Thick as Thieves
Title : Thick as Thieves
Author : Tali Spencer
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Fantasy
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : July 8, 2013
After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.
Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.
Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.
Upon reading the first sentence in the blurb I knew I had to read Thick as Thieves, by Tali Spencer. I wasn’t sure if it would verge toward awesome or awful as there seemed to be so much potential either way. It does indeed start with the imprisonment of a barbarian, Vorgell, who fucked himself with a unicorn horn. He also ate the berries that grew as a result of it’s spilled blood. The horn dissolved in his body and imbued him with magic. Unicorn horn is also an aphrodisiac and is usually administered in near microscopic doses. Vorgell will be magical and horny for the rest of his life. He winds up in a cell with a beautiful man who won’t simply bend over for sex. He does get a kiss! A kiss that turns into a bite that allows the man, a witch named Maddog, to work a spell that gets them out of the prison cell. They decide to stick together for mutual aide after their escape. Vorgell really wants to fuck Madd, and Madd uses the magic in Vorgell’s body to work spells. Madd has a love collar placed around his neck. They have to break into Baron Flemgu’s keep to get the basilisk egg the spell is based upon. It doesn’t go quite as they plan but these things never do.
Madd is captured by Flemgu’s troops. He finds himself being gifted to a wizard and his fiends. Vorgell finds help in freeing Madd from Reannry, the sister of Flemgu’s wife, Gillja. From Reannry Vorgell learns a lot about Madd’s personal history. It’s not very good. Female witches don’t really like male witches who refuse to join circles, and Madd has a lot of personal history that makes female witches hate him even more. Vorgell remains completely unswayed by Reannry’s words. Vorgell demands Madd be rescued before he helps Reannry rescue Gillja. Madd is rescued in the nick of time and Vorgell is able to remove the love collar from Madd’s neck. After healing they set out to rescue Gilllja.
This book dealt with some very heavy subjects despite the somewhat ludicrous first sentence of the blurb. Both men, by dint of birth and poor choices, found themselves in situations where they had no control over their bodies. Madd was bound to submit sexually to Flemgu, and Vorgell was painfully horny at almost all times as a result of the unicorn horn dissolving into his body. It wasn’t until they found each other they were able to find a relationship that was sexually satistfying. The power balance between the two of them was also interesting. The overlarge barbarian with the skill to kill hapless guards at the drop of a hat, was little more than a magical battery for the witch at times. The petite witch held all the knowledge necessary to complete their missions. Both sexually and in terms of working together the men formed a good balance.
In addition to being puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly, Madd and Vorgell were exactly what the other man was never looking for and would have avoided entirely. Vorgell hated magic users. Madd hated big brutes who owned slaves. That each of them were in fact those things but not the stereotypical version of them was a nice touch. I also liked that both men were unrepentant criminals and never stopped being so. Frequently in books the criminal with a heart of gold falls in love with a law abiding citizen and reforms. Both Vorgell and Madd could be said to be good hearted. It would be more appropriate to say they pay their debts. Some of their debts have not yet come due. The book leaves several things either unresolved or unexplained. I would definitely like to see a sequel.
Rated 4 stars by Faye