Author: Chris Quinton
Publisher: Kouros Books
Pages: 63,700 words
Characters: Jesse Adams and Will Blake
POV: Third Person
Sub-Genre: Urban Fantasy
The mutual attraction between Jesse and Will is a bonus for Melusine when her enemies close in and she needs to rebuild her war band—starting with Jesse, Will, and Greymalkin.
Jesse Adams is an ex-rugby player who’s gone into seclusion to avoid the media following a guilty verdict in a court case. Jesse has come to live for a year in Greenlynn, where he is supposed to be writing his biography.
Will Blake is an out and proud policeman, respected and liked by the community he helps to protect from rural crime.
When the two men meet their attraction is instant, but they have no idea their love will draw them into a centuries’ old conflict.
Melusine, a deity of rivers and seas, long ago lost the Battle of the Betrayal and is imprisoned in a nexus centred on the source of the Lynn River. She can only travel in the flowing water of her river, and cannot set foot on her banks. Her cats are not so bound. Neither pets nor familiars, they move freely between the realities, her agents among the humans who live along the Lynn.
When Melusine’s enemies come to the valley in search of revenge, Jesse and Will discover they have a part to play in the ancient feud. Do they commit to becoming part of a mythical triad, or leave the valley and forget they ever knew that magic exists?
“Greymalkin” is a smooth combination of a contemporary drama and a paranormal/fantasy romance. The two men, Jesse and Will, are firmly rooted in contemporary lives and each have careers they love (although Jesse’s is currently in limbo). Yet what seems at first to be two separate stories smoothly merges into one story as the men are drawn into Melusine’s war.
Unlike many paranormal stories, the men’s contemporary lives don’t end the minute they are aware of the “other” side of things, and their struggle to balance the two helps the story develop.
Don’t read this story expecting instant action. Ms Quinton excels at the build-up of tension and development of all the players. Her stories are always character driven and this one is no exception. I even found myself feeling for two of the key “enemies” and hoping they would find their way to escaping their anger.
Being a “cat lady” without the cats, I’m afraid Greymalkin stole my attention at times. He’s a strong, experienced tom who cares deeply for Melusine and is every bit as manipulative as she is. Ms Quinton has always been a great weaver of characters and stories, and in him, she captured my heart. Probably a lot of that has to do with the description of him sitting on a fence post and “overflowing” the top of the post. My sister has a cat who does the exact same thing.
I would recommend this story for almost anyone who reads urban fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, or has read Ms Quinton’s stories in the past. The plot is strong and interesting, and the characters are well written and strong. The ending was satisfying with Jesse and Will having made definite decisions and their relationship strong, although the book did finish leaving me wondering what would happen next in Melusine’s war, with little snippets thrown in here and there hinting at future stories.
Ms Quinton, I’d love to know poor Cloud’s story, but it is obvious she will need some time…
If you enjoy this story, it is very likely you will also enjoy many of Ms Quinton’s others, like I have. I must admit that my favorites (apart from this one) are “Dark Waters” and “Argent Dreaming”.
Reviewed by Alison