Title: Brush with Catastrophe (The Aloysius Tales #2)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 14th Apr, 2017
Genre(s): Supernatural, Best Friends to lovers
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
An Aloysius Tale
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
‘Brush with Catastrophe’ is the second book in the ‘Aloysius’ series by Tara Lain. Besides the witches, this time another surprise supernatural being is introduced here which was quite nice and added to the thrill of the whole ‘supernatural’ feel of the story.
In this instalment, we get the story of Sammy and Alvish aka Ryder. Sammy has learned recently that he is a witch but whereas his other witchy friends have impressive witchy powers, he has none. The only power which he seems to possess is the ability to predict insignificant future happenings through his paintings. Besides his not too impressive powers, Sam is also severely disappointed in the lack of progress or development in his love life. He has been crushing on his friend, Alvish for years but the guy is straight and Sammy is totally out of luck.
But then a new European witch, Lucien Eshel joins Sam’s school. Lucien is beyond beautiful with his angelic face and ethereal beauty, turning heads wherever he goes. And then the most unexpected thing happens when Lucien shows romantic interests in Sam. Sammy is equally delighted and scared. Lucien is more than Sam could have ever hoped for in a boyfriend, but his lingering feelings for Ryder and a sense of foreboding keeps him from falling in Lucien’ spell completely.
Lucien is hiding a shocking secret. There is evil lurking behind his angelic face and Sam is his target. Will Sammy be able to realize his true powers and save his community from Lucien? Will he be able to finally find love? Read to find out!!
The story was exciting and kept me hooked with the whole mystery behind Ryder and Lucien. I knew that there was something major going on with both of them but it was not revealed completely until the supernaturally charged climax. The last fight sequence felt like the climax from the movie ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ with balls of energy being thrown around willy nilly.
I loved Sammy. He was a total sweetheart. He always thought himself as a useless witch but it turns out that he was the most powerful witch of all. His yearning for love lands him in trouble but he fights it off with the help of Ryder while also rising to the occasion spectacularly when his fellow witches needed him the most.
Ryder and Sammy’s relationship transitions from friends to lovers quite late in the story but when it does, the sizzle factor just exploded. The smut here was intense and scorching and I totally loved itwink
I know that the author wanted to make the reveal about Ryder at the very end but Sammy not asking questions about Ryder’s rapidly changing appearance and his need to go back home soon did not feel plausible. Sammy knew Ryder was most likely not a human (I mean I am a mere human, but even I knew!!) but he still does not totally come out and ask him about the real reasons behind it, which kind of felt weird. So this was my one qualm about the whole book.
Killian and Blaine make frequent appearances here which were also very nice. Aloysius once again purred his way into my heart in this story. The powerful familiar was as temperamental as ever as he guides Sammy towards his true self and love.
So overall, I did enjoy reading this supernatural friends–to- lovers story a lot. If you want a light supernatural romance with lots of passion and magic, then this is the book for you.