Audio Review: Amelia Faulkner – Jack of Thorns (Inheritance #1)

Author: Amelia Faulkner
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Summary:

Florist. Psychic. Addict.
Laurence Riley coasts by on good looks and natural charm, but underneath lies a dark chasm that neither heroin nor lovers can fill. Sobriety is a pipe dream which his stalker ex-boyfriend is pushing him away from. Luckily, Laurence has powers most can only dream of. If only he could control them.

Aristocrat. Psychic. Survivor.
Quentin d’Arcy is the product of centuries of wealth, privilege, and breeding, and is on the run from all three. A chance encounter with an arresting young florist with a winning smile could make him stop. Laurence is kind, warm, and oddly intriguing but Quentin’s wild telekinesis and his fear of sex make dating a dangerous game.

When opposites attract, they collide.
Desperate to fix his rotting life, Laurence prays for aid and accidentally summons a fertility god who prefers to be called Jack. Jack is willing to help out for a price, and it’s one Laurence just can’t pay: he must keep Jack fed with regular offerings of sex, and the florist has fallen for the one man in San Diego who doesn’t want any.

If they’re to survive Jack’s wrath, Laurence and Quentin must master their blossoming feelings and gifts, but even then the cost of Laurence’s mistake could well overwhelm them both. How exactly are mere mortals supposed to defeat a god?

Jack of Thorns is the first book in the award winning Inheritance series and contains mature themes and events which may be distressing to some readers.

Review:

This was an interesting, fast-paced fantasy about Laurence Riley, a young man who operates a florist shop with his psychically gifted mom and pretty much coasts along through life knowing he needs to get his act together but struggling to figure out how. He is also psychically gifted—with visions of future events that tend to come to reality.

Desperate for a positive change, Laurence invokes his magic abilities and calls for help from a fertility god. What he gets is Jack—green-eyed, self-possessed, egotistical Jack, who promises Laurence all will be well and he’ll meet his dream man if he has sex as often as possible so Jack can feed on the energy.

But Laurence has broken up with his boyfriend Dan, and isn’t really interested in anyone else, so Jack’s request may be a tall order. And then he meets meets Brambury, who turns out to be Lord Brambury, actual name Quentin, and his life takes a bizarre turn. Attracted to one another, it seems each time sex or the potential for sex arises, Quentin causes hurricane-like winds that destroy pretty much everything around him. It’s Laurence who figures out that Quentin is afraid of sex and that his powers of telekinesis may be much stronger than he initially suspected. Laurence can barely see the humor in the fact that he can’t very well keep Jack supplied with offerings of sex if the object of his affections is afraid of it.

Angry with Laurence about the situation, and having been the object of Quentin’s dangerous lack of control, Jack gives him one last chance. Laurence has to grow a plant from a special seed. And then the nightmare situation Laurence finds himself in gets worse. As the plant grows out of control, he finds out that it’s powers are addictive and Jack will be feeding on the life energy of the people who use it. Laurence knows about addiction. After all, he fights his addiction and craving for heroin every day and he can’t imagine leading others to face a similar fate. Nor can he imagine giving more power to the already powerful and evil Jack.

His nightmares and psychic predictions are getting worse and that, coupled with the irritating push-pull of his relationship with Quentin—one in which each man is attracted to the other but Quentin can’t bring himself to follow through on—is enough to make Laurence finally reach for the drug that will solve all his worries. Thankfully, life and Quentin intervene and a very bizarre, yet exciting, confrontation occurs that ultimately leads our guys to a place where they can at least find their HFN.

One strong word of caution here: the prologue contains graphic depictions of drug use and overdose. And though cravings are described in multiple locations in this story, the most graphic are in that prologue. Those in recovery from addiction may find this a trigger.

That being said, this is an enjoyable story. It’s quite long, over twelve hours, but full of interesting events, twists and turns, and of course, a romance. Both characters are interesting, but I must say that Quentin wins the prize for my favorite character in quite some time. First, because Joel Leslie’s delivery is divine, and second because the author created such an endearing and humorous character. Though upper class Brit, complete with his often voiced perceptions of American ways and 21st century culture, he’s also a sweetheart wrapped in a very emotionally damaged package.

Joel Leslie, as usual, delivers a flawless performance, providing a host of voices for the main and secondary characters, including the women. I truly enjoy listening to an audiobook in which I can identify characters by their voice. It makes me feel as if I’m actually “watching” the story and brings it to life. So kudos to my favorite narrator and to the author for an interesting, creative story.

If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a very entertaining way to spend your time, I highly recommend trying this one—preferably in audio so you can enjoy the terrific narration.

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