Erryn reviews ‘Brush with Catastrophe (Aloysius Tales Book 2)’ by Tara Lain. The book was published June 23, 2020 and is 228 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Kirt Graves. It was released on January 5, 2021, and is 7hrs and 19mins. A copy was provided for an honest review.
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil – a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
Contains mature themes.
First let me say I’m a massive Tara Lain fan. Anytime I get to listen to one of her books, I’m in seventh heaven. That being said, I didn’t love this book, and so writing this review is much harder than it might have been otherwise.
The book is the second in the series. I often read books out of sequence, so I wasn’t worried. And I certainly wasn’t lost, but I think if I’d read the first one before this one, that might have helped. But if you’re jumping in at this point, you’ll be okay.
Secondly, there was a tremendous amount of importance placed on beauty. Yes, Sammy is a painter, and so he will always see the world in those terms. (That being said, beauty is often subjective – in the eye of the beholder – but there are certain things people can generally agree are beautiful). I’m glad Sammy had a secret crush on Ryder, but it’s Ryder’s new ‘beauty’ that Sammy often focuses on. And the angel Lucien that appears also has a striking appearance. Just something that struck me while listening to the book.
So Sammy’s a witch and apparently a crappy one. He’s also a painter and apparently a very good one. When Aloysius the cat decides Sammy is his new best friend, Sammy kinda rolls with it. And Aloysius can’t be seen by most people, so he can follow Sammy everywhere. A spell cat, so to speak.
There is a lot going on in this book. There are also more than two point of view characters which I’m not used to. Again, I was able to roll with it, so it’s just a passing note. I enjoyed the story and was glad certain characters got their comeuppances. It’s on my list to go back to the first book, and I will certainly listen to the third one. I want to see where this cast of characters ends up.
Lastly, although just as important, is the narrator, Kirt Graves. I’m a fan, and so was happy to see him narrating another one of Ms. Lain’s books. His cat noises were at once annoying, and yet strangely perfect. Not an easy feat. So this book is worth a listen, and I hope to pick up the next one when it becomes available.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold or 85% recommended
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels, Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain