Release Blitz & Book Review – A Summer of Smoke and Sin by TJ Nichols

A big welcome to TJ Nichols as part of their release blitz with Gay Book Promotions for A Summer of Smoke and Sin.

Review

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last. I found this a compelling read and thought the world building was fabulous. I enjoyed the mix of historical with a dash of steampunk/alternate reality and paranormal. I thought the author did a great job in capturing the class hierarchy of the time period, and the social climbing within it.

The set up with Jericho and the succubus was interesting, and almost a symbiotic relationship with each side gaining something although with a very high cost for Jericho. I felt for him not being able to get close to anyone for fear that they become her next victim.

I also felt for Nathanial and his resignation that his father’s net was closing around him. His father is a nasty piece of work, while on the flip side I loved his sister and brother-in-law. I loved Robert too. He’s a good friend, and I’d love to learn more about him and read his story.

All the characters felt very real, with rich back stories, and personality quirks. The world is an interesting one, with its marriage laws and gentleman’s waltz. I liked the inclusion of the scandal sheets as it brought out the social commentary within the story.

The story kept me turning pages, as I got invested in Nathanial and Jericho very quickly and wanted them to get the HEA they deserved, after what life had thrown them so far. The bad guy came across as a real threat, and I loved the ending, and how he is taken down. Very fitting. The twist in regard to Eulalia was nicely done too.

5 out of 5 stars.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: A Summer of Smoke and Sin

Author: TJ Nichols

Cover Artist: Tiferet Designs

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Genre/s: M/M historical urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Trope/s: British detective, serial killer, Victorian London

Themes: Found family

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Blurb

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed nobility task force will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young nobleman in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.

 

Excerpt

“Are you out of your mind?” Jericho paced the dining room floor. He poured himself a brandy and drank it just as fast. He should’ve taken Nathanial to his study, where privacy could be assured, but after the death of Stephan and the way Eulalia had tried to take over last time Nathanial got close, he didn’t trust himself to be alone with Nathanial. “I am not going to some country party.”

He had nothing to wear for a start. His wardrobe was for evening events, not picnics. There would be picnics at some point, he was sure of it.

“It’s not a big thing, just dinner and dancing. A ball.”

That was worse. Polite conversation with puffed up men whose biggest source of pride was how much they’d inherited from their father, and women who knew how to assess a man’s funds and his character with a single glance. “I don’t dance.”

“I don’t believe you.”

Jericho smiled. Few ever said that to him. Most nodded their head and believed any lie he told. “Fine, I can dance.” The man he’d once been a companion to had liked to put on his gramophone and dance when his gout allowed it. He had been most thrilled about the idea of a place where men could associate more freely; he’d loved the club in its earlier incarnation. “But I don’t want to go. My life is here. I have a business to run in case you haven’t noticed.”

Nathanial had stayed well away from the smoking room this time, to Jericho’s relief. He didn’t want Nathanial to surrender what he held onto as dearly as a maid with good marriage prospects. He might be the youngest son, but Nathanial could still marry well.

“One night. We don’t even have to spend the night.” Nathanial held up one finger to reinforce the point. “Your father and step-mother will be there.”

Jericho rocked back onto his heels. He hadn’t seen his father in many years and even then, it had only been in passing. Jericho had been in uniform before leaving for Hong Kong and his father hadn’t recognized him. At the time, it had hurt. What kind of father doesn’t know his own son?

His father wouldn’t know him now. Only once a clever gossip realized there were two Mr. Fulbright’s in the room would his father look in his direction and then there would be a kerfuffle. “That is not a feature the changes my mind to the positive.”

“The killer will probably be there, too.”

Nathanial had lulled him into a polite conversation with an update on the case, so Jericho knew all about the photography club. Half the gentlemen in it had probably taken nude photos of their mistresses for their own viewing pleasure. Not everyone would stoop to buying porno pamphlets.

“You can’t be sure of that.”

“No. But wouldn’t it be grand if he was and we were able to identify him?”

While Jericho would be able to do that in a very short conversation—no one could bury that kind of darkness completely no matter how hard they tried—how did he explain that to Nathanial? And if it was another demon, what then? They both killed, but where Jericho kept it secret, that man made it public as though he reveled in it. Perhaps the demon had full control.

“And without evidence, how do you get a conviction? A scar will not matter in a court.”

“Search his house and estates. If we know who it is, we can close the net around him.”

Jericho had seen too many criminals slip away. Money bought a presumption of innocence. He ran his hand over Nathanial’s hair, then kissed his forehead. “For all that you were raised with the foxes you do not behave like them, so you fail to see them as the predators they are.”

Kiss his mouth, you fool. I can help him. Let me find the man he wants, Eulalia hissed. I can stop the murderer from killing again.

The desire to kiss Nathanial on the lips was part his own and part hers. Jericho pressed his lips together, but that didn’t stop the hunger. Eulalia was right. It would be better for the case if he passed her on, but that would mean corrupting Nathanial and he couldn’t do that. He doubted Nathanial would want a demon, and he’d want Jericho less if he knew about Eulalia and the price of keeping her fed.

 

 

About the Author

Urban Fantasy where the hero always gets his man

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as a child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday. TJ is the author of the Studies in Demonology series and the Mytho urban fantasy series.

With one cat acting as a supervisor, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up

Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

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 https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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