We’d like to thank Divine Magazine for the promo of our book, Druids Lodge. With two distinct voices and visions, everything we write is a collaboration, give and take. We are constantly taking detours, adding and changing. The majority of our writing is done when we meet up daily on messenger and skype. Lorraine’s one rule, our story must have a happy ending, everything up to that point is fair game.
Most of our inspiration comes out of the blue. I am passionate about history, fantasy, anything mystical, or supernatural. My bookcases are lined with faeries tales, and dark classics from Poe, Shakespeare, Stoker, and others. Lorraine is a bit more grounded preferring modern writers like Dean Koontz, Rob Thurman, and Jim Butcher to name a few. Using elements from those genres give us a leeway when writing. Druids Lodge is no exception.
We choose Dartmoor with its moody atmosphere. The area has also reported sightings of a large black cat roaming the moors. Where better to set our tale about a werecat and his mate.
What lurks in Dartmoor?
After his father’s death, Finn Darcy returns to his ancestral home to become chief of his werecat clan. The mysterious Druids Lodge lies nestled in the shadows of Dartmoor National Park, where the legendary Beast of Dartmoor, a large panther, roams the woods and moors.
Finn cannot take his place as the head of the clan before he claims his mate, Luke Devlin, the one he marked while when they were children. Feeling he was deceived at the start of their relationship, Luke refuses to accept his fate. He bides his time, determined to escape when the opportunity presents itself, before Finn’s jealous and possessive dual nature destroys everything they have left.
But then werecats and their mates start disappearing, and Finn is adamant his mate must be protected at all costs. Events take a grim turn when Finn is abducted and forced to fight for his life. Luke must choose between his chance at freedom or saving Finn.
Luke sauntered from the bathroom to the bed, where Finn still lounged, a sheet draped over his naked body. “Round three is going to have to wait at least an hour. I don’t have your stamina or prrrrowess,” he teased with an exaggerated purr. He leaned down and kissed Finn, then quickly sidestepped the outstretched arms. “I’m starving. Do you want anything from the kitchen?” he asked as he buttoned his jeans.
Finn’s cell vibrated on the nightstand. Luke scooped it up and checked the screen. “Hey, Bren,” he answered. “Good timing.” The smile dropped from his face.
“Get out, they’re coming,” she warned, then nothing more. He stared at the silent phone, rooted in place.
“They’re coming,” Luke repeated.
“Dammit, Luke, move your ass.” Finn was on his feet. He thrust his hoodie and Luke’s high-tops into Luke’s arms. Finn pushed him toward the window and easily lifted the heavy casing. “Climb, I’ll be right behind you.” Luke glanced from Finn to the large tree outside his window.
Someone pounded on the door. “It’s Izzy, let me in!”
Finn shoved him out the window onto a sturdy branch. “Go, I’ll find you.” Finn caressed his face.
“I’m not leaving you,” Luke protested.
“Do as you’re told!” Finn slammed the window shut behind him.
Luke turned from his perch as the door splintered and six or seven heavily armed and hooded men all dressed in black filled the room. Finn’s superior strength gave him a quick advantage as he took out two men almost immediately.
“Where’s Devlin? You said they’d both be here,” a man called out while another scoured the room. The others circled Finn and engaged him.
Finn turned toward the window, the intent clear in his amber eyes. Run! Finn sent through the link in all urgency.
Unlike their tree in Cardiff, planks had been added as a ladder when they were children and had used the old tree to get in and out of the lodge unseen. Luke scrambled down in the darkness and hit the ground running.
The window exploded, raining glass. He turned. In two powerful leaps, the cat jumped through the window onto the branch and then landed gracefully on his feet.
Keep running. Don’t stop for anyone, Finn ordered through the link.
Luke glanced over his shoulder to see the cat run in the opposite direction leading the men away from Luke. Hide, find Bren. The link slowly slipped away.
Luke didn’t stop until he reached the tree line. He sucked in a lungful of air, then put on his shoes and Finn’s hoodie. In the distance he heard Buster’s frenzied barks. A lone shot rang out and reverberated through the lodge grounds, then all went silent.
He hid among the trees, thankful the group hadn’t brought a pack of hounds. He scaled a large tree for a better view. Twenty, thirty, forty-five, the minutes ticked away as the group fanned out. They searched the lodge, his father’s cottage, the garage, and the general grounds. In shocked horror Luke watched as the huge cat was loaded into a cage in the back of a white cargo van. Luke consoled himself with the knowledge Finn was alive. Shortly after, a small convoy left and took Finn’s Jeep and the Land Rover with them.
Luke waited to ensure it wasn’t a trap before he climbed down and crept silently back toward the lodge.
