"A dark story of passion, revenge, and a Faustian pact ... a guilty-pleasure read that kept me captivated knowing something sinister is looming." ~New Orleans Magazine
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.
When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.
Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.
Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.
“An intriguing, dark tale … seamlessly blends mystery, magic and matters of the heart to create an enthralling read.” ~RT Book Reviews
SERIES AWARDS 2018-2019
- Gold, Mystery, Feathered Quill Book Awards
- Gold, Horror/Supernatural/Paranormal, American Fiction Awards
- Gold, Intrigue, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards
- Gold, Cross Genre, NYC Big Book Awards
- Silver, Adult Fiction, Feathered Quill Book Awards
- Bronze, Horror, Foreword Reviews Magazine Book of the Year Awards
- Bronze, Magic, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards
- Finalist, Series, Next Generation Indie Book Awards
- Finalist, Suspense, National Indie Excellence Awards
- Finalist, International Book Awards
- Finalist, Horror, Best Book Awards
- Finalist, Supernatural, Readers’ Favorite Book Awards
- Official Quarterfinalist, Screencraft: Cinematic Book Contest
About the Author
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, an advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She has taught at major universities and worked in nursing for thirty years, dealing with victims of sexual assault, abuse, and mental illness in a clinical setting at many New Orleans area hospitals.
Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
A member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
Read an Excerpt
A Fortunate Meeting
The crunch of leaves beneath Jacob O'Connor's freshly polished shoes filled the crisp fall air. In a rush to cross the green of Harvard Yard, he dodged fellow students while struggling to pull his long black coat around his shoulders. Ahead, he eyed the red-bricked walls and white-trimmed windows of Massachusetts Hall.
When he reached the white-painted door, Jacob ran a nervous hand through his wavy black hair. "Hell of a first impression, O'Connor," he muttered, reaching for the brass doorknob. "You're already late, and classes haven't even started."
"You're not late," a deep voice spoke out.
A pair of inquisitive green eyes greeted Jacob. In a fitted long black coat and white ascot tie, the eavesdropper leaned against the red-bricked building. A lit cigarette dangled in his hand; he casually flicked away the ash.
"They haven't even begun serving drinks yet," the handsome man offered as he pushed away from the building. "Are you another of the freshman architects here for the reception?"
"I'm Jacob O'Connor." Jacob puffed out his chest, trying not to falter while the well-dressed man inspected his worn black coat and hand-me-down black shoes.
"I've heard about you. You're the sponsor from Fogle, Hardwick, and Hillman in Boston."
Jacob was painfully aware of how ratty his second-hand clothes must have appeared to the sharply dressed man. "Yes, Mr. Fogle was my mentor and got me into the Harvard Architecture Program."
The gentleman's cigarette went to the ground. "Yes, you received a full scholarship. You're the man the rest of us have to live up to."
"I am?" Jacob questioned, his voice cracking with nerves.
"Word is you are very talented." The toe of the man's shiny black shoe rubbed out his cigarette.
Jacob warily glanced around the yard. "Not talented. Perhaps just determined."
The stranger's green eyes gave him a thorough going over while the wind lifted his dirty-blond hair. "Sometimes being determined is a talent, O'Connor." He pointed to his chest. "I, on the other hand, am neither determined nor talented. I'm here because my old man insists I get an education."
From the cut of his suit to his regal attitude, Jacob figured he was another of the rich and spoiled upperclassmen he had run into continuously since settling into his dorm a few days ago. For Jacob, the campus of Harvard was teeming with affluent men whose only purpose in life was to spend their family's money.
"I heard you're an orphan. Is it true?"
Jacob nervously cleared his throat. "Ah, yes, it's true."
The rude man added a cocky grin. "And were saved from a life on the streets by your mentor."
Jacob's anger stirred. "I may not have been born into a life of privilege, sir, but I can assure you I deserve to be here just like any other student."
A raucous, maniacal laugh took Jacob by surprise. He didn't know people could laugh like that.
"I'm not the enemy, dear boy." His inquisitor drew closer. "I'd like to be your friend."
"Why?" Jacob snapped, suspicious of his intentions.
"Because unlike the rest of the rabble on this campus, I admire determination and talent." He held out a tapered hand. "I'm Magnus Blackwell."
Jacob knew the name. Everyone in New England had heard of the Blackwell family. They were practically New England royalty. Their wealth had been acquired through shipping and banking, but had switched to steel production with the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Their exploits and finances had been a particular interest to Jacob's mentor, Martin Fogle. He had been trying to land their accounts for years.
After shaking his hand, Jacob took a step back. "I've heard of you."
Magnus rested his wide shoulder against the white-painted door. "It's all lies. Everything everyone says about me is a lie. If you want the truth, just ask."
Intrigued, Jacob focused his dark brown eyes on the man's chiseled features. "Are you as rich as they say?"
Magnus stretched for the doorknob. "Richer."
Jacob raised his dark brows. "Is that possible?"
"With my family, most definitely." Magnus opened the door for him. "Do you have any other questions you'd like to ask me, O'Connor?"
"I'm sure I can come up with a few more," Jacob returned with a diminutive grin.
Magnus curled his lips into a half-smile. "Wonderful. It will give us something to talk about during this tedious orientation reception we are being forced to attend."
"You might find my questions just as tedious, Mr. Blackwell."
"Somehow, I doubt you could ever be boring, O'Connor." With a flourish, Magnus Blackwell waved Jacob in the door. "From now on, you must call me Magnus."
"And you must call me Jacob."
"I think I prefer O'Connor. Makes you sound more mysterious."
"Mysterious? Me?" Jacob chuckled as he moved toward the door.
Magnus put his arm across the doorway, barring Jacob's entry. "Mystery is all we have, dear boy. Without it, we would be open books at the mercy of those who would rip out our pages and scatter our secrets to the winds. Always strive to keep your secrets hidden."
Jacob nodded. "Yes, Magnus."
"And I thought this was going to be another boring party." Magnus clamped his hand over Jacob's right shoulder. "What do you say we tackle this college adventure together, O'Connor. Let's take Harvard by storm."CHAPTER 2
The Problem With Women
Walls decorated with black-and-white photographs of buildings, and a row of windows that overlooked a cement walkway frequented by students rushing to class on Harvard campus, did little to offset the stuffy feeling of the classroom.
At the head of the room, an older professor with spectacles, thinning gray hair, and a customary black robe made notations on a chalkboard. He added asterisks to his drawing of the facade of a Greek Revival structure, complete with pediment and columns.
Seated around a circular table with several other young men, Magnus and Jacob wore the school uniform of black coats, white shirts, and black ties. While Jacob avidly took notes, his textbook open in front of him, Magnus sat back in his chair, looking utterly bored.
"Reaction against the dominance of the Neoclassical movement came in the 1820s with Augustus Pugin," the professor lectured in a monotone voice. "He provided a theoretical push for the return of Gothic Revival seen in many structures designed in the middle part of the current century."
Magnus leaned over to Jacob. "When do we get to draw buildings instead of talking about them?"
"Magnus, please," Jacob urged, hiding his head from their professor.
"This professor is putting me to sleep," Magnus insisted in a soft grumble.
Jacob glared at him. "Shhh."
"Thus was coined the term 'architectural realism,'" their professor extolled from the front of the class. "And many proponents of the movement have brought a renovation to the notion of style during our time."
Magnus took a quick glance out the window, and then patted Jacob on the shoulder. "I'll leave you in charge of the notetaking, O'Connor, for both of us."
Jacob stared at Magnus, the apprehension swimming in his brown eyes. "What are you going to do?" he whispered.
Magnus just gave him a sly grin and then stood from his chair, wobbling slightly. "I'm sorry, Professor Talbert," he proclaimed in an unsteady tone. "I'm not feeling very well at the moment. I must excuse myself." Magnus placed his hand over his mouth, pretending to hold something back.
Jacob took in his performance with a profound sense of disbelief.
"Very well. Go, Mr. Blackwell." Professor Talbert sounded more annoyed than concerned.
Magnus collected his unopened textbook on Architectural Theory from the table and shoved the few blank sheets of paper he had in front of him toward Jacob.
"As I was saying," the Professor continued, as Magnus hurried toward the classroom door. "The Realist movement can be drawn from several other movements. One being Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom, exemplified by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh."
Jacob was stunned that Magnus could get away with such a lie. Frustrated, he casually gazed out the window. Seconds later, Jacob spotted Magnus jogging along the path. His friend slowed when he caught up with a statuesque blonde in a green dress.
Distracted from the lecture and wondering if the pretty woman prompted Magnus's sudden departure, Jacob observed as Magnus struck up a conversation with her.
Smiling, Magnus relieved the young female student of her books and waved her down the path.
