Book Review: Mind Magic by Poppy Dennison

Mind Magic by Poppy DennisonTitle: Mind Magic
Author: Poppy Dennison
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: April 2012 by Dreamspinner Press

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!

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. "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."

    So much word! As another reader of MM romance (and a gay man myself), I am always so annoyed by the requisite - oh no, look what I've done, I've got to come to terms with it.

    Which I understand may be an important experience in the life of many a gay/bi person, but not all of them, for God's sake. And it's kind of out of tune with the times too, since some characters act as if they've never seen two men kiss or hold hands before. Which can get quite ridiculous.

    So I'm definitely adding this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the splendid review!

    1. Thanks, I really liked this aspect of the book and think other MM readers will too. I think more MM should explore the full spectrum of gay/bi experience instead of the one traditional culture assumes. I can't wait for subsequent books in the series.

      And side note, I've noticed a marked increase in MM romance in television too but I find it fairly one dimensional (Revenge and now Political Animals). Any recs?

    2. I hope this font won't go crazy again :)

      I've only seen pilots for Revenge and PA, and although there was no m/m coupling in Revenge, I quite liked what they did with Sebastian Stan's character in Political Animals.

      Also, he's hot. But that's another thing.

      As for recommendations, I guess MM romance reached its pinnacle in Queer as Folk. You may have seen it, it was super popular, and everybody was surprised that most viewers were in fact straight women (I guess it foreshadowed the popularity of MM romances in a way). Anyhoo, it's a great show that gets pretty explicit some times, but it's also very romantic and covers just about every aspect of gay culture known to man. You should DEFINITELY check it out if you haven't seen it. And then we can chat and gush about it. ^^

      Also, when it comes to mainstream TV, Glee was always on the gay side. The musical show SMASH had a number of gay plot lines, which were all wonderfully executed and never fell into the "I can't believe I'm gay" category. Definitely check that out too. :)

  2. Thanks for the recs! I did like Queer as Folk a lot. Not a big musical fan here so not going to watch Glee or Smash. :)

    Revenge does have a gay character but viewers don't know in the pilot. It's Nolan and he has some racy scenes (at least for network TV) with season one villain, Tyler, who was psycho-roommate of the Grayson's son, Daniel. You can laugh, it *is* a night time soap. LOL

  3. I think I may have to get my hands on this one as some point in time. I like the sound of the premise and I really enjoy the fact that the cover model looks a little older than what the norm is.

    1. Yes, both heroes are full adults. I have to admit, I'm fairly sick of the barely-legally heroes in May-December MM romance. I like that both leads here are full grown adult men with lives before they become a couple. They grow as people, not just grow up!


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