Title: Double Alchemy
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Series: Double Alchemy #1
Release Date: March 24th 2014
Genre: Paranormal, MM Romance
Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.
THE WORLD IN SHADOW
In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.
In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.
Jeremy stepped forward as the Warlock said something under his breath, a soft breathless whisper that was probably some sort of protection spell. Jeremy grinned. It wouldn’t help him. Jeremy held his dagger in front of him, ready to strike with its special tip of cadmium, something he’d been given by a “friend.” Cadmium had a very negative effect on Warlocks and their shields, penetrating any barrier the Warlocks might build.
He heard the man not more than two feet from where he stood. Jeremy took the offensive and lunged forward suddenly with his dagger, feeling it strike something, give, and then continue through. The Warlock moved swiftly, dodging to one side but Jeremy could already smell that his dagger had made contact with the skin. He heard the Warlock’s hiss of pain as the poison rushed through his system, immobilising him enough to allow Jeremy to take his final blow. Jeremy smiled.
Funny how these witch chaps always though their fancy spells could protect them from me when all they need is a simply physical act of getting the cadmium into their bloodstream. They overcomplicate things. With them everything is meta-physical. They never seemed to expect a human act of aggression like a simple stabbing. He hoped the other event he’d organised for tonight had the same success.
The young Warlock fell to the ground, a slight froth at the corner of his mouth as the cadmium did its work. Jeremy smiled at the man as he lay there, unable to move, temporarily paralysed. He leaned over the witch, his face curious as he observed the man’s eyes. He liked to look in their eyes as he killed them. He raised his dagger and with one swift movement he drew it across the young man’s throat, feeling the blood gush out, warm and sticky.
Review (originally published June 1st 2014)
As a huge fan of Susan Mac Nicol I feel slightly traitorous only giving Double Alchemy a four heart rating, but I found this wasn’t a book I wanted to read immediately from cover to cover. I felt the story dragged in places; on several occasions I believed I had reached the end, only to find out I still had chapters left.
Despite this there are many positives to write about; the paranormal plot is intriguing, especially the way Susan Mac Nicol weaves the fantastical world of Quinn with Cade’s modern London. The line between good and evil is blurred in the story as many characters are duplicitous, including the two protagonists. Quinn’s relationship with his Witthiner is an interesting one and whilst it affords him more power as a Warlock, it impacts directly on his romance with Cade, creating an uncomfortable love triangle.
Cade’s alternative identity is unknown to him until he meets Quinn and even then his true strength is withheld. Whether because of his upbringing, or magic, Quinn is controlling and manipulates Cade under the pretence of this being for protection. I hope that in the sequel the reader sees Cade acknowledge his power and assume a more equal role in the relationship.
Double Alchemy is the first paranormal m/m romance I have read and I think that Susan Mac Nicol finds the perfect balance between the passion that ignites Quinn and Cade’s love and the battles fought amongst the Warlocks. The plot is intricate but this means the reader is entertained by its various twists and turns. I am pleased that I now have the opportunity to read Climax.
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Series: Double Alchemy #2
Release Date: May 22nd 2014
Genre: Paranormal, MM Romance
Powerful modern warlock Quinn Fairmont found ecstasy with the silver-eyed and not-quite-human Cade Mairston, but to know true happiness the pair must best both the shadow of a long-ago lover and an ancient enemy who seeks to destroy love, light and all they hold dear.
A BLINDING LIGHT
It begins with a Book of Shadows discovered by a London coven. The grimoire is as dangerous as it is rare, which is why it evokes modern-day warlock Quinn Fairmont’s desire. He collects objects of great power and beauty—like his lover, Cade Mairston.
Against all odds he and Cade found each other, but their perils have just begun. First is the ex-lover who once held Quinn in thrall. And, someone has been killing warlocks. Could it be one of his own kind? There are those too who would challenge Quinn’s power in their quest to overthrow him as Grand Master. Or is the danger something darker, something invoked inadvertently, rising from the shadows, building from the very inside of a man until it brings an end with a quick flash of light? Of the truth, the surface has only been scratched. Now Quinn and Cade must go deeper and find both answers and an end. They must learn what lurks in the hearts of men…and whether it seeks to love or destroy.
Review originally published June 1st 2014
Although I am a huge fan of Susan Mac Nicol’s m/m novels, which generally feature intense male protagonists, I loved the introduction of Valensia, the witch Regina. She is attractive, powerful, assertive and sexy. Quinn and Valensia share a personal history in which he, a man normally the predator, became the prey and I think this moment of weakness, though cruel on Valensia’s part, helps him become more accessible.
After being stabbed Quinn has to release Cade to the sprites in the lake hoping they will heal him; this is an emotional scene and following this Cade steps forward into the more powerful role I wanted to see him in during the first book. Quinn finally adjusts to Cade fulfilling his ‘other’ identity and because of his acceptance of a more equal relationship I was more willing to change my opinion of him.
The plot of Climax is less ‘busy’ than the first installment but is still full of magical conflict, romance and passionate sex scenes!! Again I am reminded that Susan Mac Nicol is one of my favourite authors and my Kindle library would not be complete without her fantastic novels!!
About the Author
Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested. Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.