Top 25 Bestseller at Amazon.com!
Top 25 Bestseller at Amazon.ca
Top 100 Bestseller at Amazon.nl
Top 100 Bestseller at Amazon.co.uk
Goodreads Members' Choice M/M Romance Best of 2022 Nominee
Two years ago, the world ended with a wish, and it’s all Rory’s fault. Now, after he’s managed to survive all this time, it looks like karmic justice is finally coming for him. It looks like a monster is going to eat him, and Rory, while he is sorry for what he did, doesn’t want to die.
And he does not, because a stranger saves him from becoming monster food. The stranger features horns, blue skin, and too many swords. He is also really tall and muscular and handsome. In a monstrous way.
Rory might have jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire, because a big blue monster isn’t exactly Rory’s idea of a happily-ever-after. Not that he’s been thinking about that or about any sort of ravishing when the blue monster might still eat him or keep him as a pet.
But while Rory does not get eaten or ravished (sigh), the meeting with his monster mate shakes loose more revelations about what really happened two years ago than Rory is prepared to handle, especially since he was considering the comfortable life of a monster’s pet. He definitely wasn’t considering his monster’s murderous buddy, running so much, and going to another world, but sometimes, you just have to roll with the handsome blue monster the Apocalypse gives you.
Praise for Ash & Stone (Monster Apocalypse 1)
"This was a fun read. Full of humor. Rory thinks he’s the reason for the apocalypse because of a wish. His causing most of humanity to disappear and monsters start showing up. The world building was done well. Rory is the epitome of sarcasm and dry humor. Definitely funny, heart warming, adventurous read."
-- 4 Stars from TaurusJ, Amazon Review
"Well written and developed story. Great world building and background that adds to the story. Interesting characters and relationships among them. Love full of tenderness and care. Enjoyable read."
-- 4 Stars from Ula, Amazon Review
"Great characters, world building and plot. Rory and Inkiri are everything I didn’t know I wanted or needed from a monster romance with a touch of apocalypse thrown in. There’s such a great blend of humor, romance, and adventure here, and while the romance is definitely front and center, there are so many other nuances of world building and character to discover that all feel deftly balanced."
-- 5 Stars from Coffee Love, Amazon Review
"I can see that this is going to be another great series from Alexa Piper. I got sucked into this story following Rory, Inkiri and the rest of the guys while they try to figure out how the monster apocalypse really started and I just could not put it down. The further along I got into the story, the more interesting it got. I can't wait to get to book 2..."
-- 5 Stars from DLB2572, Amazon Review
"I absolutely loved this book! It was a fun, exciting, steamy adventure. Great world building and wonderful characters. Getting my hands on a m/m monster romance is somewhat rare for me, so this was a real treat. I loved Rory and Inkiri as a couple. They had good dynamic and excellent chemistry. Rory's inner voice was outright hilarious at times and I really enjoyed his thoughts and perspective in different situations. Inkiri was very sweet, kind, and patient. I also really liked the supporting characters. A wonderful beginning to a new series! I can't wait until the next book!"
-- 5 Stars from Nina Diab, Amazon Review
"The descriptions and worldbuilding are a good setup and drew me in to invest in this story. Rory and Inkiri are fun to watch them get to know each other and find common ground. Found families are good when there are monsters roaming around. Great story. Fun characters. Good descriptions! Nicely done."
-- 5 Stars from C.B., Amazon Review
"I was immediately intrigued by a main character, Rory who might have caused the Apocalypse and as I hoped there was much more to that story that first it first appeared. The world Rory finds himself in is full of dangerous characters and he lucks out when Inkiri saves him from one of them. I found the tone of the blurb amusing, as though the author was having a ball seeing just how far things could be pushed with such a set-up and that tone was maintained throughout the book without ever losing the emotional connection between Rory and Inkiri. Lots of interesting side characters and great world building make me excited to see more of them get their stories told."
-- 5 Stars from Susie Umphers, Amazon Review
"I was hooked by the blurb, I mean the main character caused the Apocalypse? I had to read it and was just dragged in from the first page. An interesting world and Rory and Inkiri made an awesome couple. Can't wait for more."
