This is the second book in the Magic in Manhattan series and readers ought to start with Spellbound, the first book, so they have a better idea of the way magic works in the storyverse, as well as understanding the threats the characters find themselves up against.
Arthur and Rory are still dealing with the fallout from the events in Spellbound and trying to figure out how to make their relationship work. It’s 1920s New York, so they can’t be together openly and then there’s the added layer of their socioeconomic differences: even a friendship between the two men raises questions.
There are strange things afoot—Arthur’s brother is having nightmares about his (Arthur’s) time as a prisoner of war and there are also disturbances on the astral planes that indicate the threat they faced in Spellbound has not dissipated.
And although it’s hardly on the same level as the future of humanity being at stake, Arthur’s ex comes to New York for a big society wedding, and Arthur is expected to shepherd him around town… which Rory is thrilled about, of course.
I loved every minute of Starcrossed. Ace (as Arthur likes to be called) and Rory have the best banter—I can’t even tell you how many times I smiled while reading this book. I loved the way Therin explored the class dynamics in the book; the dynamic can’t (and shouldn’t) be resolved by Ace buying things for Rory to lessen the gap. Rory is proud of who he is and where he comes from and he shouldn’t have to change himself for a relationship. There was a very tender moment towards the end of the book where Ace says that he doesn’t need nice things as long as he can be with Rory, and OMG— my heart melted right then and there.
Therin has opted for fade-to-black love scenes, and I am here to tell you that Ace and Rory’s chemistry is still scorching hot. They convey so much in one lingering look or offhand quip; there’s no need for anything more explicit. I think anything more would cause books and e-readers to spontaneously combust.
I’m writing this review in the middle of March; I have no idea what the world is going to look like closer to when I post my review, but things are uncertain right now. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to read this book because it enabled me to take my mind off of everything going on for a bit. Books have always been an escape, but I need those escapes more than ever lately and Starcrossed was the perfect distraction.
I would absolutely recommend Starcrossed. It contains so many of my favorite elements of a romance: height difference, age difference, and the cinnamon roll/grump dynamic. The paranormal element is very well done: magic is prevalent in the world, but the vast majority of people have no idea it’s there. I am already eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the series—I need to know what the future holds for Ace and Rory!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Carina Press in exchange for an honest review.