I borrowed an audio copy of Lee Welch‘s Salt Magic, Skin Magic through Hoopla.
Description from Goodreads:
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray. When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.
To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?
I liked, but didn’t love this one. I liked both the main characters. I thought the attempt to give the villain depth was appreciable. I liked that Thornby and the step mother made peace (no needlessly evil woman). I liked the desperation between the two men.
However, I thought it was a bit slow to start and went on longer than need be. Plus, while I have no problem with the dominance/submission games Thornby and Blake played in bed, I didn’t really think it fit their personalities very well. (Though I did think the way it developed worked fine.) All in all, I’d read more if this becomes a series. But I’m not rushing out to buy anything. Joel Leslie did a fine job with the narration.
I picked up a copy of Too Many Faery Princes (by Alex Beecroft) on Amazon.
Description from Goodreads:
Kjartan’s family is royally dysfunctional. He’d prefer to ignore the lot of them, but can’t since his father has set him and his brothers on a quest to win a throne Kjartan doesn’t even want. Worse, his younger brother resorts to murder and forces Kjartan to teleport—without looking where he’s going.
Art gallery worker Joel Wilson’s day has gone from hopeless, to hopeful, then straight to hell. One minute he’s sure his boss has found a way to save the floundering business, the next he’s scrambling to sell everything to pay off a loan shark. If anyone needs a fairy godmother right now, it’s Joel. What he gets is a fugitive elven prince in a trash bin.
They’ll both have to make the best of it, because fairy tales run roughshod over reluctant heroes. Particularly when there aren’t enough happy endings to go around.
I thought this was a very sweet, low heat MM romance. I appreciated the diversity in the small cast and the happy for now ending. The writing was perfectly serviceable, but there wasn’t anything particularly stand-out in the plot (other than it being about a prince, instead of a princess). It was pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be, nothing more/nothing less. There’s not much more to say on the matter.
I received a copy of Kelly Jensenh‘s Building Forever through Netgalley.
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor—the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania to reconcile, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie fears that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. Despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
I finished this sitting in the waiting room of the ophthalmologist, hoping no one noticed I was getting teary. It was very sweet and they were tears of joy. I thought the author got a little didactic at times, at one point going so far as to have a character look up the definition of pansexual to ensure the reader knew it. But I also found so very much relatable in this book. The whole messy and contradictory idea that you can love your life and the people in it, but still mourn the life not lived is one that struck me dead centre. I also very much appreciated that there were no misunderstandings or pointlessly kept secrets. There were several times Jensen could have taken this over-trod path and instead opted to have a character be brave, honest and upfront. Similarly, Charlie didn’t agonize over his newly embraced identity. He was open and honest with himself and everyone else about it. I loved that and the characters for it. All in all, I call this a success. And considering romance without a trace of sci-fi or fantasy in it isn’t wholly my jam is really saying something.