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Tag Archives: Unusual Creatures

blackdogbluesTitle: Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen #1)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Self Published (Coffee Squirrel Press)
Length: 92,479 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Series, Urban Fantasy, Fae/Elves, Futuristic, Post-Apoc, California, Graphic Violence (and other…things), Blood & Gore, Dragons, Past Abuse, Action/Adventure, Unusual Creatures, Magic, Tattoos
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Ever since he’d been part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figured he’d used up any good karma he had when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races were left with a messy, monster-ridden world and Stalkers were often the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy and dark moved into the neighbourhood.

There certainly were no shortage of monsters or people stupidly willing to become lunch for one.

It was a hard life but one Kai liked. And he was good at it. Killing monsters was easy. Especially since he was one himself.

After an accident retired Dempsey out, Kai set up permanent shop in San Diego, contracting out to the local SoCalGov depot. It was a decent life, filled with bounty, a few friends and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him he wasn’t really human.

That was until a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego and Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It was supposed to a simple run; head up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary with the new Court then back to San Diego. Easy, quick and best of all, profitable. But Ryder’s “simple” run leads to massive trouble and Kai ends up being caught in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich by being a Stalker. But then hardly any of them got old either. The way things were looking, it didn’t look like Kai was going to be the exception.

REVIEW

Pretty much all of you who read my reviews know that for the most part I’m rather reluctant to read anything angsty or intense. My tastes change and fluctuate of course, but for the last year to year and a half I’ve mostly left those alone. So somehow, I suppose because at the time I didn’t really know Rhys Ford’s writing all that well, I got into her writing even though she really flirts with the edge for me at times, no matter how much I end up liking the books. It takes me a bit of mental cheerleading to work myself into the frame of mind to start her books, and really it’s mostly the anticipation; fearing that the book will get too intense for me is more than half the battle, because I usually don’t mind as much once I start reading. But now that I know I’ll read anything by this author, it still means that I’m nervous starting her books. I was actually most excited about this one, mostly because I was really interested to see how she’d deal with urban fantasy when most of her writing that I’m familiar with are contemporary mysteries. And once I started, I was immediately sucked into it. Even though it was in many parts intense — it was just a different kind of intensity than I expected.

Kai Gracen is an anomaly among the lower denizens of San Diego. Taken in by Dempsey when only a feral elfin boy, the grizzled and uncouth hunter raised Kai in his shadow, among the human hunters of the black dogs, the spawn of the unsidhe that threaten the human population and whose hides earn money from the government. After a war between humans and the elfin races (both sidhe and unsidhe), the land is split between areas for each race to inhabit, with land specifically designated for the elfin to set up their courts. It also left the world full of monsters and beasties like the black dogs, making travel between those areas often difficult and dangerous.

As a hunter, Kai is skilled and extremely knowledgable about the area, which is why he’s called into the local government depot (where he gets paid for his kills) to take a non-negotiable contract to ferry a new elfin lord up the coast during dragon mating season. The run through Pendle is dangerous even without the complications that the sidhe lord brings, the first being their passenger on return. Ryder, the sidhe lord, is new to San Diego, setting up a new court (the Dawn Court). He needs to retrieve a pregnant human from the sidhe city in Los Angeles and needs Kai to take him, serving as guide and bodyguard.

This book drew me immediately in. It feels… literally jam-packed with action and plot. It’s almost as if there’s no stopping. And after reading the book and then seeing that it’s only just shy of 100k words. Honestly, I felt as if I’d read twice that. There’s so much to this story, starting with the world and the characters. This book does well as the first of a new series to set up the world, but so much of it is in great detail. It is rather smartly done, too. We don’t need a history lesson, because while we don’t really know how the war between the humans and elfin came about or how it played out, it’s fairly self-explanatory by how the world is set up. Both races have their positive and negative qualities, and Kai is uniquely placed to give us perspective on both of them, while having his own unique one about where the two races collide. Over the course of the book we learn quite a bit about his history, which is fairly graphic in detail but shows the evil and the good in the world. And also, there is so much world, plot, characterization that this story really can’t have it all. The romance is really non-existent in this book, except in the sense as a prelude to future stories and in the building of the relationship between Kai and Ryder. But I appreciated that there wasn’t a rush and that Rhys Ford didn’t (perhaps) bow to pressure to include it too early.

