Charmed and Dangerous, an Anthology
Authors: Astrid Amara, K.J. Charles, Charlie Cochet,
Rhys Ford, Gin Hale, Lou Harper, Jordan L. Hawk,
Nicole Kimberling, Jordan Castillo Price, & Andrea Speed
Publisher: JCP Books LLC (August 25, 2015)
Page Count: 480 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Paranormal/Fantasy
* I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
I’m back with the second half of the Charmed and Dangerous anthology! This half features the following stories: “The Thirteenth Hex” by Jordan L. Hawk, “The Soldati Prince” by Charlie Cochet, “One Hex Too Many” by Lou Harper, “Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom” by Andrea Speed, and “The Trouble with Hexes” by Astrid Amara.
My heart races just thinking about all of those amazing authors! I loved the second half of this book just as much as the first, and these five stories are filled with some incredible talent, lots of sexy men, and, of course, plenty of hexes and spells.
(Again, all quotes referenced are followed by the ePub page location.)
The Thirteenth Hex, by Jordan L. Hawk (★★★★★)
Does this count as historical urban fantasy? It’s an alternate universe where magic exists, and witches and their familiars help infuse hexes for everything from policework to helping crops grow. Whatever genre it is, I loved it!
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.
The mystery here was fantastic, and the sexual tension between Dominic and Rook was off the charts! It’s amazing how some authors can create an entire world with gorgeous characters in such a short space! LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Still, Dominic hadn’t been able to bring himself to forget about magic altogether. It haunted him, just as his longing for men did, a need he couldn’t seem to stamp out no matter how hard he tried. (278)
The Soldati Prince, by Charlie Cochet (★★★☆☆)
In many ways, this was very typical Charlie Cochet writing. Sarcastic and stubborn characters, witty one-liners, and that awesome opposites-attract of the big, tough, serious guy and the small wiry guy with the sense of humor. (Yes, the main characters remind me of Dex and Sloane!)
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.
I really liked the characters, but the romance was kind of unbelievable. The pacing was off, so Khalon does a complete 180 of his feelings for Riley in like two pages. But it was still a lot of fun to read, I have to admit!
“It means he’s made an emotional connection with you, one from the depths of his very soul.”
“Oh. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Because you know, most of his emotional connections leave me thinking he’s close to following through with a physical connection of his fist to my face.” (346)
One Hex Too Many, by Lou Harper (★★★★☆)
I love when mystery/crime fiction pairs up with urban fantasy, because cops with magic is so much fun to read. This story was heavy on the crime drama, and not so much with the romance, but that was more than okay with me.
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?
Mike is an interesting character, with some great back story. I love the little hints that were dropped about his history throughout the story, and his actions with his new partner were great. Detective Fox, on the other hand, ended up being as mysterious as the actual crime they were trying to solve. Still, a very interesting read!
“I work alone,” I said once the door shut.
“Because you’re a maverick cop who plays by his own rules?” Parker had a good poker face, only the slightest twitch in the corner of his mouth betrayed he was mocking me. (367)
Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom, by Andrea Speed (★★★★☆)
I knew from the title alone that this was going to be a hilarious read, and it most definitely was! It looks like this is part of a series, so I definitely need to check out the other books if they’re as funny and quirky as this one.
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?
Too bad we only get a glimpse of Josh’s sexy boyfriend, but the snarky back and forth between Josh, Doug, and the other characters is so funny! I couldn’t stop laughing the entire time.
“Satan on a unicorn, is getting stoned all you think about?” the vampire exclaimed.
“I’m a pizza delivery driver with a useless degree, and debts I’m never gonna pay off. So what else am I supposed to do?”
The Trouble With Hexes, by Astrid Amara (★★★★☆)
Right from the first sentence, I knew this was my type of story. Ex-boyfriends who still love each other is one of my favorite tropes, and adding magic to mix makes it even better!
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.
This was an emotional rollercoaster as Vincent and Tim rush to find the hexmaker and save Tim’s life. I liked seeing their relationship as it started to heal. The mystery was really well done, too, and the side characters were fantastic. I’d love to read more in this universe!
It was a whole new world and changed everything. If there were hexes, then there could be ghosts. Vampires. Hell, a weight loss pill that worked. Anything was possible. (500)
And that concludes my review of Charmed and Dangerous! This anthology was absolutely amazing, and I all of the authors involved did an incredible job. I think this would be a great book for someone new to the m/m genre, because it brings together so many well-known authors and gives you a chance to see their writing styles side by side!
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