Author: Aisling Mancy
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C Harris
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/15/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.
In Sleight of Heart, Pesha is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle RomaniCompania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and four half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.
Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?
I am having trouble writing this review. I will say that Sleight of Heart is different from most of the books I have read in the genre. For that, I must applaud the author. Taking risks within the confines of the romance formula is not something I see enough in M/M romance.
I don’t know that I am in love with either Pesha or Taliesin, but I like them together. I think they both bring something to the relationship that the other needs. I appreciated how the author integrated the Romani customs into Pesha’s character without having overly long information dumps about the subject. I welcomed how he built Taliensin’s past through his interactions with Pesha and his daughter.
Where the story lost some points for me, however, was threefold. First, I can not stress enough how much good editing and proofreading can help a story and how much the lack of it can hurt a story. Sadly, there are expository passages that should have been reigned in and language that was over the top. I mean who uses the term “repining”?
There are also errors on almost every page. Simple things that should be trivial to correct are overlooked or ignored.
Second, the fact the Pesha never moved past saying “I need to return” and “I need to go back” got a little old. I understand that returning to his family was ingrained. I understand that he needed to return. I understand that the author wanted us to know this without a doubt. However, I would have like a little more dimension to Pesha. He was a one-trick pony so to speak. I needed more depth to his character.
Finally, I didn’t feel the story was complete. There are times I felt like huge chunks of the story were left out. Going from Pesha in Taliensin’s arms almost directly to him trussed up over a rock almost gave me whiplash. There was no time for an emotional connection with the characters or the situation. No time to feel Taliensin’s loss. Heck, the gaps made it almost impossible to feel Taliensin and Pesha’s love for one another.
Overall I enjoyed this world and the story. I think there is a lot of potential here. I wanted it to be something great, but I think it needs more of a few things to get there.
Note: This review is based on a pre-release ARC. As such I have removed my comment about the proofreading issues. I don’t know if they have been corrected in the final version, but I will give the publisher the benefit of the doubt. As such I have raised my rating from 3* to 3.5*. I stand behind my comments about the editor needing to reign in parts of the story, as that should have happened before the final proofreading pass.
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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