Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: A Most Unusual Courtship & The Wishing Book of Barnaby Sloan

Reviewed by Fehu
A Most Unusual Courtship by Nancy M. Griffs
Torquere Press
Short Story: 30pgs
3 Pants Off

When a wizard knocks on Gerald Smithson’s shop door, Gerald refuses service to him just as he would any other mage, considering them all untrustworthy by nature. As a master craftsman, he can take commissions from whomever he does, or doesn’t, choose. Leo Harris, born to noble blood and magic ability, was rarely refused by anyone and intrigued by Gerald’s instant dismissal. As Leo and Gerald work together to protect the Royal Family, Gerald admits that Leo might just be the exception to the rule and admit his attraction to the wizard… something Leo is all too happy with.

Short Review:

To sum it up it is a nice, sweet and short.

Gerald dislikes wizards but when Leo a wizard shows up and rescues him from the trouble Gerald warms up to him, pretty fast. All this happens rather quickly. I know it’s a short story, but there is no courting, really, Leo comes to his rescue and they work on a project together.

Then there is the meddling grandfather, who I thought was rather funny in his attempts at marring Gerald away. While the story is sweet, it does not have any real suspense, so I was a bit disappointed. I had hoped there would be courtship, rejection, and then some way for the suitor to prove himself. Here Leo didn't have any problems with Gerald’s kidnappers.  I was not emotionally invested in the story or the characters, while I liked Gerald; it’s disappointing how quick he changes his views.

The Wishing Book of Barnaby Sloan by Jenna Jones
Torquere Press
Short Story: 32pgs
3.5 Pants Off

Nothing exciting happens to Barnaby Sloane. He has a crush on the director of the museum where he volunteers, Liam Morrison, but has never allowed himself to believe it could become anything more.

For his twenty-fifth birthday, Barnaby is given a leather-bound journal. Since it's his birthday and people expect him to have wishes, Barnaby writes his wishes in the journal: that he could go to Egypt with his archaeologist aunt, that he could work at the museum permanently, and that he could share his life with Liam. It's just a game until his wishes start coming true.

Short Review:

Sweet short story but it lacks depth and suspense. Still, I enjoyed it and I though the book of wishes that comes from Egypt was a nice touch. Actually, the book is what makes it more than average, at least I was not sure if it was the books magic and Osiris making Barnaby’s wishes come true. It would have been great if this aspect was explored more. If it were the books magic, what would happen when it ends? At least that was what interested me but alas, there wasn't an answer in the story.

Barnaby is adorable and actually, he doesn't wish for much: to go with his aunt on an archaeological trip to Egypt, to continue working at the museum and to have a partner in life. Nothing overly grand, but Barnaby isn't usually all that lucky but it seems that this birthday his wishes are coming true, after he has written them in the gift from his aunt, a journal with a prayer to Osiris to grant wishes. Suddenly his aunt is calling him that her funding is allowing for an extra person to go with her and she chose him as an assistant. His boss offers him a full-time job and his affection. One wish might be a coincidence, but all three.

I liked the characters, but the love happened out of nowhere or at least it felt like that to me, although it might have been the wish..

Good short story, wish there could be more ;-)

~Both stories a part of the 2012 Torquere Charity Sip Collection~

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