Blackbird in the Reeds (Belen’s Review)

Title: Blackbird in the Reeds (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #1)
Author: Sam Burns
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 4th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Fantasy; Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 188 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Devon Murphy has never believed that there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, but when he’s in an accident on his way to his grandmother’s house and comes face to face with the biggest, baddest wolf he’s ever seen, he’s forced to reconsider.

When his grandmother asks him to look into a string of suspicious accidents, he finds a much bigger mystery to unravel. From his childhood best friend to the too-attractive Deputy Wade Hunter, everyone in Rowan Harbor seems to have something to hide. Devon has to get to the bottom of it all before the accidents turn deadly.

I’m a sucker for a good fantasy story and Blackbird in the Reeds delivers the world-building and character building that I crave without being so immersive it misses the plot.

Told from Devon Murphy’s single, third-person point of view, it follows his adventures after rushing from Minnesota to the coast of Oregon because his grandmother needs him to return home to the eccentric town of Rowan Harbor.

Devon’s more than happy to come to his Gran’s call and to help her, but there’s quite a bit of mystery surrounding the town and its occupants, including Devon and the reason he’s felt like he’s had to keep on constant move his whole life. Some of what Devon’s Gran needs help with seems strange to be asking Devon to look into at first, but we slowly get to know the town’s secret and the part Devon has to play in the whole thing.

There’s so much I want to say, but I really don’t want to give anything away. Blackbird in the Reeds is a nice blend of contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance, and it sets up nicely for what’s to come next without being cliffhanger-ish. (Note: the romance part is more towards the end.)

The Rowan Harbor Cycle series is currently planned to be nine books, and though this first book is more of a stepping stone and introduction to the series, it was engrossing and an easy page-turner. All told, this was a really fun story to read and a great way to end the year on a high note. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

The Rowan Harbor Cycle

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Blackbird in the Reeds (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #1) provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future

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