Witchy Boys is a two-story set by Katey Hawthorne about demons, magic, and the trouble people can get up to around Halloween.
“Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse”
Once again, Griff has gotten himself involved in some trouble with magic and now he is forced to come to Blythe for help. Griff’s ex girlfriend, Cathy, tricked him into a blood magic ritual last year in a cemetery that gave her great power and now she wants to use it to raise the dead in a mini zombie apocalypse. Blythe is the only one who has the magic needed and might be able to help. Although the guys left things on bad terms in the past, Blythe agrees to help prevent the disaster and the two head off to try to stop Cathy. Her magic is strong, but between Griff and Blythe they may be able to combine their magic and put a stop to her evil plan.
This is a cute story about two guys with a bit of a messy past who join together out of necessity to stop an evil witch. Even though Blythe starts out kind of pissed at Griff for his past actions, it is clear there is a connection between the guys. Although Griff plays with dark magic, he is a good guy and the two men band together, combining their magic and their powers (in a way that also involves some sexy times). The story is short so there is not a lot of time for world building, but it is entertaining and there is a nice vibe of two sort of enemies being reunited and a nice hopeful future between them.
Thackeray is a demon hunter and six years ago he agreed to let a demon haunt him in order to gain better powers at demon fighting and detection. Now he is stuck with the demon Seir riding along in his head, which makes any kind of privacy (or intimacy with someone else) pretty much impossible, but it is worth it for the ability to help stop other demons from wreaking havoc. When Thackeray discovers a plan to raise trouble on Halloween, he joins forces with a witch who wants to stop the disaster as well. Thackeray finds himself attracted to Matt and Matt clearly returns the feeling, but there is no way Thackeray is getting physical with Matt while Seir is listening in (not to mention offering commentary). But once the trouble with the witches is put to rest, Matt may have a way to help Thackery silence Seir for a while and let the men give into the attraction they both feel.
I really liked this short story, particularly the banter and connection between Matt and Thackeray. Thackeray is kind of big and stoic and lives a pretty serious life. He is stuck with Seir, and while it is mostly good because it helps his demon hunting, it also leaves him without any opportunity for sex and intimacy. Matt is one of the few people Thackeray can open up to and one who actually seems to be able to deal both with the idea of Seir, but even better, have a way to silence him long enough for the guys to get together. Like the first story, the world building isn’t really the focus here, but the connection between the characters was strong enough to make this really work for me. I would love to see more stories with these guys, especially with Seir riding along.
Witchy Boys is a cute set of short stories and fun for Halloween season. I think the world building could have been expanded in both stories, but given their length I think it worked. The stories tie together well and have enough related themes to make sense as a set. I particularly liked Præsidium, and would enjoy more with these characters.