A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Web of Arcana: Book One

A young magic user who wants desperately to live. A jaded recluse who has forgotten what living means. They’re each other’s only chance.

Toby’s wild magic is killing him. The mage guilds have given up on him, and it’s only a matter of time before he dies in a spectacular, catastrophic bang. His only hope is an exiled wizard who lives in seclusion—and is rumored to have lost his mind.

The years alone on his hilltop estate have not been good for Darius Valstad. After the magical accident that disfigured him and nearly drowned Pittsburgh, he drifts through his days, a wraith trapped in memories and depression. Until a stricken young man collapses on his driveway, one who claims Darius is his last chance. For the first time in fifteen years, Darius must make a choice—leave this wild mage to his fate or take him in and try to teach him, which may kill them both. The old Darius, brash and commanding, wouldn’t have hesitated. Darius the exile isn’t sure he can find the energy to try.

I am always beyond thrilled to see Angel Martinez come out with a new novel, let alone a new series and The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) represents both.  My biggest complaint?  That the page count reads 170 pages and not 670 which is what I feel these terrific characters, plot, and relationship dynamics and history is due.

That Angel Martinez!  Her mind is a wondrous and twisty thing.

This is a story that builds upon itself, like a simple melody into a wild crescendo. Told from Toby and Darius’ perspectives,  with each layer of world building, of magic, of relationship, the author adds to her story and men making the tale sing stronger and wilder.  Especially during the search for Toby’s “gift”, the magic he should be able to channel and the paths it takes both of them on.  It’s a journey of revelation for the reader, one of redemption and forgiveness/ It more deeply connects us to them both and gets us ready, ok not really, for the wildest climax of them all.  How all the imaginative, incredible elements that Martinez built into that white knuckle, suspense filled, heart pounding fierce ride!  And am I giving them away? Nope not me.  Buy the book, read it for yourself.

I found the relationship between Darius and Toby very touching and tender.  It’s not just Toby that  needs saving here but Darius too.  Toby from immediate death at the hands of the Guild and Darius from a deep depression and years of neglect.  The interaction between the two men, despite the age difference, is extremely enjoyable, it’s one’s yin to the other’s yang. The author making us feel the need each has for the other, not just physical but mental and emotional.   One bringing the other alive as he hasn’t been in years while the other is ensuring the other stays alive so he can become the best man he can be, including a whole mage.

There are also three other mages,  some former students of Darius’ or mages at the Guild with him that we meet. All are of huge importance to this couple and the series.  I loved all three and can’t wait to see where this series takes them.

In fact, I can’t wait for the next installment.  I want it now.  Can that be arranged?

I highly recommend The Mage on the Hill (The Web of Arcana #1) by Angel Martinez.  It’s highly imaginative, with great characters, an absorbing plot,   and an ending that will have you flipping the pages in your desperate need to know what’s happening next!  I just love it.  You will too. I really need that next story.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design. I like this design. I think Tiferet Design is so strong in it’s cover art but it’s hard to tell whether that’s a white streak in his hair (yes) or  pat of the magic happening around him.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644052648
Edition Language English
Series The Web of Arcana #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place #4) by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A delightful romance, Wicksy, whom we met in previous Rainbow Café stories, learns that love comes in all sizes, shapes, and sexes when he falls for Lady Gogo, the drag queen who first caught his attention during a talent show held at the café.

Wicksy is one of the rugby team members who showed up in book one to help Seb clear the vandalism from Rainbow Place just before it opened. He’s always been straight, but ever since he learned more about the LGBTQ inclusive café, he tags along with his friends and enjoys the ambiance.  When Lady Gogo is offered a chance to perform at the café, after her successful premier during a talent contest, Wicksy is intrigued. For some reason, that beautiful feminine face and figure pique his interest. He knows the drag queen is a man, but doesn’t care. He wants to get to know him better.

