I’ve been meaning to read this book for months, now, ever since it caught my eye after garnering a Runner Up in the 2020-2021 Rainbow Awards in the Best Gay Paranormal Romance category. Alas, reading it was put on the back burner until this past Wednesday when I attended a Zoom “Perfectly Queer: Pride 2022 Reading,” and J.P. Jackson read an excerpt from the book, and I knew immediately that I had to whisk this book to the tippy top of my TBR.
Needless to say, I do NOT regret that decision. What a fun story! Entertaining and exciting at the same time.
Anyway, I should explain since I’ve only recently gotten back to making weekly #AmReading posts, that my typical format is to simply share a few short excerpts (with perhaps a wee bit of commentary) to let the books I’ve read speak for themselves. So here goes…
I loved this snippet because it so beautifully (and entertainingly … that’s a word, right?) captured Dev and his best friend Cam’s relationship (Dev’s 3rd-person POV):
The last thing Dev wanted was to feed Cam’s ego. Cam’s head filled most spaces he inhabited.
“Get your damn boots off my bed.” Dev slapped Cam’s feet.
“Oh my god. Yes, Mom.” Cam toed off the designer rainbow-snakeskin boots. The thud, thud ricocheted in the tiny bedroom.
“What are those things made of? Lead?” Dev quipped in response to their noisy removal.
“That’s the sound of quality product, bitch.” Cam gave Dev the side-eye. Dev caught the glance. They glared at each other for all of a second, then burst into laughter.
Another snippet that perfectly encapsulates Dev and Cam’s friendship and leads into the reading J.P. did on Zoom (Dev’s 3rd-person POV):
Jarring Dev from his planning, the Psycho shower knife scene clip chimed, somewhat muffled from his yoga pants pocket.
It was Cam, who hadn’t been impressed Dev had assigned him that particular ring tone but then in the space of a heartbeat changed his mind, deciding he quite liked it.
I should probably point out that Dev is one of the two characters in the romance arc of the story. The other is Tully. Cam is Dev’s best friend and a very important side character in this story. I understand the second book features Cam, and I’m looking forward to reading that!
Love how this next snippet pulls in the sense of smell for us (Dev’s 3rd-person POV):
Tully took the jacket and opened up slatted folding closet doors where a myriad of other coats and sweaters hung. Dev’s joined the others. From where he stood, the smell of days old cologne wafted off Tully’s hung clothes, and Dev hoped his jacket would rub up enough against the other occupants to have a scented reminder of Tully to take home.
The last line in this final snippet gave me a good chuckle and gives you a hint about some of the drama in the story (Cam’s 3rd-person POV):
“I literally understood none of that.” Cam breathed out a heavy sigh. Ev had been sort of kind to Cam since he’d been locked up in this hell hole, but the man tended to ramble. And Cam’s deduction of Ev had settled on “missing a few marbles.”
I think Ev is Cam’s love interest in book 2.
Devid Khandelwal desperately wants to experience the supernatural. After years of studying everything from crystals to tarot to spellcasting, nothing has happened that would tell him the Shadow Realm is real. And that kills Dev. As a last-ditch resort, he purchases a summoning board, an occult tool that will grant him his ultimate desires.
Cameron Habersham is Dev’s best friend. Cam loves Dev like a brother and will do anything for him, as long as he looks good doing it. So when Dev asks him to perform the summoning board’s ritual, he reluctantly agrees, but he knows nothing will come of it. Nothing ever does.
However, within a day, Dev and Cam’s lives are turned upside down as wishes begin to come true. They discover the existence of a supernatural world beyond their imagination, but peace between the species is tenuous at best.
Dev finally gets to see the Shadow Realm, meets the man of his dreams, and is inducted into the local male coven. But for all the desires that were summoned into existence, Dev soon realizes the magical community dances the line between good and evil, and Cam ends up on the wrong side of everything.
The old adage is true: Be careful what you wish for.