West Irving is a wolf on the run. After rejecting leadership of his home pack, West has been looking for a place to hide, a place that’s safe. He finds an abandoned cabin, but it needs serious mage work to make sure its protections are safe. Which brings West into contact with irrepressible mage, Julian Colquhoun. Julian is one of the best mages in the world, but he flaunts convention and wants nothing to do with pesky things like rules. But Julian’s mother’s death forces him to reassess his choices and find a way to go forward. To inherit his mother’s library and the spell needed to undo his greatest mistake, Julian has to marry. And when West comes looking for help, Julian sees a solution to both their problems.
Their simple engagement of convenience quickly goes off the rails. West has a pack after him. Julian’s greedy cousins are stalking him. And there’s a bond between West and Julian that goes deeper than any contract. They must accept that fate has brought them together or risk being trapped in a spiral of growing violence.
Mage of Inconvenience is, in many ways, charming and sweet. Its main characters, especially Julian, are simply too fun not to like and they work together well, especially during their rather awkward courtship. Julian likes to be ridiculous, but the guilt he carries for the unintentional creation of a devastating spell makes him well rounded and believable. West is more aloof, but this works for his character and the past he’s trying to out run. There is a measure of opposites attract between Julian and West, but more than that, each of them finds the other rather spectacular. And that warm sense of wonder makes their relationship something to champion.
The author has tried on the world building, but Mage of Inconvenience has too much happening on the page with too little explanation. We are given tidbits of information about mages and the meta community, but without deeper exploration, I was left grasping at straws. As a result, we never have a complete picture of what’s going on, something that would have been easily resolved with just a bit more detail. Also, there are several subplots, especially one involving a professor/student, that have no purpose to the wider story. They read as filler and if they were removed from the text, they would have no effect on the main narrative. The real strength of Mage of Inconvenience is the relationship between West and Julian, so when essentially useless distractions popped up, it was frustrating.
Mage of Inconvenience has some issues with extraneous plot points and lacks a necessary level of detailed world building. But Julian and West are a wonderful couple and they manage to save the book. This novel is worth your time for their fun bantering and sweet courtship.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.