Living in contemporary London, Quinn Fairmont is a warlock. Not just any warlock, but the Grand Master himself. He lives a life straddled by two worlds, with one face to modern society and the other ensuring the safety of the Warlock Consortium against those that seek to harm his kind. Quinn is dangerous and powerful with a past that continues to haunt and torture him. Quinn has not been alone since the age of seven, when a Warlock ritual bound him with an ancient, immortal sorcerer, his Withinner. They are linked body and mind, each hearing and feeling what the other does. Since it is too dangerous for them to be in the same place at the same time, they are eternally together, eternally apart.
In the forest, Cade Mairston appears before Quinn by chance or by fate. Cade has dealt with a lot of loss in his life, but is content working as an anthropologist and living on his boat with his cat Marco Polo. Cade evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other man or woman. There is immediate lust and affection, which is intense and shocking. The scent of Cade draws Quinn in and Quinn knows Cade may just be more than what he seems. Cade knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders, or withinners. He knows nothing of what he is or the cause of the overwhelming attraction surging through his veins. For Cade, a whole new world of magyck, secrets, danger, love, and passion is waiting for him.
Damn! This is a good book. Wait-let me start again. This is a great book. So much going on and so many places to start. Quinn and Cade meet within the first few pages and the attraction is completely off the charts. Quinn understands exactly what is going on and uses that to his advantage. Their desire is inherent and literally coursing through their veins. Mac Nicol does an excellent job of having the intense attraction leaping off the pages and drawing us right into the scenes as Quinn tries fairly unsuccessfully to cool his blood so he can at least talk to Cade. She is able to keep this intensity up throughout the entire book, while still evolving their relationship alongside the sexual attraction.
The plot is involved and has several storylines coming together, but the magic is that it is easy to move along and keep pace with the characters. The start of the story shows us that modern witches and warlocks move about undetected, as they have the ability to conceal their location when needed and have their own magyckal hospitals. While the main essence of the story is essentially the relationship between Quinn and Cade, there are other story lines that run parallel. The Witchhunnters Alliance has a new leader, and as their name suggests, is seeking to rid the world of witches and warlocks. Quinn also has a powerful warlock enemy seeking his revenge for past events. Dealing with various enemies set on destroying Quinn and his kind keeps Quinn quite busy, on guard, and ready for battle all of the time.
From there we learn more about Quinn and his withinner, Taliesin. Taliesin lives in the sixth century but is always linked to Quinn who is the ultimate master between the two of them. When Quinn evokes him, they are seven times more powerful working together and, like all warlock and withinners, they can time travel. Quinn in an interesting character right from the start and we learn fun, cool facts about him, including how he had a former relationship with a siren. Quinn has a past that follows him around and one that he is reluctant to discuss, which becomes a point of discontent with Cade as they explore a relationship.
Then we have Cade. Quinn introduces Cade to the world of magyck and warlocks and also informs Cade that he is not at all the man Cade thought he was. For most of the story, we see Cade come to terms with his relationship with Quinn and the warlock world. The issue of Cade discovering further about himself is put on the back burner because he is waiting for assistance from Quinn. I get that Quinn had a lot going on and has numerous injuries along the way, but four months go by and Cade barely asks any questions about truly life altering information. The slow movement of Cade seeking answers was not the most believable aspect of the story.
And then there is Taliesin, Quinn’s withinner, and the most powerful and coveted sorcerer. He is a unique character that is not encountered often, if ever. When he is able to resist being revoked from the modern world by Quinn, he sets out to meet Cade in person. Taliesin does not understand human emotion and love, and lives on his own terms. This is the part where your mind will scream no-no-no at the damn injustice of what is taking place as you know Quinn is on the other side linked, living his own personal slice of hell.
As a whole I truly enjoyed the story. There were just a few issues that stuck out at me. While there are some things for us to figure out, some of the plot is told to us. Quinn and his council plan their strategy and we follow along to see how it plays out. A few times this technique slowed the flow as we already know what is coming. Also, Quinn and his close advisors are intelligent, powerful warlocks, yet those seeking to do them harm were one step ahead of them time and time again, even when Quinn knew exactly who he was looking for. He’s Quinn Fairmont, powerful Grand Master, yet he was often a step behind. Time travel is always an issue for me when it appears. There are no finite rules in fictional time travel and I always have questions as a result of the rules constantly changing. While the time travel, and likewise, living with a withinner are explained, even Quinn comments that he does not fully understand it, has never fully looked into it, and some things just are. Quinn is a man that researches, catalogs, seeks council, and looks at things from all angles. For Quinn to say that two of the most important things to his nature were just too complicated to think about and that he never sought the answers was completely out of character for him. There were also a few editing issues, wrong pronoun, missed word, extra word, that were unfortunate in a book of this caliber. But really now, still just read the book.
There are a lot of elements going on in this book; love, lust, betrayal, danger, and magic, to just name a few. Most of it is so very well done and comes together exceptionally well, with intriguing characters. Saying too much more, is well, saying too much. The book closes out with Quinn and Cade in what they think is a good place in their relationship, but swirling around, we see withheld information, half truths, and bold faced lies that just may catch up to Quinn in the second book. Experience this book for yourself and then move onto the sequel Double Alchemy-Climax already waiting for us.