Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense…except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.
Randolph is the last of an ancient line of arcanists, commanding deep secrets and extraordinary powers as he struggles to fulfil his family duties in a war-torn world. He knows there’s something odd going on with the haunted-looking man who keeps turning up in all the wrong places. The only question for Randolph is whether Saul is victim or villain.
Saul hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time. But as the supernatural threat grows, along with the desire between them, he’ll need to believe in evasive, enraging, devastatingly attractive Randolph. Because he may be the only man who can save Saul’s life—or his soul.
Book 1 of the Green Men series
Buy links: Amazon | B&N || Add to GoodreadsI have listened to the audiobooks of this author’s Society of Gentlemen series in the past and loved them. I have wanted to read the historical paranormal books in the Magpie series that she wrote, but time has always gotten away from me. When I heard about the new series and that we had a chance to review I was excited and jumped at the chance to take Spectred Isle.
The book takes place in the same “world” as The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. There is a group of men who work with the paranormal to protect England called the Green Men. One of them is the sort of nephew of Simon and his husband Robert Caldwell. Although he is not one of the main characters, he and this group of men are important to the story.
It’s after World War One and Saul Lazenby has returned from imprisonment and has take a job working for someone who is a believer in the mystical. Saul is more than skeptical but had to find work where he could. Despite his disbelief he begins to encounter things that can’t be explained and each time is marked by the presence of Randolph Glyde.
Randolph Glyde has lived his life among the occult, it is a family calling. He lost much in the war also and he has never really thought he would form a relationship with another man. But he is intrigued by Saul and suspicious of Saul’s boss. After it becomes clear that Saul is fated to be a part of what is happening, Randolph has to help him navigate this new world.
Saul is wary of trusting anyone again after what happened to him in the war but with Randolph he is forced to rely on him. I love the paranormal historical plot of this story. Inside of that there is a very sweet love story that is a bit of a slow burn with both of them tackling a force trying to reawaken after some time. Both men are slow to trust and through their adventures they both realize there is a deepening connection between them. I really loved reading about their growing trust and love.
The paranormal world that the author created was so interesting and I found myself pulled in. I can’t wait for not just the next books, but I am going to have to bump up the author’s other books.in my reading order. The rest of the green men are awesome and I can’t wait to see what their stories will be like. The next book looks to be a m/f story but I think there will be a bigger plot unfolding in the series that will make each book important to read. I can’t wait.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
KJ Charles spent twenty years working as an editor before switching sides to become a full-time writer. She hasn’t regretted it yet. KJ writes mostly queer historical romance, some of it paranormal or fantasy. She is the author of the Charm of Magpies series, and has published Regency and Victorian trilogies with Loveswept (Penguin Random House). She lives in London with her husband, two children, a cat, and whatever still-breathing horrors the cat brings in.