To say I loved this novel may be a tad understated. It’s a charming little gem of a novel and a guilty pleasure all rolled in to one. The story follows Lucien Vaudrey, recently returned to England from exile in China. Regardless of his own wishes, he has inherited his father’s estate and riches after the untimely death of both his father and older brother. When he arrives home, he discovers someone is trying to kill him as well (with magic!) and he enlists Stephen Day, a magical practitioner who hates his family, to help him. Magic, hijinks, and romance ensue!
So there was pretty much nothing I didn’t love about this novel. Lucien is every inch the roguish playboy, with some morals (even if they are few). His relationship to his bodyguard is sweet and brotherly, and his attraction to Stephen is delightfully played and written. Stephen is a much different character. He practice magic, which is dark and interesting here, and is kind of grouchy and wary of Lucien. He’s still a likable character because you are given some insight into why he is the way he is, and he develops as the book goes on.
I read this book fairly quickly, as it was hard to put down. If I had to categorize it, I’d call it a paranormal/fantasy romance. Both are done well. The magic here is visceral and obviously related to the use of blood and things, though I would have liked to see it explored more than it was. I have hope that it will be further explained as I read the rest of the series. The romance is sweet and endearing and sexual, and the tension between Lucien and Stephen is well-written and explored. I would really love to see this novel as a TV series or miniseries. I’m pretty sure I’d love it.
Overall, I really loved this romance/fantasy novel. I love magic and it was done well here (even if I want to know more!). I’m also learning to embrace that it’s okay to read romance, and I really enjoyed that aspect as well. The characters come across vividly and I found myself chuckling and grinning at times at their antics. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a light and fun read. I’m very interested to see how Lucien and Stephen’s story develops over the next two books.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What romance novels do you love? Give me some recommendations!!