Kit has spent the last year longing for his teacher, Master Vervain. Even though it is forbidden, Kit decides the only way to relieve his obsession is to raise an incubus who looks like Master Vervain as an alternative. There is no way the real Vervain would be interested in him, so this seems the next best thing. But when the magical experiment goes wrong, Kit may just find himself with a chance at the real man of his dreams, rather than a poor imitation.
A Spell for Master Vervain is a short story within the Teacher’s Pet Volume 2 anthology. As of this review, it appears to only be available as part of the anthology, which features eight stories focused on a student/teacher dynamic. Purely due to some time constraints in my reading, I chose to focus just on Welch’s story, rather than reading the whole anthology.
This is a fun story with a nice twist. We get a surprising amount of information on this magical world, despite it being quite a short story. I was impressed with how Welch could develop things so nicely in a short space without a lot of info dumping. We also get some background on the relationship between Kit and Vervain thus far, so the set up here comes together well.
The story starts out high energy and kind of steamy as Kit attempts to call the incubus doppelganger (the process involves being turned on) and I found the set up quite entertaining. I loved the twist, as well as the care that Vervain takes with Kit as he learns about Kit’s interest in him. I would have loved more here, as the actual getting together happens pretty fast and the relationship doesn’t get a lot of time to grow on page (though it is clear things are moving toward an HEA). I would have loved to see more of these guys, but for a short story, Welch does a really nice job giving us a complete story that feels well developed.
So I can definitely recommend this story and hope to get a chance to read the others in the anthology soon. If you like a teacher/student dynamic, this anthology may be a good one to check out.