Genre: M/M Mystery Romance
THIS FANTASTIC mystery starts off in the historical past, with a prince falling in love with a slave in Ancient Egypt. The prince is forced into a marriage, and the soon-to-be princess is furious that the prince loves a slave, so she not only arranges the death of the slave, but curses them to misery for all eternity, compelling them to live their hopeless tale throughout the ages. The only caveat: she has to be there in every one of their incarnations to ensure their unhappiness, or she gets damned for all eternity. When the story picks up again, the one of our star-crossed lovers is now a detective, and the other is a hitman in contemporary America. The setup isn’t looking good.
I’m a big fan of the mystery genre–first genre I ever picked up. I loved cop thrillers, and I got everything I wanted–and more–because of the elements of magical realism woven into the tale. The writing was solid, with crisp sentences and great use of the senses. The dialog was perfect, the sex was toe-curling good, and the historical elements and even the research into forensics was all extremely well done. I can’t say enough good things.
I read some of the reviews of this book after I finished, and I was admittedly taken aback. I know the version I read was technically another edition–republished by DSP Publications, and pulled from Bittersweet Dreams, the happy-ending-not-required imprint of Dreamspinner Press–but I was shocked to find so many readers unsatisfied with the ending. I was very satisfied, and I honestly felt as if the story ended happily (and the best it could have), so I suppose what I’m trying to say is, keep an open mind. Yes, the detective and hitman story is the majority of the lovers’ tale in the book, but there is another component to their happy ever after–the magical realism that surrounds their love. And I think that’s all I feel comfortable saying, without ruining the ending.
That being said, there was a piece of the story I was apparently confused/mistaken over. Again, without getting into too much detail, I somehow screwed up what role the lovers played in the contemporary setting, as in who was the prince and who was the slave. I’m pretty sure it was just me being silly and skipping over stuff (I may have glossed over some of the historical flashbacks), and it’s not a major plot twist, but just in case, I won’t mention who I thought was who. But if anyone experiences the same–let me know! I’m curious to see if it was intentional.
Have fun with this juicy book! I sure did.
This Review was Originally Published on Queer Sci Fi:
Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com
Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com