Recent Reads: Glittering Eyes and Read by Candlelight

For his week’s recent reads, I’m delighted to share two paranormal series that takes the reader to very different imaginary places.

Firstly, we have two Glittering Eyes stories from K.S. Murphy that I really hope will become an ongoing series (pretty please, Kelly!) Watch with Glittering Eyes, is a charming introduction to the magical pastoral world of witch Travis Greyweaver. A generous and stubborn man, Travis can’t be bothered with the constraints of the Magical Guilds and so is frequently in trouble with the stuffy Grand Council of High Magick. We’re also introduced to Nico, his cute constant companion of several years and a cat familiar as the back story of their relationship unfolds.

I really enjoyed how the intrusion of a malevolent paranormal force trapped in the local inn not only pooled their magical resources but also brought these two close enough to declare their feelings for each other. Their story continues in Trust with Glittering Eyes, when Nico’s hidden past threatens to catch up with him, disturbing the balance of his and Travis’ peaceful life. It’s no wonder that this story was included in JMS Book’s 2022 Top 10 Gay Romance anthology with its flawless world-building and a real sense of emotional connection between Travis and Nico. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

We turn from a cosy world of fantastical magic to all things Gothic in Gillian St. Kevern’s wonderful Read by Candlelight series. Her writing evokes classic mid-Victorian stories with a unique and alternative vision. I was recommended these by the lovely Fiona Glass and I haven’t looked back!

Read by Candlelight and its companion series How to Train Your Werewolf can be dipped into by readers, as each story is complete in itself. However, I was glad I’d read the first story, The Secretary and the Ghost, before the others, as MCs Pip Leighton and Lord Cross have a cameo in each of the books, which added to my ongoing enjoyment of the series.

These Gothic gems have all the recognisable elements of the genre, including spooky manor houses, lurking unearthly menace, dark family secrets and vulnerable heroes. The language is sumptuous and completely in keeping with high-Victorian Gothic while the plots and storylines are fresh and completely engaging. Gillian St. Kevern is still adding to this series, so for those readers like me who are completely hooked, I found the chronological book list on her website invaluable.

With this week’s selections, it’s such a pleasure to enter into the worlds that both writers have created and to want more!