Review: Dead Man’s Deal by Jocelynn Drake

Posted 26 November, 2013 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Reviews / 6 Comments

Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake
Series: The Asylum Tales #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Harper Voyager on May 7, 2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 384
Source: Purchased
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In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart's desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price. . .

Gage learned that lesson long ago, in ways he'd rather not remember. But the cruel and powerful wizards in the dreaded Ivory Towers he escaped aren't about to let him forget. Though Gage has managed to stay out of sight, he can't outrun the past forever.

The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters-entire cities-get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him. . .

Gage stole my heart! Another fabulous installment to The Asylum Tales!

Fairies, trolls, elves, vampires and werewolves are just a few of the residents of Low Town, where warlock Gage Powell owns his tattoo parlor, Asylum. Unable to use his magic for anything other than self defense, he tries his best to live under the magical radar and earn a decent living tattooing alongside his friend Bronx and elven girlfriend Trixie, but his troubled past always finds a way back to his front door. His latest trouble comes in the form of Reave, a dangerous mob boss and dark elf who knows his secret and is now blackmailing Gage and his friend Bronx, enlisting their services in exchange for his silence. Reave’s plans to take on the witches and warlocks of the Ivory Towers is soon unveiled, putting Gage in the middle of a magical war that puts him face to face with the demons of his past and with some unlikely alliances.

“In sleep, there were no memories to haunt you and no doubts to chase you.”

An alpha hero in a story is always great, but an imperfect anti-hero is sometimes even better! Gage doesn’t fit the mold of your typical male protagonist and that’s one of his best qualities. He’s never trying to be the hero, just wants to do the right thing and his rogue status gives him a bad-boy edge that makes his character easy to root for. His time spent training in the Ivory Towers has taught him to keep others at a distance, but Gage has managed to keep a circle of close friends despite his loner tendencies.

“The League of Men was going to come and confiscate my balls at this rate. But it didn’t matter. Trixie was worth it.”

Just when you think things are looking up for Gage all hell breaks loose for him in Dead Man’s Deal. He must find a way to stop Reave from fulfilling his plan to reveal the Ivory Towers secrets, help save Bronx’s life and rescue Trixie from her destiny with the elven Summer Court, all while avoiding the witches and warlocks who want him dead! Gage has a lot to deal with in this second installment and we get to see more emotion from his character as well as a look into his childhood and family. I love his moments of vulnerability and strength, especially when it comes to his girlfriend Trixie. I always enjoy a dash of romance in my books and although this is an urban fantasy, the author does a phenomenal job of incorporating a bit of smexiness without diverting from the plot. Just when I think he can’t get any sexier, Gage surprises me with a baby in his arms, I won’t say any more but needless to say he was swoon-worthy at that moment!

“Gaia led the way out of the nursery, but I paused at the crib and looked down at the sleeping baby, trying to memorize the feel of the little soul that, somehow, I knew would one day be my son.”

Dead Man’s Deal delivers another exciting look into the dark world Ms. Drake has created in the Asylum Tales! There’s never a dull moment and the constant threat of danger keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters you’ve come to love are back with more secrets, intriguing back stories and charming personalities. While some may not label him an alpha, Gage is definitely worthy of the hero title. Jocelynn Drake weaves a gritty tale of fast-paced suspense with magical characters, fantastic world-building and a stand-up hero that will make any fantasy lover an instant fan!


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