Author: Jacob Z. Flores
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge: Book One
Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.
When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.
Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.
If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spell bound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.
Review: Mason Blackmoor is dark and mysterious. Everyone senses it when he walks in the room. He’s the baddest of bad boys. Or at least he wants to be. Everyone does sense an otherworldliness when he walks in the room, but that’s true for all warlocks. Mason hasn’t tapped into his active powers yet, and when he does try to cast spells things have a tendency to go wrong. Mostly he’s a nice kid who is missing his recently deceased mother and feels overshadowed by his powerful father and older brothers. Drake Carpenter waltzes right into Mason’s life and sits down. Mason is attracted, of course. He messes up his chances, of course. Mason messes things up. His family and the other local families tell him at every available opportunity. The appearance of a dead body isn’t helping things. Warnings from a wizard and a witch showing off are also not helping things. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it’s hard to be a tough, bad boy.
Mason continues to mess up with Drake. Then as Drake makes his way across the town square in his particular Parkour fashion, Mason has the opportunity to save his life. The boys decide their energies are better spent liking each other than disliking each other. This doesn’t stop the dead bodies from continuing to appear. It also doesn’t stop the odd behavior of the Council, the organization that oversees all the magical beings. Then things get dangerous for Mason and Drake.
I really liked Mason. He was an angry teen but didn’t want to be an angry teen. Mason had to learn that universal lesson of not trying to be someone you think you should be. Just be yourself. Honestly, Mason was probably pretty lucky to learn this as a teenager. Despite the paranormal twist as to why this was important for Mason, this is just an important part of human development. And, as cliché as it sounds, it was nice to see Mason work on being a better person for the sake of Drake.
The romance is resolved yet the mystery is not. At the end of the story we’re left in the dark about a lot of things. Yeah, the nasty thing is vanquished, but there is still a whole lot of waiting nasty. The Council is up to something. I’m pretty sure Mason’s commentary at the Mabon celebration was important. Of course I can’t tell if the Council is doing something bad or if they’re worried about impending bad things. I’ve got just enough information to come up with crazy theories!
I enjoyed this book. It was new and interesting world building with a charming and tender New Adult love story. Personally, I’d consider this book YA with sex, but sadly I was not consulted in regards as to how to market it. Despite the fact I tend to dislike books about high school students, I think this book was really good. I liked Mason. I liked Mason with Drake. I definitely want the next book. I’m fairly certain I’ll want the next one after that.
That Proctor boy had better get a book! Seriously!