SERIES: Aria Afton Presents
Weaving apprentice Jennia Wick and traveling mage Antony Onyx strike a bargain. She needs to escape an arranged marriage, and he needs an assistant to demonstrate his enchanted sex toys.
In the sizzling exhibitions inside Antony's show tent, the toys pleasure them but they never touch one another. After all, Jennia is marrying her childhood sweetheart, if she can find him. A fiancée's betrayal has robbed Antony of all his money and half his magic. Jennia's determined to find her old love; Antony's determined never to love again. No romance, no sex, just business--and a near-uncontrollable desire for one another.
Jennia yearns for his rock-hard body, and her sweet curves drive Antony crazy. More, they're falling in love. But they keep on searching for Jennia's betrothed, and Antony keeps pretending he doesn't care--until he finds the missing sweetheart in the worst way possible. He has to make a choice that could lead to happiness for her--and catastrophe for himself.
I had already read Lovers and Beloveds by this author and I really liked it, so when I saw this book pop up on a giveaway I figured it was a no-brainer. I was also interested to see what the author could do with a shorter work. Lovers and Beloveds (An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom) is a long novel, while the Mage's Toy is a novella.
Well, I have to say I did enjoy this story. And yes, there was a story. It is an erotic romance novella but you definitely get a good story and a romance along with the erotic element. In fact, nothing actually happens between Antony and Jennia until near the end. Oh yes there are erotic scenes before that but they involve the demonstration of the magical sex toy. ...
Though I enjoyed the story there were a few things that made me go hmm... such as Antony's name suddenly becoming Anthony several times in the story and a goddess who pops up out of nowhere with an easy solution to a dilemma that I thought was, well, too easy. There was also a bit of dialogue that didn't make sense to me. I kept reading it to see if I missed something, but I'm still not seeing it. None of these things were showstoppers for me. I still think it was a good story and it fit the length well. It didn't feel rushed like some novellas can.
Whenever I think about how this story plays out at the end, it always reminds of the short story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. I'm not comparing the two stories because they are not the same thing at all, but it is the theme of doing something selfless out of love and how love itself is the true gift. Yeah, can I be more dorky? Why yes, actually, I can... but I digress.
So yes, overall I enjoyed this story and after reading a couple of Miranda's works now, she is definitely on my watch list.
Heat Level: Spicy to Erotic
Print pages: 64 (estimated)
ePub pages: 62
Kindle locations: 951 (story text ends at 98%)
There is no table of contents
Source: LibraryThing Giveaway