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Review: Subterfuge – Rebecca Cohen

Subterfuge - Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

In 1594 the Dark Earldom of Crofton was created by one of the most powerful vampire sires to have walked the Earth. Now, over four hundred years later, Ben Redbourn needs to take his seat at the Vampire Council as the 3rd Dark Earl of Crofton, whether he likes it or not.

Under investigation, Ben has to contend with Senior Warlock Ashley Niven invading his home. But there is more hidden at Crofton Hall than Ashley could have imagined with Ben having a demon valet, an elf secretary, and a werewolf in the archive.

Tempers are raised and sparks fly in all the wrong ways until a spell misfires and the tension shifts in a different, passionate, direction which has Ben and Ashley fighting to ignore their instincts.

Subterfuge is the first in a paranormal gay romance series. Come and experience a darker side of Crofton Hall.

The Review

Benjamin Howes was once an introverted chemistry scholar, with an interest in the occult, which led him to being turned by Charles Redbourn, and eventually baptized Redbourn and part of the House of Hewel. Now, he’s known as Benjamin Redbourn, Dark Viscount of Crofton. The current Dark Earl of Crofton, Charles, is ready for Ben to take his position in the Vampire Council as the 3rd Dark Earl. Charles had taken his Eternal, Timothy Thorne, some two centuries before and now he wants to spend more time with him.

To be sure Ben is worthy, Niall Nivens, Senior Warlock and Head of the Invigilators, has come up with a plan to call a Vedette. The Warlock Ruling Committee can instigate an investigation where there are two members of the same family on the Committee. An anonymous complaint about Ben will also be investigated.  Niall will be sending his son, Sr. Warlock Ashley Niven and his ex-boyfriend, lawyer/investigator, Warlock/Siren Jack Webb to Crofton.  Ashley and Jack will move into House of Crofton, and Ben will be under strict observation.  If Ben, refuses he will not become the next Dark Earl, and the findings of the investigation will weigh heavily against him.

Jack Webb doesn’t treat Ben so badly, but Ashley is a whole different type of pain. He does everything possible to irritate Ben. Ben has to be on his toes with Ashley, as they both try to outsmart and out-snark each other, and he can’t let Ashley discover all the secrets he’s hiding. The one thing Ben wants is more time to complete his secret project, but more time with Ashley Niven is a dangerous thing. Sparks will fly!  

There’s also a mystery surrounding Ben, as he has to worry about the roles his two siblings Caitlan and Harry play. Harry is younger, and many feel he should be the next Dark Earl. Then there are those who want to protect Ben, and conjure up ideas to protect him. Ashley and Ben will also have to figure out who’s trying to kill Jack Webb. Can they save him?

Cohen doesn’t miss a beat as she brings the paranormal world to Crofton with Subterfuge, the first novel of the “Dark Earls” series. it’s like a “who’s who” to the World of Crofton. The author maps out the Houses of the characters – Hewel, Whetford, Marchent, Cartwright and Devereaux – and what positions individuals hold, relations as to who turned/sired who, and what they are in the paranormal world. In this novel, ancestors from the “Earls of Crofton” series will return, and they’re different. There are all kinds of surprises as to who shows up.

There are so many great characters to meet in new roles – vampires, vampire fae, elves, dragon shifters, demons, werewolves, ghosts and more. An excellent read!

I highly recommend this spectacular, epic novel. Even if you’ve never read any of the other books in the Crofton world, this is an excellent read.  There’s lot’s of Crofton history, with individuals popping in and out, an intense love affair, and lots of humor. And the stunning cover of “Subterfuge” by artist Morningstar Ashley certainly tells the story.

I can’t wait for Destiny, the next book in the “Dark Earls” series. 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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