But that could change.
When a stranger with a hefty bag of gold seduces him to take on a task, Mouse knows he’ll regret it. The job? Free Lord Garron, the son of a powerful duke arrested on trumped up charges in a rival duchy. Mouse doesn’t do rescue missions. He’s no altruistic hero, and something about the job reeks. But he cannot turn his back on that much coin—enough to buy a king’s pardon for the murder charge hanging over his head.
Getting Garron out of his tower prison is the easy part. Now, they must escape an army of guardsmen, a walled keep and a city on lockdown, and a ruthless mage using her power to track them. Making matters worse, Mouse is distracted by Garron’s charm and unyielding integrity. Falling for a client can lead to mistakes. Falling for a nobleman can lead to disaster. But Mouse is unprepared for the dangers behind the plot to make Lord Garron disappear.
Sara - 4 Hearts
I know I say “I don’t know how to review this” a lot but I am going to say it again because how the hell do I review this and not just flail over how much I love Mouse? Ugh. Be warned, there be quotes a plenty in this review.
Mouse, I have never felt this way about anyone before. Have never known anyone like you before.
I am a pretty simple reader and come for the romance. I came for the romance with this but what I got was Mouse. I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this small statured man with his own sense of honor among his profession of thievery.
But in the short time I’ve known you, Mouse, you’ve proven yourself to possess more integrity and honor than most of the so-called noblemen I know.
I have a crap ton of highlights from this book and 99.9% of them are things Mouse says because Mouse is snarky AF! He was this way about him that is genuine and yet his dry wit makes you pause because it’s so blunt but so comical, it’s just amazing.
You face your demons directly. You do not try to disguise them behind some false truth or rationalize them away. That doesn’t make you wicked. It makes you honest.
If you are looking for a story full of romance and sex, look elsewhere. There is romance here but it’s not at the front of the story. There is more adventure, daring rescues and fighting for one’s life while trying to escape an unlikeable end. There is romance and it’s pretty swift but when you find yourself with the most amazing man who has rescued you and keeps doing so and kinda gives you googly eyes when he thinks you aren’t watching, how could you not fall for Mouse? Of course, it would take someone special, like Lord Green Eyes, to make Mouse fall head over boots with hidden daggers as well and I did like Garron.
“Mouse, I so enjoy our time together,” Garron said dryly. “You introduce me to the most extravagant places.”
“Only the best for His Lordship. What do you think about exploring a coal mine later? Or we could rent a wagon and collect the dead from some recent plague.”
The side characters in this were amazing. I have a huge soft spot for Hawken and actually loved his time with Mouse that I had I not known Mouse was meant for Garron, I would have liked them together. The secret of the dagger Mouse carries that was his father’s leant to an additional mystery in the story that of course at the end, shows you how far Mouse will go to protect those he loves but it could have been a bit easier, had he just asked his dad.
The running from being killed deal after Garron’s rescue reminded me a bit of The Princess Bride though there were no six fingered men about nor Rodents Of Unusual Size. It was just plain fun with the added gasp of danger that reminded me what I love about stories like this.
So, I said there wasn’t much romance but OMG when Thomas brings it, he brings it and it was perfect. It has me swooning at appropriate times and really, he could have added more and I wouldn’t have minded a single bit. Nope. I am not talking about on page sex mind you, I don’t need that for a book to be romantic, emotions create romance and when Garron and Mouse have moments, they were… very romantic.
“This is such a bad idea, Garron, I’m not the one for you.”
“Shouldn’t that be my call?”
From the blurb, you get what you need to know about the story. Mouse is hired to free Lord Garron but what we don’t know, is why Lord Garron is a prisoner. This is what nagged at me the whole story and yet when we got it, my reaction was the same as Garron’s brother!
“That’s the reason?”
“Damn right it is!”
“But what does that matter, Father?”
Why indeed? Though it does provide for an interesting end to the story and a last chapter that quite frankly had me in a puddle of goo.
This book was one hell of fun ride. I love Mouse completely. Garron and what he does for Mouse makes me adore him and that end was all sorts of a gooey HEA but for this hopeless romantic, it was perfect.
I wonder if we'll see these two at all in the next book? I girl can only hope.
Fantasy Living - 4.5 Hearts
Historical-Fantasy can be pretty hit and miss for me. I find it too wordy in the worldbuilding, and slow moving to the action. The language can be irritating if not done right. I sometimes find myself taking long breaks, and contemplating whether it's worth pushing on, hoping for something to happen so I can justify time spent on it. Large gaps in dialogue, or action can leave me feeling like I’m reading a textbook instead of an adventure novel. Even with recommendations, I tend to shy away, or spend more time on Social Media, or *shudder* cleaning, than reading the book.
Not this story. It pulled me in from the very first page, and every page after. The world building was pretty tight, slightly lacking, but not enough to disappoint, and I wasn’t distracted by other shiny things in the room while reading this. It was a pleasure.
Mouse was witty, snarky, and resourceful. He was driven by a purpose, and didn’t let small details, or foiled plans, stop him from achieving his goals. He was going to get to his charge, set him free, and get his coin. Even if he had to slay everyone in their path…….
Until the morally righteous Garron makes him swear an oath not to kill anyone.
Mason Thomas really did this story justice with the thoughtful work-arounds for the no-kill rule. It was exciting, and suspenseful in all the right ways. I found myself trying to figure out how it would all come together, and whether it was believable. It was. Sort of.
Mouse used what was in the Manor at his disposal, and managed to get Garron to go along with his plans. There was a fair bit of set up during the first half of the book, but it wasn’t dreary, and it all came together at the right time.
That’s not to say there weren’t road bumps along the way. And some hairy situations that required some creativity. Mouse pulled it off brilliantly, and I was behind him one hundred per cent.
The character building was good for Mouse. I would have liked a bit more from Garron. His personality was just out of grasp. The relationship building was sound for a high action story. It’s hard to get both with the page count provided, so while not perfect, it was enough. It wasn’t quite insta-love, more insta-lust with adrenaline fueled feelings of connection. There was a lot of sexual tension worked in, which made the suspense that much more satisfying.
This is not an erotic novel. It is fade to black. So if you’re looking for some smexy, this probably won’t satisfy that craving.
If you enjoy Fantasy and adventure, with some wit and snark, this is definitely a recommended story. Mouse was truly a fun character to go on a ride with, and I will be following it up with The Shadow Mark.
A Review copy was provided for an honest opinion
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