Posts Tagged ‘historical’

Reviewed by Elizabetta

Bump in the Night, edited by Rachel HaimowitzTITLE: Bump in the Night
AUTHORS: Heidi Belleau, Ally Blue, Kari Gregg, Peter Hansen, Laylah Hunter, Brien Michaels & Sam Schooler
EDITOR: Rachel Haimowitz
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 210 pages
BLURB: Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.

Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.

Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.

By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.

REVIEW:

This is one of the strongest and most provocative anthologies I’ve read in the slash genre. Each story is unique in its own special horror and all are well crafted. Warning: this is more horror than erotica. And while there’s little to no romance, there’s plenty of sexual intoxication. There are a lot of disturbing elements. If rape or dubious consent is a trigger, proceed with caution.

The endings are more ‘happy-for-now’ or even ‘this is as good as it’s gonna get’. But isn’t that what life in the ‘Twilight Zone’ is about? I have to admit that I gobbled these up, thrilled by the story-telling.

There is a common thread through the stories summed up by a line lifted from one of them, “I hadn’t stopped to consider the cost.” Just in time for Halloween, this is highly recommended for those who want a darker, no-holds-barred read. Please heed the tags.

Overall anthology rating – star_review

Resurrection Man by Laylah Hunter
Tags: historical, paranormal, gore

An interesting turn on the Frankenstein story, this is a perfect example of the adage, “be careful what you wish for”…  A young man desperately in love, practices the dark art of necromancy and sells his soul to bring a beloved lover back from the dead.

“The flesh is scarcely the trouble… the installation of a soul in flesh is the domain of God.”

This feels like a chapter out of a larger piece (which means I want more) but works fine as is. Chillingly horrific and melancholy.

Rated: four-stars_0

Mating Season by Kari Gregg
Tags: paranormal, monsters, tentacle-sex, slave/captive, non/dubious-consensual/rape, cock/ball torture, gore, bondage, medical kink

Oh*my*freaking*lord

This is over-the-top wickedness with a cherry on the top, and the bit of devious plotting keeps it from being purely torture porn. The author throws everything but the kitchen sink into this feast of tentacle sex depravity…

A lusty monster with very active suction-cupped appendages…

“… the suckers on the underside of the tentacles nuzzled and guzzled down my cock like dozens of tiny mouths slurping… siphoning… tenderly squeezing…”

Deception, bondage, non-con/dub-con/rape, mpreg, stuffing, fisting… torture…you name it.

Did I like it?

Yes… yes, I did.

It starts off innocently enough. Danny is on a back-to-nature camping trip in a bucolic setting… cue birds, bees, butterflies…

Then begins a descent into nightmare-hell as he is tricked and forced into an evil experiment and… let’s just say he finds a special connection with a large, slimy, tentacled lake monster. It’s not pretty. I can’t say more. Read it.

This comes so close to my (so-far) favorite tent-sex read, Charlotte Mistry’s Gay Tentacles from Outer Space! (discerning tent-sex readers will already know this one). But Kari Gregg (I Omega, Spoils of War) offers up her very own special brand of delicious torture in the tent sex genre.

It’s just all kinds of… no… and, yesssss… Read it, but heed the tags.

Rated: star_review

Flesh and Song by Ally Blue
Tags: contemporary, paranormal, gods/demons, sailing, tropical island

Noah Rose is a restless man. He has everything he could want, a thriving surf holiday business in Costa Rica, a beautiful sailboat, and an eight month vacation cruising around the Caribbean. He’s been searching for a mythic island, “La Terre de la Belle Mort” (Land of the Beautiful Death), but what exactly is he searching for? He has been desired by many men “who wanted to own him but couldn’t” yet he is alone, adrift on the sea, searching, until…

”… here he was, facing the island the old men swore would give you your heart’s most secret desire. For a price.”

A naked man shows up on the island’s pristine beach and Noah is called to him. The lure of the siren song, here with a twist, changes Noah’s life as, once more, someone wants to own and bind him. Has he found his “heart’s most secret desire”?

“Then the stranger spoke again, the words like bells and nightingales… making his heart race… intoxicating song words Noah didn’t understand but already needed the way he needed air and water.”

The story is well made, but in the end it felt like an interesting interlude. Noah is in a dangerous situation, we see it even when he doesn’t, but we don’t know or learn enough about him to really care. Points for the descriptive writing and Noah’s fall into a kind of madness— that was fun.

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Out From Under by Brien Michaels
Tags: contemporary, paranormal, demons/monsters, slave/captive, bondage, vine sex, non/dubious-consensual/rape, three-way, stuffing & sounding, torture, gore-fest

Brant has been enslaved and imprisoned in an old, decaying mansion cellar by an evil demon that can take different physical forms. It can even manifest itself by turning the cellar into a lush, verdant forest, sprouting foliage and sex-crazed vines. And it is hungry, it needs a certain type of nourishment. One guess what that is…

“… leaves sprouted beneath my feet, moist and lush… the first string of cum jettisoned from the tip of my cock, and the leaves glowed where it landed.”

The author outdoes himself, this is such a randy gore-fest of demon badness. And Brant is no innocent. He’s a pain-loving nympho, hooked on vine sex, reduced to procuring men for the monster, keeping its secrets; he’s sold himself for it and is lost to the pleasure.

“… the demon’s curse amplified every feeling, made me need that caress so badly I ached.”

And yet, there are lines like, “This nymphomania was really a burden sometimes. It made life so much harder…” and… “(the demon’s) head walked toward me (saying): “Things may not have worked out quite the way I’d planned.” The cheeky humor is welcome and balances the nightmare nicely.

The author switches back and forth in describing the demon’s sexual appendages… are they vines or tentacles? Confusing and irritating. Discriminating tent sex readers will want an important detail like this kept clear and consistent!! *nods* For this reader ‘vine’ works just as well as ‘tentacle’.  I have to add that the demon’s ghastly, human form with its tattoos that could ‘peel away on command’ into 3-D vines— so cool. I also liked the ending, how things resolved for Brant, though there is a lot of gore to wade through to get there. Be warned!

Rated: four-stars_0

Sleeping With Ghosts by Peter Hansen
Tags: paranormal, alternate universe, ghosts, violence

An odd, grim alternative universe, this, and slow-going at first as the reader is dropped coldly into it with little preparation.  Brother Yordan Korvechi is a Bookman, he works for the Church of She Who Turns the Page and their job is to protect against the soulless who roam this world (it seems there are a limited number of souls to go around). “Turning the page” being a euphemism for death, and Yordan wielding the power of the Grim Reaper.

What happens when an aged person needs a little nudge, a little help with separation from life and soul? Who you gonna call?

Yordan is dispatched to such a task, equipped for action… “He had a knife up each sleeve and a slim pistol in his coat lining, a garrote in his breast pocket just aching to be unwound.”  His task is critical, as somewhere, an unborn baby is waiting for the recycled soul, must have it.

But when Yordan discovers that he has been used in a political rivalry, he begins to have second thoughts about his work. Things have become more complicated when he is touched by the soul of the not-so-aged man he has just dispatched, and he is forever changed.

This was well written and atmospheric with a brooding sense of tension, dis-ease and suspicion, but it didn’t feel especially horrific or erotic. It left me almost as cold as poor Yordan’s interaction with the soulless ghost… I couldn’t help but feel that a little more info and character development would have greatly helped. (I recall that I’ve read another short by this author (Changing the Guard) which left me feeling much the same.)

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint by Heidi Belleau & Sam Schooler
Tags: paranormal, demons, rape, ‘shock-value’

Holy cannoli, this is all kinds of messed up. Disturbing and mesmerizing.

Things start off relatively quietly. There’s David who has to sell himself on the streets to get by, and is dying from syphilis, and Tobias, his self-righteous, sanctimonious ex-lover who runs a boy’s orphanage, steeping himself in ‘good works’.

Told from Tobias’ POV, we see that they were childhood lovers, but Tobias was unable to accept his ‘unnatural’ feelings for David. So he abandons him, and buries himself in religious conviction that it’s for the best. David, meanwhile still loves Tobias, and comes asking him for help.

Part-way in I felt that this was looking to be the most romantic of all the offerings in this antho. Yeah, Tobias is a prick, but he eventually enters into a deal with a strange man he meets in a church, whereby he can give David his life back, give him a chance at redemption. It seems that Tobias still cares for his old lover and does want to help him. But are his intentions completely unselfish and in good faith?

This also has an underlying message of the need for compassion— that sometimes there is no choice— that we must accept who we are, and that love is love. Too bad Tobias learns this too late because the bargain he makes for David’s soul turns out to have a horrific and shocking payment. He has literally sold his soul to the devil for it.

Most of the important action happens in a church and there is an act that is so shocking that it stopped me cold… it will offend some, I suspect. But this is some special mindfuckery— that the horror here, lies in messing with our perceptions and boundaries. There is a twist in the act that makes it work in the end, though. In the end, everyone gets what they deserve. But at what cost?

Rated: four-stars_0

Elizabetta’s Overall Rating – star_review

BUY LINKS: Riptide Publishing

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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Reviewed by Heather C

SERIES: Agamemnon Frost Trilogy
AUTHOR: Kim Knox
BOOKS: 3
PUBLISHER: Carina Press

Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death (Book One, Agamemnon Frost Trilogy)

BLURB: Liverpool, 1891

Click image to view full coverDecorated artilleryman Edgar Mason was forced to find new work when the British Empire replaced its foot soldiers with monstrous machines. Now he waits on the Liverpool elite as a personal servant. He has just one rule: he won’t work for fashion-addled dandies.

Agamemnon Frost, however, is far from the foppish man-about-town he appears to be. He’s working to protect the Earth from an alien invasion being planned by a face-changing creature known as Pandarus. And on the night he plans to confront the aliens, he enlists Mason to assist him.

For a man to love a man is a serious crime in Victorian England. But when Mason meets Frost, his heart thunders and his blood catches fire. And when Pandarus drags the two men into the torture cellars beneath his house of death to brainwash them, Mason’s new passion may be all that stands between him and insanity.

REVIEW:

Okay, this was crazy!

The cover is what first drew my interest to this story, but when I originally read the blurb for this, I was immediately turned off by the Victorian England-slash-alien invasion concept.  Then, something kept pulling me back to it over and over, and when I finally realized it would be a trilogy, I decided to give it a try.

It’s Liverpool in 1891, and Edgar Mason, a former soldier, has been hired for the night to play manservant to Agamemnon Frost, a well-dressed gentleman *cough* and guest at Sir Randolph’s dinner party.  Mason soon realizes that ALL things aren’t what they seem and the two men soon find themselves on the run…from Martians!

I’m going to separate my review into parts: first half and second half…

For the first half, the entire first half, I was so lost and confused I almost gave up.  There was a lot of “alien speak” and I couldn’t figure out what the other characters were going on and on about.  Plus, all the Greek references were lost on me.  I couldn’t visualize any of the alien contraptions, nor could I picture what the bad guys were doing to the MC.  It was like all this was written for a higher level of intelligence and my measly, human brain could not comprehend the complexity of it.  Like I said, it was a real struggle for me to continue reading.

Then, for the second half, like right AT the 50% mark, something changed, and all of a sudden, it was making sense and I was really interested in what was going to happen.  The story was still crazy, but by then, it was a fun crazy in a creative and unique way.  I now believe that the beginning was meant to be confusing and hard to follow, since we are getting the story from Mason’s third person POV, and not necessarily a poor execution from the author.