Lady Gogo is Charlie, a sweet fem young man who lives with his mom and loves dressing in women’s clothing—from lingerie to outerwear.  His mom is accepting and loving and fully onboard with Charlie’s journey of self-discovery.  Charlie thinks it’s too good to be true when Wicksy seems interested in him and then goes further and gets to know him better.  Wicksy appreciates Charlie’s gender fluidity and eventually comes to realize he must be bisexual to be so into Charlie and accepting of him as he is. 

The author did an outstanding job in building not only a slow burn romance but also a slow burn awakening of sexuality in Wicksy and a slow burn awareness of sexual identity in Charlie. The secondary characters were just perfect, some of whom we met in previous books, others we met in this one. My favorite was Charlie’s mom, who was really wonderful, showing care and concern and total acceptance of who he is and who he wants to be.

I’m impressed by the writing, the creativity of the story, the attention to detail, the sensitivity to the subject and the characters themselves. To me, this is the best of the series, and though some characters have been seen previously, this book can be read as a standalone.  I very highly recommend this satisfying romance.

The bright, colorful cover by Garrett Leigh features a handsome, shirtless, smiling man. The rainbow-colored bar across the bottom of the cover ties the story to the others in the series. This one is so colorful it “feels” happy and made we want to pick it up to read. 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 226 pages
Published April 25th 2019 by Jaybird Press (first published April 22nd 2019)
ASINB07QZL99YK
SeriesRainbow Place #4

Rainbow Place Series

Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Safe Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Better Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK

A Lucy Review: Lyin’ Ryan by Kim Davis

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Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

When forty-year-old Chicago podiatrist Matthew Pepper is approached in a bar by college student Ryan Meade, he figures hooking up with the handsome twenty-one-year-old might be just what he needs to help him get over his recent breakup.

But the hookup doesn’t go as planned and Matthew writes the evening off as a failed one-night-stand. Ryan, however, views things differently. To him, a failed hookup is nothing more than an opportunity to try again.

Ryan pursues Matthew, not just because he wants to be with the man, but because he wants something … and he’s determined to get it. Will Matthew find out Ryan isn’t as transparent as he claims to be? Does Lyin’ Ryan live up to his nickname?

This review will be fairly short because I want to be respectful and yet this book worked on absolutely no level for me.  Told in first person, the book starts out with Matthew breaking up with his lover of two years, Donovan. Donovan loves Matthew but he’s spent most of his life in the closet and he just isn’t comfortable in his own skin.  “It looks….gay.”  This led to Matthew feeling he was the only one doing the work in the relationship and Donovan gets dumped.  I was sympathetic to him up to this point, which is unfortunately in the beginning.

Going out looking for a hook up, Matthew is pursued by Ryan, a younger man (21 to Matthew’s near 40), who seems nice and quiet, very into Matthew.  Of course Matthew brings him home, asks to see ID, then accuses him of being a prostitute.  “Wow, he said…I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being underage and a trick in the same night.”  Matthew proceeds to go at it with Ryan, only to stop and treat Ryan poorly.  “ I wanted to ask if he’d been crying but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, mainly because I didn’t want to embarrass him but also because I didn’t want to hear the answer.”  Let’s mention, it’s Ryan’s birthday when Matthew does this.

And here the story loses me altogether. Ryan gets drunk that night and sends a ton of sexts, calls and messages to Matthew. Again, at first I was sympathetic to Ryan because he had just been rejected on his birthday.  Except the weird behavior continues to the point of harassment in a way.

Then we have Donovan, who loves Matthew and wants to get back together.  Matthew won’t give him a second chance, he is so sure that Donovan won’t change. 

There comes the reason why Ryan is “lyin” and the whole thing just went off the rails for me. We do get to meet Ryan’s mother, Jennifer, who is pretty decent.  We get Matthew’s take on women – when he is jealous of Donovan’s friend, Nicole, it is noted, “I probably would have been able to accept her friendship with Donovan as just that: a friendship.  But the fact that she was good-looking made me wary.” Donovan has secrets, for sure, but I didn’t feel like everything was his fault.

