1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton, magic caster for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, has recovered from injuries obtained while in Shallow Grave, Arizona. Now back in New York City, Gillian makes an arrest on New Year’s Eve that leads to information on a gangster, known only as Tick Tock, who’s perfected utilizing elemental magic ammunition. This report complicates Gillian’s holiday plans, specifically those with infamous outlaw, Gunner the Deadly, who promised they’d ring in 1882 together.
The two men stand on the cusp of a romance that needs to be explored intimately and privately. But when Gillian’s residence is broken into by a magical mechanical man who tries to murder him on behalf of Tick Tock, he and Gunner must immediately investigate the city’s ruthless street gangs before the illegal magic becomes a threat that cannot be contained.
This might be their most wild adventure yet, but criminal undergrounds can’t compare to the dangers of the heart. Gillian must balance his career in law enforcement with his love for a vigilante, or lose both entirely.
Title: The Gangster
Series: Magic & Steam
Book #: 2
Genre: Steampunk, historical, gay romance
Length: 63,000 words (novel)
Publisher: Emporium Press
Release Date: January 12, 2021
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to C.S. Poe‘s books. I never really have been much of a mystery/suspense/thriller kind of reader. I love reading my HEA/HFN’s. However, I make exceptions when it comes to this author’s books. This book, leaves us wanting more, not really an HFN quite yet, although I know she will get us there.
However, what it does have, and what all her books have is so much imagery! This book (and the prelude book 1) take us into an alternate reality of 1881, one of steam punk and personal devices that act similar to cell phones. Where Grand Central Station is still a beautiful building, but only a few years old, and you won’t be going down a few levels to get the subway, but up to catch your ride on an airship. Where a clock is not just a clock, but a killer will always be caught.
We continue to see the connection between Gillian and Gunner the Deadly, and it expands and contracts, ebbs and flows, as Gunner learns more about Gillian, and is willing to be patient until all his secrets are revealed. There’s definitely a bumpy road ahead for these two as we learn more about Gillian’s past.
I’m not going to lie, there is definitely a bit of gruesome details here, and I did have to skim a bit in those parts, because EEK!. That being said, as usual this is another well written book by Poe. She manages to bring a lot of emotion into the two MC’s, even as they are running around trying to catch a killer on what was supposed to be a lovely New Year’s Eve for the two. I love that her imagination knows no bounds as to what to create in an alternate steam punk reality.
I really am looking forward to what is next for these two as they try to connect more, and likely are chased around NYC a bit more. Also, side note…who knew Vaseline has been around for so long? 😉
C.S. Poe is a Lambda Literary and two-time EPIC award finalist, and a FAPA award-winning author of gay mystery, romance, and speculative fiction.
She resides in New York City, but has also called Key West and Ibaraki, Japan, home in the past. She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best to distract her from work on a daily basis.
C.S. is an alumna of the School of Visual Arts.
Her debut novel, The Mystery of Nevermore, was published 2016.
C.S. Poe Media: