Book Review: Magic Mansion, by Jordan Castillo Price

price-magic-mansionMagic Mansion, by Jordan Castillo Price
Published: April 2012
Author’s Website: http://jordancastilloprice.com/magic/

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
4-of-5

Buy Links: Amazon / JCP Books / B&N

wordpress blog stats

Blurb:

Professor Topaz is tired of fending off advice that he should retire in Vegas where magicians his age have an easier time finding work.

Ricardo Hart’s career has sunk so low, he’s resorted to shaking his moneymaker at bachelorette parties.

But there’s a casting call for a new reality show called Magic Mansion that could change everything for these two gay stage magicians, one recovering from the loss of his partner, and the other awe-struck by the presence of his idol. Each is poised for a critical second chance: at fame, and at love.

Who will win? Step into the Mansion, and find out…

Continue reading

Release Day Book Review: Memento, by Jordan Castillo Price

price-memento-psycopMemento, a Psycop Short by Jordan Castillo Price
Release Date: November 13, 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5

Buy Link: Amazon

Seasons change, and so do fashion trends. But in this heartstring-tugging PsyCop short, what’s beneath the clothes matters most.

I feel like I’ve been so spoiled lately! Between the Halloween story in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology, and now this short story, we’ve gotten some excellent Psycop stories recently! I love the Psycop series, which follows Detective Victor Bayne, a psychic who can see and talk to the dead, and his partner (in bed and sometimes on the job) Jacob. Vic is such a fun character, but in Memento we get to see a glimpse inside Jacob’s mind!

I traced the ink ridges of the words, and then a cracked anarchy symbol beside them. The bathroom door downstairs opened and shut. I smoothed the shirt again and the mental image of a younger Vic wearing it made me smile.

Continue reading

Anthology Review: Charmed and Dangerous (Part Two of Two)

charmed-coverCharmed 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

wordpress blog stats

charmed-line-thin

* 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.

You can find Part One of my review here.

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.)

charmed-line-thinhawk-raven

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.

Favorite Quote:

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)

charmed-line-thincochet-tiger

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!

Favorite Quote:

“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)

charmed-line-thinharper-penta

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!

Favorite Quote:

“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)

charmed-line-thinspeed-gas-station

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.

Favorite Quote:

“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?”

charmed-line-thinamara-hex-doll

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!

Favorite Quote:

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)

charmed-line-thin

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!

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great reviews:

wordpress_logo_buttontumblr_logo_buttontwitter_logo_button

Anthology Review: Charmed and Dangerous (Part One of Two)

charmed-coverCharmed 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

wordpress blog stats

charmed-line-thin

* I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

When I saw this anthology announced, I made a shrill noise that had every dog in a three-mile radius perking their head up. First off, it’s a collection of stories about magic and m/m romances, which in itself is exciting. But then you look at those names! These are the stars of the m/m genre… Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, K.J. Charles… I’m over here swooning like a Victorian maiden, in case you can’t tell.

This book is a behemoth, too. In paperback form, it could probably squash a small child. Well, okay, maybe a very small child. Like, a leprechaun or something. But it’s so chock-full of amazing stories that I’m going to have to divide my review into two pieces.

The review below covers the following stories: “Dim Sum Asylum” by Rhys Ford, “Swift and the Black Dog” by Gin Hale, “A Queer Trade” by K.J. Charles, “Magically Delicious” by Nicole Kimberling, and “Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns” by Jordan Castillo Price.

(All quotes are referenced to the ePub version.)

charmed-line-thin

ford-chinatown Dim Sum Asylum, by Rhys Ford (★★★☆☆)

Rhys’ contemporary and crime drama novels have always been among my favorites, but her recent foray into fantasy has been less exciting for me. I wasn’t a big fan of her debut fantasy novel, and I’m not overly thrilled with this short story either.