-- 5 Stars from Rani, Amazon Review
"Ash and Stone is another great story from Alexa Piper. It's the first book of the Apocalypse series. And I highly recommend. This story has another great couple/main characters with Rory and Inkiri. Their love story is full of sweetness, hotness, and hilariousness."
-- 5 Stars from J's Reviews, Amazon Review
"Sooo freakin cute, adorable, funny! The story sucked me right into it and didn’t let go, left me smiling! Loved, loved, loved Rory and Inkiri! I cannot wait for more in the series! Well written with great pacing."
-- 5 Stars from Janet L. Hunt, Amazon Review
"The book is full of humor, which thrilled me, and the romance is sweet and gentle. The main characters themselves are awesome, but we are likewise treated to a fully fleshed-out and likable group of friends. Grab your copy and enjoy something that keeps a smile on your face and introduces you to new friends."
-- 5 Stars from Emily Pennington, Amazon Review
"This has a great storyline about a monster and a human and coming together from two separate worlds...this book was so infectious in a good way, I didn't want it to end I wanted more with these characters and their adventure to want to learn humans."
-- 5 Stars from author_books_friends, Goodreads Review
"I loved how these monsters were brought to life, with vivid descriptions of both the human-like ones and the beasts who were out for blood. I've never read an Apocalypse story where the main character just may be to blame and it added a lot of interesting depth to the book. I highly recommend this read, can't wait to find out what happens with Rory and his guys in the future."
-- 5 Stars from Amanda, Goodreads Review
"...exactly the kind of monster book I love! The focus is on the romance aspect, and Rory and his monster mate are just adorable. The humor kept giving me Terry Pratchett vibes, and I couldn't get enough. I smiled or laughed for most of the book."
-- 4 Stars from Merit, Goodreads Review
"Any book that can make me laugh and cry out loud is one I would recommend and this one did both. I loved this book because it is full of romance and humor, with a great story thrown in. I can't wait for the next installment of the story."
-- 5 Stars from Cynthia Brow, Goodreads Review
"...hunky blue monsters to take care of you and one who has decided he is your mate. It moves quickly, I never felt it bogged down in world building. I like the way A. handles magic in this first of a series (not sure how many). And goodness, the smexy times, woof!!"
-- 4 Stars from Mary, Goodreads Review
"I AM SO GLAD I READ THIS BOOK! This is an, at times, hysterically funny story, even though it takes place after an apocalypse on Earth and most of humanity no longer exists... components of fantasy, inter-dimensional travel, lust, romance, jealousy , monsters, magic, death, destruction, evil…you get my point. But Alexa Piper creates a world, certainly not where I would want to live, but one where it appears that good may overcome evil."
-- 5 Stars from DMCechak, Goodreads Review
"Who gave Inkiri the right to be so darn adorable? Seriously, where can I get myself one of those? Alexa Piper's new series starts with a bang. Rory is found by Inkiri in a department store foraging for clothing two years after the apocalypse. He's, perhaps rightly, concerned that this monster wants to keep him. They have such a sweet relationship and the other monsters make a mixed up family you cant help but love, even Vegaris, who is exceedingly prickly. Monsters, magic and other worlds. I loved all of it."
-- 5 Stars from Jacquie, Amazon.co.uk Review
"...interesting story line, world building, a bit of action/gore, sex-you-first-get-to-know-you-later, likable characters, magic, adventure, and comedy."
-- 4 Stars from KT, Amazon Review
"Fast-paced and full of heart. Alexa Piper is a favorite author of mine and I’m glad I found this new series. The writing clipped along well, and I couldn’t get enough of Rory or Inkiri. They’re good together and I rooted for them."
-- Nymphaea, Long and Short Reviews
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Ash & Stone (Monster Apocalypse 1)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alexa Piper
The Apocalypse was one hundred percent totally an accident, and I was sorry. So sorry. I contemplated for about the millionth time how very, very sorry I was as I huddled on the dusty stool in a changing room in the ladies’ section of the department store and, from behind a dusty, tattered curtain, peeked out at the very angry, very purple monster displaying its anger management issues fully on the female mannequin.
