March was filled with the typical daily routines: work, school, kids, household/yard chores, pets, taking photos (which I admit is relaxing, not part of the mad rush) plus the extra things that pop up unexpectedly to throw one off kilter. You know, the usual. I managed to work some reading and listening time into the mix and that is what evens it out for me. The trade off is not much sleep and I decided to keep reading rather than stop and write the reviews. Reading is relaxing. A lovely escape into another place, another persons perspective, and it why I pretty much have to have a happy ending. Unhappy is not relaxing.
So why write reviews? Because I read some really great books and I want to share that and maybe you will find something that you enjoy too.
So… I am posting the Reading Highlights from March in several parts while I catch up.
First up is Jackdaw. It is part of the K.J. Charles A Charm of Magpies world. If you have not read the series, I highly recommend it. Historical, paranormal, m/m romance.
If you stop running, you fall.
Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser’s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.
Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can’t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah’s chaotic existence all over again, and they’re running together—from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them.
Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?
This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series.
Warning: Contains a policeman who should know better, a thief who may never learn, Victorian morals, heated encounters, and a very annoyed Stephen Day.
Do you ever have a book that you really want to read, but are afraid it may not be right for you? I have read every K.J. Charles book that she has published. I have adored them all. Yet, Jackdaw, I hesitated. Jonah is the character from the last Magpie book that was a villain. He lied and stole and in the end it appeared he had no regard for others when he had Cranes picture and what he did with it before he disappeared.
He was a bad guy. We are not supposed to like him. There was no background on him, it was all in the present tense of the last book and he thoroughly ruffled Stephen Days feathers. Not a man you want as your enemy.
So, here I am hesitating and finally take that leap and K.J. Charles does wondrous things. This book spun everything around and I would not have believed where we would end up.
I highly recommend reading the A Charm of Magpie series before reading Jackdaw. You will appreciate having the background on the characters. K.J. Charles does not just give the background of Jonah and tell us he is not a bad guy. He is not an honest man, his moral compass is a bit skewed, but when he meets Constable Ben Spenser, his life changes, at least for a while. With Jonah’s magical abilities, he is sought after and not by reputable people. With his background, we can see why he is swayed but then nothing is simple. This book is filled with gray areas. No one is good or bad. Unfortunately, the group that Jonah is working with makes it where he has no choice but to leave Ben and the aftermath ruins Ben’s life.
It is much more angst filled than the previous books and I admit I had moments that I sat it down. I wanted to grumble at one of the characters, but what he lost and endured, I could not have done it, and so I set the book down, took a breath, and then continued. I knew K.J. Charles would not let me down but it was tough for a while.
During the last third of the book, the winds change for our two protagonist. I love the gradual process in which Jonah redeems himself. The setting in this section is completely different and I held my breath to see if it would last. The lovely thing about this book is how it made me look at all of the characters, even those I know and loved from the previous books, and see another facet of their personalities. It was wonderful. I was surprised by my reactions, I loved it
The writing is superb, the way the author pulled me in and held my attention (even in those moments I had to step back a moment) is something I have come to expect from Ms Charles writing. The world in which these books are set in is fascinating, colorful and at times, gritty and raw.
Coming from a person who used to claim to not like historical settings, I highly recommend K.J. Charles and the A Charm of Magpie series and of course Jackdaw.