Book Review – Lucky Town by Morgan Brice

Badlands #1.5
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Pages: 93
Characters: Simon/Vic
POV: 3rd
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Series
Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, Myrtle Beach homicide detective Vic D’Amato, find that the only thing more frightening than murder might be navigating their first holiday season as a couple.

A trip back to Pittsburgh to spend Thanksgiving with Vic’s large, exuberant family means dodging old frenemies and a bitter ex-boyfriend. A cold case comes back to haunt Vic when a murdered woman’s ghost begs Simon for justice. Then a new murder back in Myrtle Beach looks suspiciously familiar, and the dead man’s ghost isn’t playing nice. When Simon gets a vision of the next victim before the crime occurs, he realizes that all the murders are supernaturally linked. Catching the murderer will take his psychic sleuthing skills along with Vic’s street smarts to avert a tragedy. Can they do right by ghosts past, present and yet-to-come without ending up in the crosshairs of a killer for Christmas?

Lucky Town contains sexually explicit material intended for adults 18 and over.

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Although I love all of Morgan Brice’s AKA Gail Z. Martin’s books, this series is one of my favourites, and not just because Badlands—book 1 in the series—was the first one of hers I read, and hooked me in. I love Simon, who is not only is a psychic medium, but a folklorist history nerd, and the way he and Vic complement each other. While these two take down bad guys, Simon also goes out of his way to help people, and make their lives better. He helps people with abilities to embrace them and cope with the not so great side of them, and builds a support network he calls his skeleton crew.

This story has some of that in it when Simon helps a local library deal with a haunted book. I also love the badass side of him. There’s a lovely line in this story when he reminds Vic that he has ghosts to call on who are just waiting to kick his boyfriend’s annoying ex’s ass. And although he and Vic have been together a while now, this story is the first time Vic has seen Simon use magic. I loved his reaction, and his trying to get his head around it—it felt very realistic. I could see the growth in Simon and Vic’s relationship in this, and how far they’ve come since the last story I read. I like how they swap around who leads their lovemaking, depending on the mood and need at the time, and a line that really stuck with me was Simon telling Vic: “when all you see is dark, make this your light.” I

I loved Vic’s family in this, especially the atmosphere when they’re all together, and the obvious love and caring they have towards each other. It is a stark contrast to Simon’s mother who is only interested in appearances, and I thought the author did a great job in showing the difference between the two. The supporting/extended characters in this story—and series—are fabulous. I particularly love Miss Eppie who takes no nonsense, and is someone to be reckoned with. The way she tells Simon off for a decision he’s made is just wonderful.

An added bonus was the appearance of Travis and Brent, who I first ‘met’ and loved in Dark Rivers. I was amused by the way Travis and Simon used spirits/ghosts to check out each other’s credentials, and how their comparing notes about folklore is a geekfest. One of my big loves of the author’s stories is how all her series take place in the same universe, so often characters from one series turn up in another. I’m looking forward to reading Sons of Darkness—the first in Travis and Brent’s series. I also got a kick out of the references to Cassidy and Teag from the Deadly Curiosities series.

There is a lot of story packed into this novella and in many ways it read like a novel. Naturally a Christmas with these guys wouldn’t be complete without the not-so-fluffy Christmas legends, and I loved the way the author incorporated that into the story. The magical showdown is tense, exciting, and edge of your seat stuff. I love the teamwork, and how everyone brings his or her own skill set to the table and contributes to the outcome.

I’d recommend Lucky Town to readers who enjoy urban fantasy with realistic, well-developed characters with heart, stories that take place in a wider universe, and a plot that keeps you turning pages. More please. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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