his mouth silencing him. Had he just been about to tell Haven he loved him? He thought he might had been and had that been the reason Haven had kissed him? But in all grand of things it didn’t matter. All that matter was the here and the now. A gasp escaped his lips when Haven’s hand gripped around him harden, not so hard it hurt but hard enough to make him hump his hand wanting more, wanting skin. Behind them Bullet neighed loudly starting to make a ruckus demanding his master’s attention.
En Prise, is the third book in the Chess Series by Sean Michael, in this book things are starting to settle after dealing with his feelings towards Rook and finally accepting that he can be special, very special to Rook spite the fact that he also loves two other men, sunk in Jason is finally relaxing. He’s still Knight’s shy baby boy, Rook’s honey and Bishop’s entrusted friend. I think for the first time since the series started you get to see that Bishop sees that he finally has someone who can take over the driver's seat for him from time to time so he can just be or break apart.
En Prise starts out with Christmas around the corner, with love in the air, with four men finding their happy in each other. It’s easy and all about feeling good, enjoying each other until what shouldn’t happen happens and Knight is in an accident and is severely hurt. Everyone panics, everyone is shell shocked besides Jason. He starts proving that he is the man who instead of freezing up in a time of need he gets active, to the relief of Bishop and Rook who needs someone to be strong for the both of them, the three of them really.
It is when this happens, Sean Michael, is in his best game. Where he can write his smutty novels and still bring a solid, warm, and yet angst filled story to the table. The characters are well developed and their own individual, and foremost there is a great story that brings them all together. Here it is not only the “drama” to have four men finding a mutual ground and showing whether or not four people can have a workable relationship, but it is about real life dramas things that can happen to either of us or the people that we love. The readers can easily relate to the idea of getting that phone call from the police or hospital telling them one of the people they love have been in an accident. It is isn’t something small and random it is something very real and heartbreaking.
Sean Michaels four Chess men are very real and very human, their story together just as real. You connect easily with them and personally I can sympathize with all the characters at one or another time. In En Prise, these four men’s love is tested and reading it the first time you become very aware of the fact that the test will continue on in the next book.
You can find Sean on the following social medias:
Sean Michael Website
Sean Michael Blog
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.