Read The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles Online


A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.MagA lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.Book 1 of the Charm of Magpies series. Previously published by Samhain....

Title : The Magpie Lord
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780995799028
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 222 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Magpie Lord Reviews

  • Julio Genao
    2019-01-21 00:53

    riotously funny—and also hot.bless my molly little stars—this was hysterical.the joy i found in this pulled me right out of my hermit-hole and onto a keyboard to go write things.gingerly.because this one passage had me chortling so hard the cat sleeping on my belly had to stab me in four places at once to keep from being undulated right off the bed.twice.these characters are marvelous. dialogue like oscar wilde on absinthe.never mind the sexual congress always being interrupted by the inconvenient appearance of some random crofter or parson or hedge-witch—the sexual tension was sex drive goes to hell when i'm down, but with this?i sprung a boner for the first time in, like, hundreds of years*.so recommended i can't even——just go. quickly.'s AU-victorian ridonk madness, and i loved every word.____________________*hours. and it was wicked haaad, too.

  • Vio
    2019-01-28 23:51

    What do I say and how many times can I say I loved it. I was enthralled with Magpie, its a sensational story. Lucien and Stephen are gorgeous MC's and their sizzling *hot and bothered loving* is so passionately, perfect. Eerie magpies, brilliant and fresh writing, creepy, gripping witchery! Best of all, is the unforgettable and awesome tattoos, damn fascinating and magically twisty, I never saw that coming and it surprised the hell out of me. Can't wait for the sequel, if it was available now I would have pounced, its that bloody good.

  • K.J. Charles
    2019-01-31 23:09

    I like m/m. I like fantasy. I like Victorian Gothic. I wrote an m/m Victorian Gothic fantasy. Well, someone had to. If you're wondering what's the deal with the magpies...British people count magpies. There's a rhyme everyone knows, of which the most common variant starts, 'One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.' This book began its life when I pointed to three magpies in the park and told my daughter, 'Look, three for a girl,' and she said, 'But how did they know I'd be here?' Which got me thinking about what would happen if the magpies did know, and what magpie magic would entail, and what sort of things might happen to a man haunted by magic he didn't understand, and where he might turn for help. Because there are some fairly creepy magpie rhymes out there...One for sorrow Two for mirth Three for a wedding Four for a birth Five for rich Six for poor Seven for a witch, I can tell you no more.Eight for a babe buried in the earthNine for a feastingTen for a dearthI hope you enjoy it! Crane and Stephen's story continues in A Case of Possession.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-01-28 04:03

    3.5 stars. I deeply regret to announce that this review is probably going to be all over the place. Not (all) my fault, though.Because, confidence : I wanted to write a "charm recipe review" for this book, because obviously, this hysterical story called for it (or, made me think it was a good idea) so as I'm not expert on witchcraft (understatement of the year), of course I thought : Hey, Google is your friend on this! So I gently typed something along the lines of, "love spell recipe", and bloody hell! Let me tell you, Google knows its job. Anyway, more I clicked on links, more I started forgetting why the hell I was looking at this rubbish (no offense for those who believe in that - that's not my fault, my mind is Cartesian by essence). All of that is to say that unfortunately I won't be able to write a spell review, whatever that means. They lost me at - [incoherent crap] Repeat this in rhythmic pulses as you stir and combine the ingredients so far. Yeah, how about no. But! Good Lord, the first adventures of Crane and Stephen were just insanely delicious. Keyword being insanely. Or delicious. I don't really know. There's just something so terribly appealing in a story that allows you to escape the real world so quickly. In all honestly, I struggled to understand what the hell was going on at first, but thanks to Crane's wonderful sarcasm, it was never a bother. Guys! GUYS! That man's sardonic humor is just fucking perfection. Seriously, after two pages I knew that I would make a feast of his deadpan retorts. As for Stephen, except for the fact that the endless repetition of his short and boyish stature annoyed me (I GET IT! The guy is 5"! I KNOW! You said it already! This is NOT attractive to make him weak! GAH), well, I have to admit that he was full of surprises and I'm eager to discover more about him in the sequel. If the character development was a little lacking, I'm feeling lenient because it was so very short and only the first book. I guess we'll see. The growth of their relationship was well-handled and never overwhelming, but quite the opposite : there's a curse to unravel, after all, and a very captivating at that. Completely unputdownable. This said, the villains lacked depth in my opinion : I didn't feel anything towards them, because I didn't have the time to.Now, I do have complaints about the sex-scenes, and it happens in so many books that I'm starting to think that I must be in the minority on this. Things go like that : Crane : I'm going to f*ck you senselessStephen : Oooh yesAnna : ...Crane : But I want you to begAnna : OH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! This puts me off EVERY. TIME. Look, I'm obviously glad that consent is sought and all, but all that talking during sex throws me off. Less talk, more action please. Moreover, I didn't like at all the first "rapprochement" of Crane and Stephen, sexually wise : the quick switch between anger and lust made me feel uncomfortable because it is not something in what I believe. I know that many, many books love relating how close these feelings are but the fact is, I genuinely don't get it. When someone is mad at me, I do not feel desire. I am pissed-off, plain and simple. Scared, maybe. Never, ever, excited. Granted, the situation was well-handled (view spoiler)[Crane stopped (hide spoiler)] and that's why I'm not raging. But still, I'm forever baffled by this concept and I never completely bought their attraction - Although I enjoyed their interactions, when it comes to sex I wasn't convinced. What's the purpose of the magpies, then? Ah, wouldn't you want to know. Told you, this review is all over the place. Oh well. For more of my reviews, please visit:["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Ami
    2019-01-28 02:51