I think we are supposed to feel sorry for Matthew and he was so unlikeable for me that I just wanted the book to be over. I struggled to finish it and ended up not liking anyone, other than maybe Jennifer.

Cover art, a male side torso with fingers crossed, is simple but fits.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 126 pages
Published April 13th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07QF6PX4K

An Alisa Review :The Love Left Behind by Daniel de Lorne

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

What happens when a man with his heart in the clouds falls for one whose feet are firmly stuck to the ground?

 

Pilot Nick Galanos is on a mission to visit the fifty countries his mother couldn’t before she died. But the closer he gets to his goal, the more he worries that he won’t have anything to show for it but stamps in a crowded passport. On a rare visit back home, he meets a hot electrician with a killer set of dimples. Suddenly a future of shared adventures seems possible.

Except for one thing…

Lyall Turner’s big brother died in a plane crash. He’s been afraid of flying most of his life, but there’s no shortage of destinations in Australia that don’t require a boarding pass. But then he meets Nick and suddenly his ‘no biggie’ phobia stands squarely in the way of a beautiful future together. Now he has to decide whether he’s going to let his fear or his heart take the lead.

And will Nick stay grounded while he decides?

Well huh, while I read the whole story and understood where the characters were coming from for the most part I am disappointed because I don’t feel happy for them in the end.  Nick and Lyall are quickly attracted to each other though Lyall has to work through his fears and Nick needs to learn how to understand/accept them.

These two just seemed to have a push and pull relationship from the beginning, heck even the one sex scene felt like they were each fighting for control.  While I understood Lyall’s fear I do feel that he didn’t handle it very well at times and would lash out and as Nick was being sooo understanding he quickly flipped the switch of how he felt about Lyall’s fear.  And Lord was Nick’s dad a jerk, I had more trouble trying to figure out why he was even “trying” in the first place.  In the end the story fell flat for me, I could tell when the author was intentionally tried to push more conflict into the story and it felt forced and didn’t flow all that well to me.

The cover art is nice but I don’t feel it has much connection to the story.

Sales Links: Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages

Published: May 4, 2019 by Escape Publishing

ISBN: 9781489280299

Edition Language: English

Need A New Contemporary Romance? Check Out the Review Tour for Mud & Lace (Rainbow Place #4) by Jay Northcote

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Length: 240 pages
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Rainbow Place Series



Book #1 – Rainbow Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Safe Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Better Place – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
Blurb



When Wicksy falls for drag queen Charlie, they discover that both sexuality and gender can be fluid.


Simon Wicks—Wicksy to his rugby teammates—has only ever been interested in women. But when he sets eyes on Lady Gogo, a drag queen who performs at Rainbow Place, he can’t stop thinking about her. He knows there’s a guy behind the fishnets and make-up, but he’s ready to explore his fantasies, and Lady Gogo is game for making them come true.


Charlie adores performing in drag. It allows him to indulge in his love of cross-dressing while earning some extra cash. Fooling around with a mostly straight guy in secret seems like a fun diversion, and gives him the chance to explore his feminine side. He feels safe wearing the mask of his confident alter ego, because the real Charlie is hidden from view.


When Wicksy sees more of the guy behind the make-up and glitter, his attraction to Charlie persists, and he realises he’s bisexual. In turn, Charlie begins to understand and accept his gender fluidity. As their mutual journey of self-discovery brings them closer, the secrecy becomes increasingly hard to deal with. If they’re going to have a future together, they both need to find the courage to show people who they really are.


Although this book is part of a linked series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.


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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We highly recommend this wonderful story!