I’ve gone the route of deciding to urge you to read this yourself rather than really dig in and explore the book in my review. I would actually love to do that, but there’s honestly just way too much to talk about. And I was really surprised by how well balanced all of that was. I felt like Rhys showed quite a bit of restraint in parts of the book, which makes me eager to see what she’ll write for the sequel… there’s just so much more story left to tell.

I will say that if you might be squeamish about blood and gore this might be a difficult read for you. I was expecting more emotionally intense writing than what I got, but I didn’t expect so many physically intense scenes. There’s one scene that made even me sick to my stomach (which… I don’t know that that has ever happened to me actually), where… Well, all I’ll say is that Kai gets something really nasty in his mouth. And the blood and gore was a few times almost comical, like a Tarantino movie. I really enjoyed that part of it, though some people really might not.

But, in all, this was a really fantastic read. While I applaud the author’s decision to take the romance slow (which is really needed because of Kai’s emotional growth throughout the book), I would have liked maybe a bit more connection between him and Ryder before the ending of the book. It got there, sortof, before the end, but for a book that for most of reading it I wasn’t sure if it even was going to develop into a romance, I wanted a bit more assurance of the direction their relationship was moving in before we left them for a year or however long it takes before the sequel is ready to read.

Beautifully and smartly written. And, I think, one of the best books so far this year. Definitely recommended!


SJF_To_The_Other_SideTitle: To the Other Side (Terra #1)
Author: SJ Frost
Publisher: MLR
Length: 78k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Series, Alternate Worlds, Magic, Witch, Native American, Alternate Reality Historical, Dragons, Unicorns, Unusual Creatures, Fae/Elves
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

When Garrett Evergard is rescued by the witch, Bryson Summers, he discovers an alternate world unlike anything he’s ever imagined, and when that world is threatened, he’ll do anything to save it and the man he’s grown to love.

Garrett Evergard is a finder of secrets. As a biologist and environmentalist, it’s his job to go into wild lands and uncover their mysteries in order to save them. In the Pacific Northwest, he races against logging lobbyists to save a section of temperate rainforest, but the forest seems reluctant to give up her secrets. Until a fateful meeting with a rare spirit bear opens the door to wonders beyond anything he’s ever imagine, the greatest of those being the beautiful man who comes to his rescue. As a witch and Gatekeeper, Bryson Summers is used to living a solitary life. He lives between two worlds, Earth and Terra, feeling not fully part of either, and dreams of meeting someone who understands him. From the moment he sees Garrett, he believes — and hopes — he’s looking upon a twin soul. Dragons, unicorns, and a witch with enchanting brown eyes, Garrett tries to make sense of a world so different from anything he’s ever known. But his mind and heart are open, and he finds himself drawn more to Bryson with each day they spend together. When Bryson and the gate that links the two worlds fall under threat, Garrett is willing to do all he can to protect them, even if it means facing down dark magic.

REVIEW

I’ve missed out so far on reading any of SJ Frost’s non-contemporary books, though I did read the first book of her Instincts series. But most of what I’ve read and really liked by this author has been her Conquest rocker series. This is a bit of a deviation from what I’m used to reading from her, but I still found her touch and sense of humor in it, and I found it to be a book that I really liked and, even more, am looking forward to the further books in the series. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and this was a sweet, light-hearted take on the genre, not a dark fantasy by any means, but more along the mood of a fairy tale.

We meet Garrett as he’s hiking through a forest bordering the near-by and protected national forest. He works for EarthQuest, an organization that exposes environmental abuses and government action. This forest is being heavily lobbied to be cut, but Garrett is EarthQuest’s secret weapon, in a way. He travels to places in danger and, as a biologist, looks for species or plant or animal that could become a mascot for protection. What Garrett finds blows his mind. Capturing the tiny dragon-like birds, Garrett is amazed when he sees a spirit bear, a bear with a recessive gene coloring it white and a heavily revered animal by the First Peoples. He knows he can save the forest now, but in trying to get evidence of the bear, Garrett falls into a ravine.

