LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
About The Book
Witch’s corpse. Witch’s ticket. Witch’s party.
As a counter-boy at a high-end men’s boutique, Charlie Jessup’s life consists of little more than work and sleep. That, and enough flirting to help guarantee his commission on sales will pay his rent. So when a twist of fate—and some behavior unbecoming that of a Ganymede employee—leaves him in possession of a dead man’s pass to a mysterious Club 669, Charlie has no desire to waste it.
Every seventeen years, the House of Witches throws a party like no other. It’s invitation-only, and for centuries it has helped ensure peace between the covens. It’s the last place Caspian wants to be, but with the death of Queen Avel, and his own imminent rise to the throne, it’s more important than ever that he attends. The stability of the House depends on it.
In four days a new king will be crowned, but when Charlie unintentionally crashes a gathering of the most secretive of all the Great Houses, he sets in motion a series of events that could disrupt the transition of power, and threaten the future of the House of Witches forever.
Charlie Jessup is an orphan as a result of the ‘conflict,’ which seems to have been something apocalyptic in that the ‘north’ has been devastated. He works in ‘Ganymede’, a fairly exclusive men’s clothing shop, along with Adam. They both run the shop under the supervision of an area manager, who happens to be a cat shifter.
The world this exists in has humans, werewolves and other shifters, vampires and witches all working alongside each other. We do not get to know much more than that, as it is not relevant to this story.
Charlie and Adam work long hours with barely time to eat, but with access to good clothes, to show the clothes off. The clientele are wealthy and frequently turned on by Charlie and Adam, as they both are young and beautiful but out of bounds. At least they look beautiful, as it is part of the facade of Ganymede.
Once the makeup comes off, they are just handsome. Yeah, gorgeously handsome, hah! What they are is two really hard working guys who get on well together but they are both aware they’re only as good as their looks, as far as the shop is concerned.
The blurb is somewhat misleading, as Charlie has no idea what Club 669 is about or where it will take place. He only makes use of the pass because the address appears on it a few hours before the event is due to open. The cover image also seems misleading – unless it is part of an advertising poster for the event, as it is probably representing what a participant at the Club 669 event looks like at the end of the night, and that has little to do with the story.
The story is a good one, even if it leaves many unanswered questions. As it is all in first person, we only get know what Charlie knows, sees or is told. I wanted to know Caspian’s side of the story as well, or at least have Charlie tell him about the dead witch and how he came by the pass.
I have the feeling that Charlie is being played by someone who needs to get him into the Club so he can be grabbed, and the dead witch is some poor soul / collateral damage used to get the pass to him. The dead witch is in an alley, just where Charlie will come across it, and the the pass is still in the dead witch’s pocket, even though his pockets have already being riffled and his shoes stolen. Coincidence?
There are no coincidences here – it is all choreographed by whoever it is wants to influence the outcome of the transference of power within the House of Witches. A real cock-up, as it throws Charlie into the path of Caspian.
The two connect and put a sequence of events into play that could cause a clan war. The treatment of their interaction is charming and, thankfully, not too explicit.
Club 669 is an enjoyable story that is complete in itself and can be enjoyed on its own. It left me with a lot of questions and needs to be continued – I might just have to grab the next in the series when it comes out!.
Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on.