How did I get it: I sort of stumbled upon this book while trying to find new M/M Romances on GoodReads. Then I spent some time at Price’s website. After reading the first 5 chapters online, I had to buy Magic Mansion.
Why did I read it: I loved the premise. Anything to do with magic and magicians always excites me, and I enjoy killing brain cells while watching trashy reality shows. What also appealed to me was the fact that Magic Mansion is a long book. The idea of reading a Gay Romance novel that was significantly more than 200 pages long made me unbelievably giddy.
Professor Topaz is tired of fending off advice that he should retire in Vegas where magicians his age have an easier time finding work.
Ricardo Hart’s career has sunk so low, he’s resorted to shaking his moneymaker at bachelorette parties.
But there’s a casting call for a new reality show called Magic Mansion that could change everything for these two gay stage magicians, one recovering from the loss of his partner, the other awe-struck by the presence of his idol. Each is poised for a critical second chance: at fame, and at love.
Who will win? Step into the Mansion, and find out….
Review: This book mostly just makes me want to flail and make incoherant sounds of delight. I loved it for so many reasons though so let me try and articulate a few of them.
The first is that it’s just a darn good book with a lot of romance, magic, sweetness, humor, and charm. From opening line to ending sentence, Magic Mansion basically owned my eyes. I literally could not sleep until I finished it, and even then I sort of wanted to forgo sleep in order to read it again.*
Another reason that I am finding it really hard to do anything but gush is that it’s such a refreshing change to read a book with gay characters that was just as long and just as romantic as so many of the books out there for straight characters. Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of hot and steamy. I am also ten times more likely to gravitate towards or read a book with a gay character than I am anything else, but the books that stay with me long after I arrive at the last page are books that go the emotional distance. And Magic Mansion is all about deep connections rather than insta-love.
Price’s writing was equal parts wonderful, well-done, and engaging. I loved John and Ricardo so much. The way their relationship developed was utter perfection that I could not get enough of. There was such a maturity to both characters, particularly John, that I expected to be there, but was so worried that I wouldn’t get. Every moment they spent longing for the other or actually being together made me swoon. Or sigh. Or both. There were also a fantastic and diverse cast of minor characters as well as subplots, and I came to care for just about everyone.
The reality show, which kept John and Ricardo apart while simultaneously bringing them together, was really believable in so many ways, and very well-developed. Although the book is contemporary in terms of its setting and references, there’s also a paranormal element. This was provided by some magicians having a gift for True magic, which allows them to do more than simple conjuring tricks or illusions. I loved how it was used, and thought it added another neat dimension to John and Ricardo’s story.
Over all, I loved how everything worked and came together. Particularly the ending, which really surprised me in ways that a lot of the eliminations didn’t. I was a bit startled at one point when more mention was made of John’s deceased lover/partner had only been gone for a year. For some reason I kept thinking it had been longer, but by then I was so emotionally invested and so happy that it just matter or bother me as much as it might have under different circumstances. Besides, my biggest complaint is also my deepest regret. And that is not hearing about this book or paying much attention to its author any sooner than this.
In conclusion, awesome, awesome, awesome! Magic Mansion is one of my favorite books of 2012 so far, and likely to remain that way. It’s a book that I am so grateful to have found not to mention overjoyed to have read. It’s more than worth $6.99, and I could not recommend it enough.
How I would rate it: ALL THE STARS! Or, in keeping with my actual rating system, 5 out of 5.
* I am also have a hard time convincing myself to lend the book to my room mate off of my Nook, which is sort of bizarre since traditionally my Nook sits in a corner collecting dust… But that’s neither here nor there.