My favorite part of this story was the sexual tension between Mason and Agamemnon.  There’s lots of heat there that I really hope will finally reach a climax in the next book. (Yes, I can’t wait to read it; I must find out what happens).  I am really, really intrigued by Agamemnon and want to know more of his secrets; and I want to know what’s really going on in Mason’s head.

I’m giving this one 3 stars for the fact that it failed to hold my interest for a large part of the story.

Don’t let the historical aspects scare you if that’s not usually your thing, because the feel of the story is more science fiction, alternate universe.

Heather rates it – 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINKS: Carina Press :: Amazon

Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships (Book Two, Agamemnon Frost Trilogy)

Click image to view full coverBLURB: Edgar Mason is ready to embark upon his new life at Agamemnon Frost’s side. But all is not perfect. His Martian overlord, Pandarus, has implanted a dark voice in his mind, a voice that urges betrayal. And though Mason can keep close to Frost, there’s little room for romance under the watchful gaze of the engineers from Station X.

That changes when Mason and Frost reopen their investigation into their old enemy’s whereabouts. Posing as double agents and investigating cryptic rumors of “hollow ships,” they find him impersonating a London banker and worm their way into his confidence.

But their success brings them trouble in spades. Pandarus takes them into the belly of his ships, where he plans to transfigure them into mindless automata. And with Earth on the brink of invasion, Frost’s old flame Theodora reappearing and Pandarus’s brainwashing growing more effective, Mason and Frost will find their bond tested as never before.

REVIEW:

I’ve come to the conclusion that science fiction just might not be the genre for me.

So, Mason is still trying to adapt to his “changes” and is working as Frost’s valet, but now they are stuck at Station X and really can’t explore any of that unresolved sexual tension that’s been building up between them.  Mason is also still struggling with the whispers in his mind that keep telling him that Frost is a traitor and urging him to report that to his master.  Nestor decides that Mason and Frost need to go check out the “hollow ships” and see if they can find Pandarus.  And that’s where things begin to fall apart…

I didn’t think it was possible, but this story was even more difficult for me to follow than the first one.  I couldn’t picture ANYTHING that was happening to the characters or the setting around them.  There were chambers, and spikes and ships made out of human skin…I think.  It was all over the place!  Mason kept thinking he was dying and then he would wake up and I would be even more lost. Then, I think there may have been some kind of time travel to an earth made of living skin…or was it dead skin?  I have no idea because then it was gone…I think.

The sexual tension/romance was much more lacking here than in the first book.  Previously, Frost was all ready to fuck Mason, and then when he finally has a chance, he turns him down!  But not before giving Mason a hand job that I couldn’t even see in my head. And Mason keeps going on and on about how Frost needs to be with his former fiancée, Theodora, even though Frost has told him over and over that he wants Mason and not her.

I struggled reading this from the first page to the last, but I’m still going to read the third book to see how this mess ends.

Heather rates it – 

BUY LINKS: Carina Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: Agamemnon Frost and the Crown of Towers (Book Three, Agamemnon Frost Trilogy)

Click image to view full coverBLURB: Edgar Mason is losing Agamemnon Frost despite everything they’ve been through–the passion, the torture, the heat. Frost’s fiancée, Theodora, is back, and Mason can feel his lover gravitating toward her. Every day he sees them together, it tears at his heart.

Frost feels raw himself. His brother and sister-in-law are missing, and his guilt about failing to save Theodora from Pandarus eats at him. His feelings for Mason, whom he has put through hell twice already, just twist the screws tighter.

On top of that, Pandarus and the Martians are back to make their final push to Earth, and Frost and Mason are duty bound to fight them. People are vanishing. Bodies are turning up burned beyond recognition in the slums. The bleak, human-less future Frost and Mason saw in the hollow ships has nearly come to pass.

And in order to prevent it, each man will have to make a final choice: lose his lover or doom the world.

REVIEW:

Probably my most favorite book of the series and the most coherent…for the most part.

