Title: Spells and Sensibility
Publisher: JMS Books
Authors: KL Noone and KS Murphy
Price: $5.99 (ebook)
Henry Tourmaline, late of His Majesty’s Magicians Corps and a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, is dying. On his last mission, he was ambushed by French agents and cursed. Cut off from his magic, he is rapidly losing strength. With military doctors unable to help him, he seeks out the magical texts at the Royal College of Wizardry. There he meets the brilliant, powerful, and intimidatingly neat Theodore Burnett. Determined to help Henry, Theo enlists the aid of not only his colleagues at the university, but also some very old and very dangerous texts …. As they dive into the puzzle of Henry’s curse, the two men grow ever closer. But what will the price be of ending the Henry’s curse? And which of them will pay it?
Every now and then, the recommendation algorithms actually work. When Spells and Sensibility popped up, I downloaded the sample, read it, and immediately purchased the complete book.
Spells and Sensibility is a wonderful Regency magical romance. Theo and Henry are terrific characters, and they are perfect for one another. Henry is also sunlight and charm and strength and loyalty. Theo is shadows and quiet intelligence and stubborn determination. Henry desperately misses his magic, especially his land-sense; his ability to connect to the earth and trees and know exactly where and who he is. Theo is brilliant and powerful, but modest, and rather ashamed of his hedonistic family; he desires order and neatness above all, but finds himself craving the sparkle and joy that Henry unexpectedly brought to his life.
The slow blooming of their romance is a delight to watch. They see in one another what they fear they lack and most desire, what they most wish they had. Whole already, they become more complete with one another.
It was also a delight to read a Regency romance that broke so many real-world rules from that era. Same sex relationships are accepted in this society. Women teach and study at the university right alongside the men (in trousers, no less), and several members of the Magicians Corps were women. The society is far from equal (the aristocracy is still wealthy and in charge), but it is much more equitable than the real Regency period.
Spells and Sensibility is a sexy, sweet, wonderful treat. I seriously hope that Noone and Murphy continue the series; there are so many terrific secondary characters who deserve their own stories.
Highly recommended to fans of The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, and the San Amaro Investigations series by Kai Butler.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]