The Brass Box by K.M. Mahoney

The Brass BoxThe Brass Box by K.M. Mahoney

Blurb:
s it real, or just smoke and mirrors?

As a member of the British gentry, Marcus Fleetwood-Smythe-s life is an endless round of responsibility and duty. Charged with finding a magician for his sister-s upcoming wedding, he ventures out into the pouring rain and finds Teague, whose free spirit calls to Marcus. And makes him hunger for anything and everything his position won-t allow him to have.

Teague-s stock in trade are his wandering feet and the rather odd lineage that takes the wonders he performs on stage beyond the ordinary. But there-s nothing more magical than the sparks that fly between him and Marcus. Except the duty-bound Marcus fears letting go of a life that-s smothering him almost as much as he fears discovery.

Desire fans the flames until it flares into forbidden passion, leaving Marcus poised on the precipice of the most frightening choice of his life. Risk everything for the man who holds his heart-or watch his one chance at forever vanish in a puff of smoke.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Review:

The Brass Box blends magic with reality to offer a lovely and totally charming short story. The characters come to life with warmth and vitality as the backdrop of London feels familiar and somewhat basic. Instead it’s the connection between the men that shines and the writing with Mahoney’s clear style and voice. This is just enough to whet your appetite for these men and leave you wanting more.

The story is about an untitled gentleman named Marcus who’s bound by duty and suffocated by obligation. Since his father’s death Marcus has been the head of his family and between his soon to be married sister and overwhelming mother, Marcus feels trapped. His forays into relationships with other men always end prematurely out of fear of discovery and his attraction to the magician only means trouble. Yet the passion between Marcus and Teague can’t be denied and their future hangs in the balance.

The London descriptions feel familiar and expected. The author uses them well to set the scene but doesn’t dwell on details or attitudes too much except to move the story along. There is a touch of the paranormal with Teague’s real magic ability, which I found lovely and really charming. Real magic appearing to a man who is so bound by duty he can’t see his way is a classic but still affective story. The magic and more so Teague’s family is very mysterious and not well defined, but perhaps that’s the point.

The characters are really wonderful though. They come to life with such warmth and passion that you can’t help but want to read more. Marcus embodies the classic wealthy man mired in obligations that override any happiness or selfish desire. His only selfish acts are to get involved with Teague. Teague is somewhat mysterious with his past and present only hinted at but his affection and desire very clear. The chemistry between the two men is sensual, exciting, and compelling. There is a sense of luxury and sensuality that fills the pages.

While too short to really satisfy, this story nonetheless whets your appetite for more. I hope to see more of these two in the future but nonetheless this is a delightful short story with great characters and a lot of writing charm. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.

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