Jacob kept his eyes on the couple until they walked out of sight. Then he shook his head, disgusted by Magnus's luck. With a heaving sigh, he returned to his notes.
* * *
Magnus trotted down the straight oak staircase as the afternoon light filtered through the leaded glass of his front door. Muttering when his feet hit the first floor, he imagined the tongue-lashing he would give to whoever was banging on his door.
In the entrance hall, he hurried across the pine floors to the door. Checking the belt on his red robe, he put his lit cigarette in his mouth and took in a deep pull of smoke as he combed his hands through his disheveled hair. Letting out the smoke through his nose, he yanked the door open.
He was shocked to find Jacob standing in his doorway. His friend was holding up a pile of papers.
"Today's notes from theory class," Jacob sounded angry.
"And you brought them here? Now?" Magnus threw his cigarette out on the porch.
Jacob went after the smoking bud, stomping it out with his foot. He came back to the door and shoved the papers at Magnus.
"Professor Talbert asked where you were. That's three classes in a row you've missed this week, Magnus. I can't keep covering for you," Jacob added as he marched in the doorway.
Magnus took the papers from him and shut the door. "What did you tell him?" he probed in an anxious tone.
"You were sick, what else?"
A creaking noise from the staircase announced the arrival of the reason for Magnus's absence. Dressed only in her white petticoat skirt and top, the same statuesque blonde Magnus had left class for proudly strutted down the steps, a playful grin on her lips.
When her bare feet touched the pine floor, she sashayed over to Magnus. Making sure she got his attention, she kissed his lips and then reached out to rub his ass.
The pretty woman seemed to delight in the various shades of Jacob's red cheeks. With a smug smile, she turned away. While ambling down the hallway to the side of the staircase, she accented the sway of her hips.
Magnus tried not to laugh. "As you can see, I had a previous engagement."
"Is that what you call it?"
"I call it fucking. You should try it sometime, O'Connor." Magnus put the papers in his hand down on the first step.
"I prefer to wait until I've found a woman I can love," Jacob professed.
Magnus appeared heartily amused by his comment. "Have you ever been with a woman, O'Connor?"
"If you must know, yes. Two women. Neither of whom I loved."
"Thank God for that." Magnus rolled his eyes. "Otherwise, you would have been married with a house full of brats by now."
"You make love sound like a bad thing."
"Isn't it? Most women do not care for us; they tolerate us for wealth, protection, vanity, what have you, but love, never."
"You're a pessimist, Magnus."
Magnus slipped his hands into the side pockets of his robe, appearing pensive. "No, I'm a realist. As you should be. A woman is the only creature who can take away your will as well as your soul."
"But a woman can also save your soul," Jacob argued. "Love is what brings us back from the brink."
"I'll have to take your word, dear boy. I plan on never becoming a victim of that disease."
Magnus showed Jacob to the door just as the blonde returned. She offered Magnus a leering grin, and then jogged up the stairs. Both men admired her while she made her way up the steps.
"I need to get back to my previous engagement," Magnus advised, returning his eyes to Jacob. "But I will pick you up tomorrow to go to the club."
Embarrassed again, Jacob dropped his eyes to the floor. "Ah, yes. I'll be ready."
After Magnus had opened the door for him, Jacob rushed out to the porch.
"I hope you have a hearty constitution, O'Connor," Magnus remarked, leaning against the doorway. "My father can be hard to take at times."
Jacob backed away from the door. "I'm sure it will be fine, Magnus."
Shaking his head, Magnus watched as his friend turned toward the porch steps. "You have no idea how wrong you are."
After Jacob had given him a wave good-bye, Magnus shut the door and secured the lock. Gazing back up the stairs, he grinned while thinking about who was waiting for him in bed.
With a short chuckle, he jogged up the steps, ready to get back to his eager blonde.
* * *
The Hastings Gentleman's Club was considered the most prestigious club in Boston for men from the upper class. The waiting list to get in could take years, but for the bluebloods of the city, like the Blackwells, there was no waiting list.
In the mandatory full tuxedo required by club members, Magnus and Jacob entered the fancy black leather doors of the establishment. They traveled through the crowded meeting and smoking rooms until they came to the private bar.
Dark paneled walls, red leather chairs, and burgundy carpets gave the barroom a definitively masculine feel. At the end of the room was an ornately carved fireplace with a small dark oak bar next to it. Full-length portraits of esteemed club members, who also happened to be some of the most influential men in the country, hung on the walls.
