The Brass Box
by KM Mahoney, historical (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-236-3


Marcus Fleetwood-Smythe is daydreaming, hiccuping, and complaining simultaneously - like only a character in a gay romance can - one rainy evening in London when he bumps into Teague Byrne, a man with broad shoulders and gorgeous looks. When Teague learns that Marcus is on his way to the house of ill-repute called the Brass Box to drag his sister's fiancé out of that place, he can only offer his assistance to Marcus. It's the start of a magical relationship. I mean that - Teague turns out to be a magician whose tricks may or may not be real.

I have to admit that the relationship development between Marcus and Teague is pretty decently done considering the length of this story. They talk a bit before they examine each other's private parts, so there is some effort by the author to introduce some emotional component to the relationship. But for the most part, this story is like a meandering walk in a pretty garden. The paranormal elements are abruptly introduced and casually accepted, there is no evident direction in which the story is heading, and the author seems to be making up things as the story progresses.

So yes, read this for the pseudo-intellectual romantic buggery, if you will, but the rest of the story is a rather aimless walk in a scenic spot. I don't think I'd remember much about this story a few days from now.

Rating: 60


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