Review: A Summer of Smoke and Sin by T.J. Nichols

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To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed Nobility Task Force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young noble man in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: A Summer of Smoke and Sin


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 3 stars

When Detective Nathanial Bayard is sent to investigate a death at the Jericho Rose, he finds himself drawn to the charismatic club owner Jericho Fullbright in a way that he never imagined. Desperately needing a break in a case, Nathaniel enlists Jericho’s help in tracking down the man creating snuff pornography. However, Nathaniel is unaware that Jericho’s ability of drawing the truth from others comes from the demon sharing his body. And the demon has set its sights on Nathaniel as its next host.

I was really drawn to the premise of this novel. It takes place in a regency-era setting which I love, but one that has a different attitude towards same sex relationships. The paranormal aspect was a real draw for me too and I couldn’t wait to start reading. However A Summer of Smoke and Sin was somewhat of a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed how Nathaniel and Jericho’s relationship played out throughout the novel. The chemistry between them was undeniable and their contrasting personalities complemented the other perfectly. The demon part of the story I felt a little underwhelmed about. For me it felt like an addition rather than a main plot point and could have been expanded on more than it was. Also I felt that the ending was somewhat rushed to the point I was left feeling a bit taken aback by it. This was a shame as time had been taken to build the romance throughout the novel.

Overall A Summer of Smoke and Sin is an enjoyable and well-written read with a paranormal twist, but I would say it’s more a romance than paranormal or mystery.

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