    4.85 stars rounded up to 5-starsThis is another book that I will not even consider without the reviews from my Goodreads friends. Historical is not my genre of choice; so any titles with historical tag will be low priority for me. However, I am a huge fan of mystery and paranormal. Contemplating the positive reviews and the fact that this story had paranormal mystery element, I decided to take the plunge.And what a delightful surprise it was...The story opened with Crane trying to commit suicide -- it wasn't because he wanted to do it, he was persuaded by force of evil. Merrick, Crane's manservant, told his Lord to look for help from a shaman. Entered Stephen Day, a magic practitioner who had every reasons to hate Crane for the sins of Crane's father. But Stephen realized that Crane was not his father and he ended up helping Crane to find out the root of evil that had almost took Crane's life.From the first page, I was immediately hooked. This story had PLOT people! It also had witty banters, engaging horror mystery infused with magic and tales and ghosts, BAMF!manservant (yes, you, Merrick!), captivating characters, and DELICIOUS sexual tension between the two men. The sex scenes were amazingly hot too. Crane and Stephen seemed to prefer NOT using beds! There prefer using vertical surface and one memorable desk (Oh, the story that desk can tell). They were RAWR-kind of scenes and it made me all melty and tingly and wanted to fan myself despite reading this in an centralized air-con room. The words, the words were pretty too; I was in love with it. And THAT climax of an ending, I wish ALL books end like that. I do have FEW trivial complaints:First, regarding the reveal of the bad guys. In mystery/suspense, I do love being surprised. However, at the same time, I would like to be 'guided' in the process. Throw in some clues and then red herrings along the way and I will be one happy girl when I come to the finish line. In here though, few of the major villains are disclosed in the 11th hour; without any prior introduction. It reduced the fun of deducing -- even if I wasn't a detective.Second, some of the teaser information is not fully explained in the end. We got the tease on Crane being "forced to have a very large and expensive tattoo". He was about to tell but he stopped and the issue wasn't raised again. It will be nice to have it told -- it will give me a deeper understanding about Crane and his background, similar to when Merrick told Mrs. Bell on why he was so loyal to Crane. We also got the cheeky tease of what happened with the champagne in China. But also never fully explained (I wanted to know!). Having said that, this is quite trivial because I assume we can still get the teasers explained in book #2.Third, this was definitely MY personal issue -- I could be annoying like that -- I wasn't too fond of Crane referring to Stephen as "little man". Maybe because Stephen and I shared the same height. It made me want to straighten up my spine, and defended my height to all you tall people!!So in conclusion: engaging, arousing, at times frightening, and most definitely entertaining. In the grand scheme of things, the minor complaints can't stop me from giving my rounded-up perfect 5-shining stars. Because this is what an excellent story is made-of -- a combination of well-prepared idea, well-plotted execution, and well-written characters. Simply one of my favorites from a debut author this year. I am definitely looking forward to book #2 coming in January.PS: Thanks for bringing this up to my timeline Vio (and others). Thanks for doing buddy read with me, Kate, Jenn, Sunny.

  • Susan
    2019-01-26 01:46

    OMG...tardiness is my pet peeve and I'm SO LATE to the party!!!!! I've seen you all read and rave over this book and I really wanted to read it...I swear I did. But, you know...I just...don't love historicals. And I don't love paranormal. And and....all this other fluffy stuff was calling out to me. *boink* <-that's me hitting myself upside the head. Silly girl. Silly, silly girl!!!!What a FUN read! And not just fun, but CREEPY. And not just fun and creepy, but HOT. And not just fun and creepy and hot, but HILARIOUS. I loved the story premise.I loved Crane...Crane, he makes me laugh, and he's sexy as all get-out, but there's something...sad...about him...that makes me want to shower all my affection onto him.I loved Stephen...the little man (ok, honestly, I could have done with a few less "little man" descriptions. It made me feel defensive for him.) This guy is STRENGTH and POWER personified. And his "I will not leave you" / "I won't let anything happen to you " declarations make me SWOON!I loved Merrick. Scratch that. I LOVE Merrick. Mine. He's mine. And I wish I could get more of HIS story. I felt the mystery portion of the story did a fantastic build-up but I was slightly disappointed at the resolution. It felt a little out of left field, and I was slightly confused. But, me not so smart. So, it's my issue. I'm so excited to find out there will be books 2 and 3 in the series! There's such a charm to this book and to the characters. What a treat. Oh...and speaking of treats...Crane...and the tattoo reveals? HOLY MUTHER OF ALL THAT IS SEXY AND YUMMY IN THE WORLD!!!! ...Ami reviewed this for the blog along w/ a great interview of the author KJ Charles. Check it out here:

  • SheReadsALot
    2019-02-10 00:48

    Love. Sex. Magic.*sigh* love that song. And this book totally put me in the mood for it.But in context to this book, it's more like Magic, Sex...Love, maybe?I'm sure by now you've read and seen multiples of people losing their minds for this book. Body parts and fluids in awe of this book. Buzz, buzz buzz! The overtaking of everyone's news feeds, I secretly dubbed it Magpie-gate.When books are super popular, so soon since it's release and everyone lays 5 star reviews like free candy, I usually go:and plan on reading said buzz book later (months later if possible)But I was nudged to read this sooner. And I am so happy that I did.Cause it was really good. I'm a story girl. I'm not one to look for literary masterpieces because it just leads to disappointment. I love a good story, I like telling it, hearing it and reading it. "The Magpie Lord" is top notch. It's word porn, book crack, literary sugar with $10 words.My second favorite historical time period for romances: Victorian! (especially done well)K.J. Charles did a wonderful job tying in a paranormal/ magical edge to this time period. It's not typically a period one thinks of as sexy. But the story oozed sexual tension, fast paced twists and memorable characters. It was magical suspense meets Victorian England meets a secret world meets adventure meets man-on-man sexual intensity. And interesting world and magical culture building.I've read MF romances with big blonde haired sardonic rakehells that seduce all to get their way, verbally or sexually, makes no difference. I enjoy heroes like that. You can find one in Lucien, Lord Crane, the tradesman earl. Lucien embodies my favorite silver tongued hero. Plus he is a connoisseur of men and is unapologetic about it. Score!“When I fuck you, Mr. Day, it will not be briefly. It will be long and hard and extremely thorough. I'm going to take pains with you.”C'mon, that's a trouser dropper if I've ever read. I can not blame poor little ginger haired Stephen Day, magician not to be underestimated, for succumbing to the the Lucien steam. That man is lethal with his tongue.And Stephen?Adored him. I always root for the quiet MC's because they usually have something up their sleeves to surprise you. Stephen definitely did. And even when staring in the face of doom, he kept a clear head and faced his battles head on.Loved Stephen.Want Lucien.And to the author, for an excellent debut:I highly recommend. If you're on the fence, embrace this buzz book. It's actually worth the read. Ends with a HFN (?) could be ending with the promise of more.Now I have wait until January for book #2?