Bryson is called to the scene of a unconscious man by Koda, the spirit bear. Bryson is a witch, the Gatekeeper between Earth and a parallel, symbiotic world called Terra, and spends his time in both places. He can speak to animals, as well as manipulate the natural forces. And the only way he can save the beautiful and injured man is to take him to his home in Terra. It’s against the rules, but Koda tells him that he trusts the man and his confidence as well as the fact that the Floras showed themselves to him leads him to trust the man.

After reawakening in a strange place, the two men get to know each other and at the same time Bryson introduces Garrett to Terra and to his friends, a ragtag group (that will surely become the future main characters of Terra books): Korran, a dragon speaker and protector, Zain, a theif and assassin and all around smartass, and Larkin, a young minstrel who can speak to the dead. Soon, there are not only forces endangering the gate from the Earth side, but also a nearby Duke who is interested in stealing the power of immortality that comes with being it’s keeper, enough to summon another witch to help in his ends.

This happened again yesterday, when I reviewed the first book of a new fantasy series (that was Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter) — I end up writing a huge summary for the book. I suppose that’s to be expected if I was actually going to touch on all the points. First of all, I like having a decent summary. I’m not really spoiled by them because I never remember summaries/blurbs when I start the book and I actually put off reading this for a while because I just wasn’t really sure what it was about. Granted, I probably don’t remember those blurbs because I don’t really read them that closely. That’s all my fault! But still, I wanted to give an accurate idea about the book if you’re thinking about buying it. Second, as the first book in a new fantasy series there really is a LOT of setup to be done. In this case, not only do we have to learn about Garrett and what he’s doing on the Earth side, but then we also have to learn about Bryson and the gate and his home, but also about Terra and a whole different way of life there, including the symmetry between the worlds and how they’re connected and why. That’s a lot to introduce, so I don’t completely blame SJ Frost for the fact that the first half of the book was full of exposition. At least it wasn’t dumped on us entirely in the beginning, but drawn out as Bryson and Garrett get to know each other.

No, while I really enjoyed the book and I think that SJ Frost set up a really enjoyable world (though not wholly original still interesting and engaging for those who like lighter fantasy), I still felt like this story was trying to juggle conflicts, between both the Earth and Terra side, which made what ends up to be the major conflict seem slightly underdeveloped. So much time was taken to introduce the world and the relationship that when the conflict started to ramp up I felt like I wished it had been a little more integrated into the story. That isn’t to say that it was totally sudden, and it’s a relatively minor complaint for a story that I really enjoyed.

This story really reminded me of a lot of Less Than Three Press releases, so those of you who are fans of their fantasies will have to check this one out. I’m very interested in the future books, although it is my own preference that I like to not know who the relationships are going to be before their books start. But then, that’s probably bad business 😉 I like SJ Frost’s writing, and I was actually surprised to find this a lot lighter than I’m used to by her. But then, this is fantasy and those were contemporaries. But she’s known for her angst in the Conquest series, and this book was surprisingly light and fluffy, in the best sense of the word.


cover6Title: Dragon Slayer (The Empty Crown #1)
Author: Isabella Carter
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 40k words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Series, Dragons, Alternate World Historical, Secrets & Lies, Royalty, Arranged Marriage, Magic, Unusual Creatures, Family Issues, Cliff (small!), Slow Burn
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Ingram is a coward and weakling—at least according to his father, the king, and the royal court. He cannot use a sword, he faints at the sight of blood, and even his brilliant abilities as a strategist are not enough to overcome his failings. When his father loses a bet to the notorious Lord Mallory over the matter of a dragon slaying, he pays his debt by ordering Ingram to marry him.

Then his father reveals that he is putting Ingram to a greater purpose, giving Ingram one last chance to prove he is not worthless. All it requires is betraying his new husband.

REVIEW

I really have grown to love Isabella Carter’s books. So I was really excited for this one, which not only promises to be an in-depth story because it’s the first of a series, but also that I know she likes to really dig into her fantasy worlds. In many ways you can see that this book is a setup, but if you didn’t know it was the first book of a series, I think you’d find that it felt like a whole book. It isn’t just setup, but it does a really good job of giving us the story and leaving the ending open. So yes, it’s important to know that this is the first of a series so that even though you get some resolution, you won’t be surprised that there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending.

