Book Review – The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies Book One) by KJ Charles

First published, 2013

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The story follows Lucien, newly returned from China after twenty years with his gentleman’s gentleman, Merrick. Having been thrown out of England two decades prior by his father, Lucien has lived exactly as he pleased in the Far East. But now that his reprobate and criminal brother is dead, as is his defensive and misguided father, Lucien is forced to return to the family pile to deal with the estate.

A chance meeting with Stephen Day, a practitioner of magic and lawman in the magical world soon leads to a tale of intrigue, ethereality and burgeoning romance. But when everyone in the county hates his family and mistrusts the new Lord Crane, will small-boned, slightly-built Stephen be strong enough to save the man his loves from forces unknown? And why do the magpie flock to the new Lord of Piper?

I don’t read a huge amount of male-male romance but I really enjoyed this story from KJ Charles. The characters were well-written, with lots of pathos and humour, and the story was evocative and stunningly realised.

“‘Mr. Day!’ Yelled Merrick from the first-class carriages, waving, and Stephen ducked under a protesting guard’s arm, threw his bag into the carriage, and made it onto the train a full four seconds before the wheels began to turn.

“He slammed the door and collapsed onto a seat, trying not to suck in breath too noisily.

“‘You cut that fine,’ remarked Crane. ‘This is a surprise, I must say.’ He was wearing a superbly cut light-grey suit that matched the grey of his eyes, and looked cool and patrician and unruffled, as befitted a man who owned a sizeable part of Gloucestershire and could afford people to carry his bags. Stephen had run from Baker Street (to Paddington Station). He knew his face was glowing and sweat-damp.

“‘I got held up.’ “
16% in, Chapter Five, The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, Book One) by KJ Charles

Sex scenes were a precise for me, but I’m not really the intended audience.