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    2019-01-21 06:59

    Actual rating: 3.75 stars. Okay, let's get a few things straight before we begin:① YES, I did read this book semi-willingly.And② YES, I nearly almost practically rated it 4 bloody shrimping stars.And ③ YES, I am actually going to read the next book in the series.So please go ahead and do all the gasping and fainting you need to do right now, so that we can move on and stuff. Thank thee kindly.Nicely done! A question, though: what's with the feathers, my Little Barnacles? I mean, last time I checked arthropods didn't look like chickens and stuff. You're a weird bunch of decapods, you know.So. I didn't DNF or hate the fish out of this book because:① It's a delightfully improbable mix of paranormal stuff, Victorian stuff, mystery stuff and M/M romance stuff. All things improbable are slightly awesome, ergo slightly awesome this book is ← Logic is me, you say? Yes, I am well aware of the fact.② It's light but deliciously entertaining and fun and enjoyable and delectable and stuff. It's also fast-paced and there's magic and ghosts and villains, oh my! Okay, so the mystery isn't of the perplexingly baffling kind, and I'm sure my old pal Hercule would have solved it in less time it takes to say "unleash the crustaceans, Fleet Admiral DaShrimp!" BUT. One cannot read ALL profoundly deep material ALL the time. One has to let the little grey cells rest and relax once in a while and stuff. Otherwise they might viciously retaliate by going all "we've had it! We're on bloody shrimping strike!" on your ass pincers and stuff. So this book is the quite perfect destination when an Over Heated Little Head Holiday (OHLH™) is in order.Yes, this book is definitely the ideal candidate for days when you feel a teensy little bit like ↑↑③ Ha ha bloody HA. I'm not the smiling type. Much less the laughing type (I find the habit to be quite repulsive, to be honest). But this little book right here had me chuckling and giggling and snickering and cackling and chortling and guffawing and snorting in the most elegantly gleeful way. Yes it did. The Positively Edible Lord Crane (PELC™) is exquisitely sarcastic and witty and funny and stuff. He jests and quips and gibes so lusciously it makes my pincers click uncontrollably. Not to mention the Outrageously Rambunctious Heating Effect (ORHE™) his mere presence has on my exoskeleton. TPEMC™ is a lord with the body and mouth of a sailor, you see. Hence lots of yummilicious swearing to be expected. And tattoos. Lots of, um, intriguing tattoos. And a hot body, too. But it's his titillating mind I'm in love with, undeniably. I couldn't care less about his physical appearance. Or the fact that he can get quite creative with desks, walls and rose gardens. And I certainly don't give a fish about his undying charm. Or his take no prisoners attitude towards flirtation. It's his brilliant intellect is what I'm lusting after here. So Poof, Gone, Harem (PGF™) and stuff. Obviously. Sorry, what? Lord Crane is gay, you say? So what? I'm an equal opportunity kind of girl and I don't judge. I don't share, either. Not sorry, Tiny Stephen! Besides, I'm pretty sure he'll embrace his bisexuality with merriment the moment he meets me, so there. Problem solved and stuff.④ No, I did not kill this book dead despite the Disgusting Romance of Doom and Oblivion (DRoDaO™). No no no no no, my Little Barnacles! Lose consciousness on me again you shall not! We're done with the fainting epidemic, remember? Now get a grip and stop interrupting me, will you? So. Since finishing this book, I've been trying to figure out why to this romance wasn't quite as allergy-inducing as its colleagues. A fact that is most puzzling indeed, you have to admit. The following conclusion finally reach I did: M/M Romance is not as ridiculously lovey dovey as M/F Crap. Also, slooooooooow burn. Also, also, bloody shrimping hot sex.» And the moral of this No Need to Contact GR Support The Fluffy Siberian Bunnies Have Not Hacked My Account Again and This is Really Nefarious Little Me Writing this Crappy Non Review Crappy Non Review (NNtCBRSTFSBHNHMAAaTiRNLMWtCNRCNRCNR™) is: magpies = Kaldar = YUM. QED and stuff.✎ Book 2: A Case Of Possession - to be read.[Pre-review nonsense]Don't look at me, the MacHalos forced me to read this. And threatened to put a bullet in my lovely little head if I didn't rate it more than 3.5 stars. What a cunningly vicious little bunch they are.Historical Paranormal Mystery M/M Romance. Yes, that is a thing. And quite a scrumpalicious one at that.My thoughts exactly.➽ Full Magic and Magpies and Tattoos and Champagne Fingers and Hahaha and Well that Was Slightly Hot Oh My Crappy Non Review (MaMaTaCFaHaWtWSHOMCNR™) to come.

  • Sh3lly ☽ Guardian of Beautiful Squids and Lonely Moons ☽
    2019-02-11 03:05

    Review also found at Dust Off Your MacHalo Blog.This is my first review in 2018! It was a buddy read with my MacHalo ladies (surprise surprise). This year, we are doing themes for our books of the month and January was paranormal romance. The Magpie Lord was the winner.This book also fits one of the challenges in the 2018 Madcap MacHalo Fantabulous Bookish Challenge Extravaganza (MMFBCE™): Mystery and Mischief. One down, eleven to go!The Magpie Lord is a paranormal mystery with romance. It’s about a man named Crane (or Lord Crane, as he has recently inherited an earldom) and a justiciar named Stephen Day, who is basically a magician or mage or whatever you would like to call it.Someone is trying to kill Crane and they are using magic to do it. Dirty, dark magic. Warlocks.The story is about Crane and Day trying to figure out who is doing it and why and during the investigation, sparks fly. The romance is a rather slow burn, but there is a steamy scene towards the end! But it works quite well because who needs all that angst and lovey-dovey stuff, anyway?!The writing is great and set in a sort of slightly reimagined Victorian times, I believe. There are trains and such, but candles are still used for lighting.This isn’t a very complex mystery, but I did enjoy the rather satanic warlocks and their grotesque methods of magicking. (What can I say, I like dark stuff.) I’d like to find out more world-building about the ether and how the magic in this world works, but this was solid start to a series (and actually much better than a lot of “first book in series” books).Crane and Day are a great couple and complement each other well. They are very different, yet enough alike to be intriguing and sexy.I’m in for book two for sure!

