Rating: 5 stars
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Cherish the unexpected, for it can lead you to your heart.
Lieutenant Wen Daneson knows what it feels like to love someone completely and lose them violently. That’s why he’s kept his distance from Wesley. As the attraction continues to grow stronger and a strange connection is formed between the two men, Wen is more determined than ever to keep his distance for fear of losing himself in Wes and fear of losing Wes. When Captain Rizik asks Wen to train Wesley one-on-one to prepare him to join the draeganjhere, Wes is even more determined to keep his distance emotionally…no matter how much he wants Wes.
Spending his life away from most people in order to keep his secret, a secret even he doesn’t fully understand, Wesley Brannock is in a whole new world when he enters the draegan camp. Joining the weapons training group with the goal of learning how to defend himself and protect his mother, Wes has dreams of joining the draeganjere not only to protect his family, but the camp as well. He’s been attracted to Wen since they first met, but he’s sure that he doesn’t have a chance with the handsome lieutenant. As he begins training with Wen for the draeganjhere, he senses Wen putting distance between them, but is unsure what he’s done to turn the usually warm, happy lieutenant into a cold, all-business dictator where nothing Wes does is good enough for him.
As training progresses, the attraction between Wen and Wesley reaches a boiling point and Wen has to decide whether living his life alone and losing Wesley to his stubbornness is better than feeling the freedom to love the younger man. For Wesley, giving into love is easy. It’s sharing his secret with the possibility of losing Wen forever that’s hard. Both men have to learn to trust one another with their secrets in the midst of a war that could cost them their lives even before they have a chance to enjoy any sort of relationship.
The draegans are back, ladies and gentlemen, and this time with a new perspective, new mystery, new secrets, and new love. Master storyteller M.L. Rhodes has floored me again. I’ll admit I began this story with high hopes. I absolutely love the Draegan Lords series, so to finally get a fresh, new taste of that world again after so long was exciting. An Unexpected Magick is A Draegan Lords Interlude. It’s a story within the realm and timing of the original series. The timing of this book actually runs parallel to Lords of Kellesborne. This is Wen and Wesley’s story, a relationship that was first brought to light in Fires of Ballian, but now we get to see it from the beginning.
I’ve been in love with Wen since his introduction in True of Heart. He’s a secondary character in the Draegan Lords series, so I’m happy to get a peek into his life. Wen is a consistently strong, stable character in both a secondary or main role. He does what needs to be done. He has faith in his leaders, in his family, and in his people. His vulnerability is in his fear of falling in love and losing that love. His growth as a character, his faith in himself and Wesley is one of the greatest parts of this story.
Wesley is the more vulnerable of the two. He’s not weak. He has a quiet strength. His secret keeps him from ever trusting anyone fully. He’s has lived a lonely life keeping secrets he doesn’t understand. He can be stubborn and defensive, but he’s also accepting, protective, and caring.
The chemistry between Wen and Wesley is palpable. The tension, be it sexual or otherwise, is thick until they finally cross the line of attraction into a physical relationship. And wow…when they finally did get together I’m surprised my reader didn’t overheat. They’re hot individually, but together Wen and Wesley are an inferno.
“Keep doing stuff like that and I’m going to have you spread-eagle in the bed in about two seconds with my prick buried so far up inside you you’ll be tasting my seed for a week.”
A surge of white-hot need shot through Wesley at his words. “Is that a promise?” he asked breathlessly, smiling.
“Think you can take it?”
“Oh, I will. Trust me.” With his fingers still working Wesley’s nipples, more firmly now, he leaned in until his mouth was against Wesley’s ear again. “Before the night is over, you’ll be mine, Wes, in every possible way. I’m not letting you leave this tent until you know, balls to bones, that I’m never letting you go.”
“Oh gods.” Wesley’s eyes closed as the words set his veins on fire. “I’m holding you to that.”
I am more amazed with the detail of the world in each story I read of this series. There is always something new that surprises me or gets my attention. This time it is Wesley’s secret. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll be honest. I was afraid that the addition of this twist would come off as too much or too cheesy, but I was wrong. That’ll teach me to ever doubt this spectacular storyteller. And remember, I’ve said before, everything happens for a reason in these books. I have no doubts that this is only a small part of the bigger picture.
The story itself is engaging from start to finish, as always. It’s fast paced and captivating. I laughed. I cried. I was angry. I was happy. My heart felt like it was ripped out of my chest at least once. And, geez, it’s so hot. It is an adventure in the reading. The characters drew me in, but the story and plot kept me wanting more. So much so, that by the last page I was sad that it was over.
I know some readers want to get back into Kieran and Gaige’s story, and I don’t blame you. Their story is amazing, but don’t discount the interludes. They are part of the big picture. This is only the first of Wen and Wesley. Word is Rhodes is working on another Wen and Wesley interlude story that will span the end of Fires of Ballian and beginning of Circle of Ariend. I’m not sure if any other interludes are planned for Wen and Wesley or any of the other characters (Jax perhaps?), but I’m looking forward to each and every last story in this world. And for those of you hardcore Kieran and Gaige fans, don’t fret. Rhodes promises that Circle of Ariend is coming. And I for one am waiting on pins and needles for all of it.
An Unexpected Magick is a welcome addition to a wonderful world and a great part of one of my favorite series. The characters are beautiful. The world continues to grow in ways that I would have never imagined. And this story is sweet and sexy and completely perfect. I now want more of Wen and Wesley…and Kieran and Gaige. This interlude has given new perspective to an amazing story arc and added more depth to the love I have for the Draegan Lords series. I highly, highly recommend An Unexpected Magick by M.L. Rhodes.
Here are the books in chronological order:
- True of Heart
- Lords of Kellesborne
- An Unexpected Magick (A Dreaegan Lords Interlude)
- Fires of Ballian