Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: Ironbound Kisses
Author: Jessica Walsh
Genre: MM Fantasy
Length: 102 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 29, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Don’t talk to him. For all intents and purposes, he doesn’t exist.
Thomas knows the rules when he takes a job with the circus, but he can’t stop thinking about the strange young man hidden away in the manager’s trailer. After a chance meeting with Isle, Thomas is even more intrigued, despite Isle’s warnings. As his obsession with Isle grows, Thomas vows to solve the mystery surrounding him and rescue him from his prison. But nothing is what it seems—especially not Isle—and Thomas is left unable to trust his own mind. Amidst the sparkles and illusions of the big top, Thomas can’t tell whether the spell he’s falling under is love… or something very different. He just knows he has to have Isle, and he’ll do things he never imagined himself capable of to get him.
Review: I need to admit one thing – I am a book peeker. Yes, I am. I like to read the last few pages. I’m exactly like Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally in terms that I need to know how the story ends (what if I die before I finish a book and I don’t know how it ends?!? I will be haunting the world forever!!). But sometimes, when a story is really good, that it is able to build up the intrigue and mystery, I will be able to stop myself from checking for answers.
This is one of them.
There is always something magical and mysterious about the circus – one of the reasons why I requested for this book when I first read the blurb – and I thought Walsh did a really good job in luring me in as a reader. Written in third person solely from Thomas’ perspective, I was as curious as Thomas about the strange young man inside the manager’s trailer. I found myself guessing – was he the manager’s child, was he the manager’s lover, was he being abused inside that trailer, was it some sort of D/s situation – my mind went all over the place, for sure!
I don’t want to spoil the answer for everyone – although those who have read enough fantasy stories might draw their own conclusion from the title and the tags at the publisher’s website. I certainly did, and I thought it fit very well with the rather bewitching nature of the circus. Walsh has also written the circus acts very well, especially the knife-throwing act.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t 100% certain of the romance between Thomas and Isle. I guess it was the disadvantage of the story’s ‘magical’ territory. I would have loved to read more of the relationship building part when Thomas finally got his answers about Isle, and I didn’t feel like I got that.
However, my uncertainty about the romance aside, overall, I thought this had an alluring aspect to it. I have read this genre for years now, my read-number has gone past three thousand (in addition to slash fan-fiction), so in order for a story to be memorable, it has to have a stand-out element. This one definitely does. It had an enigma to solve with suspenseful and thrilling situations. I am sure in the future when someone asks me about it, I will still remember the circus and the twist in Isle’s identity.
This is my first experience with Jessica Walsh’s writing. I look forward to another story by her in the future.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*