  • Emma Sea
    2019-01-24 05:00

    I've got some conflicted feelings about the book. I can see why everyone loved it so much. The dialogue between the MCs is snappy and made me chuckle more than once.Can you let me go, please, I’ve got some sort of atlas in my back.At the same time, here are the most annoying 54 words I've read in the last 12 months:It was an involved story, veering between farcical and exciting, and Crane knew he told it well. He couldn’t see the smaller man’s face as clearly as he’d have liked, but the shaman was rocking with laughter in the darkness as Crane reached a height of absurdity, making the old stone bench wobble alarmingly.Laugh? I nearly started. Is there anything more frustrating than being told that there's a hilarious story, and you're not going to hear it? The very end, in the library, was so marvelous that it almost dispelled my annoyance at the poorly structured denouement. You're not supposed to (view spoiler)[pull shit out of a hat! Bad narrative, BAD.(hide spoiler)] From 72% I experienced a series of strong negative emotions around the unraveling of the main plot.I'm not clear why Stephen had to be 5' tall. Okay, yes, props for non-traditional masculinity, but particularly when Crane lifts him up against the wall, I had the feeling that Stephen was a female character that had been re-gendered. Did not like.I found the sexual tension uneven. There didn't seem to be any actual UST between Crane and Stephen, but then Crane would suddenly have these insanely sexy lines, and boom! It was all on. So while when immersed in each (almost)sex scene, it was believable, the relationship as a whole wasn't convincing.But then there were some utterly lovely bits, like (view spoiler)[Stephen fluencing Crane, and Crane's reaction to this. (hide spoiler)]So, yeah, conflicting emotions happening. Certainly looking forward to book 2, though.3.5 stars, rounded up for the ending.

  • Loederkoningin
    2019-02-05 22:50

    Team Magpie!The thing with Goodreads hypes is that I usually end up a little disappointed. Not this time. I'd started The Magpie Lord months ago, but at the time had a little trouble connecting to the steampunk-ish chaos of the opening scene. And I hesitatingly admit that -- despite GOT's Tyrion sexy thing Lannister totally rocking his 4.5 ft -- discovering that one of the protagonists is a 5 ft scrawny shrimp didn't exactly help upping my excitement level. Then her HOT short story in the anthology Another Place In Time happened (all proceeds of this anthology are donated to! Please check it out if you haven't already! :). So of course I just HAD to give this book another chance....and got completely hooked on the amazing writing. And on the fact that when you'd strip away the M/M factor, the story would still hold its own. I realize that it's a little sad that I feel like mentioning this, but I do think that it's the gay guys that often save many otherwise mediocre writers. Anyway, I had such a blast simply enjoying the ride and the humorous and nifty writing, that the occasional bouts of heat flaring up, though neither plenty nor very lengthy, were more like the icing on the cake. And to think that most PWP leaves me absolutely cold, whereas Charles' knocked me right out with a few lines of dirty talk, her British wit and a preference for tables... And you know what's the best thing about being late to the party? The many sequels, MWAAHAHA!

  • Macky
    2019-02-18 02:08

    Fabulous, unusual, wonderful, magical, different creepy, funny, witty, quirky, Sexy, scary, awesome.... I want more! I want more charismatic Crane, I want more mysterious unassuming yet powerful Stephen, I want more Merrick, more magical magpies, more tattoos, more warlocks, witchcraft , simmering sexual tension, sizzling chemistry and edge of your seat tension. WOW! That's what I call refreshing! Therehasto be more..... I liked this A lot!!

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-02-06 04:52

    Some books strike me right from the start with the uniqueness of their world-building, the vividness of their characters, or the pleasure of the writing style. This story did all three.This is about a Victorian England in which the practice of magic and warlockery is an ominous undercurrent to life. Against this imaginative backdrop, the author brings together two wonderful MCs. Stephen Day is a magician, small in stature and unassuming in appearance, but powerful enough to take on warlocks and wreak justice upon them. Unless they turn out to be unusually strong... Lucien Vaudrey is now Lord Crane, an inheritance from his deceased loathed father, and subsequently deceased even more loathsome brother. After years in China, he intends to be back in England just long enough to wind up the affairs of his estate. Unfortunately, it appears that someone is trying to kill him by magic. And Stephen Day, his one hope of survival, is the son of a man ruined by Lucien's father. Lucien's dry wit is one of the joys of this book. There are so many great lines in his comebacks, with comments scathing or trenchant or self-mocking in wonderful ways. I would like to quote a dozen, but will refrain because they have the most impact in context. His manservant, Merrick, is a great foil for him. And Stephen is honorable and strong in most ways, and weak in some interesting ones. The sexual attraction between Lucien and Stephen smolders nicely, and occasionally flames, while their gradual meeting of the minds is satisfying. This book isn't perfect - for instance, I lost the action thread slightly in the climactic moments - but it is damned good. I'll buy the sequel as soon as it releases, and will happily reread this before plunging on in the adventures of these characters.

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2019-01-28 05:04

    **Everyone! Get your butts over to Amazon and get this gem for only $0.99 today (71% off), 2/9/15!**Started off slow but just got better and better! No time for a proper review, must keep reading on!

  • ♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN
    2019-02-10 01:49

    Oh my God! OMG! This was perfect! Absolutely amazing. I have no words! Why did it take me so long to read this??Where do I begin? Crane is a wealthy 37 yo English Lord. He has been living in China for the past two decades. He is very a charismatic person. Handsome, eligible, smart. But when he returns to England, after his father and brother were found dead, he has a hard time adjusting and his life is in danger. To help him with this matter, there's a ordinary little man, barely 5 feet, a 28 yo, with his extraordinary personality and golden beautiful eyes. Stephan is the sweetest boy EVER! You would think that Stephan would be intimidated by Crane's charisma. This doesn't happen. Stephan may be a shy boy, but he takes his chances with Crane. And it is glorious. Their chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS!“Do you want me?”“What?”“Well, if I’m going to get talked about and screamed at and accused anyway… You can have me. Now. If you want.”Stephan helps Crane to deal with his life threats and saves his life many many times. Their romance may not be the most detailed romance ever, but the feeling I get from their interaction (and more) is so powerful that any other descriptions would be pointless.And then you stop hiding yourself for a moment, and your whole face lights up, and suddenly I can see just how you’ll look when I fuck you.”I liked the plot. The secondary characters didn't grow on me, I can't even remember their names (they're all dead anyway). Their story didn't end in this book. There wasn't a cliffhanger, but the characters have a long journey till they define what's going on between them."Let’s find out,” said Crane. “Because the hell with ghosts, the hell with families, I intend to have you, right now, and that’s not up for discussion or reflection.”I enjoyed this so so so very much. I liked both the MCs, but Stephen is so so so sweet, he amazes me.On to book #2.

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    2019-02-19 00:03

    4.5 starsThis is a brilliant novel by K.J. Charles, her first apparently, which is hard to believe. Dickens meets Harry Potter meets sexy m/m romance. We have magic, magpies, mystery, intrigue, witty dialogue, friendship, and love. I loved the juxtaposition of arrogant, cool Lord Crane (who tops 6 feet and has magical blood in his veins) with neurotic, kind-hearted Stephen (all 5 feet of him, who is a judiciary, a sort of judge and jury, for the magical Victorian community). Stephen hates Crane even before he meets him, and he has reasons to do so; Crane is less than awed by Stephen, whom he considers scrawny and scattered. But sparks fly as the two men get to know each other and try to figure out who wants Crane dead and why. The second book in the series is already on my to-read list. I paid $3 for this on my Kindle, but it's worth much, much more. (Edited to upgrade my rating to 4.5 stars: 4 stars just wasn't good enough. This book has staying power, people! Read it and get sucked in!)

  • Ingela
    2019-02-09 02:07

    4 1/2 Stars - cool, nicely done and addictiveI'd no idea what this novel would be. By the blurb and other reviews it sounded like a historical M/M with some paranormal element. Yes, and on that some thrilling suspense of course. All genres at the same time in a rather short novel (maximum of 200 pages or less). This is the first installment in a new series with recurring main characters. My friends (Vio mostly) convinced me that this was something extra good. And it was. I'm addicted!!Lucien Vaudrey, the new Lord Crane is back in London after a 20-year exile in China. As a 17 year old young man, he was driven away by his cruel, now dead, father and he never planned to return to England. But after a fast-paced life in Shanghai as a smuggler, in opulence and decadence, he is now back with his faithful butler Merrik to clear up the heritage and try to get rid of the old estate Piler. Once home is Lord Crane suddenly afflicted by terrible suicide attempt and a magician is called in to see what's wrong. Stephen Day is a young magician (or a Practitioner) who hate Crane’s old cruel family. But the new lord is good looking and nice and Mr Day take job to deal with the supernatural threats which are now afflicting Lord Crane.“Is there a reason you have seven magpies tattooed on you?”“Seven for a secret never to be told.” Crane shrugged, making a magpie ripple. “Actually, I just ran out of useful space.”A wonderfully exciting and so well made tale about two men who feel attraction and riddles with ghosts and magic to solve. Lord Crane's life is threatened and Mr Day becomes his sidekick and protector. I really like these two guys. The tall, blond, well-dressed and so beautiful Lord Crane and the quite insecure, short, skinny, ten years younger magician Mr. Day. They got my heart and I want to see more of them together. It was exciting, spooky, fun, great dialogue and it bubbled with steam. There was admiring glances, peeping, thoughts, hands, dirty talk, and I longed for that kiss and a little more... I will anyways throw me over and read the next part as soon as it is available *). Very good, a new great series to enjoy.I LIKE - Cosy and spooky~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*) The sequel, book two (A Case of Possession) will, according to rumor, be released in January 2014....and here is a free shortie to read when you're waiting:

  • Mandy*reads obsessively*
    2019-02-21 06:12

    I bought it ( use coupon GREATFICTION this month and save ) anyway, I got it becauseVio wasbadgeringvery adamantthat I needed to read this book.And such enthusiasm should be rewarded. ;) On Monday the 16th Susan and I are going to BR this one. We'd love to have joiners. :))Ok let me start with everythingawesomeabout this story.The characters are vivid and interesting and even the minor characters play important roles. The mystery and suspense were very well done, the magical world building and history was right up my alley and the whole book was like a painted picture. I could literally seethe story enfold before my eyes as I read. I loved Stephan, he is a great character and Merrick deserves more attention too. Crane is a good man, a wonder considering his father.I still have questions which I'm sure will be answered in the next book..or maybe even more questions will remain to be answered in book 3, but I can say this one doesn't end in a cliffhanger. It has a satisfying ending.My only issue, and this is totally and completely mine and mine alone (view spoiler)[ was the sex scene.. I didn't like it, but that's because it felt like Crane was a whole different person and even Stephan felt off to me.(hide spoiler)]. I have to thank Vio forbeating me over the headbringing this book to my attention, since I am sure I would have missed it all together, since I generally avoid historicals. Now I just have to somehow make it to January when the next one comes out.

  • Jenn
    2019-01-25 00:14

    Too many people have written fantastic reviews, but I shall give some quick thoughts.I CAN'T believe this is a debut novel. Where has this wonderful woman been all my life?! The author said the second book comes out in January and she has the third one in second draft!Anways, this book is FUN. Amazing banter between both of the main characters, as well as the secondary characters. Fun magic that reminded me of being excited by storylines like this as a kid, but it's definitely all adult in tone. Hilarious moments throughout the book that kept making me giggle. This book has PLOT. Lots of it. Warlocks, earls, witches, power struggles, class, and more.Raise the church hands for sexuality not really being an issue in this book. In fact, the issue was often remarked on in amusing ways ie. the butler Graham commenting on wet trousers. RIDICULOUS UST. These characters get interupted more times than I can count, but at least things kept moving story-wise each time it happened. But, yeah, dirty talk, arm pinning, desks, champagne hands, and a roguish smuggler. SIGN MY ASS UP!!!The magpie element was so awesome and it was interwoven continously throughout the story in interesting ways. From tattooes, woodwork, rings, to actual magpies.I CAN'T WAIT for the next book. I love Stephen and Crane so, so much. And Ami called it totally. BAMF!Merrick = ♥

  • Heather C
    2019-01-29 06:50

    Wow, wow, wow!This was a non-stop spooky sexy story filled with mystery, magic and...magpies!  And I loved every moment of it! Crane was so hot with his birdie tattoos and air of dominance paired with Stephen's powers and willful submission culminating into a crazy hot, shocking ending that I had to read twice. Awesome story and writing with high potential to becoming an amazing series.  I shouldn't have sneaked a peak at the sequel...because I want it now! (please excuse my adjective overload)

  • Lois Bujold
    2019-02-17 03:13

    Well, that was fun.It got off to a good quick start with the hero's life-threatening dilemma, with not a lot of time spent Explaining Things viz the worldbuilding. This worked rather well. One absorbed the idea of a late Victorian world with magic, with many possible literary antecedents -- I'm thinking a cross between Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Harry Potter deep background, and who knows what else (though perhaps not The Lustful Turk), but the summed effect seemed fresh to me. The plot stayed tightly focused on a limited cast and setting, which is pretty much what one wants for a romantic melodrama.I will likely end up reading more of these, just to see where it goes with the ideas and characters. The nice thing about adding suspense elements to a romance is that one can pull more than one plot out of a particular couple, rather than just person-gets-person, boom, done for all time.Ta, L.(The Lustful Turk, for those unacquainted, is a piece of real Victorian porn much discussed in the course of a hilarious mystery novel -- I think it was one of the Jacqueline Kirby series. Sorry I can't remember the title, because it -- the mystery, that is -- might be worth reccing, but I'm sure someone will chime in. The Victorian porn was passed around long ago amongst my circle of friends in the form of a tattered paperback, but I'm sure the new and less deprived generation will have it online somewhere. Very high WTF values, as I dimly recall.)

