Six years ago, Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed Anisa to follow his magical calling. Too weak to join the Arcane Guild and too ashamed to return home, he has made a life as a prostitute—to all outward appearances. In truth, he sells his mind but not his body, using magic to let his clients experience their most secret fantasies while his hands stay clean. Even the Lawman, the arbiter of justice in Reseda, is one of his clients, but Haidyn would rather not know the extent of that man’s depravity.
Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He’s ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at Lawman’s side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her…
I’ve read six books in the past week, three of which are being released today and I now have to review. And because my procrastination likes to have real world consequences, two of those books I really wish I had more time to think about.
Dark Secrets is the first such book.
I read Dark Secrets first, partially because I liked the premise of the book, partially because I was in the mood for fantasy, but mostly because I lurve Shona Husk. If you have a chance to read her Shadowlands series, do so, because that series is off the fucking chain.
So going into this book I had high hopes for a quick little romance read set in a fantasy world with magic and patron gods and miscellaneous other good things.
Allow me to spare you some confusion. This book isn’t really a romance. I mean yes, the main characters actions are prompted by his love for what was basically his high school sweetheart, but that’s basically it. You get a few interactions, and his sucker punch realization that this is the woman he has always and will always love. Very little in the way of developing hearts and budding flowers.
Does this take away from the story?
Not even a little bit.
Instead you get this fascinating look at what one man who’s sold his morals to the highest bidder and what he does post sucker punch. You get to look at the workings of this flawed government system. Of its dirty officials, skewed morals, and rather err… flexible laws.
Was it the romance I wanted? No. Was it a fantastic fantasy (yes I giggled when I typed that) that I thoroughly enjoyed? Fuck yes.
3.5 Stars. Mild romantic elements with heavy mind altering magic use. Fun for the whole family. If your family is okay reading about pleasure houses.
Actually… Forget I mentioned families.
As a side note, I picked this up without reading book one in the series. There were parts where I was like “the fuck…” in reference to the world and it’s magic, but not so bad that I wasn’t able to piece things together.