Monday, November 3, 2014

Queen of Bats, Four of Skulls by D.C. Williams: Review & Excerpt

Queen of Bats, Four of Skulls
(Scare This!, Book 4)
by D.C. Williams

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, M/M/M Romance
Tom and Jackson are keeping a secret...they can do magic. Sort of.

Tom Cooper and Jackson Manning are hereditary magic users. Really. Mostly they just think of themselves as party planners. Housesitting for their grandmothers over Halloween will test their patience, but spending their least favorite holiday in the ramshackle old house brings them into contact with Dave, the handsome handyman who is keeping secrets of his own. When dark forces threaten Dave on the spookiest night of the year, can Tom and Jackson save him in time?
The handyman must have a little bit of talent. Anyone could hear the chimes, or see the white and orange spider webs all over the porch, but even his grandmother was careful with the really outré stuff, especially at Halloween. Jackson, Tom, and Tom’s mother made nice livings as event planners because they had a reputation for pulling off all kinds of things, but they never, ever did anything that couldn’t be easily explained away. Jackson wondered if he could manage the illusion of an outlet the spider webs were plugged into, because he was quite sure that his grandmother must have forgotten that little detail.

“Wires.” Jackson hadn’t really noticed that Tom had followed them out and was standing behind them, until he answered. “My aunt Agatha is a complete wizard with that stuff. Just don’t get too close. We’re not even supposed to touch it.” Tom made a couple of hand gestures. He had even less talent than Jackson, but he should be able to produce the illusion of wires as long as no one actually tried to handle them. Or heaven forbid, see what they were hooked up to.

Dave glanced at Tom now, and said, “Oh hi, I didn’t see you there. I’m Dave.” He turned back to Jackson, and asked, “Brothers?”

“Cousins,” Jackson supplied, and thank goodness for that, or he and Tom would really have some explaining to do. They didn’t look particularly alike, but they’d hung out together for their entire lives and sometimes came across as a matched set.

“Ah, are the squirrels getting in the same place as last time?”

“I have no idea,” Jackson replied. “My aunt Muriel said something about the kitchen. And there’s a new hole in the ceiling. I think we’re supposed to have you do something about that, too.”

“Sometimes it’s the kitchen, sometimes it’s the attic,” Dave told them. “And you have very weird squirrels.” Jackson rolled his eyes at Tom behind Dave’s back. Hopefully if the man had seen anything, it at least appeared to be a squirrel. Although come to think of it Tom had sworn there had been one in the backyard last winter wearing mittens and a hat.

Tom gestured for Dave to enter the house. Jackson hurried before them and gathered the cards up. The odds were very good that Dave could see those too, and they would never be able to explain that away.

“I’m sorry I was so late,” Dave said. “Traffic was murder, and I got stuck with a drain issue. Around the time I realized my client should probably have called a plumber I was pretty much done. There’s stuff I can’t do, but there’s plenty I can pinch hit on, it just takes me longer than it does the guys who do it all the time.

“I’ll take a look at the inside stuff now, but I’ll be back tomorrow for the gutters. I can probably get this part done now, but I might be here later than you’d like me to be.”

Since Jackson hadn’t had lunch, more than about another half hour was going to be later than he hoped Dave would be. All he wanted to do was leave his grandmother’s crazy house and go somewhere peaceful for dinner. He and Tom didn’t really do romantic, but relaxed and civilized sounded fine. After that he planned to go upstairs to the room he and Tom had shared since they were teenagers, then make love and fall asleep.

Dave had clearly been here more than once, but Tom and Jackson guided him to the kitchen. Mostly to be polite, partly because the house was a rabbit warren of corridors and odd corners, and definitely to make sure that Dave didn’t meet with any more difficult to explain Halloween surprises. Not that the man was hard on the eyes. The rear view was quite fine, even in the blue work pants. The front wasn’t bad either, with a strong jaw, hazel eyes, and a mop of curly dark hair. Tom was noticing too, which wasn’t a problem for Jackson. It wasn’t like they were exclusive, and a little fantasy about hot handymen might spice things up later.

Jackson was fairly sure the last major overhaul of the kitchen had been during the Hoover administration, when the electricity and gas were put in. Even his mother’s house didn’t have a stove like this. Most visitors stared in mute astonishment. Dave didn’t even pay attention to the appliances, or the chipped yellow and green tile lining the walls. He went straight to the nearly perfectly circular hole in the kitchen ceiling and stared up at it.

“Did your squirrels do that?”

“I have no idea,” Jackson said. “Can squirrels do that?” Tom asked.

“Usually, I’d say no, but you have funny squirrels. Swear I saw one wearing doll clothes once,” Dave admitted.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun and light-hearted Halloween romance. The chemistry between Tom, Jackson and Dave was smokin' hot but not overly graphic in the bedroom. Perfect for readers who may not usually be fans of M/M/M stories... and for those who are!

The magical elements were unique, and I would love to meet Tom and Jackson's Grandmothers someday. I could easily picture the two eccentric ladies living in their Victorian house and filling it with magic and mayhem.

Well written, with sexy men, laugh-out-loud havoc and a dash of adventure! QUEEN OF BATS, FOUR OF SKULLS is the perfect story to read on a cool fall night with a glass of warm cider. The characters are truly engaging and I hope to read more about this threesome someday!
View all my reviews
D.C. Williams is a funny little middle-aged woman who lives in Pennsylvania with one spouse and one child and writes romance novels you wouldn't expect. She has an unfortunately common name, but a hopefully uncommon imagination.

Available December 1st... Pre-Order today!
Another Gift (Unexpected Gifts, #2)
by D.C.  Williams
An urgent phone call in the middle of the night sends Nick and Leon on a rescue mission. 

Leon’s youngest brother, Jared, is desperate and homeless after he is rejected by their parents. 

Amidst the bustle of the holiday season and a trip with Nick’s relatives Nick and Leon incorporate the damaged teenager into their little family. 

Now that they have been led to one another, can Nick and Leon put away the past and commit to each other fully in the sight of God? 

This an inspirational Christmas story that contains descriptions of intimate moments between two men. It is intended for adults over eighteen years of age.

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