Ingram has become the weakling that his father has always accused him of being. Though he’s learned that nothing he does can make his father — the king of Abelen — proud, he’s found his own strengths. They aren’t in what a prince is expected to be, strong at swordplay, but he has a fine mind and has shown himself to be an expert strategist with the King’s miliary.

Abelen is still growing and recovering from a rebellion little more than twenty years previously. The country and King has become more insular, with the Lords abandoning their keeps to spend most of their time in the capital of Solberg. The royals have grown further apart from their people. But, an old feud lingers from Winterveil, the northernmost region of Abelen. Lord Mallory is a young man, but has inherited the feud. He makes a wager with King Roderick, that if he kills the red dragon who has gone into madness and is killing indiscriminately, that he will wed one of the King’s children. When he brings the head of the dragon to court and Roderick casually gives him Ingram, Ingram is hurt and scared to be thrown away to such a dangerous man.

But more is work in such an alliance, on both sides. The King gives Ingram a mission, one that finds him at an impasse when he learns just how wonderful Mallory is, and how much living in a place like Winterveil is more like home than his own family.

There is so much that I could say about this book, but it really should be experienced while reading it and… honestly there is so much going on in the book, so many characters with each one having their own machinations in place that it was a little hard for me to keep up. This is a book that does well as the first of a series — it holds up. Still, for those of you who like to get a lot of the action and information at once and don’t want to wait for the sequel, you might want to do that this time. Because while I really loved this book and I was totally sucked into it, I also feel like there is a lot of subtlety that will benefit from a second or even third read and will also make more sense after I can read the next book in the series. Hopefully, that will be soon!

I know a lot of you who are fans of Less Than Three Press like I am, and this is really their kind of book, the quintessential LT3 fantasy, though maybe a little less sweet than many of them. Ingram goes through quite a bit of angst about his relationship with his father. It’s tough to watch, not only because I grew to care about him, but also because it makes for difficult reading at times. I want him to realize what is happening to him. But we’re privy to information that he isn’t, and he also has to deal with a lifetime of manipulation by the people around him, the people he cares most about. So, while his choices and thoughts are frustrating, they’re also true to his character.

There’s one more point I’d like to touch on. The relationship between Ingram and Mallory in this book is very light. I imagine that the relationship arc is going to take place over the whole series, so don’t expect much romance in this first book. Mallory does court Ingram, in his own way, but it’s a very slow getting-to-know-you kind of thing. It’s actually very sweet, and it’s a very slow-burn romance.

So, I definitely recommend this one. Unless you want to wait, I say go ahead and get this now and read it. I’m so glad I didn’t wait and decided to read it right away, because it was a really fun read for me.

**Dragon Slayer will be released tomorrow, but available for preorder now and you’ll be able to download tonight on the Less Than Three Press website at 8pm!


Silver Pearl2Title: Silver Pearl
Author: M Raiya
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 11,500 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, Unusual Creatures, Shifters, Unicorns, Past Sexual Abuse, First Times, Fated Love, Light & Sweet
Rating: Really Liked It

BLURB

Standing in a meadow late at night, not really certain why, Joel is shocked when he encounters a unicorn—one that turns into a beautiful young man. Joel aches to be closer to the unicorn, but everyone knows unicorns only approach virgins. After a brutal attack that left him broken and afraid, Joel is no longer that.

Then hunters appear, determined to take down the unicorn, and Joel will have to overcome the horrors of his past in order to save his chance at a future.

View the book trailer!

REVIEW

I’ve been a bit fan of M Raiya’s work ever since I read Notice and it’s sequels. I like the world’s that she builds and her style of writing really seems to draw me in. So I was really excited to see that she was coming out with a new story (hopefully the start of a sequel) that introduced a whole new world. She visited the blog last week to talk a bit about it and after reading the story her guest post made a bit more sense to me (which you can read here). She talks about where she grew up and dreaming as a child and that, specifically, reminded me a lot of this story. It’s dreamlike. The plot is less important, I think, than the tone of the story and the characters. Perhaps, as she alluded to in her comments on that post, this will become the first story of a series, and the plot will pick up later. I would very much like that 🙂