Buster was nowhere to be found, but to his dismay a trail of blood led from the kitchen door. “Buster,” he called out. His mind raced. He tried calling again. He didn’t have time to search the grounds; he had to get out of there now.
Luke ran through the lodge, stopping only to fill a small knapsack with essentials. He needed a car and a phone that couldn’t be traced. He skirted the village and half walked, half ran to the Lion’s Head. From the parking lot, he selected his target, an old Fiat.
“Yes,” he cried triumphantly as the wires sparked and the engine came to life. With a heavy heart, he headed northwest toward Wales.
Over an hour after he left the village, he pulled off the motorway and into a large chain service station. He filled the tank, then tugged the hood up to cover his face. It smelled of Finn, a mix of animal musk and the woodsy blend of his cologne. All he could think about was getting Finn back. He purchased a pay-as-you-go phone. The large coffee shook in his hand as he tried his hardest not to stand out among the customers.
Review by Elaine White
Book – Druids Lodge
Author – Kelly Clemmons
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 214
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, past tense, three POV’s
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Paranormal, Cat-Shifter, Werecat
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
This was a breath of fresh air. Romance. Paranormal. Shifters. And one feisty human.
This book started off brilliantly. Right away, it hit my pet peeve of the first two words being the character’s full name, but since it seems to be becoming a trend in the MM market, I’ll excuse it. Because, immediately after that, we were dunked into Luke’s like and I wanted to weep for him. I could feel his pain and grief, over losing Henry. Then his confusion over Finn.
Then, as the story progresses, it becomes fun, playful and with an undercurrent of deep hurt and confusion. There were so many emotions in play, primarily divided into three sections – grief, playfulness, strength to survive – that it really brought home the constant struggle. When grief took over, there were brief bouts of relief and humor; when playfulness took hold, there were some really tender, meaningful, argumentative moments.
I loved how skeptical Luke was, to believe everything Finn was telling him. He displayed a completely normal reaction to the situation while Finn attempted to be patient, fighting his inner cat instincts when he could. Sure, sometimes he was sneaky about it, but their chemistry helped ease any fears I had about Luke being forced into a situation. They made a really cute couple.
When it comes to the characters, I have to say that I loved Luke way more than Finn. Finne was fine, but despite his obvious advantages, Luke was much stronger as a character and as a personality. Finn couldn’t control TC, but even after everything Luke went through, he held himself together, somehow. What Max did to him broke my heart, but ti was worse when it was obvious to me what had happened, but Finn was too blind to see sense.
For me, there’s some disconnect with Finn. I can’t explain it. Luke is always a great character to read and hang out with, but Finn became a little predictable and frustrating far too often. Especially when he told Luke he was okay with the distance between them and the no sex, while at the time groping him and practically undressing him with his eyes. It was a little much.
On the negative side, there were a few quotation marks missing, which got confusing at times. And sometimes the transitions are off. Between the end of one sentence and the start of another, three more actions are needed but ever mentioned. Example; on the stairs, then suddenly in the kitchen. It happens a few times and gets a little confusing, where I wonder if I’ve missed something.
Overall, it was a great story. I haven’t read about panther shifters in a really long time, so it was nice to return to the cat-like tendencies. The relationship, the romance, the difficulties and the drama were all very nicely handled. Nothing was thrown in our face, unrealistic or out of place.
A fantastic paranormal romance.
“Why-oh-why wasn’t there an idiot’s guide to werecat and human relationships?”
“The groans and sighs of pleasure Luke made while he ate were akin to watching porn.”
All Romance Ebooks.
Kelly Clemmons is the pen name of Lorraine Kelly and C.L. Clemmons. They met in an online fan chatroom and discovered a mutual love for all things books. Their friendship blossomed and they started writing together in 2007 for their own enjoyment. Thanks to Messenger and Skype, they were able to conspire almost daily. The seven-hour time difference led to many late-night and predawn writing sessions. Lorraine suggested it was time to take things further in 2013, and their first book was published in 2014. Writing has been their therapy through the ups and downs life has thrown at them. Their stories reflect very human struggles with the promise of better days ahead.
Lorraine was born and raised in Wiltshire, England surround by beautiful countryside and ancient history. She has a love of books and reads anything from witches and warlocks to shapeshifters, spy novels, and romance. Her only criteria when choosing a book is there must be a satisfactory ending, and she has been known to read the last few pages to make sure. Apart from reading and writing, Lorraine enjoys photography, TV, and exploring her native country.
C.L. was born and raised in a small town in Colorado. After high school she joined the Army. Her travels took her across the US and Europe. She witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. C.L. moved back to her hometown after the death of her husband. She lives in a small historic downtown apartment overlooking the city library with her cat, Ghost.
Publisher and Distributor of Gay Romance Novels, Short Stories, and eBooks