Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
The first word I can think of to write is WOW, WOW I thought I would hate this book and WOW I loved it. It was definitely different from most of the books I read which Is why I wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea, but it was my cup of tea and my cup of coffee it filled all the things I would want from a book.
The story takes place in the late eighteen hundreds where two men, one super rich and one an orphan on scholarship meet. Both are attending the architecture school at Harvard and Magnus Blackwell is as different from Jacob O’Connor as night and day. For some reason Magnus embraces Jacob and it doesn’t take long before they become good friends. Everything is good between the two friends until a woman enters into their lives.
Frances McGee is the daughter of a judge and goes to Radcliff it is Magnus that first catches her eye and he is totally smitten with her. Magnus is the type of man who wants what he wants and no is not in his vocabulary. Of course being faithful is another word not in his vocabulary and before long Frances and him are no longer an item. Not long after Frances and Jacob fall in love and plan to marry setting Magnus into a rage. He wants Frances, well want is too gentle a word, he is obsessed with her and even marriage to Jacob doesn’t stop him wanting her. His rage is all towards his friend Jacob who he feels took the woman meant for him.
Magnus decides a trip to New Orleans before his last year of college is warranted in order to get him straightened out except the opposite happens he becomes more and more angry and full of revenge. What better place to find an outlet for hate than the place where Voodoo lives. It is there that he meets Oscar Wilde a would be novelist at the time who introduces him to a high priestess in the Voodoo religion. In addition to being a voodoo priestess she runs a brothel that caters to both Magnus and Oscar’s needs. Oscar needs young men and Magnus wants untouched women to satisfy his desire for anal sex. His delusion is that having anal sex is not cheating and when he gets back with Frances he will be faithful. That in and of itself is just a touch of how crazy he is and crazy is the only word I could come up with. Well there is another word and it is evil.
In his desire for power Magnus kills the priestess stealing her baton juju the cane of her power which now is in his possession. He is sure it will get him the woman he wants. Magnus’ father dies and sadness is not the emotion he feels but happiness. After two years of taking over the family business he reaches out to Jacob for a job renovating the ancestral home in Maine. Frances knows immediately that Magnus has changed but Jacob hungry for work and money to give his wife everything she wants overlooks everything. Unfortunately, evil has a way of showing it’s ugly face and Jacob can no longer turn away from it. Sadly it may be too late.
What happens is not something I will discuss because it is well worth reading on your own. There is violence, rape, anal sex, murder, voodoo and Oscar Wilde who will eventually write the Portrait of Dorian Gray which he based on Magnus in this version of the story. Magnus is not someone you can like since there is not one redeeming quality he posesses. Magnus goes from a friend to an enemy and Jacob has to fight for everything he wants.
I can’t wait for more.