Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Calder Townshend is from a wealthy, noble family. He hates it. In fact, he even hates his name. His mother calls him Calder. The rest of his family calls him Cal. He wants to be called Brook. Brook is a border guard, much to the disappointment of his parents. They want him to be married into another prominent family, but Brook refuses. Also, Brook really would rather be with fellow border guard Jackson Racer…“Racer” to Brook and the other men he works with…and “Jacks” to the people who love him (For this review’s purposes, I’ll refer to him as Jacks”because that’s what Brook calls him once they go undercover.)
The men are called to work during the Winter Solstice even though Brook is scheduled for time off. There are illegal gemstones and potions being brought across the border. The potions have caused some terrible incidents, and the gemstones are falling into the wrong hands. It’s urgent this problem be resolved before more death and destruction is caused, and Brook and Jacks have to go undercover as lovers to catch the bad guys and bring them to justice.
I’ll start by saying this kind of book is right up my alley. I love werewolves, and the whole alpha, beta, omega type stories. Magic and wizardry is something else, though. I decided to take a shot at this one when I read the blurb.
Let me start with the characters. I loved both Brook and Jacks. Even though they were serious badasses, they were also sensitive in their own way. Brook thought about Jacks all the time. He knew a relationship between them was probably not in the cards, but he couldn’t help himself. Jacks acted cocky and cracked jokes and one liners, but it was obvious he had feelings for Brook as well. They were great together under pressure, and their “act” of being in love was well written.
Speaking of well written, the background characters were great as well. Brook’s family, the leaders of the Werewolf court, and the bad guys were all nicely fleshed out. Also, the world building was impressive. The scenery, the weather, the buildings/houses, and everything else were detailed enough for me to get an idea of what was going on and how everything looked, but nothing was overdone. I particularly liked the descriptions of the club/restaurant Brook and Jacks went to make contact with one of the bad guys, and the bad guys’ lair was awesome.
The romance between the men was actually pretty sweet. Their obvious feelings for each other shined through, even when they weren’t actually a couple yet. Their physical attraction and chemistry were off the charts sexy. I mean…whew! Once again, really detailed, but not obnoxious. The steam poured out of my Kindle, and I was very pleased.
Now…about the magic. I’m not saying I didn’t care for it, because I did. I think it went over my head a little, but since it involved gemstones, and I used to sell jewelry, I felt a little more comfortable. Different stones were used for different spells, and I found it to be a bit difficult to follow, but I think it was just me not being used to a magic/fantasy type of story. I also liked the little bit of gadgetry involved. My favorite of those being the “Twitter Bird” that was, of course, a method of communication, but it seemed almost adorable, and I’d love to see what someone could do for that as far as making a mockup of it.
Everything tied up neatly, and I found it to be very satisfying. I’m going to say that, even though this was presented as a standalone story in this series, I would have preferred to have read the first book because of the crossover characters. Also, Lyra Evans also writes the Worth series, and the Ice Over Brook is a spinoff of that. I think I’d have been able to completely grasp everything if I’d have read them all before I read Ice Over Brook.
If fantasy/sci fi/shifter stories are your thing, I’m going to highly recommend this one.
This does sound intriguing! Thanks, Kenna.