The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles

The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles
Publisher: Samhain Press
Genre: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (210 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal sex
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

A Charm of Magpies, Book 1

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude…and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Magic sometimes makes its own choices. Lucien is learning that lesson very well since he’s returned to England to sort out his late father and brother’s affairs. It seems someone wants the entire family dead, Lucien included. Desperate, Lucien employs an unlikely magician, Stephen, who has a long standing grudge against anyone from Lucien’s family. Stephen reluctantly agrees to help Lucien and soon realizes the forces at work are much darker than he realized. The two men must work together to find the answer for Lucien’s recent troubles.

The Magpie Lord is the first book in a new series by author KJ Charles. It’s an incredible tale that drew me in from the very beginning. I literally couldn’t put it down. There is so much going on that I couldn’t help but want to read more, yet I never felt overwhelmed or confused with all the action. The plot itself is amazing. The book is really a mystery and who-dun-it question. The characters are trying to figure out who is trying to kill Lucien (and possibly killed his family) and why. There is no shortage of possible suspects with the black reputation of Lucien’s family, so the journey and answer are very entertaining.

The two main characters of Stephen and Lucien are fully three dimensional and very engaging. The men are unlikely heroes both but seem to fit together in a satisfying way. They have a romance, one that slowly shimmers for the entirety of the book to finally culminate at the end, but the romance is definitely second place to the mystery. I’m very curious to see how these two grow and change both together and separately as time goes on. They’re both charming and wonderful narrators on their own but when they have scenes together, the story just boils with chemistry.

The writing is excellent and this is easily one of the best books I’ve read all year. I know this sounds gushing but I can’t quite help it. The intricacy of the plot is simply amazing, but to add several interesting secondary characters, a scorching main couple, and a historic setting that enthralls makes for an incredible story. I can’t wait to read more books in the series and easily recommend everyone read this one. I think it will appeal to fans across the board and not just historical fans. I tend to prefer contemporary stories and couldn’t get enough of this one.

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