As the story starts, we see Joel standing walking to a clearing in the woods a mile or so behind his farmhouse. He’s alone in the world after a terrible attack and rape left him completely shattered and mistrustful of the world around him, and the peace and serenity of the lonely woods is like a balm on his fractured self confidence. He’s not sure why he’s taken a midnight stroll, something has drawn him deep into the woods. He finds out when a gorgeous and magical unicorn reveals himself and is able to speak in his mind. But even such a beautiful and graceful creature can surprise and upset him and the intrusion into his most sacred space, his mind, is too much to handle. Running through the woods, back to his house, he’s confused and can’t understand what has happened. A unicorn only reveals himself to virgins, and Joel knows that after what happened to him, he should no longer be able to see such a sight.

The unicorn however, is part of a much larger plan that Joel doesn’t understand. When, in the unicorn’s pursuit of Joel, a hunter emerges and injures and almost captures him, he makes a drastic decision that bonds the two together into a life that Joel doesn’t understand and can’t take back.

Apart from the fact that I liked this story and want there to be sequels, I think that this story would actually work better as the start of something much longer. As a standalone story, I think that readers might be a touch dissatisfied. The plot is quite larger than the story can carry, but instead of trying to cram it all into such a short format, the author really just showed us the beginning of the story and an introduction to the characters. It was enough to get me to really like them and want to see more of them, but I think that continuing the story would enhance this story in retrospect, because I do think that there is more to tell and the natural conclusion to the story hasn’t come yet.

The unicorns presented here are exactly what you’d expect from such a magical and cherished mythological creature. They’re shown with beauty and wonder and there’s quite a bit of backstory and worldbuilding presented that we don’t often see in m/m romance. Of course, unicorn stories in m/m romance are very few and far between and unicorns are often presented as a less important creature in m/m fantasy romance alongside other creatures that readers are more familiar with, like dragons and wolves. A story about unicorns was what drew me to read the story in the first place and I’m glad that they were treated here as proper creatures and not as little girl fantasy with no real backbone. Perhaps that’s why I want to see more of them, because this story offered a bit of fictional authenticity to unicorn lore instead of sparkles and fluff 😉


Cleanly Wrong by Mell Eight (11/7)Title: Cleanly Wrong
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 18,000 words
Genre: m/m Fantasy Romance
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Short Story, The Bestiary collection, Unusual Creatures, Abuse, Royalty, Orphans
Rating: Really Liked It!

Reviewed by Sadonna

BLURB

Rung is a half-breed orphan brownie who can’t do anything right, much to the worry of his cleanliness teachers. When he runs away, Rung decides that he can resist the need to clean. Only, there is that one office that so desperately needs help…

REVIEW

This story was an absolute delight! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was a sweet story with very little romance really, but that doesn’t detract at all from the lovely unveiling of this world. Rung is a halfbreed Brownie orphan who at 18 is still at the orphanage is 18 because he can’t seem to pass his exams and win a position out in the world. Brownies are cleaners and they are not to be seen by the humans they help. Ladder Rung who has been dubbed ‘Wrong” by his fellow orphans and his teachers cannot seem to organize the rooms he’s being tested on in the way that is desired. He has been repeatedly humiliated and punished. His hateful classmate, Needle, convinces him that he will never pass and he’ll be in danger if he stays, so he convinces Rung to run away from the orphanage.

The Prince of the land has had his fill of Brownies and has sent six back and issued a decree that NO Brownies will ever be allowed back in the castle. Rung flees the orphanage and when he comes to the first town he is nervous because he can be seen by the humans. He finds his way into a large castle and manages to find a wonderful place to make his home away from the people who live in the castle. He is very handy and makes his own comfortable bed and chair and he works his way around the castle cleaning the areas that aren’t inhabited so that he won’t draw attention to himself. He sets rules for himself so that he doesn’t cause trouble for the humans; however, he breaks his own rule by making a small adjustment to the kitchen after he witnesses an injury that could have been avoided.

