Mainly by Moonlight - Josh Lanyon

I have to admit, I skimmed the last third or so of this book because I wanted to see if various things in the plot got resolved, only to discover that they didn't (though apparently one of them is a major plot point in book 2).

 

This is one of those books which could have been so much better if a couple of things had been resolved, or at least the main character actually thought through the consequences of their actions. There's just too much going on and too many characters who are quirky in different ways rather than having actual human characteristics. 

 

Anyway, on to Mainly by Moonlight itself. The basic premise is that our protagonist, an antiques dealer who also happens to have magical powers, runs across a hunky guy while they're both wanting to buy a weird bed at auction and doesn't really think much of it. Later on, he discovers said hunky guy has been trying to track him down, they date and suddenly they're getting married. 

 

Between that decision and the actual wedding, he discovers that his husband-to-be has been bewitched into believing it's true love. Before he finds this out, he's also accused of murder as he's found by the police standing over the body of a man he'd previously argued with. So far so good, complete with quirky meet-cute and ethical dilemma, alongside a practical problem to solve (together or apart), as his impending spouse is the district attorney. 

 

And that's where for me it all goes awry. First off, they are getting married after only knowing each other for 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks. And apparently managed to organise buying a new place, getting some renovations done on it and also a pair of wedding ceremonies in that time. Forgive me if that alone is stretching the bounds of credulity. However, more work's been done by the author on the wedding details than on giving hubbie-to-be an actual personality, which means he comes across as a bid of a tree stump and I never quite get a sense of why this is a relationship I'm supposed to care about. 

 

None of that would have been insurmountable, however, compared to the fact that after discovering that there's coercion involved (because putting magic on someone to make them believe they've found The One is just that), not only do they continue with the wedding, they also have sex together while he waits to see if the spell is just going to wear off. Dude, that's just not okay. And our protagonist doesn't seem to see the implications of the fact they've already had sex in these circumstances, not to mention that he doesn't seem particularly angry at his friend for putting him in this situation. Friends who don't mind making you complicit in sexual assault, what can you do?

 

I was given a copy of this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.