Title: The Magpie Lord
Series: A Charm of Magpies (book 1)
Author: K.J. Charles
Publisher: Samhain/KJC Books
Lucien Vaudrey, the new Lord Crane, has been exiled to China for the past twenty years. The unexpected death of his brother has brought him back to England. Resentful and missing home, Lucien also finds himself under a curse that very much wants him dead. Desperate, he reached out for a local shaman, called practitioners in England, and winds up with Stephen Day, a short, scrawny, but powerful practitioner who hates his family. However, Stephen has a fierce sense of duty and honor and cannot let the curse on Lucien stand. Together, they travel to Piper, the family home, and Stephen soon finds himself not only fighting powerful forces, but his powerful–and requited–attraction to Lucien.
I really love this book. This is the third time I’ve read it, and it’s just as good as the first. Lucien is just amazing. He’s sleek, sophisticated, but rough around the edges and proud of it. In China, he was a trader and a smuggler, among other things, and he’s not ashamed of his past and refuses to hide it. He also doesn’t hide his attraction to men and goes after what he wants with single-minded determination.
I also love Stephen. His father had been wronged by Lucien’s father, and when he first goes to Lucien, he’s prepared to throw that in his face. However, he’s so good and dutiful and believes in justice that when he realizes the depravity of the curse on Lucien, he helps him without hesitation. I love the measures he goes through to try and deny Lucien, not out of lack of desire, but a sense of propriety. I also like when his defenses finally crumble.
The plot of this book is engaging and fun. The characters have great chemistry and the intimacy the grows between them is very real and natural. The sex scenes are scorching. Everything about this book just works for me and it’s definitely one of my favorite romances.