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REVIEW: Haven – Morgan Brice

Haven - Morgan Brice

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

Old secrets, hidden psychics, secret shifters, ghosts, scandals—and true love.

A series of long-ago disappearances leads cold case private detective Austin Williams to investigate a troubled sanitarium. Jamie Miller is new in town, temporarily running the local historical association, and he willingly signs on to help solve Austin’s mystery. Sparks fly between them as they dig into the hospital’s troubled past. But someone wants the past to stay buried—and is willing to bury Austin and Jamie to keep it that way. 

Haven is part of the Magic Emporium series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This book contains explicit scenes, action, mystery, hurt/comfort, geeks in love, supernatural secrets, a brave historian and a lovelorn private detective, plus a guaranteed HEA. It is loosely connected to my Fox Hollow series. 

The Review

This is one the novellas in the multi-author series The Magic Emporium. There are two main characters, Austin and Jamie, and the point of view alternates between the two throughout the story. Austin is a private investigator. Austin rolls into town to investigate the Havenwood Psychiatric Hospital’s past. His grandmother has asked if he could find out what happened to her older brother who was put in Havenwood when she was very young.

Jamie is a historian working for the Saranac Lake Historical Association in a temporary posting. He offers to help Austin after he turns up at Jamie’s place of work. They both feel an attraction but they are wary having both been hurt in the past. The attraction proves to strong to be ignored and they slowly fall for each other, in spite of the their reservations. As well as the hurt they have experienced they both have a secret they keep to themselves. They both are special. Austin has visions of things to come and Jamie sees ghosts. They are woried about revealing these abiltities to each other while they are still getting to know each other. 

The story has some very dark elements, as the history of Havenwood is uncovered. Austin was aware that patients went missing from the hospital and a number of families would like to know what happened to their relatives in the period from the sixties to the eighties. As they delve into the past they come to the attention of the ex-employees of the hospital. There are buried secrets the ex-employees will stop at nothing to ensure remain buried.

The writing is excellent. The darkness and the danger are well described and the growing affection between the two main characters is sweet. The matter of fact way the love making is described is both restrained and glorious. It begins with a kiss and slowly expands over the days to the final flowering at the end. 

I was left wanting more, in a good way! There are a number of subsidiary characters who have their own stories to follow up, and I shall be doing just that!

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 


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