★★★★,5 | Don’t refuse to help me save Manhattan… You’re so sexy… Aha
Series: Magic in Manhattan, #1
Author: Allie Therin
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 29th 2019
Genres: Paranormal Mystery | Historical | LGBT
🔮 M/M Romance; Gay & Bi MCs
🔮 Side Interracial F/M Romance
🔮 Magic in New York, 1925
🔮 Paranormal Investigation
🔮 A Bunch of Misfits forming a little Paranormal Family
🔮 Lots of Banter & Humour
Arthur Kenzie protects the world from supernatural. But this time he needs help with that. A certain relic will soon arrive in New York and if only certain paranormal pretty please cooperated, it would be much easier to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Rory Brodigan is supernatural and of the opinion that he rather needs the protection from the world. Not that he wouldn’t rush to help the really hot man who crossed his path. He’s just been playing it safe for a while and not without a reason.
Can those two make it work??
The prohibition era and illegal clubs? The antique shop? Central Park? Yes, Yes, and Yes! And on the top of this, a bunch of psychics with their extraordinary and unique abilities, secret dangerous artefacts and a mystery! That’s my jam!
➽ WRITING STYLE
The writing style had an easy flow and amazing humour that never seemed forced. It’s such an easy read but not trashy or corny or bland. It had some well-loved tropes but without overdoing them or any cringy elements.
I loved the dialogues and internal monologues and situational irony (you know that moment when we get laughs during a sitcom? Every few pages here)
➽ PLOT & PACING
A group of people is brought together to secure a dangerous item. Honestly, a bunch of professional dumbasses, as in they either do everything tip-top or fail at basic shit but that’s how they get you.
There were some good turns of events that were unexpected but made sense in hindsight. And the pacing really made it a page-turner.
So, amidst it all the romance starts blooming…
Rory — Rory is so dense when it comes to romance, it’s hilarious. But not to the point of it being dumbed down somehow. He was pretty sheltered because of his magic and some other stuff so it makes sense he’s not that experienced. But he’s a bisexual disaster. Also, he will fight for himself but really just wants a hug.
Arthur — So, he was such a distinguished gay… And then he met Rory. Honestly, there’re more contradictions to him. He’s super intelligent but then also can be really dense. A lonely romantic. A paranormal detective without a magic talent… Also, he’s just really worried and wants to protect everyone.
Both of them have a strong woman in their lives without whom they probably wouldn’t survive. Jade is a no BS woman. She runs an illegal club in Harlem. She wears suits. She was a spy. But she’s still gentle at her core and just wants the best for her family and friends. Also, she Lifts (with her mind.) Mrs B. is overlooked by most but that’s her superpower. She will play the cosy aunt and it will save your life before you realise it.
The villains also end up being more complex than you would suspect them at first and you can’t really hate them.
So, two dense idiots manage to anger each other and then one plays along with it for longer than necessary and the other thinks that all hope is lost and is really dramatic about it. They both can’t resist each other though. Really, really can’t resist each other. They fell for each other quite fast but it didn’t feel like insta-love. They were lonely and their feelings were heightened by the danger and coming close to death so they just went along with the intense vibe, I guess.
Both of them have their little family of choice and those relationships are not swept aside because of the romance which is something I love to see in fiction.
There’s also a side romance that doesn’t get lots of attention but they were a cute stable couple.
Good and evil and the gray areas of being forced by circumstances — Villains are born for many reasons. Sometimes people are just greedy and power-hungry. But sometimes they are pushed to their limits. And sometimes they just lost the fight. There are so many gray areas in our lives and the heros can’t always make the right choices either. In the end, all that matters is that we tried.
Finding love and people who support you — Both of the MCs are lonely in their own ways. They still have people they care about in their lives but… something is missing. Hell, of course, something is missing. You can’t make do with one friend in your life however hard you try — we are social creatures after all. Finding each other not only brings romance into their lives but also opens them up for more people and makes them confront their issues which led to this loneliness in the first place.
Lots of consent and power imbalance talk — Arthur is older and more experienced than Rory. He also has more influence thanks to his rich family and a long relationship with the paranormal world. And he is aware of the power imbalance it creates. He never pushes Rory or assumes more than was plainly stated. Sometimes it causes miscomunication but they got there anyway and I prefer to see someone overpatient than old obsessive and pushy types.
➽ NUANCE & FEELINGS
Well crafted, funny, not much for techincal issues but rather a lighter read. I enjoyed it greatly and had lots of laughs but it did not move me to my core?