In a dangerous world, Mason Kane knows what it’s like to lose everything.There’s no interview to become a hunter—mercenary drifters who deal with monsters and dark magic the average person can’t handle. Those who have it in their blood show up when the bounty is posted and claim the rewards only when the job is done.
Mason Kane couldn’t imagine any other life for himself…until his last job, one which left him alone and injured beyond natural help. Lost, he moved to the city to drink away his retirement and wallow until his eventual death. That is, until an enigmatic millionaire approaches him with a job offer—someone, somewhere is practicing one of the forbidden arts, devilurgy, and only Mason can stop them. What’s more, the stranger is willing to offer the ultimate reward: a cure.
With the help of a handsome and charming magician, Toma Shigomina, Mason has to learn not only who’s selling the mysterious sigils, but how—and why. But, when it comes to dark magic, nothing is as it seems. Will Mason be able to solve the mystery and keep the people he cares about safe? And what, exactly, are his new employer’s motivations?
Christelle's rating :
The blurb sounded interesting for me and I like to try tropes that are not my usual “go-for-it”, ie MM Romance in a fantasy context with monsters, hunters and magic.
This is a “short story” at least for me as it’s around 100 pages and it’s clearly part of an “on-going” series if the ending of this instalment is of any indication.
So, we have 2 MCs, Mason and Toma. Clearly, Mason used to be a kind of a “bounty hunter” of monsters, a job not very well “appreciated” in this fantasy world. His life goals were to spend some serene time with his partner, both in work and love, but it got badly derailed and left Mason with a profound injury, no job and alone. But then, he has a hook-up with Toma, a teaching magician. The attraction is clear, even more from Toma’s side, so why not use the excuse of a new job that has just been offered to him to see more of Toma. Even if this job might be a dangerous idea with his “new boss” potentially being very unscrupulous, but coming with the possibility of healing his injuries.
There’s a reason fantasy is not my favorite trope : I lack imagination and it often prevents me to fully engaged. So here, even tough the world building hooked me and I liked the writing and the pace, there was a lot that eluded me. That said, it was nonetheless engaging, because when the ending arrived, I wished that I had the rest of the series to keep reading : who is this boss, will Mason figure out what’s going on and will Toma and Mason’s relationship turn into an HEA ?
ARC of “The Demon Design” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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