“Everyone can do evil. Some people can be forced to it, and some fight against it, and some don’t even need an invitation.”
Title: A Case of Possession
Author: K.J. Charles
Why you should read this book: Because this is the sequel of that marvelous book that is The Magpie Lord and it’s worth your time.
Summary from Goodreads:
Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. True, Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician’s disappearing act bothers Crane more than it should. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, Crane knows a smart man would hop the first ship bound for China. But something unexpectedly stops him. His heart.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes watching him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. And Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
“I like to make you know your master,” Crane said. “It’s only fair. The rest of the time you’ve got me so thoroughly enslaved, I might as well be wearing a collar with your name on it.”
There may be spoilers from the first book here, beware!
This sequel had so many more feelings than the first book and I’m still grinning because those two are going to break my heart for sure. Break it because of so much love or because something bad is going to happen in the third and last book and I’m going to cry for eternity.
In this sequel we have only Crane’s pov so we don’t really know what Stephen is thinking. He is there, and then he isn’t there anymore. He is really a busy tiny man. There is a plague of giant rats in London and the practitioners are trying to figure out who is sending them and they have to figure it out soon because these giant rats are killing people.
“Earl Crane. Shouldn’t there be an ‘of’ in that?”
“No. It’s like Earl Grey.”
While Stephen is busy with rats, Crane is suffering. He is bored in London and even if he wants to go back to Shanghai, he can’t go, his heart won’t allow it. Stephen goes away for hours and even days without leaving a note. He is scared of people finding out he has a male lover since it was a serious crime. He doesn’t want to lose his job. This situation leaves Crane miserable. He wants to be with Stephen without being scared of the consequences. That little man makes him so happy. Crane is an adorable almost 40-year-old man!
“Mr. Day didn’t turn up, then?” said Merrick, homing in on his thoughts as ever.
“Been and gone.”
“Came and went?”
“Oh, shut up.”
Their precarious balance of love and life is disturbed by the arrival of Rackham, a shaman both of them know very well. He is trying to blackmail Crane for money or he is going to reveal their sinful relationship. That man, I wanted to punch him, you can’t stop their love, how dare you!?
Apparently, Stephen and the other practitioners need help from Crane for translation and this way Crane is involved in their investigation. Investigation that seems to involve him more than he expected.
“You look like the cat that swallowed the cream,” Stephen said softly.
“That comes later. Here’s the dining room.”
This series is great because it has so many interesting elements. Yes, it has steamy scenes and I love it, of course. We get to see them interact as lovers, intimately. We also get a lot of mystery and magic. There is always someone trying to kill everyone and of course there is a twist followed by another twist and everything is different than you imagined. And guess what? It’s perfect! I love not really knowing what is going to happen but being a little bit sure about the future of Crane and Stephen. I just need them to be okay and to live together happily ever after.
How long can you take?”
“How long do you want?”
“The rest of your life.” Crane watched Stephen’s eyes widen. “For now, how about a fortnight?”
“Done,” Stephen said. “And…done.”
Long story short, this book is about an investigation for murder and abuse of magic, and in the background we have these two wonderful men trying to make their love work out in these difficult circumstances.
I want to protect them both, and Merrick, and Stephen’s friends and everyone else (the good ones)!! Let’s protect their happiness!
Do I recommend it? Yes, more feeling so pain in coming soon, I know that.