Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe with Excerpt and Giveaway

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,

Book Review:

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.

Mythica by L.J. LaBarthe with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Mythica
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
Published by: Bottom Drawer Publications
Source: Publisher
Pages: 235
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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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.




CAIDEN SAT IN the shallows, enjoying the sensation of the seawater lapping playfully at him. He closed his eyes and raised his face towards the late afternoon sun, delighting in the warmth of its benediction against the coolness of the sea. The sea lulled him and the cries of seagulls overhead were like a welcome home song. Caiden lay back, giving into his selkie and smiling as he felt himself become more in tune with the ocean. Although he did not have to hide a skin in order to remain landlocked, he had the irresistible compulsion to be as near to the ocean as possible as any full-blooded selkie. Being half-selkie had its advantages—he didn’t have to spend every full moon as a seal, swimming in the sea, and he didn’t have to hide his seal skin to prevent turning into a seal permanently.

As a half-selkie, Caiden didn’t have a seal skin. The seal was within him, and didn’t manifest physically unless Caiden gave himself completely over to the animal. Caiden chewed on his lower lip for a moment as he thought back over the last several years. There had been one time that he had considered letting the seal take over and submerging his human self within the seal’s instinct. He had fallen for someone—fallen hard—and had trailed along after the young man like a love-struck puppy. It was only with the wisdom of hindsight that he could be so candid about that past, unrequited love. The young man had never known; Caiden had kept his feelings to himself, only confiding in his sister who in turn told their friends—bloody gossips, he thought fondly—and when the object of his affections had moved down to Adelaide to marry a woman that Caiden had never known existed, it had been like a knife to his heart and soul.

The seal had risen within him then, suggesting that perhaps the great pain and sorrow he was feeling could be erased by going to the sea, by walking into the water and letting the magic of his selkie half take over. By willingly giving himself to the seal, letting the seal take control, Caiden the man would cease to exist, transformed by the power of selkie magic into a seal, living the rest of his days hunting for fish and sporting among the waves with others of his kind. It had been tempting—very tempting. But Caiden had been confronted by his sister and talked out of it, and now he was grateful to her for having done that. He’d been young and foolish, barely out of his teens, and it had been his first love.


About L.J. LaBarthe

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

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