Author: Mathew Ortiz
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Christy Barron
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/26/2014
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Welcome all to Maquintock Bay. A sleepy little town a few hours north of Boston on a picturesque stretch of New England coast. The town’s folk live a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the simpler life, even if just north of them dwell the infamous Oswald family. The Oswald Estate is only minutes north of the town but most people avoid it. The town’s history tells of witches and supernatural events at the stately mansion. Is there truth to the rumors? Witches aren’t real, are they?
Prodigal son William Oswald Blackthorne has come home to take his place as head of Oswald House and his family. He sets about renovating and repairing his family home since it had fallen into disrepair. All seemed to be going well until he butted heads with his obstinate siblings, an overbearing aunt and the opinionated staff. Just when he thought everything was hitting its stride, Rushford Harrington ,the head of the construction company, refuses to send his men to the house. Who the hell does the man think he is? No one tells an Oswald ‘no’!
Rush Harrington has his hands full. His workers are frightened. The gossip about Oswald House has made it near impossible to find workers to do the renovations his company promised. Now the Oswald family members are making his life crazy with abrupt changes to the renovation plans. When he attempted to talk to William Oswald Blackthorne, the man refused to speak to him. So Rush pulled his teams. Next thing Rush knows, a handsome and irate blond man barges into his office and into his life; Rush realizes that nothing is ever going to be the same!
I am fascinated by the world Mr. Ortiz has created in the Oswald Witches series. The creatures, the setting, the curse, the witches, the power castes. It was so creative and vivid. The way things were set up and interwoven into the story has left me eager to learn more about these people and their abilities. The history was relayed well and made for good take on an old trope. I want Duncan and Oliver’s stories.
One of the things I liked most about this story was the way these men were realistic. The author did not shy away from the unsightly aspects of two men being together. In a genre where perfection is often held sacred, it is great to see men who are men. Men who burp, and fart, and screw up, and hate saying they were wrong. Men who smoked, and drank, and were not physically perfect. Men who had emotions but were horrible at expressing and dealing with them. Men who were not afraid to be themselves.
However, this story could have benefited from a bit better editing and perhaps a beta reader or two. Not only did I notice grammatical mistakes (I am horrible at grammar so for me to notice takes a lot), missing or wrong words, and repeated phrases, but there were structural issues as well. Often times the author repeated information that was already given to the reader. There were times of obvious information dumps that could have been worked into the story a bit more seamlessly. There were inconsistencies in personalities and so many exclamation points that the story had an overwhelming melodramatic tone. All these little things were distracting for me and often pulled me out of the story. It also did not do these men justice. This epilogue should have been its own stand alone short story.
I am also very confused as to the point of the epilogue. It was nice to revisit the characters of Mr. Ortiz’s Renovating Love series. And it did make me want to go back and read all those stories to get a history. But I am not sure why it was included in this book. It had nothing to do with the main characters or plot or world. So other than a chance for Mr. Ortiz to gain readers for his other series, I don’t see why this needed to be included at all. It really just frustrated me because I kept waiting for the connection to the existing story.
However, I really enjoyed the way this story unfolded and the way Mr. Ortiz has set things up for the next two books. I am fully invested in the lives of these witches and have just enough information about Oliver and Duncan to make me need their stories now! I can’t wait to see how things unfold for them.
I would like to thank the author 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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