Title : Killing Time
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length : 344 pages (e-book)
Published : February 25, 2014
Rating : ★★★1/2
Max and Kaelan, best friends and business partners for five years, are powerful casters with a tendency to get themselves into and out of all kinds of trouble. Pretty much the only thing they’ve been able to avoid is getting romantically involved – until now. Their sexual attraction hits them like a runaway fireball and they can’t keep their hands off each other.
While their sexual attraction burns out of control, they’ve attracted the attention of a dark caster named Jannes who’s planning a spell so potent that it could end the world. To keep them off balance, he’s targeting Max and Kaelan through those they love, and there’s no one they love more than each other.
With friends and family to protect and their only allies a group of casters who find it easier to fight than cooperate, the odds are stacked against them. So can Max and Kaelan keep it together and stop Jannes before he ends the world, or is the best they can do just killing time?
Max and Kaelan don’t want to complicate their friendship and business partnership with romance. They’re adamant about that. Mostly. Well, they’re adamant about what they admit. Their first meeting was a touch less than auspicious. Their spell casting did not go well together when they first met but they did manage to rescue a cat from some evil casters. Max also managed to rescue Kaelan from poverty. Kaelan is the closest thing to family Max has as his own family disowned him when he chose to become a caster instead of an attorney. Max continues to attempt to talk to his brother despite being ignored for years on end at their father’s behest. One thing Max and Kaelan have noticed is an increase in very bad and very powerful spells being cast. They’ve also begun to notice a name behind some shady business dealings. They begin to suspect the powerful caster, Jannes, is behind both the mundane crimes and magical crimes. A friend and former mentor of Max’s is murdered. Again, everything points to Jannes. Despite being incredibly busy, Max and Kaelan can’t help but feel a greater and greater pull toward each other. While waking up rather intimately one morning, they both begin to realize they know more about each other sexually than they should. They have distinct memories of sex with each other. Awesome sex with each other. Really awesome sex. Again, something wrong in their lives points to Jannes.
A young friend of Kaelan’s, Hopper, lives with a group of other young homeless boys in abandoned warehouses around the city. Jannes’ company has been buying them up. When the police roust the boys out of a newly purchased warehouse one of them is arrested, however; there is no record of the boy’s arrest. Max and Kaelan begin to put all the evidence together. The warehouses are all atop ley lines. A number of homeless youths have disappeared, and Jannes seems to be behind a lot of black magic as of late. Max, Kaelan, and Hopper are not in time to save the young boy who was taken. Jannes’ power is growing and it seems he’s trying to alter the flow of time. That’s a big no-no. While all this is happening, Max has realized he’s completely in love with Kaelan and probably has been for a long time. They do finally bow to the pressures of their libido. Again, they have really amazing sex but remember all the details this time. Kaelan knows he’s in love with Max, but finds himself unable to say the words. He’s scared, his life hasn’t been a safe place where love is a beautiful thing. It was easy for Max to lift Kaelan’s bank balance out of poverty, but his mindset will forever be shaped by the years of neglect and hunger that were his childhood.
While Max and Kaelan are questioning an employee of Jannes’, Hopper is kidnapped. Jannes wants to use him as the sacrifice in the final ritual specifically to hurt Kaelan. Jannes is a creep. Max and Kaelan know what Jannes is doing, when he’s doing it, why he’s doing it, and how he’s doing it yet they’re still barely able to figure out a means of stopping him. Asking help of other casters isn’t all that effective. They do find an interesting prophecy that states three casters will triumph over Jannes but no one knows which three. And no one is willing to work with them. They do get information from a surprising source that allows them a small advantage. Hopefully it’s enough to prevent what could be the dissolution of the universe as they know it.
I am a big fan of the books co-written by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow, so it is with a heavy heart I have to admit I didn’t really like this one all that much. For me, this simply was not a good blend of paranormal and romance. Both storylines were good but I don’t feel they meshed well, creating a book that felt overly long and unwieldy. Now, having said that, I certainly don’t think it was all bad. I liked the opposites attract aspect of the relationship and that it was extended into their magical castings as well. I really liked the almost Grecian aspect of the prophecy Jannes was trying to prevent being his downfall.
As I said, I do think the relationship between Max and Kaelan was well done. Max could have been Kaelan’s savior and it was fantastic their relationship did not fall into that trap. Possibly the Poor Little Rich Boy trap was not as deftly dodged. Whereas Max was a well written character he was still a victim of the trope of being shunned and disinherited because of his lifestyle choices. At least his parents didn’t care about his sexuality, they cared he chose to be a magical caster. By far, the best characterization was Kaelan’s inability to have a relationship. The guy was a total disaster on the boyfriend front because of his childhood.
Rated 3.5 stars by Faye