Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A new life in New Orleans is all Jason Thorpe had hoped: his quaint little store attracts a devoted staff and his warm, loving heart grants him a loyal circle of friends. He’s perfectly content, having left behind the chill of a confusing and danger-filled night in Washington, until he discovers something unbelievable lurking in the steamy darkness of the shadowy streets of the Vieux Carré, something that turns out to be terrifying… and utterly mesmerizing.
The prince of the vampyrs, Varic Maedoc, is visiting New Orleans when he finds out the man who once helped his counselor is there in the Quarter. He thinks to simply meet and thank Jason—until he lays eyes on him. Varic’s devoted himself to protect the honor of his race, and he’s never wanted a mate before… but he immediately knows he must have this man, and no one else will do.
Varic may want to bring Jason safely into his world, but someone who doesn’t like the human’s soothing influence on vampyrs has deadly plans that would disrupt Varic’s dreams. Now, unable to tell friend from foe, Jason finds himself wondering how to hold on to the prince’s heart when he’s fighting for his life.
I’m a big Mary Calmes fan, both of her contemporary stories and her fantastic supernatural series as well. So I was enthusiastic to hear she was including vampires in her next release, His Consort and couldn’t wait to see what spin she would put on the vampire mythology. A plus was waiting until it came out in audiobook so I got the additional pleasure of listening to the superb narration of Scott Smith as he effortlessly voiced character after character, making each come alive for me, scene after scene. That extra half point is his alone.
I found His Consort entertaining, enjoyable, and, honestly, a wonderful Mary Calmes story. It has so many of her hallmark elements here. It also had aspects to the story that sent me looking for answers I never found. Like will it be a series? For me (and others) I found a sort of similarity in format or perhaps setup in His Consort to another beloved series. That would be Change of Heart. Here we follow Jason to New Orleans and a new life after exiting military service and the death of his best friend. He gathers around him, in a new home, new “family”, much like Kin did, then comes Varic with his group who we slowly get to meet and become close to, ala Logan, then towards the end of the story you can see as the two groups begin to come together as one.
It’s a complex, and slow process. And very much has the feel of the author laying down the foundation for a series, not just the framework for one story. So as Jason meets all these different people and various events happen…without meeting Varic, I really didn’t mind. I was caught up in the world building the author was laying down before me. Plus I really liked all the characters I was meeting, watching all the complicated dynamics play out, the new relationships form, watch Jason get his “besties” together and formed into an odd family.
Plus there is the whole vampire mythology thing going on here to explore. Loved that.
So while there wasn’t an immediate romance (at least not Jason and Varic’s ) to connect with, there was so much fascinating story threads running around grabbing my attention that I didn’t want the audiobook to stop (and didn’t). I had to know what was to happen next! All the other couples, the devilish delights, and suspense ! Tiago and Hadrian’s story is definitely one I hope she is writing even now. There are so many elements laid down that are similar in structure to Change of Heart that I’m hoping that it’s because this is just the first in a series and not just one story.
I will say that I love the New Orleans location. There is something special about that shop, customers, and the dynamics being played out there between the casts that need more exploration. I hope Malta is to this story what Egypt was to Change of Heart. I can’t wait to find out. So much promise here. So many great characters waiting in the wings for their chance at love. This is different in that you don’t get an immediate romance, but I thought the wait was more than worth it.
I definitely recommend this audio version of His Consort by Mary Calmes. The narration by Scott Smith is splendid and the story just needs the sequel it cries out for.
Cover Artist: Reese Dante, I love, love this cover. That’s Varic to a T. Just mesmerizing.
Published December 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 20th 2018)
Edition Language English