Author: Jessica Walsh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs/Tibbs Design
Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/29/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Don’t talk to him. For all intents and purposes, he doesn’t exist.
Thomas knows the rules when he takes a job with the circus, but he can’t stop thinking about the strange young man hidden away in the manager’s trailer. After a chance meeting with Isle, Thomas is even more intrigued, despite Isle’s warnings. As his obsession with Isle grows, Thomas vows to solve the mystery surrounding him and rescue him from his prison. But nothing is what it seems—especially not Isle—and Thomas is left unable to trust his own mind. Amidst the sparkles and illusions of the big top, Thomas can’t tell whether the spell he’s falling under is love… or something very different. He just knows he has to have Isle, and he’ll do things he never imagined himself capable of to get him.
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
Ironbound Kisses was a quick, pleasant read but it just didn’t wow me.
There was nothing technically wrong with the novella, there were no major misspellings or incorrect punctuation. However, it lacked a real depth that would’ve made me love the characters. I cared about the guys but I wasn’t truly invested in what happened.
The story starts with Thomas joining the circus. Why the circus? Well, that isn’t really explained. In order to convince the circus manager to hire him Thomas sticks his arm into the lion’s cage. Thomas is only not ripped to shreds, the big cats actually allow him to pet them. How? This is never fully explained either. Though it leads to a misunderstanding that aids the story later on.
Thomas likes his job despite it being smelly and back-breaking work. He also takes notice of a young man who lives with the manager. The manager, by the way, is never named and is always referred to as the manager. This got especially annoying during a couple action scenes and indicative of the reserved writing that kept me from being truly immersed in the world.
Despite being warned to ignore the beautiful young man, Thomas can’t forget him. He gets to know Isle and feels the need to protect from the manager who appears to be abusing him. As it turns out Isle is a fae, a magical being who draws people to him. Unfortunately, the people always end becoming obsessed and will do anything to hang onto Isle.
Thomas fights for Isle and they end up on the run for some time before settling in a small town. They are safe for months, which slowed down the story a great deal. There was no drama or urgency to the story though I knew what was coming.
The final action scenes were well-written and exciting but the denouement in which Thomas gets iron jewelry that allows him to keep his sanity around Isle felt more like a deus ex machine than a well-thought out plot device.
I’d recommend going into this one with a healthy suspension of disbelief.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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