Magical species must never mix. According to the rules, Simon Osborne should ignore the children’s cries for help. After all, they’re werewolf cubs, and he’s an apprentice mage. But for once in his life, Simon breaks the rules and rescues the cubs, saving them from a demon intent on draining them of their magic.
Of course, all actions have consequences, and Simon’s bold move earns him the displeasure of his peers and the attention of the cubs’ alpha, a man named Gray Townsend.
The last thing Gray needs is a mage in his life, but Simon did save his son. Since Simon is now a friend of the pack, Gray doesn’t have much choice about it—or the forbidden attraction that goes along with it. Unfortunately for the alpha, he needs Simon’s help to track down the demon behind the kidnappings—before it strikes again. Simon and Gray must join forces to protect the pack, even as they struggle to resist the temptation that threatens to destroy them both.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: I love this MM romance because it doesn’t take expected routes. It is a unique and lovely romance with strong world building.
The Set Up: Simon knows he’ll break mage rules by rescuing kidnapped werewolves but he can’t resist the cubs’ cries for help. The oldest kidnap victim is Alpha Gray’s son, Garon, who makes Simon a pack friend. Gray initially worries what this mage’s presence in his pack will mean but when other sinister forces attack Garon, Gray and Simon join forces. The two men forge a new relationship unlike any in their cultures but have to stay alive long enough to become mates.
Why I Read this Book: The excerpt on the publisher’s website is the first two chapters of the book and I got hooked.
What I Liked: This novel is unique. It doesn’t use traditional plots or tropes and I love that.
First, I read a bit of MM romance and much of it involves one or both men coming to terms with being gay. I really like that MIND MAGIC has two gay men who just fall in love. They don’t have angst about their sexuality nor do they worry about what their friends, family or pack will think. This romance worked under the lovely assumption that MM romance is as natural and accepted as MF romance and I found this utterly refreshing as an MM romance reader. Of course, I had to like the leads to enjoy their romance which I did.
Second, lots of romance uses the mistrust trope to force apart the leads mid-romance so they can find their way back again. There is a set up here where an advisor to Gray plants seeds of doubt as to how Simon, the mage, rescued the kids and how quickly he garnered pack trust. As I was reading this scene I thought, “swear-word, here we go again!” But it didn’t go the way I thought and I love the novel for that.
What I Also Liked: There are a lot of secondary characters in this novel and I like that. In a lot of erotic romance most of the scenes are sexual, which is fine, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a compelling read all the way through. This novel is erotic but it also has plot and great secondary characters. Gray’s pack is wonderful and it was so fun to be introduced to them, their personalities, and their love for each other which grows to include the lonely Simon. The plot involving a sinister being trying to suck magic from first Garon and then Simon is compelling and fast paced. This is a true novel with good characters, plot and spicy romance. I will definitely be reading subsequent books in this series.
What I Didn’t Like: I wanted a tad more resolution with the mage council at this novel’s end. The mystery is mostly wrapped up at novel’s end but I wanted to know how the council is involved and if Simon will have a mage future. I suppose this could be a series story arc but I want it now (yes, I’m channeling Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here!)
IMO: I think MM romance fans will really like this read as I did. And kudos to the author for not using familiar tropes!