 

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Love Fantasy? Check Out the Blog Tour for The King’s Fear (The Brass Machine #2) by Isaac Grisham

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: The King’s Fear (The Brass Machine #2)

Author: Isaac Grisham

Publisher: Cooper Blue Books, LLC

Cover Artist: Dissect Designs

Genre/s: Fantasy, LGBT Fiction

Trope/s: Good vs. Evil, Magic, Shifter, Bi the Way

Themes: Darkness and Light, Heartbreak of Betrayal, Revenge and Forgiveness

Heat Rating:  3 flames      

Length:  95,000 words/290 pages

Add on Goodreads 

 

 

Everything will burn

Blurb

Myobu has waited all his life to find love, and just as he makes a connection, it’s taken from him in an instant. Reeling from the fatal climax of his love story with Prince Kitsune, the magical Yokai must take advantage of his second chance at life, reconciling his past and present while keeping the prince from going down a path of darkness. Together with Kitsune, Myobu is tasked with destroying an evil that threatens the brass machine—and their world.

Meanwhile, Prince Kitsune is lost in the depths of responsibility and the murkiness of grief. His role is at the head of an army, defending against the whims of his deranged father. King Oni’s aggression is mounting, and he will stop at nothing to maintain his power over Kitsunetsuki. 

Overcome with the guilt of killing the man he loved, Kitsune finds direction when he discovers the legendary Sword of Inari—but when the voices within the steel speak to him, they lead him deeper down a path of deceit. In a tale of good versus evil, life and death, Kitsune and Myobu must come together alongside their allies to face unspeakable horrors.

 

Buy Links

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Amazon UK

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Excerpt

It was the perfect morning.

Treating himself to a good long stretch, Myobu worked his way up to sitting. With his back against the wooden headboard, he looked down at the pair with whom he had spent the night. Ryn and Nikki owned one of the oldest taverns in Hawte, having belonged to Ryn’s family for generations. Myobu had met them not long after arriving in the capital nearly three sun cycles ago.

Something else had happened as their friendship grew. Late one night after helping close up the tavern, they had spent a few hours drinking by the hearth. Ryn and Nikki spoke of their first encounter and subsequent marriage, purportedly a scandalous affair.

Having lived over a century without ever engaging in sexual activity, Myobu had drunkenly bombarded them with endless questions on the subject. The pair looked at one another, a glimmer of humor and desire in their eyes, and decided to answer his queries physically rather than verbally. Taking him by the hand, they led him upstairs to bed.

Upon closing the bedroom door, the first thing the couple did was peel off their clothing. Myobu had watched in awe as the differences in their skin were revealed. Ryn was a burly man, and there were few areas on his body not covered in hair. Nikki was dark-skinned and appeared free of any blemishes or extraneous hair.

The two had begun tugging at Myobu’s own clothing, which he sluggishly gave up. He wasn’t timid or particularly self-conscious, though he had wondered if the human form he had taken was correct in the details. He possessed all the parts of a man, but he lacked the massive tufts of hair Ryn displayed. He was almost as smooth as Nikki. Concerned they would figure out he wasn’t actually human, he had contemplated adding hair to his body before his shirt could be removed.

In the end, the two hadn’t given a second thought to his nearly hairless form. They stripped him naked, looked at him appreciatively, and began running their hands over his body. The dual sensations of Ryn’s rougher palms and Nikki’s smoother fingertips elicited a gasp from Myobu. Goosebumps broke out over his flesh. It heightened his tactile awareness, dulled his sense of time, and deeply aroused him. He tentatively put a hand on each of their bodies, awkward at first, but easily got into it once he realized his touch elicited the same types of responses from them.

 

About the Author

Isaac Grisham currently lives in a blue county of Illinois with his partner and doggos. By day, he works at a local college. The King’s Fear is his second completed novel and, by night, he is busy assembling the gears of the third and final piece of The Brass Machine.

 

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Twitter: @isaacgrisham 

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Love Historical Romance? Check Out the Release Blitz for The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman (Duke & Dandy #1) by Zakarrie C. (excerpt and giveaway)

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NEW RELEASE

Book Title: The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy

Author: Zakarrie Clarke

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: May 6, 2019

Genre/sHistorical M/M Romance (Regency), Comedy/Humour

Trope/s: Forbidden Love, Highwayman/Duke

ThemesDuty, Expectations of Society, Redemption Tale

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: approx. 100,000 words

It is a standalone story

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

AVAILABLE FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

‘The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince, His Grace Padraic, Duke of Waterford.’

