The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge is one of those series where there’s heat, romance, magic and an adventure, all wrapped up in a family saga that keeps you interested with every book. The three brothers, Mason, Thad and Pierce, are a bunch of troublemakers, but they’re also very talented warlocks and all have their own family drama. Not only does each brother get their own book, where we explore their romance as well as an adventure that leads into one large plot weaving through all the books, but each of the boyfriends gets to have his story, too, which is really special. I just love everything about this brilliantly original series.
Book One: Soul Bound
Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.
When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.
Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.
If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spellbound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows.
Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.
Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his daughter. They both represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.
You can follow Jacob’s musings on his blog at http://jacobzflores.com or become a part of his social media network by visiting http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2
Book One: Spell Bound
Wow! What an explosive first book in the series!
Now, before we being, let me say that parts of this are YA, but it’s a YA that is for 18+ only or mature 16+, because there is a lot of sexiness going on in here. It’s very true to the single-mindedness of teenagers going through hormonal changes and having one track minds, but it also accepts that teenagers have sex. So, if you don’t want to read about that, maybe just convince yourself to view Mason and his friends as 20 year olds stuck in high school, because seriously, you don’t want to miss this story.
Right from page one, it packed a punch. The magical aspect of the story was – rejoice! – well explored and a major factor of the storyline. Far too often, I’m offered a story about a witch/warlock and there’s limited on-page magical use, conjuring, discussion and history. I got all of that here, when it was the right time, when it made sense and without any of the laborious stereotypes that might make it corny.
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about Mason as a main character for a little while, at the beginning. He was so cocky, with a bad boy swagger and so convinced that he was this badass who ruled the world that I didn’t know what to make of him. Then he met Drake and he had a little challenge on his hands that blew up into the sweetest, hottest romance I’ve ever read between two teens still in high school.
When it comes to characters, I loved them all! Each one was diverse, entertaining, interesting and added something to the story. I loved Mason and his brothers; Thad and Pierce; as well as their dad. I loved Drake and Adam, Elliot and Aunt Millie. I hated Miranda, as I was supposed to, without thinking her completely evil. Most of all, I wanted to see more of Elliot and Adam, from the minor characters.
I was intrigued by Adam, as a ‘minor’ character with an interesting storyline. At first, I thought maybe he and Pierce had a love/hate thing, but then he showed interest in Mason, which just complicated everything and made him even more interesting. Then there was the part where he asked to speak to Mason and had something to say but was interrupted…nothing more juicy than a secret I don’t get to hear!
I also have to confess that, at first, I hated Mason’s brothers. The way they made him feel, once we saw him outside of the high school environment, nearly broke my heart. Here was this kid being ragged on by two older brothers and his dad, all of whom were out of control trigger-tempers and considered him the useless black sheep, disappointment of a family member. He was ignored, mistreated and disrespected by everyone – especially Miranda! – that it got to me, after a while. Then I began to understand the dynamics more and it all made sense. It was no wonder he wanted to live up to the big-man-on-campus image he had in high school when that was how he was treated outside of it. For such a badass, Mason is sweet, charming, naïve and adorable in all the right ways. Drake is just the same, but on a much deeper level. I love them both, together and apart. They’re perfect for each other.
And, while I’m in a confessing mood, I should also say that I cried. Twice. The first was at the water hose incident, when I realised just what Mason had to deal with from friends and family alike and how strong he had to be not to break down in tears the way I did. The second came later, with the simple but effective and heart-ripping quote:
“No boy should be without his momma.”
For me, the intrigue just kept building until I barely knew what was real, what I was sure of and what might happen next. I was curious over what and who Drake might be, even until the end; I was curious over Adam’s behaviour, the way Drake’s parents died, then the mention of Mason’s mother loving him but that she’d always been hiding a secret she never told him of. After that, things blew up and the supernatural hi-jinx began for real. As did the intense teen-lovin’.
I loved the way that Mason and Drake discussed knowing each other’s secrets in such a natural way that made it so easy and so simple to misunderstand each other’s real meaning. The cleverness and the utter excitement I felt every time they tip-toed around ‘what’ they knew, only for us readers to know they weren’t talking about the same thing, was great.
That is the genius of Flores’ writing. It’s my first book by this author and I can already tell it won’t be the last. It had action, adventure, magic, romance and a whole host of sexiness. The balance between romance, high school drama and a rampaging magical adventure was stunningly well crafted, well written and gripping from page one. What’s not to love?
“He ran a finger through my dark locks and then kissed my nose. “This was perfect for our first time.”
“First time?” I asked, my lips drawing into a huge smile. “Does that mean there’s gonna be a second and a tenth?”
Drake chuckled and shook his head. “I swear. One-track mind.”
I rested my forehead against his. “You haven’t answered my question.”
“Yes,” he said, sighing. “Seconds. Tenths. And maybe even a one hundredth.”
I grinned broadly. “Think we can get to a hundred by tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow?” he asked. “I was thinkin’ tonight. You’re such a slacker.””