At the arched entrance, Magnus eyed the room. "There he is."
Magnus and Jacob crossed the burgundy carpet to an older man sitting near the fireplace in a high-back chair and smoking a cigar.
"Father," Magnus greeted with a polite bow.
Reynolds Blackwell was an older version of his son. With a tall, agile body, he had fair hair, intrusive green eyes, and his face had Magnus's carved features — even his fiendish grin. His jawline was a little softer, his belly slightly rounder, and his hands not quite as tapered as his son's. Even down to the impatient way he flicked the ash off his cigar, there was no mistaking who had fathered Magnus Blackwell.
Reynolds Blackwell stood from his chair. While he put out his cigar in a brass ashtray on the table next to him, Reynolds mumbled, "Magnus. Good of you to come."
Magnus waved his hand to Jacob. "Father, I would like to introduce Jacob O'Connor. He is studying architecture with me at school."
Jacob stepped forward and extended his white-gloved hand.
Reynolds glared at his son while shaking Jacob's hand. "I am surprised my son brought you, Mr. O'Connor. He never introduces me to any of his friends. Makes me think he doesn't have any." Reynolds snapped his fingers at two empty red leather chairs not far from his.
Jacob went to one of the nearby chairs. Out of nowhere, an attendant dressed all in white appeared at his side and pushed one of the chairs closer for Magnus.
Jacob waited for the attendant to get another chair. As he stood by, anxiously darting his eyes around the room, Jacob's chair was pushed into place next to Magnus.
Magnus flipped his long coat tails behind him and had a seat. "I never introduced you to any of my friends because I knew you would not approve."
"You're right." Reynolds directed his eyes to Jacob, who was clumsily attempting to mimic Magnus's gesture as he took his chair. "What of your family, Mr. O'Connor?"
"He's an orphan," Magnus blurted out before Jacob could speak. "Without a penny to his name."
"Then why are you with him?" Reynolds Blackwell shot back.
"Because he is the kind of rabble you never wanted me to associate with, Father."
Reynolds ignored his son's taunting. "Tell me, Mr. O'Connor, how did you find the means to attend Harvard?"
Jacob gulped as he felt the man's piercing green eyes boring into him. "Ah, Mr. Martin Fogle of Fogle, Hardwick, and Hillman was my mentor." Jacob silently cursed as his voice cracked. "He took me in and educated me when I was a boy. He got me a scholarship to Harvard."
"I know Martin Fogle," Reynolds curtly replied. "He's been trying to land my construction accounts for years. He's a wily prick, but a good architect. Are you like him?"
Jacob's stomach did a nervous flip. "Like him? What do you mean?"
Magnus casually removed a spot of lint from his pressed, black jacket. "Jacob is a gifted architect and not a wily prick, Father."
"Then what the hell is he doing with a bum like you?" his father roared.
A tense moment of silence passed, and Jacob warily glanced from father to son, convinced the two men were going to come to blows at any moment.
"You summoned me, and I invited him to come. He's never seen the inside of The Hastings," Magnus eventually answered, his voice never giving any hint as to the frustration stewing in his eyes.
Reynolds tapped his long fingers on the arm of his chair. "I am not sending you to Harvard to befriend charity cases, Magnus. I sent you to get an education."
"And so I am," Magnus insisted with a cocky smirk. "I'm expanding my horizons every day. You are the one who always pushed me to be well-rounded — just like you."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Blackwell"
Copyright © 2017 Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor.
