Book Reviews

Brush with Catastrophe (Aloysius Tales 2) by Tara Lain at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Shifters / Magic / Wizards & Witches / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 14-April-2017

Book Blurb

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?

First Edition published by Loose Id, 2012.



Book Review

Greatness doesn't always present itself with a shout; sometimes it appears with a whisper. Sammy Raphael's powers don't dazzle people like other witches he knows do, so Sammy feels unimportant in comparison, but, in truth, he's not. Sammy is a good, decent, kind person who has lots of friends who admire and love him simply for who he is. The measure of a good friend is that they have lots of friends of their own. Sammy has to learn to be a better friend to himself.

Sammy is such an endearing, selfless character. His down-to-earth attitude and  humility are his trademarks. He's humble, but he's also strong, brave, and loving. He often puts himself first, ignoring his feelings rather than hurting someone else. Even though he's a bit shy, he's not socially inept; he's just super considerate. What Sammy wants more than anything is for his best friend Ryder to return his love, but their friendship is so important to him, that he'd rather have him as a friend than lose him altogether. Sammy may be considerate, but he's not someone to be taken advantage of, and, if he can help it, he won't let anyone else take advantages of anyone else either. Unlike Killian, from the first book in the series, who is beautiful, flashy, dramatic, and displays his magic literally with thunder and lightening, Sammy is quiet and unassuming. Because his gift is more subtle than some of the other witches', he may not seem as exciting; but it's dangerous to judge by what is only apparent on the outside.

Ryder is an interesting character, because from the start, he seems to be hiding something. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what that might be. Clues are presented at different intervals in the story, but even with those, I couldn't figure it out. It is quite poignant that he loves Sammy but can't tell him. Not only does he not want to lose Sammy's friendship, but Ryder doesn't want to drag him into the dilemma in his own life. If he can save Sammy pain, he's going to do it regardless of what he has to sacrifice personally. Eventually, in order to be in a better position to protect Sammy, Ryder is compelled to reveal his feelings. Sammy and Ryder are so perfect for each other, that it made my heart sing to see the two of them together. Their sexual encounters are hot, but they are also loving and very meaningful. I admired Ryder for following his heart rather than the path his family has chosen for him, but I was even more thrilled that it was Sammy, not Ryder, who makes that possible.

Although it's not fair to compare the first book with this one, I couldn't help but do so. Truthfully, it's a case of apples and oranges; Killian and Sammy are two completely different personalities. Both stories have their own unique charm, but, for me, this book shines even brighter than the first. That's because it presents us with an alternative hero. Sammy reminds us that everyone is special in their own way, and what might not seem like a big deal at the time, may be the biggest deal of all. I recommend this story to anyone with a romantic soul like mine, who believes that quiet strength is just as powerful as is overt strength. Thanks, Tara, for presenting us with such an inspiring story.  





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 193 pages/60052 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-April-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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