Title: A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies book 2)
Author: K.J. Charles
Publisher: KJC Books (formerly published by Samhain)
London is besieged by a plague of giant rats. Lucien Vaudrey, Lord Crane, is being blackmailed by an old friend who has the indecency of turning up dead when Crane goes to confront him. Stephen Day is under watch by his colleagues who suspect him of being a warlock due to his sudden increased power. Poor Stephen finds he can’t explain the reason, since that reason is the man sharing his bed, a man whose bloodline is full of old power that gets transferred to Stephen when they’re intimate. And they are, quite frequently, when Stephen isn’t working himself to death, much to Lucien’s dismay. With all eyes on them, Stephen and Lucien find themselves and their relationship in a precarious position and each is afraid the other will decide that it’s time to call it quits.
While not my favorite of the three Charm of Magpies books, this one does have my favorite part in the whole series. KJ Charles is brilliant when it comes to getting emotionally reserved men proclaim their love in the most romantic and realistic ways. So, despite my discomfort in parts of this book, it has these beautiful hidden gems.
I really do like this book, but it’s dark and a little disgusting. If you ever wanted to know about the giant rat of Sumatra that Arthur Conan Doyle teased in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories, you get it here (just without Holmes). The only problem is, giant magical rats are kind of disgusting and scary to read about. So, that made me uncomfortable.
I did love getting to know Lucien’s friends from China. They weren’t the best people, but they are interesting and his friendship with Leonora Hart is wonderful. I’d read a whole book about her and her life. Her husband wasn’t great, and she’s morally compromised, but she’s interesting and strong and a wonderful character.
The relationship between Lucien and Stephen is really the core of the book, and I love it. The sex is scorching, the banter is fun, and their softer scenes are romantic. You really feel that these are two men who are in love without compromising who they are. They help each other grow and complement each other wonderfully.
Good story, great plot, scary parts, and sexy parts. What more could you ask for in a book?