Rating: 5 stars
Series Description: When Gray Vecello’s grandfather Graham dies, he leaves his grandson his boat, The Constant Companion, his worldly possessions, and the young man, Cooper Key, Graham rescued and let live aboard his boat. This series charts their romance, personal growth, and Gray’s acceptance of and ability to use his amazing paranormal gifts.
In the first installment, Three of Swords, we are introduced to this extraordinary couple and watch as they grow into a relationship that captures our hearts and minds. Central to the romance is that both men have paranormal elements to their natures. Gray Vecello has the sight, he reads Tarot cards passed down through his family, and has visions of the future. Cooper Key also has matching protective powers and together, they are a power to be reckoned with. Each book title is a card in the Tarot deck and has meaning for each story. Because along with The Constant Companion, Graham has also left to both Gray and Cooper a mystery to solve, a safe to open, and a secret paranormal group to investigate . And that is where the second book in the series starts.
The Knight of Wands picks up where Three of Swords left off, literally at the instant the other stops. Gray and Cooper have found the contents of the safe, Jolly Roger (a member of the group with special abilities) comes back into the picture, and Gray’s lesbian cousin, Harper, makes another appearance in their lives, moving into The Constant Companion with them when her romance goes bad. With Gray and Cooper still in the honeymoon stage of their romance, having one more person on their boat is a tight fit, and then another mystery pops up concerning Gray’s grandfather’s precog group, and all chances of a life of leisure on the river disappears. This book also ends in a cliffhanger so continue on quickly to the next in the series.
The third book, The Lightning Struck Tower, brings all the elements of the previous books together and whips them into a frenzy of mystery, murder, and action adventure. Oh and much more of the paranormal world then ever before in the series. The secret paranormal group that Gray’s grandfather had ties to comes into play as Gray and Cooper are kidnapped. Secret individuals want to use their special abilities for a crazy task and won’t take no for an answer. More people with special abilities are met and a new circle of friends form around Cooper and Gray in their fight against those who would use their abilities to do harm instead of good.
I first reviewed Three of Swords back in October 19, 2012 and gave it a 4.25 rating. I loved the story but had a problem with the cliffhanger ending. But now that I have finished all three books, I have to revise the rating upward to 5 stars for the series and the books within. So when I got the 2nd and 3rd books, I went back and started from the beginning and oh what a marvelous and seductive ride the author laid out for us. Each book flows seamlessly into the next, and that is the way I finally read them and appreciated the full extent of this author’s vision.
Gray Vecello and Cooper Key are the foundation stones on which Fenraven tells a story of individuals fighting to understand who they are and then gaining acceptance for the person they are inside. Cooper is still trying to overcome the shame of the life he led after his parents kicked him out for being gay. Gray is still trying to figure out who he is even as we watch him mature and deal with the gifts he was given. Character after beautifully realized character rolls across the pages…and then we meet Wade, a young paranormal whose heart-wrenching backstory had me in tears. Wade’s story is so remarkable that I would recommend buying the story just for that element alone.
But luckily for us, there are so many outstanding facets to this series/trilogy. We have mysteries, we have murders, we have secret psychic organizations and above all, we have a romance so deeply felt, so warm and right, that I kept going back and rereading parts of their journey towards love and a full partnership. Gray and Cooper are perfection in their imperfections. Neither comes across as anything less than authentic. They feel real, became very real to me, and therefore I invested 100 percent of my affections and interest in their story and their futures.
Lightning Struck Tower is perhaps the most intense of all three stories, and as it ties up so many loose ends, it is also supplies the most satisfying conclusion to this incredible trilogy. This portion took me on a roller coaster of emotions, gasps of “no, no, that didn’t just happen,” to sobbing like a baby over Wade’s traumatic past, and I loved every minute of it. Fenraven skillfully builds our anticipation and anxiety as we can see enemies gathering around our couple, and then adds some wonderful twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I feel that every facet of this story is so well done that, really, I have no quibbles other than I wanted much more.
I think you will notice that I switch back and forth between calling this a trilogy or a series. I did that for a reason. I just don’t know what it is. As a trilogy it works beautifully, but there is enough left open ended that additional stories would fit in nicely without taking anything away from these three books. Fenraven told me that it is possible that there might be more for Gray and Cooper, but there are no guarantees. So I will hold onto that hope, and return back to this trilogy to start over when I need my Gray and Cooper fix once more.
Here are the Precogs in Peril books in the order they should be read to understand the plot and the characters. Read them one right after the other for full enjoyment and to quickly get over those dang cliffhangers:
Cover art by Theo Fenraven