Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles
Lilywhite Boys #1
M/M Historical Romance
January 30, 2019 Self Published
“Talk about making a profit on a job. I stole you, and I’m keeping you.”
I’m always excited when I open a new KJ Charles romance. I’m especially excited when the author herself describes one of the heroes as “more sociopathic than usual” and says the book is based on a real crime.
Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar. He’s currently out of favor with his father, along with all of his siblings, and is living in a small flat and working as an illustrator. There is a lot of animosity and hurt feelings between the Duke and his children. At the heart of it is the way his treatment of them and their mother and the Duke’s much beloved new wife.
Alec engages the services of the Lilywhite Boys, telling them he wants their help in infiltrating the Duke and Duchess’s home in order to steal some very expensive jewelry. Which means his new best friend is Jerry, one half of the Lilywhite Boys, and the man who is guiding Alec as they plan the robbery. It doesn’t take long before they are more than just partners in crime.
I simply adored this couple. Alec is sensitive and loyal. He despises his father and the way he has treated his family, and has a plan to deliver him his just rewards. The only thing he really worries about is upsetting his siblings and having them think bad of him.
Jerry is a criminal and doesn’t really give a shit what anyone things of him or his motives. He pretty much does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Alec is mesmerized almost from the moment they meet and its not long until the two are hot and heavy and meeting up in hotel rooms and having the occasional toss off under a bridge. Their chemistry is a off the charts sexy and the journey to their HEA believable. Gah.. I loved them.
I won’t go into what happens when Jerry and Alec finally get to the Duke’s home, but suffice it to say that it’s brilliant. Well plotted, dramatic, with some pretty amazing twits and turns that I did not see coming. And if you are a fan of this author you just might recognize a couple of characters from a previous series.
Highly recommend. Final Grade- A
Stray Moon by Kelly Meding
February 5, 2019 by Harper Voyager Impulse
“You were always meant to be a hero, Shiloh Harrison. And a leader. “
The second book in Kelly Meding’s Strays series picks up immediately where its predecessor ends. If you haven’t read the first book, Stray Magic, I would absolutely go back and read it before you dive into Stray Moon, you will be lost otherwise.
Shiloh has been through the ringer. Her whole identity over the last couple of years has revolved around her work with the Para-Marshalls. Now she has uncovered a betrayal by her supervisor, worked with and befriended a Master Vampire, and given up the memories of the one she loves most in order to save everyone from an evil necromancer. When Stray Moon opens she is sitting in an interrogation room after having gone over those events repeatedly. She and her team receive a suspension, but that doesn’t mean they are going to sit on their hands doing nothing.
After a request for help from a fellow para-marshall, Shiloh and crew agree to help find out what happened to the missing werewolf couples that were first mentioned in their previous case. After visiting the Pack lands in California, and discovering black magic afoot, they track the missing werewolves to Kansas. And despite the small town, come up against something more powerful than they’ve ever encountered before.
I’ve really enjoyed this series so far. There is so much going on,l but I adore this ensemble cast. Shiloh is half human (with magic sensitivity) and half dijinn and she is absolutely dedicated to her job and team mates. Jaxon (skin-walker) and Novak (incubus) are what is left of her team. Woodrow Tennyson is the Master Vampire who they assisted in book one and he remains an integral part of the group. Chandra Goodfellow (moon witch)makes her first appearance when she appears telepathically in Shiloh’s mind asking for help finding the missing wolves. Last, but not least, is Shiloh’s mother Elsbeth. Daughter of a warlock, she is sensitive to magic and helps out when asked.
Like I mentioned above, there is a lot going on. I kind of feel like as busy as the first book was, book two is even more hella packed with plot points and relationship angst and drama and new discoveries (that affect the plot arc). Not to mention that there is one hell of a cliffhanger. I almost have to read the next book in the series, because DAMN.
I’m not sure what is going on with Tennyson, but I do know he’s sticking around for more than just because he’s a nice guy. After the revelation of who the bad guy is to Shiloh, I’m sure there are powers she’s yet to discover and I think Tennyson is a little entranced. I am super curious to see where their relationship goes. I thought it might be romantic, but now I don’t think so. I was glad to see Chandra join the group at the end, because I love the idea of her and Novak together and I hope to see more of them in the future.
I enjoyed this second installment in the Strays series. Looking forward to what comes next. Final Grade- B