Reviewed by Elizabetta
TITLE: Flight of Magpies, book 3
SERIES: A Charm of Magpies
AUTHOR: KJ Charles
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 212 pages
Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.
A Charm of Magpies, Book 3
With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.
When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.
Warning: Contains hot-blooded sex, cold-blooded murder, sinister magical goings-on and a lot of swearing.
Ahhh… the lads are back at it…
“You fucking pricktease,” Crane hissed… “Go and get naked. I want you bent over the bed and waiting for it.”
“You are getting respectable, aren’t you?” Stephen said thickly. “All the way to the bedroom when there’s a floor right here you could fuck me on.”
Well, howdie doodie. Who said historical romances were boring? Stephen and Crane are in fine form and no doubt about it. The floor, a wall, the hall table, under a restaurant table… anything goes.
You can love Stephen and his diminutive stubbornness, his sizzling fingertips, his ether-magic. The guy can give a virtual hand job for pity’s sake…
But, I’ll take Crane. No magic talent of his own, but put his blood and seed anywhere near Stephen and… kaboom! He’s a tinderbox, a catalyst, a human dynamo. He’s also a rogue and a bit of a rake with a past. He’s a gorgeous potty-mouthed dandy. He’s a GQ kinda guy…
“Lucien, Lord Crane adjusted his ascot and contemplated himself in the mirror. His shirtfront was perfect, the close weave of the silk and linen blend utterly opaque and snowy white. His new suit, handmade… at staggering expense, was exquisitely fitted, a masterpiece of tailoring… his pale blond hair was sleek, his demeanour impeccable.”
“‘God,you’re a fop,’ said the naked man who lay behind him, sprawled in the tangled bedsheets…”
*sigh*… so easy to get distracted.
There is a plot… and a very good one. Revenge killings and other hijinx, of course. Windwalkers and malicious baddies, ghoulish and gruesome and shiver-making. Yup. I was curious how the author was going to keep the paranormal aspect fresh. Never fear, the villains are still creatively devious and creeptastic and the magic practitioners are deviously creative. Did I mention… Wind Walkers? Rogue windwalkers. You’ll remember Jenny Saint, Stephen’s young protégé with the ability to ‘walk on air’…
“Windwalkers can pull the ether to a point strongly enough to take their weight for a second. They can’t stand still on it, they have to keep moving, but yes, she can walk on air.”
Now, it seems there’s a new practitioner in town. A flirty and comely lad, Jonah Pastern, who gets a story of his own later (see Jackdaw, to come February 2015) But for now, he makes lots of trouble for everyone.
So, yeah, the plot. But this one’s as much about Crane and Stephen and their own personal, creeping feeling of unease and frustration. Crane hates living in England with all it’s stuffy conformity, he feels that the Justiciary takes advantage of Stephen, and Stephen, overworked and underpaid, continues to feel an obligation to fighting the baddies.
They have a gorgeous, very grown-up fight… (which means lovely make-up sex)
So, Stephen and Crane are seriously tested, and we get a taste of the real power of the Magpie Lord, this strange confluence of magic that Stephen and Crane can conjure via their physical connection. Or, as Crane would put it, ‘because we fuck.’ I paraphrase. And when they are unhappy, so are all those animated magpie tattoos… Read. It. There is so much awesome tattoo action. Not to be missed.
There’s still lots to love in the Charm of Magpie series and I’ll be back for more, by golly. I’m hoping that our dynamic duo might take their adventures abroad, too, someday. One can only imagine the trouble they could get into, say, back in China…? (hint, hint Ms Charles, pretty please?)