Title: Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Genre: Historical, Paranormal/Supernatural, Thriller
Length: 300 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Hell has a new master
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.
When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.
Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.
Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.
Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor is a dark historical thriller with slight paranormal elements.
Magnus Blackwell and Jacob O’Connor’s friendship begins when they are both architectural students at Harvard. Magnus, who is from a wealthy family, is a little jaded, spoiled and quite popular with both his classmates and the ladies. Jacob is an orphan who is attending Harvard on scholarship and feels out of place amongst his fellow students. Magnus is a bit broody and angry with a sense of entitlement that seems to be an all common trait in his privileged world. Jacob is much more kind-hearted than Magnus and he finds it easy to forgive his friend’s boorish behavior.
Despite the two men’s differences, their friendship flourishes until Magnus sets his sights on Frances McGee. Trouble ensues when Frances rejects Blackwell and later marries Jacob. Overrun with jealousy, Magnus goes on vacation in New Orleans where Oscar Wilde introduces him to Madame Simone Glapion, a brothel proprietress and voodoo high priestess. Glapion quickly senses the evil lurking inside Blackwell and their acquaintance culminates with a stunning altercation that sets Magnus on an increasingly dark and twisted path.
While Blackwell is sinking deeper and deeper into depravity, Jacob and Frances begin married life together. Although deliriously happy, their life is marred by financial struggles as Jacob tries to secure a well paying job as an architect. So when Magnus returns from New Orleans and offers him a job renovating his family home, Jacob quickly accepts the position. He and Frances live on Blackwell’s estate where Magnus proves to be a difficult client to please. Frances grows increasingly uneasy with their situation but with few employment prospects on the horizon, Jacob ignores his reservations while trying to reassure his wife all is well. Unbeknownst to Jacob and Frances, Blackwell’s bitterness and jealousy over losing Frances to Jacob is about to spill over in a shocking act that will have unintended consequences for both men.
Featuring a storyline that is rife with elements of jealousy, vengeance and revenge, Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor is an intriguing story with several unexpected twists and turns. The sweet romance between Frances and Jacob is a stark contrast to Blackwell’s sexually explicit exploits with prostitutes and servants. The novel’s conclusion is quite dramatic and completely unexpected. A fast-paced historical novel with a supernatural twist that fans of the genre will enjoy.