After enduring the Ducal Grand Entrance, one might be forgiven for thinking that an evening could only improve. One would be wrong. Padraic was then duty bound to find an amiable miss to romance and dance attendance upon. In truth, the Duke was rather more partial to establishments that promised charms he would ne’er find in the arms of a Lady. Such dalliances did add a dash of decadence to his life of ducal drudgery, but time was tick-tocking and a blue-stocking bride must be wooed, and wed…

Raff of the Rookeries. The most afeared rake-hell to have haunted the highways since Darkin denied them the pleasure at the gallows…by stepping off the ladder before they could whip it from under his feet. Raff had fought his way up to rule the roost with instincts as razor-sharp as his dirk. His sword skills, fists, and wily wits had stood him in good stead, but none had proved as invaluable as the weapon he’d ne’er needed to tend. His fury. A rage every bit as lethal as arsenic—deadlier than brawn, brains, or bravado—Raphael had carried it like a toxic plague. Until, he became Raff of the Rookeries. Unleashed upon the underworld, it was the most formidable foe in London. Two men from two different worlds…a mere few miles apart. That is, until the fateful night when The Duke was halted in his tracks by a very Dandy Highwayman…

Excerpt

Mayhaps twenty minutes later, the air turned decidedly rank; a stench that came accompanied by random street sounds and the odd drunken shout. They were, beyond any shadow o’doubt, heading for some godforsaken part of town. A logical assumption, further embellished by the aroma of decaying cabbage and other, far less salubrious odors.

If the Devil himself intended to demoralize the poor, he could not find a means more agreeable to his plans, than the London slums.

“Nearly there, Yer Grace,” The scoundrel called over his shoulder as they slowed to a trot.

“Where is ‘there’?” Padraic dared to wonder.

“My humble abode. It’s where you’ll be staying awhile; leastways until someone coughs up for yer safe return.” The highwayman’s voice sounded harsher, colder while imparting this, as if his words were poisoned by the rancid air as they fell from his lips.

“Whereabouts are we?” Padraic asked, curious as to whether his rogue would answer.

“The Strand.”

It was as he’d expected. They were in the warren of narrow, filthy streets and alleyways in the densely populated slums. Home to one of London’s most notorious Rookeries. An utterly lawless labyrinth of squalid living, gin dens, bawdy houses, and brothels. Popular legend told of a traveller who had entered Portugal Street on his way to The Strand and never emerged. His ghost was, apparently, still searching for a way back to civilization. Padraic would just have to hope to fare rather better than he.

The Duke had e’er been horrified that people were forced to live this way, right under the refined noses of the ton. Poles apart, but virtually overlapping in proximity. Padraic had poured thousands into funding an orphanage and school for foundlings, when he came into his inheritance. He visited them oft, choosing the staff himself to ensure that no child was ill-treated, but there was only so much he could do. With all the will in the world, there wasn’t a great deal to be done, as long as those in power turned a blind eye to the suffering of others.

“Whoa…” When Demon clattered to a halt on the cobblestones, the Duke reluctantly relinquished his grip about his captor’s person. The scoundrel shifted in the saddle and with one sharp tug, the kerchief was gone, alongside a fair few strands of hair that were tangled into its knot. The Duke scarce felt the sting as his hungry gaze guzzled the sight it had been denied for the duration of the ride. ’Twas with a devilish wink that the highwayman threw a leg over the horse’s head, before lightly dismounting.

“Billy, m’lad!” He hailed a youth seated on the front steps of a large dilapidated townhouse, holding a lantern aloft. An endearing grin lit up his grimy face as he sprang to his feet.

“Yer all right, Raff?” he chirped, in very genuine cockney tones.

