Author ~ Kassandra Lea
Publisher ~ JMS Books
Published ~ 8th October 2016
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance
Sequel to Heart's Triumph
Blackstone Manor is complete, and what better way to celebrate than a Halloween party? At least, that’s how Io sees it. He’s already splurged on candy and decorations. Cinder isn’t entirely on board, however, hating the look of disappointment on Io’s face when he nixes the idea.
Yet somehow Io gets his way, and the party goes ahead as planned. It can’t be all that bad, right? But throw in couples’ costumes, Daisy acting weird, real ghosts, and the secret Cinder has been harboring from Io, and it's sure to be a night none of them forget.
This was a short and sweet little book, and in places seemed rushed. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the extra half-star I would have taken off for the rushing, I put back in for cuteness and for having a surprising amount of depth for a short. It’s not every day you read about a giant flying rabbit.
I was at a slight disadvantage given that this is the third book in a series and I haven’t read the previous two. That being said, this definitely stands as a standalone. Although past events and some of the world building details are only briefly touched on, it was enough to let me immerse myself in the current book without too much difficulty.
The characters were charming. I have never read a book about Gargoyle shifters and it was interesting. This is one area where I would have liked expansion, but this was probably because it was covered in previous books so I can’t criticize. However, I know enough to be able to picture them in their various forms.
Io is so sweet and clueless. Daisy is awesome. I want a best friend like Daisy whose greatest love is her books and who wears rabbit ears to work because they make her happy. Cinder is very alpha, but also clueless. My favourite character, though was the crotchety old ghost, Ellis who isn’t taking no shit from no one.
All Io wants is to be loved by Cinder. All Cinder wants it to keep Io safe. They’re reading off different pages in the same book, but the distinction is driving Io insane.
Io is desperate to throw a Halloween party and really goes to town on it. The guest list is extensive, and that’s not including a bunch of ghostly gatecrashers.
Given this is such a short book, there is a surprising amount of emotional depth and sexual tension. There’s no developed sex scene, although there are short, hot bursts, and the book doesn’t suffer for it.
There are one or two places where I think the editor took drugs, for example “running the makeup he the omega had on wearing”, but the vast majority is very well written and edited.
The book climaxed fast and hard, and was over in a flash. Even given the length of the book I think it was rushed a little too fast. What did happen to the guards? No sooner do you realize what’s happening than it’s over. I appreciate it’s in keeping with the rest of the book, but it was a little disappointing.
On the whole, the book definitely lived up to, and exceeded, my expectation for such a short novella. I wasn’t expecting too much by way of character development and emotional depth but got more than I thought. I also got humour, a good, solid story, a cute librarian, and a nice dollop of suspense and action.
I have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone who likes a slightly different kind of shifter and a quick bite of candy rather than a long, slow date with a box of chocolates and glass of wine.
The Blackstone Manor Series
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Io is a Masonry Gargoyle tasked with looking after old buildings to help maintain a balance, and he’s hopelessly in love with his alpha, Cinder. If only he wasn’t such a screw up. With Cinder’s birthday right around the corner, Io is convinced he has found the perfect gift -- Blackstone Manor, an estate that has captivated Cinder for years. He just needs to find the deed before the house is demolished.
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Two months have passed since Masonry Gargoyle Io came clean with Cinder about his feelings. Of course, in the process, he broke a major rule. Cinder stood by him, at a price, as the Council planned to pay a visit to decide their fate. Io may still be thrown out of the pack, and there's no telling what punishment would be bestowed on Cinder.
As if that isn't bad enough, Ran'imy is mad, jealous, and no doubt cooking up some nefarious plan. After all, she had her sights set on Cinder, too. How could he pick Io, the bumbling fool, over her?
Io has to stand by Cinder's side before the Council, but their relationship is still new. Will their love be strong enough to withstand the Council and Ran'imy's revenge?