  • Elizabetta
    2019-02-10 06:02

    Excellent stuff! This is a cracking good paranormal mystery set in Victorian England, with haunted mansions, sorcerers, snooty aristos, charming adventurers, and magpies… magpies everywhere!…seven for a witch, I can tell you no more… Lord Crane, Lucien Vaudrey, is not your ordinary pampered aristocrat. He’s had a rough twenty years but returns from exile in China, a self-made man, an opportunist, tattooed and hard-forged… and immune to the strict English dictates of his class. He enjoys his freedom, his privileges, and his men. He is a great main character.Crane finds upon his return home that he has more to manage than inherited money and property. There is the issue of his father and brother’s alleged suicides, and now it seems that someone is intent on bringing harm to Crane… with the help of sorcery. He hires Stephen Day, a practitioner, a magician with expertise in ferreting out the nefarious forces at work against him.The scene is set mostly at Piper, Crane’s gloomy country estate shrouded in some strange, malevolent force. The house is spooky, the servants are surly, and the grounds are populated by vast charms of magpies. In fact, this bird serves as the family symbol (hence the informal title, Magpie Lord) and given their reputation as an omen of ill fortune and connection to witchcraft, are fitting to the story. The paranormal phenomena are ghastly and graphic with more than enough inventive haunting and devilry, spell craft and things that go bump in the night to keep Crane and Stephen scrambling. The sexual tension between them is slow building and sizzling. While at first they seem incompatible, Crane is drawn to Stephen’s goodness, his magic skills, his beautiful amber eyes, and those hands that make him shiver. It’s fun to watch him seduce Stephen who is not initially a fan. Even with all the scariness, the connection and banter between them is infectious and humorous… “What the fuck, what the fucking, bloody devil-shit, what in the name of Satan’s swollen cock was that?” -- Crane“Do you speak in the House of Lords with that mouth?” -- StephenThe story is well-paced and well-edited, the writing fluid and atmospheric. I’m not a big fan of historical romances but when they’re this much fun, well, who can resist? This one is a keeper and luckily, there is a sequel to the adventures due out early next year, so more fun on the way.For this review and much more:

  • Steelwhisper
    2019-02-04 05:57

    1.5* rounded up for GRNo, I don't like it. I don't exactly hate it either, I'm between "really meh" and "bored to tears". I also do not at all and that is emphatically not at all, get the hype this book is getting.I'll be frank, please don't bite my head off!Firstly, it's a rip-off. It's a rather badly disguised concoction of:1. LaMont Cranston (Lucien and Crane? Even the same initials) is "The Shadow". Which used to be a pulp novel series in the 1930s, was then put on radio (Orson Welles cut his teeth on it), and then made a movie in the mid-nineties with a still very cute Alec Baldwin as Cranston. An American ex drug-lord, ex-junkie, ex-criminal, ex-smuggler chief of mafia-don standing, stationed somewhere close to or in China, who gets abducted by a "tulku" (shaman) and turned into a good person through magic.He learns to master the magic, can telepathically control people, is capable of superior physical feats, can telekinetically influence magical items, gets accosted in dreams, and fights crime in his home country America using the magical powers he was taught by the shaman (by the way, if you like Baldwin, watch the movie, it's quite lovely and dark, downright steampunkish, without being too gruesome).2. Batman, the early pulp and later Christian Bale versions, right along with a Merrick instead of an Alfred (Merrick is as good as exchangeable with Alfred), and a Stephen instead of a Robin. Batman by the way was very much influenced by the "The Shadow" novels...3, The Persuaders!, starring Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair (toff English lord, blond, tall, very smart and self-assured) and Tony Curtis (American playboy of low origins and no sophistication, but quite capable of mayhem if needed). The series was characterised by a constant banter and classism between the protagonists. Which is rather identical with what takes place between Crane, Stephen and Merrick.Add some spoonfuls of Wooster and Jeeves, a bit of Lord Peter Wimsey, mix and stir, sprinkle some Harry Potter and Jane Austen on top, and there you have The Magpie Lord! Funnily many think this is a Sherlock/Watson derivate, now that I can't see at all. There's absolutely nothing of that dynamic in this book (except that both belong into the same era), but lots of the above-mentioned others instead.There is nothing really new, fresh or not regurgitated a few times in that story, plot-wise and characterise. That's not bad per se, all of us tell and re-tell the same stories just slightly differently, but to call this something "original and rare"? That's what all the 5-star reviews state. Okay, okay, maybe the state of m/m-writing is so dismal that anything halfway literate and having a plot might stand out, but truth be told, I don't grade against bad books, I grade against the better ones in a specific field. I also grade romances more or less together and there are lots of m/f romances around that I read during the past year or two which easily surpass this here.Secondly, this is a "chick with a dick" or seme/uke romance.Stephen is so very much the girl (or uke) in this pairing. Never mind his magical abilities, he lets loose a stream of consciousness which screams "I'm a hapless swooning maiden! Rip my bodice! Rip my bodice!" practically without interruption.Just imagine a 5' guy, described as so tiny and thin as to look like a schoolboy (!) beside one who is brawny, broad-shouldered and has 6'3" in height! Just to put this into some relation--Michael J. Fox, who really comes over as tiny, has 5' 4". Now place him beside Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson or Kyle Secor. Ouch.And he is constantly on his knees, gets his red lips moistened and "broken" open by Crane, he is breathy, nearly faints half of the time, reacts like a Harlequin lady to Crane, is snippy, in the end gets f*cked like a girl (tried several times and f*cked in the end like that as well) and it's just not a femme who is described there. It's a "male girl".Plot-wise absolutely not needed. He could have been weakened by the prior fight without being reduced to looking like a child and be smaller than an average woman of the era.Heh, and trying to disguise a "chick with a dick" mishap by clothing it in some completely idiotic D/s allusion is truly the opposite of endearing me to a story. Every single sub or bottom I have ever come across had more "male" in their little finger than this Stephen all put together.Again, nothing unusual. So many m/m romances are nothing but m/f re-written into an m/m version. But people expressly maintain that this is a superior m/m novel, and that's where I scratch my head. To me an m/f story in disguise or seme/uke-dynamic sure as hell is not a shining sample of m/m.And lastly, the writing itself is nothing I would write home about. The prose is flowery, downright purple with such an insane amount of adverbs, adjectives and qualifiers thrown in, that I'm sure few nouns and verbs have escaped being modified. In fact, Charles is not satisfied with a single qualifier, she regularly uses two or three. The abundance of adverbs would make Stephen King have a shitfit and even I got antsy over them.There was a load of melodrama, I can't say either that I detected any UST, or anything erotic. I'm not at all into tattoos (so they didn't move me any which way), and magic lube is, heh, tacky. The blow-job was described in a to me unerotic, turning-off manner and throwing "the little man" over desks or against trees is sort of, well, unsexy and so reminding me of bodice ripping. The final act was a rip-off of "Wallbanger" (that's the het romance I'm talking about).So, this is not meant as a take-down of those who like this book.It IS a solidly written piece of fluff and entertainment. Like a well-made blockbuster summer movie, a lot of very hot air. But it has no real depth, no real elegance. I get it that it is something people can like and squee over, but it's nowhere close to the hype it is getting. And I bought in to the hype, so now I judge going by it. I can't help that.If I had thought this is just some fluffy inconsequential fantasy, I might have been less disappointed. I expected much, much more after reading all these reviews.I most identify with Crispy's review, he or she nails it: loved the cover by the way, though both it and the blurb are extremely misleading. They make one expect some sort of Victorian steampunk or gaslight tale, but in all reality nothing in this novel even suggests historical accuracy. There's not a whiff of Victorian era in this.

  • Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰
    2019-02-12 05:14

    "The past was dead. They were alive. He wanted this man so much. Right here, right now, exactly like this."I devoured The Magpie Lord in less than a day and in one sitting. This is one of my highest guilty pleasures and it was so so so close to 4 stars!__________________The World*raises a toast* To K.J Charles, for creating a world so damaged and lovely and bittersweet. A world which has all the literary ingredients for a reader to get magnetized into it. A world where if you close your eyes, you can picture exactly what is happening around you, down to all the senses. Cheers. You fucking broke me. The Characters“No, I am not. What the fuck, what the fucking, bloody devil-shit, what in the name of Satan’s swollen cock was that?”“Do you speak in the House of Lords with that mouth?” I fell in love with each and every character as I flew past the chapters. These characters sold the book for me - they were multi dimensional and so real that I couldn't help but feel for every single one. Each character had an aspect that was going for them, be it humor, or malice or even tingling champagne hands. The author has without a doubt created a story that has a beautiful world, a beautiful plot, a beautiful theme and although it was not a character driven story - I couldn't help but feel the characters were the heart and soul of it. At par with the whole story-line. “Was that Chinese for goodbye?” Stephen asked. “See you again,” Crane said. “Not goodbye." Public Service Announcement: Frank Merrick has my heart. No refunds or exchanges. The Vibes"...or you can sit there and go mad for thinking you’re going mad."I had some serious analytical and doctor who-sical vibes coming off from this.And I lovedddd itI enjoyed reading the way the mystery opened itself so that we got to understand only the things that the characters understood as the story unfolded. We got to make our own theories and the excitement was palpable enough to touch. “You know,” he added, “there are a number of recommended methods of dealing with ghosts—salt and iron, harmonic resonance, some people swear by exorcism, and not just priests—but that’s the first time I’ve seen anyone try a left hook.”I also loved the family vibes we were getting. Not the Crane family nooooo. The family that a group of misfits built for themselves. I'm talking about a trio that were born for each other. “I am, but I’m not sure what,” Stephen admitted. “There’s something very old and odd and quite unpleasant about this house.”“Yes, it’s Graham.” The Romance"Why don’t you tell me what you think happened last night?” Crane’s lips drew back in a snarl. “What I think is that I was about to have you right there in the garden. I think you were about two minutes from being flat on your back in the grass.” more detailedWOooooooweee.. This is it. This is why I gave this marvelous book a 3 star rating. I felt like the romance aspect lacked enough for me to wonder if the author intended it to be like that or if it was cut out in efforts for the focus to stay on other themes running through the story. Don't get me wrong, there was some hot and heavy man on man action - but I just wish it could have been more detailed, more build up, more getting to know each other. m.o.r.e"He pushed his thumb further into the warm mouth and felt a flicker of tongue against his skin, a tentative taste."I loved The Magpie Lord to bits and I hate that it was so fucking close to being a 4 star! But onwards and upwards to the next in the series :) “Have a drink,” recommended Merrick, who was finding minor tasks around the room. “You have a damn drink, this is your fault,”

  • Leanne
    2019-01-21 00:10

    4.5 starsNow this is what I call a cracking good read.Effortless writing. Delightfully dry, ironic humour. Sexy and charming and just a touch ghoulish. Wonderful world-building and two intriguing characters who will no doubt become more fleshed out as the series continues. On that note, I'm really quite satisfied with the way this ends. No dreaded cliffhanger here and for that I'm thankful. Wonderful debut. Highly recommended!