Excerpted by permission of Vesuvian Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - A Fortunate Meeting,
Chapter 2 - The Problem with Women,
Chapter 3 - Her,
Chapter 4 - Falling,
Chapter 5 - Downfall,
Chapter 6 - Finding Fate,
Chapter 7 - New Orleans,
Chapter 8 - A Dangerous Game,
Chapter 9 - Deeper,
Chapter 10 - A Door Opening,
Chapter 11 - The Wrong Road,
Chapter 12 - Altmover,
Chapter 13 - Rising Tides,
Chapter 14 - Secrets,
Chapter 15 - Discovery,
Chapter 16 - A Wilde Time,
Chapter 17 - Beyond Obsession,
Chapter 18 - Dilemma,
Chapter 19 - Well Laid Plans,
Chapter 20 - A Sad Affair,
Chapter 21 - Road to Revenge,
Chapter 22 - Return,
Chapter 23 - Setting the Stage,
Chapter 24 - The Unraveling,
Chapter 25 - Justice,
Chapter 26 - It Begins,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I knew I had to read this after my eyes settled on the magnificent cover art and I read the blurb. I’ve also read other books by this writing team and enjoyed them. How would I classify this? Historical thriller with a twist of naughty. It goes beyond the bedroom door a bit and I read those parts really fast. LOL They were necessary to really get to know Magnus. Magnus? I wanted to like him in the beginning. Didn’t take long for that to change. He wouldn’t let me. Wouldn’t let anyone care for him. His own worst enemy. While in New Orleans, he meets the wild and somewhat depraved Oscar Wilde and thus begins his undoing. A warning to change his ways from a woman who practices voodoo doesn’t slow him down and his path is set. Who I did like? Jacob. He was from the other side of the tracks. Not wealthy or privileged. His friendship with Magnus was a challenge. They couldn’t be more different and I hoped some of the goodness of Jacob would rub off on him. But, something came between their friendship and it was not to be. As I drew closer to the end of the story, the tension grew, my dread of what might happen built. I wanted to slow things down, urge the two men to think first. They teetered on the brink of no return. An explosive ending to a highly entertaining reading experience. Will I be continuing with this series? Surely.
Complete with purposeful plot development and strategic character placement, Weiss and Castor stoked a flame within my mind. Darkly atmospheric, Blackwell contains the best elements of a noir mystery - black magic, dark romance, innocent love, and murderous revenge. Blackwell is sure to ignite flames in the minds of those who enjoy dark stories from bygone eras, whether romance or mystery
This is the prequel to the Blackwell series, Book 1, Damned came out this month (it takes place 100 years after this one, FYI)! Everything you love from a book from Alex is here- NOLA, the deadly sins, a supernatural twist and a very good plot line! The co-authorship has produced a book that takes the story to the next level. This is a story your want to see a movie made of, but at the same time, you don't, as it would take away SO much of the nuance that the author brings into the books, that hinges on your past experience to flesh out in your mind, to provide the touch and smell, as if you were there in the past. Love for the same woman may be one of the oldest plot themes, but as Alex and Lucas show, it's one that still pleases, and will keep you reading late into the night! But be warned, Alex has a few tricks up her sleeve, and there's a twist you won't see coming! Thanks its delicious gothic mood, it's perfect for late night reading too.
When I first started reading this book, I really didn't know what to expect. But, the more I read, the faster I read in order to see what would happen! Magnus Blackwell is a spoiled rich Harvard student who befriends an orphaned Jacob O'Connor, much to Jacob's surprise. Jacob is only able to attend the prestigious Architecture school because of a kind benefactor. The two develop a keen friendship, but of course, a lovely young woman comes between them. Magnus is obsessed with Frances, but he wants more from her than she is willing to give. Instead, she falls for the less flamboyant and poorer O'Connor. Magnus is livid, but tries to hide his feelings from his (former) friends. He travels to New Orleans, where he meets the English author, Oscar Wilde. Wilde introduces him to the debauchery of brothels and to the religion of voodoo. Magnus' sexual appetites become depraved after his rejection by Frances and the brothel of Madam Simone seems to be just the thing for his desires. There were many things to love about this book. Having lived in Louisiana, I am always fascinated by books involving voodoo. The author does a wonderful job in the descriptions of the area and in the lore of voodoo. Throughout the book, the descriptions of the fashions, the décor, the architecture and the parties are wonderful. The characters are well-developed and the story kept me reading long into the night. The addition of Oscar Wilde and his story, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was woven into the fabric of "Blackwell" in a way that actually could have happened. This book has many, many layers to it: Love, lust, revenge, hate, depravity, terror, and so much more are hidden within. I was reminded of the Gothic romances I read in my younger days. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially those with horror or gothic undertones, and those who want to know more about voodoo and the New Orleans of this time period
Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor's "Blackwell" is the start of the Magnus Blackwell series. Love "The Picture of Dorian Gray" connections. A truly haunting tale - Magnus is a terrible person. A narcissistic sociopath for sure. A lot of interesting mythology with Madam Simone. I can't wait to see where the series goes from here.
