Originally posted @BMBR on August 3, 2017
Would it be dramatic to say that I’m super duper times a million bummed that I didn’t love this? I had heart eyes opening up this book from all of my past love affairs with KJC’s books. And man oh man did I love the first 6% and I really liked the last 30%… It was the in between that was hard to swallow.
We have Saul Lazenby, an archaeologist that has been living a hard life since he was deemed a traitor during WWI and subsequently disowned by his family, friends and employer. He is trying to atone for past “mistakes” and lives an extremely lonely existence without hope of it ever changing. Saul continues to find himself in circumstances he doesn’t understand and is quick to explain them to chance due to his scientific approach to the world. During these odd situations, he continues to run into the “unnervingly attractive,” Randolph Glyde and eventually is unable to cast the circumstances away as anything other than supernatural.
Randolph Glyde is a man wearing many hats to protect London’s magical defenses. “I am an occultist. I am a protector of the realm under the King’s seal. I am the twenty-third Glyde to carry out an extremely ancient duty, and I am also, faute de mieux, carrying out someone else’s extremely ancient duty because there’s nobody else to do it.Randolph is a double talking, dictatorial, burdened and depressingly lonely man with a realm to protect.
Together, Randolph and Saul work. They are polar opposites but have great chemistry. There weren’t a lot of their sexy times on page but what little we were treated to was magically delicious. There was also a quirky and dry wittiness to their dialogue that made me giggle.
“Do you always speak in double talk?”
“Habitually. It’s terribly vulgar to say what one means.”
I loved the way they interacted. Randolph was a matter-of-fact smart ass and right up my alley. Both MCs were extremely likable and I wanted them to find their way to happiness. They had it rough and seemed to be suffocating from the shame they carried around, which made me connect with them even more. Unfortunately, their romance wasn’t a large part of the story. It wasn’t a focus until around 70%. The plot moved sooooooooo slowly. There were tons of little pieces and everything kept on building and building AND freakin’ building…
The world building and plot development took center stage for the majority of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a well built story. I also love slow burn romance. I like it slow or fast…I’m flexible like that. *eyebrows* But, I lived in a state of confusion for much of the book waiting for the pieces to make sense. The world was complex which was enjoyable once it all came together. But I wish it didn’t take so damn long for clarity. I also would have liked more of a balance between the plot and relationship development.
This was a more modern setting than KJC’s previous books. It was interesting to make comparisons on how men behaved in the 1920s versus Regency England. Petroleum jelly instead of oil is a reason to celebrate. One thing is for sure; this author does her research for the time period she is setting her stories in.
I love historical M/M romances. I love magic, fantasy and pnr. I love all KJC’s previous series in those genres. I liked Spectred Isle. I totally wish it was love. *sad face* I’m on the fence as to whether I would recommend this book. The next book should be much better because the stage is fully set. Although this doesn’t leave off with an MC cliff hanger, London’s magical defenses are still hanging in the balance. I won’t be continuing on with the series because it looks like it will be a M/F book. It’s *sniff* really *cries* ok. My love for KJC’s writes still lives on… in her other books.
Copy provided for honest review.