After rescuing Theodora, Mason and Frost are now protecting her at Frost’s home, Greenbank Hall, and trying to keep the darkness in her mind from taking over. Then, Frost’s brother, Menelaus, and his wife go missing and Frost decides he must take action against Pandarus and discover what the puzzle of The Crown of Towers really is, and choosing between Mason or Theodora’s safety.

For about the first 75% of this book, I was really liking it and was able to follow what was going on.  We get to see more of Frost’s vulnerabilities when it comes to the safety of Theodora; and Mason’s jealousy of Frost’s “engagement” to her.  We also get to see a resolution to all the sexual tension between Mason and Frost…and it’s totally HOT!!

For the last 25% of the book and the big climax where earth is saved from the invading Martians, well, this is where I got confused again and I’m still not sure I understand what really happened. Somehow Mason was the brain of Pandarus’s ship and then Frost’s cravat pin somehow becomes the key to saving the world. Huh?

In the end, Mason and Frost are free from Pandarus and Theodora and can now live happily ever after.

So probably, this kind of science fiction just isn’t for me.

Heather rates it – 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINKS: Carina Press :: Amazon :: All Romance eBooks

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Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: HEATHER’S REVIEWS
==================================

Reviewed by Elizabetta

Serve MeTITLE: Serve Me (Anthology)
AUTHORS: Anna Hedley, Gabriel Belthir, Lor Rose, Fox Lee
PUBLISHER: Storm Moon Press
LENGTH: 129 pages
BLURB: For some people there’s nothing more appealing than the idea of a man forced to serve against his will, as a second-class citizen: a slave. Despite the dark history surrounding forced servitude and slavery, there remains a growing desire for depictions of fetishized slavery fantasies. Like rape fantasy, the appeal for readers in slave fiction lies not in a desire for the actual act, but in the ability to explore such things in a safe space. Many people harbor a secret wish to be forced into certain acts that they know they want, but have been socially conditioned to abhor. Such is the core of the Serve Me anthology. Be warned: these are not stories of consensual, negotiated power exchange. The stories in this anthology focus on true sexualized, erotic slavery: stories of men forced, coerced, or otherwise bound into a second-class life servicing another in whatever ways their master sees fit.

Idris is part of The Spoils of war: the last surviving member of a barbarian clan, he is famed in the gladiatorial arena for his bloody ruthlessness and outside the arena for his carnal appetites. His inner beast is calmed by the presence of his slave and lover, Theo, but to be true to his heart, Idris may have to risk breaking it. Samuel has spent years striving toward the Viscount’s circles, where rich and fantastical parties are given and elaborate slave auctions held. He thinks he wants a young lover, but when he buys an Adonis known as Apollo, he realizes what he was truly missing. Now Apollo gives the orders, and it is Samuel saying, As You Wish. Life is Unforgiving for Aidan and Aaron, criminals who have been doomed to live as slaves to vampire masters, whose appetites can be agony… or bliss. When Aidan is given a new lease on life with a benevolent Master, his relief is tainted by pain at leaving Aaron behind; pain which only his Master Ryce has the power to end. Yuta is a gentle giant who joins a local gang for the sense of family that they can provide, but when they leave him high and dry in the middle of a failed heist, it’s his captor, Takashima, who shows him what family can really mean as the vicious gang enforcer tenderly turns him into Takashima’s Pet.

REVIEW:

Forced servitude is the common theme in this anthology about slave fantasies. If non-con, multiple partners, slave pets, bondage, and humiliation are triggers, stay away. If not, you may find something here to titillate.

Overall rating = 3.0 stars

The Spoils by Anna Hedley

Idris’ berserker skills make him a formidable combatant in the arena where he fights for the entertainment and gain of his Master. Problem is, Idris can’t control when he “whites out” and goes crazy on his opponents’ asses, and he remains invincible. That is, until he meets the snarky demon Kage, who kicks his butt; until he starts hallucinating the ghosts of all those he’s killed in the arena.

