Welcome to my stop for this wonderful story: Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe. Please be sure to check out my exclusive excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win the Grand Prize: Paperback copy of Mythica & $10 BDP Voucher, or one of 3 winners of Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe,
One of the first legends I remember is the story of the Selkie, a favorite from my grandfather’s never-ending treasure trove of stories that he would share. L.J. LaBarthe grabs readers and drags them to the sea with Caiden, as we experience a world full of mythological creatures and races once confined to faerie stories.
Caiden is a Mythica – those races descended from the ancient creatures of faerie stories, but living a life among yet entirely separate from humans, as second-class citizens. Being subject to governmental restrictions and subtly yet not so subtly removed from all the ‘best’ things life has to offer humans, Caiden is understandably frustrated with his place in society and the restrictions it places on him.
Yet his frustrations do not impede on his joy in living, or his love of the sea – done with such vivid description and emotion, LaBarthe makes readers rethink their fear of open water swimming, and finding the joys beneath the waves as Caiden sees them.
Humans are prejudiced against the Mythica, as Caiden and his friends and family can attest; yet they hold another alien race, the Sy’lph to almost god-like reverence, with privilege and reputations beyond reproof. When Caiden comes to meet Gray, a Sy’lph, he instantly shuns him, even as he is intrigued. Realizing that his shunning of Gray is just like the human prejudice against the Mythica, he takes a chance to get to know him.
From here several threads start to come together, the ‘getting to know Caiden and Gray as they learn about one another and their attraction turns to romance. Not only did LaBarthe give us a slow burn build to that first kiss, but delivered with a BANG! We understand and know these characters, and want them to find a way to make their relationship work, even as someone or something is poisoning Mythica and Gray is part of the team that is hunting down the culprit.
And here is where I hit a couple of snags – and wanted to SHAKE both Caiden and Gray – the separation – wasn’t good for them. Well, the silence, since apparently we have all sorts of paranormal creatures yet no mobile phones. So, it was angsty and a bit sad as these two have wonderful interactions and are really vivid and alive when together. Fortunately, all of the secondary characters are wonderfully developed and given purpose beyond backdrop, so while all was quiet from the Gray front, Caiden was doing more than navel gazing, even though he was antsy to have Gray back and safe.
A wonderful story that feels very contemporary in the romance, with some interesting characters with a little ‘more’, the connections between the characters was palpable and real. Even the more ‘fantastical’ elements of this story were defined and presented with such clarity and simplicity that they felt normal and achievable, and I was completely engaged in the story.
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
Published by: Bottom Drawer Publications
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Caiden Jones is part-selkie and lives an idyllic life by the sea in South Australia. He’s had his fair share of disappointments, like being kept out of the Navy due to his mythica status, but overall he’s got a pretty good life. Until he’s in the wrong place at the right time.
Cai steps in to subdue an out-of-control minotaur and in the process suffers a serious injury to his ribs. As Cai struggles to breathe, a gorgeous suit-clad sy’lph with mesmerising blue eyes races to his rescue. When it’s learned that the minotaur was poisoned, the sy’lph, Gray, makes it his personal mission to keep Cai and his family safe.
Cai has always harboured some resentment towards the sy’lph because of their easy acceptance into the community, so the attraction he feels for Gray takes him by surprise. But how can they find out what this might mean when the lives of Cai and his family are endangered by someone closer than they realise?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.