It’s rare that short stories earn high ratings from me but Noone’s rich descriptive passages and gorgeous imagery won me over from the start.
There’s an immediate impression when Constable Kit Thompson meets Harry, younger son of Fairleigh Hall , of hair of “wayward sunshine “ , combined with boundless enthusiasm that the author perfectly projects a image of Harry that’s indelible and warm almost to the touch. Even as the brutal cold of winter encapsulates them.
That’s why Kit is there. To investigate why winter, the cold has fallen out of season on Fairleigh Hall. He’s a constable in Bow Street’s Preternatural Division where he can use his magical gifts to solve crimes and apprehend criminals.
The time and setting is Fairleigh Hall, Yorkshire, 1802. Regency. Same sex relationships and marriages are now acceptable for the younger non inheriting sons and daughters.
There’s an astonishing mystery and equally compelling resolution. The relationship between Kit and Harry is unexpectedly strong, complex, and kinky. Rope play, D/s, all so well done and beautifully written.
These are nuanced characters which is hard to do in short stories but the author achieves it. Kit has a complicated history. Son of a courtesan and bastard of a nobleman, he skirts the edges of society. Harry, the younger brother has the most complex background but it’s one that’s slowly revealed throughout the story.
While winter swirls around the hall, there’s still a tiny but very strong support cast to deepen the sense of family and friendship within relationships that are developing. That’s Ned Arden, the Earl of Fairleigh, Harry’s older brother and Lizzie, his betrothed. And Grayson, the butler. All so beautifully portrayed and realistic that you feel like you have met them.
The storylines move briskly along, but with a poetic tone to the imagery and a sense of otherness when it comes to the characters themselves and their magic.
I was so in love with everyone here. So sorry to be finished with the story.
But what a delight to read and reread. A new favorite of mine. And hopefully yours. I’m highly recommending this!
And I just found out that it has a sequel. Onto that next.
✓ Snowed In: Kit and Harry (part of The Demon Universe of 9 books)
◦ Midwinter Firelight (it’s sequel)
Someone — or something — is causing magical blizzards at Fairleigh Hall. The estate is suffering, and the Earl has requested assistance.
Constable Kit Thompson, of Bow Street’s Preternatural Division, isn’t especially thrilled to be sent out to the country. At least the assignment gets him away from fashionable London society and his own unwanted celebrity after successfully solving a notorious case. Of course, he’s now trapped at a country estate due to closed roads, snowstorms, and magic, but Kit’s always liked solving puzzles. He’s good at using empathic skills for investigations, and this is definitely a challenge. Besides, the Earl’s younger brother is an irritating and delicious temptation, all blue eyes and muscles and boundless enthusiastic optimism. Kit wants to either shake sense into him or kiss him senseless — and can’t trust him, either, because if someone’s genuinely sabotaging the weather, everyone’s a suspect.
Harry Arden, younger brother of the Earl of Fairleigh, has never met a Preternatural Division constable before, much less a famous and celebrated one. He wants to help. And he wants to make that attractive but cynical constable smile, at least once. But the estate hides a family secret, and Harry knows perfectly well Kit doesn’t trust him … and for good reason. Still, Harry offers to do what he can to assist with the investigation, and if that means spending more time with Kit, that’s a bonus.
When Harry and Kit end up caught by those magical storms, snowed in together at the old hunting lodge, they’ll have to trust each other with their secrets … and their hearts.