Idris is going through the motions, he’s had enough of the carnage and chewing on his opponent’s guts. Theo, a maenad (confusing, as they are supposed to be feminine; or maybe this is a playful poke at girly guys?) pleasure slave with magic healing skills, is given to Idris. He and Theo take a pretty quick cottoning to each other… or maybe Idris just appreciates healing massages…  and Theo just wants his freedom. Anyway, I’m not really feeling it.

Kage, however, is fun. He’s a sexy, wise-cracking ninja master with a wicked toothed whip, and he knows how to take control. We don’t get nearly enough of this demon match-maker.

The debauchery à la ancient Rome, is chock-a-block with lusty pleasure slave rapey-ness, multiple partners, oily wrestling, public sex and humiliation, and even a double penetration. So, lots of fluid swapping excess swamps the action.

Rated: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

As You Wish by Gabriel Belthir

Set in a pseudo Victorian-era England, a young working stiff gets his fondest wish when he is invited to hobnob with the ton. It’s never clear just what Samuel’s allure is to Viscount Edmund Kaylock, why he’s been invited to his private slave auction at the mansion– I was eager for more information about that.

Samuel can’t believe his good fortune as he surveys the tall and massive, ebony skinned, Apollo, up for bid. This slave spells danger, is rumored to have murdered, but that doesn’t stop Samuel from taking him home.

There is some initial awkward racial “Mandingo” stereotyping that had me worried. But a nice role twist develops and Apollo eventually shows insight and ingenuity. I found this mostly pedestrian though, and there’s not a lot of world-building. But, there is a hot role-play scene and the relationship works sweetly in the end.

Rated: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

Life is Unforgiving by Lor Rose

In this paranormal vamp story the slaves are called ‘blood bags’. Vamps, or Daeva, are out in the world but feared by all. And they are allowed to take slaves.

Aidan is discarded by his old Master; he’s sold to Ryce who is quite gentle and indulgent with him. So things start looking up for the horribly abused Aidan. There is a very hot menage scene– Aidan is the middle in a vamp sandwich with Ryce and vamp friend, Levant. They work very well together, in concert and synchronized… oh hell, the whole thing is sexy. Let’s just say that Aidan’s luck has changed when he discovers vamp sex. He may even find vamp love. This is my favorite of the anthology, I like Ryce’s treatment of Aidan throughout and his promising him a happy ever after is sweetly romantic.

Rated: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

Takashima’s Pet by Fox Lee

Yuta has the misfortune of getting caught when his gang attempts to rob Takashima’s warehouse; they take off running, leaving him behind. Fortunately, the well-known yakuza likes the look of Yuta and gives him the choice of death or becoming his sex slave.

The first day Takashima keeps Yuta he leaves him alone bound, ball-gagged and catheterized, on his bed. For the whole day. Alone. No food, no water. This was completely unappealing. It doesn’t matter what Takeshima thinks of Yuta, it’s just plain dangerous behavior. The blurb says that Takashima tenderly teaches Yuta the meaning of family. It’s all relative I suppose, as Yuta hasn’t known much tender love in his life. He quickly adapts to being Takashima’s pet, and says he’s in love and in it for the long haul. Not surprising since he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. I didn’t find this particularly romantic or erotic, I couldn’t get past the initial abuse.

Rated:

OVERALL RATING: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINK: Storm Moon Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

==================================
Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Reviewed by Elizabetta

five-stars120205

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)TITLE: The Magpie Lord (Book #1)
SERIES: A Charm of Magpies
AUTHOR: K. J. Charles
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: 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.

Warning: Contains hot m/m sex between a deeply inappropriate earl and a very confused magician, dark plots in a magical version of Victorian England, family values (not the good kind), and a lot of swearing.

REVIEW:

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?” — Stephen

The 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.

BUY LINK: Samhain Store

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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