With my knees hurting from the awkward position of squatting on that stool, I could only hope that the monster liked eating women, and that guys were not on the menu, meaning I would be safe. Not that I was going to try moving or anything. I might have caused the Apocalypse and felt very sorry about it, but I was not going to just let some purple-assed monster eat me.
Only while my survival instincts were pretty good, they didn’t prevent me from getting muscle cramps, for instance, in my left calf. I managed to keep quiet when the cramp hit. I didn’t manage to just breathe through the pain and keep still, and instead, with all the gracefulness of a one-legged dodo, I overbalanced, which led to the stool falling over, me with it, and since I was holding onto the curtain across the opening of the changing room, that ripped from its rail and landed on top of me. The dust made me sneeze. I peeked out from under the curtain, and the purple monster looked at me down its long snout. It had two sets of eyes. Seriously, was that really necessary? What was there to see that prompted the need for four effing eyes?
The thing was a cross between a monkey and a jaguar, quadrupedal, no fur but leathery skin, and its mouth was more like a beak and studded with teeth like those in a shark’s jaws. The teeth were more worrisome than the eyes, if I was being honest. It considered me for two whole seconds before its body language told me that it liked guys just as much as female mannequins. The thing growled and took one step toward me, its taloned front limb tense, making ready to jump.
The blade that arced down came so fast, my brain didn’t recognize it for what it was, not until the purple monster’s head came off, oozing dark blue blood all over the not very clean floor. The disarticulated head rolled a few times, then came to a stop an arm’s length outside the changing room, practically in my lap. All four eyes fixed me in a dead look. They were black, like beetle eyes.
“Crap,” I said. “Crappity-crap.” The monster’s massive body collapsed, and more blood came out of it.
I tried to get to my feet, but the curtain had torn and tangled me like a polyester net. When the decapitator stepped out from between two clothes racks that advertised a fifty-percent-off sale for everything else, I froze.
The Apocalypse had done a lot of weird stuff. The really annoying weird stuff was that hungry monsters were now just here and roaming all over the place, which was Ireland, because that was where we’d gone for our summer vacay. Some of the monsters liked female mannequins and had blue blood that spurted sort of slowly after their heads got cut off. Others were tall and massively built -- not in a bad way, just carry-me-in-your-arms fit. And they had horns, curling back from their heads like ibex horns with all those textured ridges that looked kind of cool.
This guy was like that. He had ibex horns and slit-pupiled cat eyes, baby blue skin and hair the same color as the ink stain on the bottom right corner of my third-grade desk. It was braided under his horns, the braids running to the back of his head. He was also staring at me. Intently. His sword was still out, but as I was watching, he did that neat move I’d seen samurai do in movies when they wanted to get blood off their swords, and I heard the blood splattering to the ground right before he sheathed the blade at his side in one quick move. He didn’t tear his eyes away from me as he waved that very sharp sword around, which meant he was either a show-off or brutally competent. He wore comfortable-looking clothes, pants and a shirt tied with a belt, all black.
At least if he was using a sword and wearing clothes and walking on two legs, he was civilized. On the other hand, two years of living in the Apocalypse had taught me that you could be both civilized and human and be a monster, so what did I know.
Horned dude took another step toward me on silent feet, not quite human feet I noticed when he kicked the monster head away. But I couldn’t dwell on those feet, because they looked like massive cat paws, and in combination with the horns, it just made the dude really, really freaky. He squatted, and the way he moved looked disproportionately graceful for such a big, strong person. Once he was that close, he focused on me in an intense stare. His slitted pupils cleaved an iris of shining indigo.
And then, he looked me up and down and licked his effing lips.
I scrambled back against the wall of the changing room. “No, I’m not for eating. And I’d taste bad, so bad. Because of all the preservatives, hormones, and microplastics you eat as a human. You don’t want me.”
“I wasn’t thinking about eating you,” he said in the poshest of posh English I’d heard since landing here, which was odd, considering this was Ireland and he was a horned dude with a sword and some sick reflexes. “Did the beast scare you?”
“W-what?” I said. He was still looking at me, all over. All over.