Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Valentine Anzio hasn’t been back home to the small town of Minerva in 15 years. He never wanted to return, but as a criminal investigator, he’s summoned there to help solve the murder of Jacapo, the well-loved toymaker in town. Nightmares are all Valentine thinks of when he remembers his home life as a kid. The one bright spot was Devere, the toymaker’s son, but Valentine squashed that light years ago and he’s hopeful that Devere won’t remember, because if Devere confronts him, Valentine isn’t sure his splintered thoughts will be able to take it.

There’s a powerful lord in Minerva, the same one that is paying Valentine’s fee, and he wants everything from Valentine, more than Valentine is willing to give. And, it seems that the town has already condemned Devere for the murder of his own father. Valentine knows Devere didn’t kill his father, he couldn’t possibly, and while the chemistry is still electric between the men, Devere remembers everything and hates Valentine for all of it.

Valentine is dedicated to the truth and, if he doesn’t clear Devere’s name, Devere will hang for murder. Both men are lonely and both men want a life together beyond Minerva, but the town has its hold on them and they may never be able to leave to fulfill that dream.

Set in the same world as Nash’s The Final Masquerade, The Toymaker’s Son is filled with twists and turns. The world building here is it own character as Valentine returns to his hometown and the book also has light tones of retelling a well-known fairy tale. Nothing is as it seems in Minerva, and when Valentine sees Devere behind the counter at the fantastical toy store, his unpleasant childhood comes rushing back. Devere remembers everything about Valentine and hasn’t forgotten the hurt and humiliation inflicted on him and there is no way that Devere is going to help Valentine. But Valentine and Devere’s path cross again and again as Valentine is determined to find out what happened to Jacapo.

Personally, I don’t always like books that rely heavily on fae characters and that was no exception here. However, this book is endlessly readable. It is filled with Nash’s vivid imagination to a fantasy world that just when you think you know where it’s going, the landscape changes and then changes again as the pieces reset. There were a lot of intricate parts of this story to weave together, along with the intricacies of each character, and the main plot line kept the anticipation high, even when I didn’t realize it was.

There are dark moments in this book and plenty of moments that cannot be revealed before reading and, while the men get a HEA, it will make you question everything that came before it. I like that Nash’s books transport me right into the story and, while I also like that they give me something to think about after, here I have some questions that I would have preferred more concrete answers to. For readers that like the twists of not knowing where a book will land, The Toymaker’s Son, is the book you want.