Review: Devil’s Own (The Wheel Mysteries #2) by Susan Laine

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Devil's Own coverIt’s been almost 2 months since PI Niall Valentine and his occult shopkeeper boyfriend, Gus Goodwin, began their relationship over several mysteries and murders they solved together.  Now all they wish to do is find time to spend together and get used to being a couple.  Instead they find themselves once more pulled into magic, mystery, and murder.

Niall’s latest client, Angelina Talbot, is convinced that her new husband attempted to kill her. Florian Talbot appeared in their bedroom  half-naked and covered in blood. Scared out of her mind, Angelina hit him with a lamp and ran away, convinced she had killed him.  But his body never appeared and his family assumes he’s alive and well.  Is Florian dead?  And did she kill him?  Angelina Talbot wants to know and she wants Niall to uncover the truth about her husband.

The Talbot family is full of eccentrics, devil worshippers, and downright criminals. It’s the Satanists that draw Gus into the investigation.  No one and nothing is as it seems.  As more people disappear and the body count rises, Niall and Gus are sure only of one thing….their love for each other.  But will that be enough with a psychotic killer on the loose and kidnapping on the mind?

I fell in love with Gus Goodwin and Niall Valentine in the first The Wheel Mysteries story, Sparks & Drops (The Wheel Mysteries, #1).  It felt fresh and captivating.  And the element that really set it apart from other mysteries was the use of the Wiccan religion as a basis for the investigations  and the character of Gus Goodwin.  Susan Laine delves deep into the rituals, beliefs, and common misconceptions held about the Wiccan religion and uses that knowledge as story lines and the foundation for her series.

With her characters, Susan Laine offers the reader both sides of a familiar argument.  Is magic and witchcraft real?  Who are those people who not only believe in it but practice the Wiccan religion as others worship more recognized, commonly held religious beliefs such as Christianity and such? Coming down on the side of Wicca is Gus Goodwin, a practicing Wiccan.  He runs The Four Corners, a shop devoted to Wiccan accouterments, books and such.  How he gets to own that store happens in the first book.  Gus is a devout practitioner and the rituals he observes are relayed in one absorbing scene after another.

On the other side of the argument is PI Niall Valentine.  Thoughtful, open minded. Niall retains that acerbic, questioning attitude necessary for his profession and part of his persona.  Niall may research the topic of Wicca, and become knowledgeable but that certainly doesn’t make him a believer.  Together, they form a unified investigative front for the paranormal and supernatural mysteries that come their way.  They make a terrific duo, on equal level with each other and they know it.  How refreshing and adult.

Another thing I love about their relationship and storyline?  No instant love.  This is the second book and they are only a month and a half into figuring out their romance.  They live apart, see each other when they can, and haven’t said the L word because it is much too soon.  They are working on their emotions, and relationship dynamics.  They also haven’t had anal sex because they can’t seem to find the time to make the preparations necessary for that type of sex. That realism works to connect us to Niall and Gus on a basic level and their hurried, full lives make them relatable as well.

The mysteries here are good ones. Yes, more than one.  Once again, Gus and Niall bring in members from the local Wiccan society to help with their investigation which turns very dark early on.  There are murders and one particular practitioner of the occult seem to have a role to play in the books to come.  Sinister thy name is……nope, can’t give that one away.  And yes, their relationship takes several more serious steps forward.

Susan Laine gives the reader so many wonderful elements to enjoy in this story.  A romance just getting under way, several mysteries, a couple of murders, and a deeper insight into the Wiccan religion and its worshippers as a whole.  I can’t recommend this story and series enough.  It’s entertaining, sexy, and yes, fascinating too.   If you’ve read the first story, you will want to pick this up immediately.  But if this is a new series to you, start at Sparks & Drops to see how Niall and Gus meet and the romance starts.  The Wheel continues to turn and more  stories will come.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrech.  I thought this was a great cover. Visually interesting and perfect for the story.

Buy Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook   All Romance eBook (ARe)          Amazon    Devil’s Own

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages
Published July 2nd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1627988033 (ISBN13: 9781627988032)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Wheel Mysteries #2

Books in The Wheel Mysteries in the order they were written and should be read:

Sparks & Drops (The Wheel Mysteries #1)
Devil’s Own (The Wheel Mysteries #2)

 

Sunday expectations , Sounds of fall in the air and the week Ahead at ScatteredThoughts

Standard

flowers June

 

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Sunday is  upon us once more.  How quickly it seems to come around each week.  Normally I would be outside planting, weeding, enjoying the gardens and the dogs but the sounds I hear lately remind me that fall is coming and preparations need to be made.   The whites, yellows and purples associated with late summer, early fall flowers are out in full force.  The “Daisy Mae:” Daisies are hanging in there, the Black-Eyed Susans have thwarted the deer, and the purples of liriope, False Dragonhead, and Great Blue Lobelias are just starting to make their presence known.

Overhead flocks of Canada Geese and Snow geese are reforming, heading to the marshes surrounding the Bay in huge masses, reading for migration and winter.  My feeders are being emptied at an astonishing rate after piddling interest all summer long.  Some leaves have started falling, and the sunlight has that slanted, cooler look to it that proclaims that the Summer Solstice has passed and it is filtering the landscape through an autumnal lens.

The pruning shears are out, the mulch bags waiting for someone other than me to cover the beds.  The hummingbirds are still here, the feeders still full, and the offerings in the yard are getting scarcer by the day.

It also means that GRL is fast approaching in October and I hope soon to be able to make an announcement about a new reviewer here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.  I love fall.  Its every bit as beautiful to me  as Spring and Summer. In fact it may be my favorite of all the Seasons.  Brisk, clean air that puts a snap to your step as your walk and a little color in your cheeks.  I know the dogs are happier…its terrier weather for sure.

Ahhh, the sounds of change is in the air…how sweet, how promising, how wonderful!

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Dissonance-build-full-r2(1)Gale Force

 You Can't Go Home Again coverBadgeWholehearted

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the upcoming week ahead at Scattered Thoughts….

Monday, August 11:

  • Blue Notes continues with Shira Anthony’s Dissonance Book Tour (contest)
  • Book Blast:  Cate Ashwood’s Wholehearted Audio Book Tour (contest)

Tuesday, August 12:

  • On Tour with Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares Series (contest)
  • Lou Hoffman is Here with Key of Behliseth, a YA Book Release (contest)
  • Review:  Dissonance by Shira Anthony

Wednesday, August 13:

  • Review: Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows
  • Review: Out in the Cold by Lee Brazil

Thursday, August 14:

  • In the Author Spotlight: Jason Lloyd and his release, Queer Dirty Laundry (contest)
  • Review:  Devil’s Own by Susan Laine

Friday, August 15:

  • In the Author Spotlight:  Lee Brazil on Writing, In From the Cold, and More (contest)
  • Review: You Can’t Go Home Again by Michael Murphy

Saturday, August 16:

    • Review: Queer Dirty Laundry by Jason Lloyd