An Aloysius Tale
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
First Edition published by Loose Id, 2012.
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3.5 STars Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog “…this story was entertaining, with just a touch of magic and a bit of mystery.” ~Under the Covers A little bit less humor than I come to expect from Tara Lain, but I guess that might just be the tone this series is written in. Having not read the previous book, I really can’t put my finger on how this series should be. What I can tell you is that this story was entertaining, with just a touch of magic and a bit of mystery. Sammy is a witch, albeit not a very powerful one. He’s been in love with his straight best friend Alvish for years. When he comes back from summer break a grown, changed man, going by the new name Ryder, and although Sammy swoons, might be time for him to realize that their love will never happen. Cue in the perfectly timed entrance of Lucien, a very powerful witch from Europe who just happens to be model-worthy gorgeous, gay and apparently attracted to Sammy. But things aren’t always what they seem, and that rings true with pretty much everyone in this book. Everyone is guarding secrets. And it’s not until a major shake up in the witch community that truths come out. There’s plenty of time in this book when Sammy and Ryder aren’t actually together, even though Ryder is always lurking and trying to be a friend. So the connection wasn’t as strong for me. But maybe that could be because of missing parts from the first book. Once they are together, they do work well. I was rooting for Sammy to get his HEA and that he got. But here’s my tiny mini rant… Lucien made my skin crawl most of the time, but when he pulls out the cobra shaped penis, I was about to run for the hills. And while we are on the subject of weirdly shaped phallus, after I got over Luciens’, turns out Ryder isn’t normal either! As Sammy said… the week of the weirdly shaped penises! Loved the friendships in the book and the support they all give each other. And I loved Aloysius…. Errrrrrrrrr. I need to get me one of those! *Review copy provided by publisher
I thought this one started out a little slower, but that’s only because I tend to focus on the romance, and this story has a lot of buildup for the mystery and conflict. I really enjoyed getting to know Sammy more, as he was really barely introduced in the first book. We also do get to see a little more of Killian and Blaine (yay!). Everything just added to the anticipation of both the romance and the climactic showdown that you know is inevitable. The neat thing about this book is that the mystery is written really well. Sure you get hints along the way, but not enough to give the secret away. Tara keeps you guessing right up until she actually reveals everything. I had my theories, but could never nail down anything with conviction, and I love a book that I can’t predict every facet of right from the beginning! There was a little less blatant magic throughout the book, because Sammy isn’t able to do a lot of the same things other witches can, and Aloysius isn’t shown as quite as powerful either, because of being attached to Sammy whose magic works differently. No worries though, there’s still magic, it’s just a lot more subtle for the most part, which is just another angle in the mystery! The villain in this book is a lot darker than the first, and I mean a lot darker. He’s powerful and cruel and while thankfully MOST of the badness happens off screen, enough is shown to have you holding your breath and on the edge of your seat hoping that it’ll all be ok. Of course the flip side is that there are happy times that make you sigh in contentment or even cheer. An emotional thrill ride, Brush with Catastrophe is a nail biter that will have you up all night needing to know how it all turns out. In the end, you’re left a little in awe of it all and you’ll be clamoring for more!