“Too right I am. We ’ave ourselves a guest m’friend. Yer Grace, this is Billy—he ain’t got another name—so I can’t tell yer that. Billy, this ’ere is His Grace, The Duke of Waterford, so yer better mind your p’s ’n’ q’s, like I taught yer.”

“Hello Billy, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Padriac greeted him.

“Lawks! I can’t fink why, Yer…Grace?” Billy glanced at the man he’d called Raff, seeking reassurance for his form of address, and received an approving nod.

“I can’t think why ’twould not be.” Padraic smiled. Billy looked puzzled for a moment—as if trying to make sense of something he’d patently understood—then just beamed instead and reached for Demon’s halter.

“See that he’s rubbed down and well-fed, won’t you, Billy? I need to get our guest settled in.”

“Righto. C’mon Demon, let’s be ’avin yer, there’s oats awaiting and some fresh hay.”

“After you, Yer Grace…” The rascal sketched a bow, waving his hand with a flourish as he bent extravagantly low, before straightening up to push open the front door. It was painted black; blistered, peeling and desperately in need of a fresh coat. A large, dimly lit hallway lay beyond it, with a wide staircase ascending on the left.

“Raff! I’d almost given up ’ope on ya. Thought you’d gone a-whoring,” announced a stocky, bow-legged man, with close-cropped hair and forearms like lamb shanks. His broad grin revealed several missing teeth, the remaining ones having seen better days. Several decades ago.

Despite having tugged his kerchief down when they entered, Padraic was still unable to drink his fill of Raff’s face, for much of it was cast into shadow and the rest, obscured by a tangled fall of hair.

“Not tonight Bluff, I was off procuring us a guest,” he smirked.

“Crikey, you’ve nabbed a right nob. Who the ’ell is he?”

“This ’ere’s The Duke of Waterford.” Raff declared, inclining his head with divine insolence.

“Lawks! A Duke? Couldn’t yer find a Prince ’anging about then?” Bluff gaped.

“’Fraid not, we’ll just ’ave to slum it…” Raff tutted, with a fulsome sigh.

“I hope yer don’t expect me t’curtsy. I ain’t got the legs for it.”

“You ain’t got the legs for owt except sitting on ’orseback,” Raff retorted, about a breath before his tone darkened to a deadly rasp. “Bluff. See to it that no one. But no one. Lays a finger on him.” He added nary a dire threat, nor had he raised his voice. Raff had, in fact, lowered it to a lethal lash of sound that sliced the air like a whip—but it was the glint of green he levelled at Bluff that made the man swallow visibly while nodding several times.

“Will do, Raff. He’ll fetch a pretty price, won’t he?”

“Too bloody right, he will. I’ll have to keep him up top with me—Duke he might be—but he ain’t above being too ripe and ready by ’alf.”

“A dark ’orse is he? I ain’t at all surprised, now you mention it. Beggin’ yer pardon, Yer Dukeness. Right, I’ll just wait for Billy an’ lock up then.”

“Thanks, Bluff. ’Night.”

“’Night Raff…’night yer Dukeness.” Bluff doffed an imaginary cap at Padraic, who inclined his head with ducal gravity, so as not to disappoint him. The amiable miscreant was chuckling away to himself as he took his leave of them, before disappearing through a door further down the hallway.

“Right then, Yer Grace, up yer go. Right to the top,” Raff instructed, gesturing towards the staircase with a regal sweep of his hand.

“Are you locking me in the attic?” Padraic asked, as he clasped the bannister.

“I am, indeed. Yer can’t get up to any mischief up there.”

The Duke thought it might be wise to hold his tongue and make his way upstairs, afore the scoundrel decided to shove him in the coal cellar instead. Padraic’s brain was abuzz with demon steeds, daft monikers, and bandy-legged blackguards. A boy with only one name and a heart of gold.

About the Author

After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, Zakarrie settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. ’Twas here that her castaway dreams resurfaced and she began to write; stories that are, in truth, better at being her than she’s ever been. Her one hope now is that someone, somewhere, will enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she loves writing them.

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