Eventually as Rung is making his home in the castle he comes upon a hidden passageway and he observes an office that is in dire need of organization. He cannot help but organize the desk after watching the man who works in the office become very frustrated at not being able to find the papers he is looking for. As Rung continues to observe the office, he thinks of many organizational improvements he could make to help the office’s occupant. He wants to help but he doesn’t want to overstep and cause trouble. In the meantime, two of the staff have realized that there is a Brownie in the castle, but the Brownie is only being helpful and not intrusive. The office occupant also realizes that someone has been helping him with his disorganized office and decides he wants to hire whoever it is to be his personal secretary.

The staff members seek out and find Rung and he is overjoyed to be able to help and do his job. He agrees to take on the job of the personal secretary for the man that he has secretly admired from behind the secret passage. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story but there are some surprises that bring the return of an old thorn in Rung’s side and support from an unexpected source. In the though, Rung is very happy in his job and he prevails over the obstacles in his way.

Rung is such a lovely character. He’s the underdog that you just can’t help but love and root for. He’s been ridiculed and humiliated and all he’s ever wanted to do it help. He tries to curb his natural desires towards cleaning and organization, but he is able to find a way to help without making a nuisance of himself. There isn’t a traditional romance in this story, but the feelings between the Brownie and the man he ends up helping are completely genuine and sweet and certainly loving and protecting. Also, the villains were appropriately nasty without being caricatures. The setting was well-done and I really couldn’t wait to see what was going to become of Rung. A very very enjoyable experience! This is the second story I’ve read by this author and it couldn’t be more different, but I’ve really enjoyed them both and think this is an author to watch.


baronsgargoyle400x600Title: The Baron’s Gargoyle
Author: Cassandra Pierce
Publisher: Less Than Three
Length: 16,000 words
Genre: m/m Historical Fantasy Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: The Bestiary Collection, Unusual Creatures (Gargoyles), HEA, Magic, Secrets & Lies, Short Story, Warriors
Rating: Pretty Good

Reviewed by Nikyta

BLURB

Banished from court when the King runs out of patience for his predilection for men, Jothan is forced to take up the title of Baron of Darkwood and charged with the task of making the lands profitable again. But when he arrives all he finds is a crumbling castle, neglected servants, and a monstrous creature no one else ever seems to see …

REVIEW

Jothan is a rather promiscuous man and when numerous rumors of his escapades become too much for even the King to ignore, he’s newly titled Baron of Darkwood and forced into essentially isolation. From the beginning, Jothan sees trouble with Darkwood. It’s a desolate area with no servants and no surrounding village but most of all there’s a creature that’s haunting its walls that only Jothan can see. Either Jothan’s going crazy or there’s more than just a frightening gargoyle lingering within the castle and he’ll do anything to figure out the mystery and how a mysterious young man no one knows exists fits into it all.

This was a rather interesting story in the way it gives the traditional Beauty and the Beast story a twist. I enjoyed the fact that Jothan was very serious about fixing Castle Darkwood up and making it profitable again. While he seems selfish and arrogant at first, it wasn’t long before you realize he just needed direction in his life and being titled Baron of Darkwood and all that comes with it gave him a new purpose in life. Delphas is a very mysterious and secretive young man. He lies to Jothan, acting as a servant, so that Jothan doesn’t figure out the horrible curse that was cast on him. While the love that develops between them is very spontaneous, it was sweet the level of affection they develop and the outcomes brought on by that love.

The story follows Jothan as he figures out what happened at Darkwood a few years back. He and his miniscule servants do all they can to repair the castle while Jothan finds as many answers as he can. He’s also the only one that seems to notice the huge gargoyle sitting in the tower so he takes it upon himself to get rid of the thing. Unfortunately, his efforts are for nothing because the gargoyle isn’t leaving anytime soon. The story was very interesting although it lacked the necessary depth to make it truly amazing. I liked the pace of the story but really wished it had been more descriptive. The conclusion was intriguing and I liked how it was handled but I have a lot of questions around the Castle and the history of how it all happened. Some details are given but it wasn’t enough for my curiosity and the questions I still have to be settled.

Overall, not a bad story. I like this author’s writing and the story was very interesting. The mystery around the Castle and Delphas’ curse made the book fascinating to me. I just really wished it had been longer and more expanded on. The ending might be my favorite part, however, I don’t want to give any details on it because I think it’s best figured out by the reader. All I’ll say is that it’s sweet and made me smile. 🙂