This is paranormal/fantasy romance set in 1925, where some people have paranormal powers but most don’t, and magic is a well kept secret. Our main characters are Rory Brodigan, a scryer, who can see the history of any object, and Arthur Kenzie, a politician’s son who fought in WWI, and who uses his wealth to employ paranormals to keep the world safe. Rory is caught up in their net when a dangerous magical object is making its way to New York, and they both have to deal with their conflicting desires: for Arthur to make use of Rory’s magic and to keep Rory safe, and for Rory, to be near Arthur yet still keep himself cloistered away because he fears that one day lack of control over his magic will cause him to go insane.
Two things are keeping me from giving this a full four stars. I thought the book should have been longer to give more time to flesh out the world and the characters. It was very fast and condensed, and sometimes that works for me, but here I wanted more. This complaint might disappear in the future, since this series has two more books, but I do like a bit of emotion wallowing in my romance and that just wasn’t an option here. The second thing is that I didn’t like the villains. I thought it was a bit cheap and predictable that SPOILERS they turned out to be his friends, and that Ellis wasn’t dead END SPOILERS. I wanted more development there if that was going to be the case, and the ending wrapped up so fast. The result was that I kept getting impatient every time the villains were on the page, and wanting the author to skip to the good parts.
I am definitely going to read the next books in the series though. I loved Rory and Arthur together. The contrast between their personalities and the inherent conflict built into their relationship via class and wealth differences makes their connection very effective for me. I’m interested to see where they end up. I also liked the idea of the paranormals, even though it wasn’t as fleshed out as I wanted it to be. (I’m sure reading this after the superb Slippery Creatures, also set in the 1920s, didn’t exactly work in this book’s favor.)
[3.5 stars, rounded up]
CBR Bingo: Cannonballer Says (Emmalita’s review turned me on to this one!)
And finally a BINGO! (Cannonballer Says, Debut, Happy, Green, Adaptation)