  • Sheziss
    2019-02-05 07:12

    I guess I got stuck with the magpies and wasn't charmed by them.This is one of those cases I feel self-conscious because I didn't love a book everybody else obviously adore. I feel fish out of water (why do they jump out of the tank, anyway?).When someone tries to sell a product, the merchant rambles about all the virtues and advantages of his product and the client is the one who decides if his time listening to all that verbal diarrhea is worth it or not. The client hears the first sentences, something calls his attention and the peddler goes on with his monologue. If he is a good peddler, he manages to turn it into a dialogue and makes the client participate in the discussion. If he is convinced, the client decides the product is good and buys it. The seller gets money and the client gets a shining new thing. But if the seller is boring it can be hell listening to him and you ignore it. But it can happen something outstanding, like seeing lots of people buying the shining new things so you stop and listen. The more time that passes, the more bored you are, but that person keeps selling them like hot cakes. So you begin having doubts, maybe there is a catch you are not getting, maybe you are missing something serious and honestly phenomenal you are not able to see. So go stay, listening like a dumb, hoping the bulb on your head miraculously lightens. In the end, you have swallowed all the paraphernalia with no benefit at all.After the spell is broken you wonder, why did I waste my time like that? The answer was there since the very beginning, I was just not interested! I just didn't the seller nor the product!The style never drew me in. I felt a distance from the characters I usually feel while reading an all time classic novel. It was as if the author didn't invest herself in the novel, as if she were manipulating her characters with long invisible threads instead of living inside their skin.I don't like that feeling.The thing is, I really appreciate the quality and originality of the book but wasn't hooked by the writing or the fantasy wows. I liked the world building but it didn't amaze me. I liked the characters but couldn't feel any affinity for them. I liked the plot but couldn't be less interested in the events. I appreciated it all from an almost scientific perspective, but didn't feel any warmth or heart in it. Zero chemistry. And I even found some inconsistencies and incoherences. And I was immensely bored.There is no recipe that works 100%. You can't ask me what ingredients should a book have to make it awesome. It's the way they are combined and cooked and the I-don't-know-what that makes it for me or not. I appreciate all the qualities of this book in separate departments, but as a whole it didn't tickle my fancy.So, no, I'm not going to go on with the series.

  • Jenre
    2019-02-19 07:02

    This book is the perfect example of why I love Good Reads, despite its many faults and the current hoo-ha over reviews being deleted, and why I would be loathe to leave the site. The book was released earlier this year when I was going through a reading slump. I probably read some good reviews at the time but lacked enthusiasm and so didn't buy. Now I've got my reading mojo back and happened to see a comment about this book on my status feed. I followed the link, decided to give the book a go, and couldn't put it down. This book would have totally passed me by and that would have been a great shame.The Magpie Lord has everything I look for in a great m/m romance. There's intelligent, compelling writing coupled with characters who stand out from the page and an exciting, chilling story of magical misuse. The Victorian setting seemed perfectly realised with enough detail for the setting to seem natural without overegging it. From the start I was drawn in by the seemingly opposite Lord Lucien and the 'practitioner' Stephen. They are both strong characters but in subtly different ways that complement each other. The story is non stop, full of tense action scenes mixed with character development and a simmering sexual tension that curled my toes. The secondary characters, especially loyal Merrick who is more like a friend than a manservant to Lucien, contain enough complexity to be interesting. My only disappointment was that the main villains' motive seemed lacking when everything has been so carefully built up and explained, although I'm hoping more will be developed in future books.Overall, I can't recommend this highly enough for those readers who like paranormal historical romance. This is a new author to me and I'm eagerly waiting the next book in the series.

  • Gigi
    2019-02-09 03:01

    OK, I decided to read this book because of the excellent reviews even though I am not a fan of historical M/M romance fiction. So many GR friends had written that it was worth the read, even if you weren't a historical fan. Well, unfortunately for me, another thing I don't particularly like in my M/M romance fiction is when the main subject of the storyline is not the romance. The brunt of this story was about the curse set upon MC Lord Crane and how MC Stephen Day was hired to help him lift it. The romance between the two was incredibly small. Literally a few pages. So, two big strikes against it.This book was very well written and had an exciting premise. If I loved historical novels, I'm sure it would be a favorite. If you like historical novels, just look at all the reviews and you'll see this is one to read. If you like a good M/M romance, this isn't for you, unless you will be satisfied with a minimal amount of sex and emotion. Either way, enjoy!

  • Simsala
    2019-02-07 03:07

    4,5 starsAlmost eighty reviews - everything I could add to this gush-fest has already been said and would let me sound like a parrot.;-)Soooo...The Magpie Lord gave me everything I missed when reading Harry Potter.Magpies (not a single owl to be seen)Two men in loveSteamAnd a foxy smile....Great story!!

  • LenaLena
    2019-02-20 05:57

    Four and almost a half stars, rounded up because a) the price is very right at under $4 and b) it did me a huge favor (see below). This book was a very pleasant surprise. I’ve gotten to the point where, when I am reading a Historical (especially a Victorian era one), I am expecting lots of angst, internalized homophobia, stultifying social interactions, cardboard villains in the form of blackmailing ex-lovers or family members and very… sedate…. pacing….. I was ecstatic to be proven wrong in this case.I picked this up in the middle of an 11 hour plane ride after flitting from book to book on my kindle for a couple of hours with nothing that was grabbing me enough to distract me from the screaming autistic kid in the row behind me. This was the book that did it. Unfortunately it took me less than 4 hours to finish it and I still had some hours to go on the plane by the time it was done, but I can tell you these hours were the highlight of that particular trip. The story is funny and engaging. I did not solve the mystery 5 chapters before the MCs did. Both MCs were three dimensional characters and likeable without being perfect or bland. And unexpected things happened, which is kind of a given, this being a Paranormal Romance and all. I have to say that besides a few vampire and shifter stories I haven’t read a whole lot of Paranormal stuff (unless you count a couple hundred Merlin fanfics), and I don’t feel qualified to say whether this book went beyond Paranormal clichés or not, but it felt pretty fresh to me. And most of the things I thought I saw coming, didn’t.The romance takes a bit of a backseat to the mystery, but there is plenty of it to satisfy most romance junkies. Only those who skim everything that isn’t directly contributing to getting the MCs in bed (or on a desk, in this case) or who like to wallow in all the feelz may think it’s skimpy. Personally, I was intrigued by the journey of how Crane went from thinking of Stephen as an emaciated ginger dwarf to wanting him. There were several different types of power balance played out between the two guys, and the way they balance out in the end is well done without feeling overly simplistic.Both men have a past that is less than happy and that affects their actions. While these past events get exposed and explored, there is a refreshing lack of wailing and manly tears in the process. Not that there is time for that between all the supernatural murder attempts and other manifestations, really. This is one fast-paced Historical, I am happy to say. The only places where it drags a little is when Stephen gets overly explainy about different types of magic users, but as far as info dumps go it’s got nothing on your average Fantasy doorstop.Overall, this book was highly entertaining and I am looking forward to book 2. Can’t wait to see how Stephen and Crane are going to manage back in London. Apparently there will be giant rats. Sounds awesome.