Is it real, or just smoke and mirrors?
As a member of the British gentry, Marcus Fleetwood-Smythe’s life is an endless round of responsibility and duty. Charged with finding a magician for his sister’s upcoming wedding, he ventures out into the pouring rain and finds Teague, whose free spirit calls to Marcus. And makes him hunger for anything and everything his position won’t allow him to have.
Teague’s stock in trade are his wandering feet and the rather odd lineage that takes the wonders he performs on stage beyond the ordinary. But there’s nothing more magical than the sparks that fly between him and Marcus. Except the duty-bound Marcus fears letting go of a life that’s smothering him almost as much as he fears discovery.
Desire fans the flames until it flares into forbidden passion, leaving Marcus poised on the precipice of the most frightening choice of his life. Risk everything for the man who holds his heart…or watch his one chance at forever vanish in a puff of smoke.
Product Warnings: Two stubborn men, one steamy carriage ride, and a little bit of magic may produce more than a few sparks.
“I want to thank you for participating in my performance,” Teague remarked absently, wandering the room with a leisurely air, touching things here and there in Marcus’s study. Marcus had the unsettling feeling that Teague was seeing far more than most people did. Seeing him in the objects he chose to surround himself with.
“It was utterly fascinating,” Marcus admitted. “Though I do have several questions.”
Glass clinked gently as he pulled the stopper from the decanter and poured them both a snifter of excellent French brandy.
“Ah, a magician never reveals the tricks of his trade.”
Their fingers met briefly when Marcus passed over the drink. They shared a small smile. Teague tossed his alcohol back with a quick motion.
“There, amenities dispensed with.” His voice still rang with the trace of upper-class accent he used when performing. “Shall we proceed to the fun and games?”
Marcus choked. He gaped in an open-mouthed impression of a fish. Teague threw back his head and laughed, a rich sound that resonated deep in Marcus’s gut.
“God, man, you’re absolutely gorgeous.” Strong hands wrapped around his shoulders and pulled him close.
Marcus’s glass dropped to the floor and bounced on the plush rug as Teague’s mouth crashed down on his. Thought vanished. Marcus wrapped his fingers in Teague’s thick hair and held on. With a huge sense of relief, he consigned his inner demons to oblivion. The kiss left room for nothing else. No thought, no duty, just feeling and a lust that raged out of control. They fought for dominance, tongues tangling. Someone moaned. Marcus thought it might have been him.He pulled back, gasping for breath.
Marcus took two steps back and they landed on the small sofa. Teague grabbed the back for balance with one hand and Marcus’s hip with another.
“I don’t think we planned this very well,” he said.
Marcus suddenly broke Teague’s hold on him. “What the hell are we doing?” he muttered. “My sister’s guests are still here.”
“The door is locked. No one is going to walk in on us.”
“I’m loud,” Marcus admitted ruefully. “They may not walk in on us, but they’ll most definitely hear us.”
Teague leaned in for another kiss. This time their lips met gently. Marcus slipped his tongue into the warm heat, swirling it around Teague’s. They pulled back and reconnected, lazily exploring, hands roving over sides and backs.
“I want you.” Marcus heard the hint of desperation in his voice, but couldn’t bring himself to mind too much. From the way Teague was breathing and the size of the ridge pressing against his leg, the other man was feeling an equal sense of need.
Marcus suddenly ripped himself free of Teague’s hold. His own hands wanted to cling, but he wouldn’t let them. He stalked behind his desk, shoving his fingers into his hair and tugging in frustration.
“I’d like nothing better than to haul you upstairs to my bedchamber and keep you there until morning, but it’s simply not possible. There’s no privacy here.”
“Then come home with me,” Teague offered calmly. “I have rooms above the shop. Small, but you can yell as loudly as you like. No one will pay the slightest bit of attention in that area.”
Moments later, the pair exited the townhouse. Marcus pulled his coat up tighter around his ears and his hat down farther on his head and wondered how on earth Teague had talked him into this. The man had the charm and persuasive skills of Lucifer himself.
“This is a really stupid idea,” he muttered, more to himself than his companion.
“Nonsense,” Teague remarked cheerfully. “It’s a bloody brilliant idea.”
The practical side of Marcus’s brain wanted to catalog everything that could go wrong. It insisted on listing, in numerical order of importance, his many responsibilities, followed by a stern lecture on the necessity of retaining his reputation and the danger of discovery.
His body consigned the practical to the deepest, darkest pit of hell, and he hailed a passing hansom cab.
4.5 Cherries…The Brass Box is a lovely, charming romance that is close to pitch perfect…The writing is inspired with wonderful turns of phrase. The pace flies by and the novella is over far before you’re ready to leave the wonderful descriptions and lovely characters…” ~ Cactus, Whipped Cream Reviews
4/5 Whips in the Backseat…a fun historical that takes advantage of London’s fascination with Magic to slip in a little bit of the real thing…Romance, sparking in a time that holds the images of long coats, top hats, and sexy Brits and Irish men. I like the way this author thinks. ~ Jasmine, Naughty Boys in the Backseat
…Marcus and Teague come completely to life. You can feel the warmth of their affection and their sex scenes are explicit and erotic. You will enjoy seeing into the lives of these two interesting characters. ~Carole, Rainbow Reviews