My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This book is exceptionally good.
It hit pretty much every note I’d expect in a historical paranormal mystery romance, from a great sense of the time period, to a unique interpretation of magic abilities, to a decent set of villains and some sweet relationship development.
My only criticism, and it comes down to personal taste only, is that I really dislike fade to black or sex scenes referenced as happening off page.
It takes away an aspect of relationship development – that of the trust which comes with a sexual exchange – from the reader and, again in my own opinion, means you have a slight disconnect between the affection happening on page and that layer of build-up.
This is especially important to see for me as a reader in a period where homosexuality was not only frowned upon but could, in certain parts of the world, still mean imprisonment or death, as it demonstrates the emotional connection between two men in spite of the dangers.
That said, it really is my only niggle, because everything else just absolutely worked. I adored Rory and Ace, the secondary cast of both heroic accomplices, and villainous former friends, were brilliantly outlined and detailed.
The magical world is New York with a twist, it has a steampunk feel to it while mostly being rooted in the 20s Prohibition Era and I loved the paranormal elements.
Annoyingly for me, book two isn’t due out until next year because we’re left with a sort of cliffhanger and a lot of loose story plot ends which will be running through the series and I’m dying to find out more!
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review