Title: The Magpie Lord
Author: KJ Charles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Characters: Lucien Vaudrey, Stephen Day
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Historical, Erotic Romance
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.
A Charm of Magpies, Book 1
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.
This book was a true surprise, with brilliant, intriguing twists and turns I just couldn’t wrap my brain around. I craved more with each new word and line, paragraph and chapter. I was overjoyed to learn there’s a sequel coming up in 2014, plus a free read in-between story available.
This is not by any means an instalove story, neither is it a straightforward story with a simple mystery and some hot sex. No, Lucien and Stephen are not simple, one-dimensional men; they have their own secrets, past and motives for doing things. Lucien is a rebel, battling against the dark conventions of his noble family, while Stephen is a man filled with hatred due to the past, all of it caused by the Vaudreys. The characterization here is top notch. These people say one thing, but think another, behaving differently according to situations and who they’re with, like real people. It takes a while for both men to learn to trust one another.
The plot is complex, riddled with delicious details that add to the world-building until you can’t stop reading, needing to know more, flipping through pages till the end. You’re lead to believe the story’s all figured out halfway through, but watch out, ’cause it’s far from over. Every attack on Lucien is more startling and dangerous than the last, and I felt genuine fear for his life. Thankfully, Stephen has abilities and insights that can aid them through thick and thin. Towards the end of the book, as the true culprits are revealed, I was so totally hooked into the events that I felt disoriented once I finished the book.
The writing is captivating, mesmerizing, alluring, and very professional. I was easily swept up by the events transpiring, and I’m hungry for more. I honestly recommend this wholeheartedly to all MM genre lovers. Oh, and the sequel—A Case of Possession—was released on January 28. Looking forward to it already!
Reviewed By: Susan