First read thoughts from our newest reviewer, Karen, then scroll down for a guest post from Susan, and at the end see the book trailer and enter a Rafflecopter giveaway!
Double Alchemy by Susan Mac Nicol
Genre: MM Romance, Paranormal
Stars: 4-4.5 stars
Powerful yet tormented warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.
THE WORLD IN SHADOW
In modern London, there lurks a warlock. Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured. Sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He also takes pleasure where he can find it.
In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: along with lust comes true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, though a man of the world, Cade knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning, and magyck, peril and passion await.
Despite being British, Susan Mac Nicol is yet another author whose work I’m not familiar with, and I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Quinn and Cade meet on Hampstead Heath and are immediately attracted to each other, but Cade is suspicious of the immediacy. However Quinn, who understands some of the reasons for this intense attraction, manipulates circumstances to orchestrate another meeting and sparks really do fly!
Quinn is a warlock, and it turns out that Cade is something more than human. Cade’s heritage combined with Quinn’s creates an irresistible pull between the two that is nearly deniable, providing a certain magyck potion is imbibed. Despite imbibing this, Quinn continues to pursue Cade.
There is a lot going on in this book, world building, romance, suspense, all of which develop together extremely well. The swiftness of the relationship between Quinn and Cade is explained by the warlock/other chemistry, but it’s firmly grounded in plausibility as well. Despite the searing chemistry there is insecurity, vulnerability, and some lovely ‘humanizing’ little touches – such as Quinn needing his reading glasses and Cade’s gentle jealousy. Insta-love generally doesn’t work for me, but here with the magycle reasons it did, and in fact it’s integral to the continuance of the plot.
Other than the romantic elements there is a really strong and interesting suspense, based on real events. The persecution of witches and warlocks which started in the English civil war has continued to the present day, with descendents of Matthew Hopkins carrying on his work in London. Intertwined with this is a revenge element, which starts to explain some of Quinn’s’ emotional reticence. There is also the concept of the Withinner (is exactly what it says on the tin) an eternal spirit that exists symbiotically within the warlock, a spirit that shares it’s experiences with the warlock but is still individual and when required can become corporeal.
The secondary characters are well written as well, and although the majority of the focus is on Quinn and Cade these supporting characters are not one dimensional. As well as Quinn’s Withinner, Taliesin there is Quinn’s business partner, Jomo, completely unaware of the magyickle connotations; Percy -Quinn’s second in command, and Mary, a witch who stand out.
Although there is no cliffhanger, the scene is set for a sequel with some pointed teasers, so that when you finish the book you are anticipating what will happen next.
While I really enjoyed the fast pacing and the lovely developing relationship, it was not without a couple of irritants, which may be specifically because I’m British. The use of ‘gotten’ went against the grain in the dialogue, as did a couple of other Americanisms, but I suspect that other readers would not even notice them.
Really enjoyable, fast paced, romantic and yes, quite a lot of sex (also well written)
Publisher and Original Publication Date: Boroughs Publishing Group 23/03/14
Formats Available: epub, mobi, pdf
Length: 280 pages
Reviewed by: Karen
Author’s Website: http://www.susanmacnicol.com
I often get asked where I do most of my writing. I wish I could lie and tell you I have a beautiful library – study like the one in the picture but I can’t. I’m that strange breed of animal that loves chaos around them when they write. Not for me the hallowed sanctity of a study where I can indulge my creativity; no, for me the spot where all of my books have been written in the couch in the lounge. Picture attached. That is my study. My saggy arsed, uncomfortable, not very ergo- dynamic part of my world where I can retreat into myself and create my stories. Huh. That description sounds a lot like my bum.
I know some people require complete quiet, classical music, throbbing rock sounds, chirping birds, warbling brooks or old tribal Aborigine music while they write. Ideally we should all have a comfortable chair (think of those health and safety videos you’ve no doubt seen at some stage about good posture and correct typing stance) and practice good discipline in regularly moving away from the typing so you don’t get repetitive strain injury.
I imagine everyone has a different method of making themselves comfortable when they begin the creative process. Gardens are always a good place to relax and summon the muse, or by the pool if you’re lucky enough to have one. Perhaps with a cocktail in one hand and a gorgeous pool boy in the other. Although quite how you’ll manage to type with those handfuls I’m not sure -dictation sounds like a good plan to me at that point.
Anyway wherever it is that you settle down to write, I hope that it works for you, (even with your cat on the keyboard as I see this as a writer’s complaint fairly often.) Cats can be rather demanding from the sounds of it…
Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.
THE WORLD IN SHADOW
In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.
In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.
Praise for Double Alchemy
“I love Paranormal stories & I’m a huge fan of Susan Mac Nicol’s M/M books. In this book, she brings both genres together & gives us this amazing story. With her master storytelling, she takes us into the mystical & magical world of Witches, Warlocks, Withinners & Feys. A world where danger lurks in the shadows.” – Maria Recchia
“I stayed up all night reading this story. Susan has a way of writing that is different than anyone else. She’s uniquely brilliant at weaving a tale that brings out my emotions. I have laughed in every one of her stories. That’s incredible for me. Not just a smile, but a laugh. I love that. This book needs to be read. You won’t be disappointed.” – Author Kindle Alexander
Praise for Susan Mac Nicol
“We have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!” – Gitte & Jenny – Totally Booked Blog
“Susan has been hailed as a genius writer of male/male literature. Her Saving Alexander has been nominated for several awards and has been reviewed widely. Congrats on all your success, Susan. You have earned it.” – Gay Lit Authors
Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published last year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Double Alchemy is her fifth m/m romance.
Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself becoming a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.
Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.