historical · lgbtqia content · sci-fi / fantasy

REVIEW: Starcrossed by Allie Therin

The Official Description: When everything they’ve built is threatened, only their bond remains…

1925 New York

Psychometric Rory Brodigan’s life hasn’t been the same since the day he met Arthur Kenzie. Arthur’s continued quest to contain supernatural relics that pose a threat to the world has captured Rory’s imagination—and his heart. But Arthur’s upper-class upbringing still leaves Rory worried that he’ll never measure up, especially when Arthur’s aristocratic ex arrives in New York.

For Arthur, there’s only Rory. But keeping the man he’s fallen for safe is another matter altogether. When a group of ruthless paranormals throw the city into chaos, the two men’s strained relationship leaves Rory vulnerable to a monster from Arthur’s past.

With dark forces determined to tear them apart, Rory and Arthur will have to draw on every last bit of magic up their sleeves. And in the end, it’s the connection they’ve formed without magic that will be tested like never before.

This book is approximately 85,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise : all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Magic in Manhattan:
Book 1: Spellbound
Book 2: Starcrossed
Book 3: Wonderstruck

Just the facts: Queer Characters, supernatural powers, mystery and intrigue

I fell in love with Ace and Teddy in the first Magic in Manhatten book. This book sees them both in danger and trying to save one another! – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  I really enjoyed the first book in this series so it came as no surprise to me that I enjoyed this one! Star crossed picks up where “Spellbound” left off. Arthur Kenzie is wealthy, upper class and enamoured with Rory. Rory is an antique evaluator with magical powers! Intrigued? You should be. This book isn’t a stand-alone… I “think” there’s enough background in it that you could figure out what was going on but it will be infinitely more enjoyable if you go back and read the first book in the series.

In this book, Arthur and Rory and facing a different kind of enemy… or are they? In a way, this is a continuation of the story begun in the first book. Rory is struggling to come to terms with his enhanced magical powers. In the first novel, he became magically bonded to a ring. It’s a bit like trying to filter a waterfall through a hose pipe… Rory has much more power when he’s near the ring but it’s overwhelming and almost impossible to control.

There’s a new issue in this novel as well, there are artifacts going missing and they’re important. Some of these magical objects allow reversal or magic. some of them help people to control their powers. Some of them can trap non-magical people.

there’s a great cast of characters in this story. I absolutely love Arthur and Rory. Their relationship is very authentic in spite of me not knowing much about the time period in which the story is set. Arthur has genuine feelings for Rory. He doesn’t care about his “status” in society, nor does their different standing bother him. the problem is that Rory is fiercely independent. If he’s learned anything in his life, it’s that there are very few people that can be relied upon.

One of the things that I really like about the characters in this book is that when there are hurdles to overcome, the characters react very authentically. They don’t have huge blow-up arguments over little things, they truly seem to appreciate each other and know that they have something special between them. Arthur and Rory are struggling with their relationship in very different ways. Arthur can’t seem to convey how important Rory is to him. he wants to take care of Rory, keep him safe and struggles with the confines of society and his own ideas. On the other hand, Rory doesn’t want gifts and worries about the appearance of “someone like him” being seen coming and going from Aruther’s company.

there’s a wonderful exploration in this series of the differences in class and the struggles that each side faces. It’s not simply that “lower classes” deal with a lack of basics. Arthur faces his own challenges: forced to keep up a front to fit in with his family.

I love the magical world in these books. It’s well thought out and as complex as it is I had no trouble keeping up! It’s such a fun explanation of a world in which magical folk exist. One of the things that I really enjoy is that it seems believable! I can easily imagine a world in which people with magical skills simply do jobs that enable them to appear “skilled” at what they are doing.

The “bad guys” in these books are fascinating. They’re not simple characters and I really enjoy that. I don’t want to read about villains who are flat and single-minded. The anti-heroes in “Starcrossed” are complex, intriguing and often hint at being redeemable. Very enjoyable!

One of the great things in this installment is that we are given a reveal about Arthur’s past. He’s been through a lot and the history that is revealed ties into what is happening in the new story! it’s very clever and I’m not going to ruin it by revealing anymore!

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series to people. It’s a great mystery that is very well-written, the characters are well written and lovely (I’m team Arthur & Rory forever), and the magical world is great!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Descriptions of past incarceration, forced confinement, torture in the past, discussion/descriptions of dead bodies and murders, homophobia within society, classism, bigotry.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Starcrossed by Allie Therin from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.