BLACKWELL book 1 is the first installment in Alexandrea Weis/ Lucas Astor’s slightly dark, Victorian, paranormal series focusing on jealousy, revenge, betrayal and magic. Told from dual third person perspectives (Magnus Blackwell and Jacob O’Connor) covering a timeline of several years, BLACKWELL focuses on the friendship and betrayal between college friends Blackwell and O’Connor. Magnus Blackwell comes from money; a spoiled, rich young man who takes what he wants, one way or another. A man with a dark side, and a darker need for violating the woman in his care Magnus Blackwell will lose the one woman he cannot have to the man he believes owes him his career and his life. Jacob O’Connor was orphaned at an early age, and through his mentor was accepted into Harvard and graduated with a degree in Architecture only to discover that his friendship with Magnus Blackwell proved to be more dangerous than not. Jacob will fall in love with the woman Magnus tossed aside, and in the ensuing years Magnus would devise a plan to destroy the man he once called a friend. BLACKWELL is a slow building story line; set in New Orleans, Louisiana; steeped in magic, spirits and the practice of voodoo; betrayal, murder, discovery and revenge. Two friends, one woman and years to plan his retribution, Magnus Blackwell is a man possessed by anger, evil and a dark, foreboding malevolence that is focused on avenging the loss of the only woman that called to his heart. Jacob O’Connor will get his retribution by destroying everyone that gets in his way including the man who has been the focus of his anger and grief. Alexandrea Weis pulls the reader into a dark and fated tale of catastrophic jealousy; of one man’s overwhelming anger and need to destroy and break the only friend that he has ever known. The premise is intriguing, thrilling and suspenseful; the characters are passionate in their desires and pathways to revenge. BLACKWELL is a tragic tale of jealousy and love; of betrayal and revenge; of dramatic and questionable journey of vengeance.
Never fight over a woman. That is one of the main lessons learned in this stunning gothic tale of romance and revenge. And if your adversary is the charismatic, enigmatic Magnus Blackwell, well, think twice and perhaps choose another woman! At the heart of this page-turning thrill ride is a man of mystery, Magnus Blackwell, born into wealth and power. Magnus is gorgeous and magnetic, well-versed in the ways of charming both men and women to do his bidding. And he always gets what he wants...well, almost always, because it is his best friend, Jacob O'Connor who wins the prize of a lifetime, the woman both Magnus and Jacob love. Jacob is a working class boy with little money to call his own, the total opposite of Magnus, and when he meets Magnus at Harvard, a bizarre friendship is struck that has major repercussions for everyone they come in contact with throughout the story. Enter one lovely woman named Frances, who proceeds to capture both their hearts, and you have the ingredients for a story of love, lust, greed, power and vengeance. With amazingly rich characters and lushly descriptive locations, "Blackwell" is both chilling and atmospheric as we follow the three intertwined lives into some very treacherous places, including the backwoods of New Orleans where a voodoo priestess unwittingly gives Magnus more power than he ever thought imaginable. Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that this book will hook the reader from the moment Magnus appears on the page, and it doesn't let up all the way through to an utterly shocking ending that pulled a twist even this jaded reader wasn't expecting. The characters are unforgettable, the writing is top-notch, and the story is hauntingly original. This is a book you will want to make last and last, but end up devouring in two or three sittings. And it will definitely leave you wanting more.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite When their lives collide, an unlikely friendship blooms between Magnus Blackwell and Jacob O’Connor, architecture students at Harvard in the late 19th century. The wealthy womanizer, Magnus, is the complete opposite of the righteous and diligent Jacob, whose poor background is often despised by others. It seems Magnus finds his dream woman when he met the sharp-witted Frances McGee. However, his philandering habit becomes the catalyst of romance and eventually marriage between Frances and Jacob instead. Blackwell (A Magnus Blackwell Novel) by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a story about one man’s unbound desire. Frances wants a faithful partner, and Magnus has a twisted view of being faithful. His heart is set on revenge against Jacob. Magnus’ desire to get Frances back to his side leads him to dark paths, and his journey to New Orleans has made this possible. Despite the Victorian settings, the narrative is crisp and has a contemporary ease to it for a flawless reading. The vivid characters are one of the main strengths of this story, other than the fascinating premise and well-paced plot. As for its supernatural element, New Orleans is always a good choice and I’m glad that it’s one of the settings in Blackwell. It is a provoking yet absorbing read about the dark, twisted and dangerous part of the human psyche. Blackwell is definitely for mature readers only. Overall, this is a solid debut for the series from Weis and Astor. I’m curious to see how the story continues.
Blackwell has captivated me from the very first page. He's a character I loved to hate. Friendships will be tested, revenge will drive the souls, and the ending will wow you beyond your imagination. You'll be lost in this well crafted story.