For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

The plot and details are a bit over-the-top, and the characters suffer as a result. Roku had some really interesting backstory, but I just couldn’t buy into his relationship with Trent, who appeared mid-story and didn’t leave any lasting impression.

Favorite quote:

Unclipping his notebook, the cop said, “I’m sorry about your partner, Detective, but I’d have shot him too.”
“Thanks.” I nodded. “Hopefully the dragons will leave something behind. I’d like my Captain to have something than my ass to chew on.” (15)

charmed-line-thin

hale-island-by molybdenumgp03-deviantart

art by molybdenumgp03 on deviantart

Swift and the Black Doc, by Gin Hale (★★★★☆)

This is an author that I’m not actually familiar with, but I really liked her style, and she created a rich world with intriguing characters.

When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

While Jack was a really interesting character, I thought the side characters and the little glimpses of the world they lived in were far more interesting. There seems to be a bit of modern-day and steampunk mixed in with the fantasy elements, which made a really unique setting.

Favorite quote:

“Stupid prick actually thought I’d gone straight. Like any wizard ever could. I knew you wouldn’t make that mistake. You’d know it was all wrong.” (73)

charmed-line-thin

charles-fountain-pen

A Queer Trade, by K.J. Charles (★★★★★)

K.J Charles is one of those authors that I would follow to the ends of the earth, and it was her name on the cover of this anthology that really drew me in. Her Magpie Lord series is a gorgeous historical fantasy about lords and magic, and this short story is set in the same ‘verse.

Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

What a fantastic story! It definitely fits the billing, featuring both charm and danger. The plot is excellent, and I could practically see the sparks flying between the two characters.

Favorite quote:

“Well, I mean… the thing is…” Crispin took a step forward. “you said we’d be magnificent, you and me. I wondered if you’d like to see if you were right.” (171)

charmed-line-thin

kimberling-magically-delicious

Magically Delicious, by Nicole Kimberling (★★★★★)

This story wins hands-down for most hilariously appropriate title. It’s also a really funny story with some lovely, complex characters. There’s Gunther, the incredibly hot goblin who’s a badass Strike Force agent, and his plain, human boyfriend Keith, who works for the magical equivalent of the FDA.

Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

I couldn’t stop giggling while reading this. Keith is (unintentionally) funny in a sarcastic, droll way, but he’s also surprisingly brilliant. It looks like he also appears in another anthology, Irregulars, which I’m definitely going to check out!

Favorite Quote:

“He’s from NIAD, don’t you know?” The leprechaun whose crinkly, orange beard poked down toward his pointed shoes like a fuzzy carrot spoke not to Keith but to a compatriot, whose green felt hat sported not one, but three decorative buckles.
“NIAD, you say?” Three Buckles said. “Doesn’t that stand for something?”
“Nasty, idjit, arsehole, dingleberries, I think it is,” Carrot Beard replied. (187)

charmed-line-thin

price-theater

Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns, by Jordan Castillo Price (★★★★☆)

One of the biggest draws for me to this anthology was the promise of a PsyCop short story! Victor and Jacob are definitely one of my favorite couples in this genre. And Jordan did a good job of explaining her world to someone who hasn’t read the series (although if you haven’t, definitely go check out PsyCop right now!).

Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

This was a Halloween story that was part spooky and part sexy (because with Victor and Jacob, those two go hand in hand). Haunted movie theaters, ghost clowns, and Men’s Rights Activities… it’s enough to give anyone a fright! Super enjoyable story.

Favorite Quote:

Jacob was raring to go, holding open the door, and it occurred to me that I’d grown phenomenally blasé if I was willing to face off with a freaking clown ghost just to give him a few jollies. Blasé, or stupid. (247)

charmed-line-thin

So that’s my review of the first half of Charmed and Dangerous. I can’t wait to dive into the second half for more amazing stories from some brilliantly talented authors!

PART TWO CAN BE FOUND HERE!

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great reviews:

wordpress_logo_buttontumblr_logo_buttontwitter_logo_button