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REVIEW: Manchester Lake – Joshua Ian

Manchester Lake - Joshua Ian - Darkly Enchanted Romance

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

England, 1910

Monty, along with his best friend Bishop, investigates an odd seal-like creature swimming in Manchester Lake. The pair soon realize they’ve found a selkie when the magnificent animal transforms into the most gorgeous man either of them has ever seen.

Determined to discover the origins of the mystical man, they bundle him into Bishop’s brand-new electric automobile and whisk him off to London. There they find a host of distractions: a tastefully debauched house party hosted by silver-tongued aristocrats, and a queerly European-inspired novelty called the night club.

Both are filled with a cast of characters sometimes amusing and sometimes frightening. And as the night unfolds, Monty comes face-to-face with ghoulish agents of the occult as well as revelations from the past.Most surprisingly of all, Monty finds himself falling for the beautiful creature from the lake, who seems equally interested in him.

Can he really find himself in love with a man he has only just met? Or do they have a deeper connection which goes much further back? And what does it all have to do with the memories of his trip to Paris three years prior?

The mystery of the selkie from Manchester Lake is only the beginning, and before their adventure is finished Monty will see the culmination of long suppressed secrets explode in a firestorm of magic and passion!

The Review

Manchester Lake is a tale from the “Darkly Enchanted Romance” series by Joshua Ian.  The setting alternates between Paris 1906 and 1907 and England 1910. Best friends Montgomery “Monty” Singer and Bishop Brookesbay are traveling companions to romantic places: Italy and Paris, and then home to England. 

Monty is an artist who feels he met the love of his life in Trevor. The world hasn’t changed that much, and for gay men it’s a dangerous time. Trevor had made a decision that leaves Monty heart broken, and Monty then spends his time at the Seine dealing with his sadness. A strange occurrence follows him back to England, where Monty will have a new awakening with the beautiful Selkie named Rodin. It will take him back to years prior.

Bishop is a singer. He has a magnificent voice, but he always wanted more. He falls into a pact with Herr Auflhocker Friedrich. When Bishop realizes what he’s gotten himself into, he seeks out “The Weaver” for help. But Bishop has all the things he needs already, he just never realized it, until it all became frightening and dangerous for him and Monty.

Ian creates another historical romance with that special touch of the supernatural and mythological. It’s a tale love and friendship, at times poetic. Along with the magic and myth, there’s a sense of adventure with Bishop and Monty, ready to face their newfound desires and see where fate takes them.  

There’s a variety of intriguing characters who all play very important roles in this story: Rodin the Selkie, Reggy “Leggy” Canestre, Daniel “The Weaver” of the occult, and the evil Herr Aufhocker Friedrich.

The focus of the story is really on Monty and Rodin, but I would love to see a separate story for Bishop and Leggy. Still, I found the tale very entertaining, and am looking forward to the next “darkly enchanted” story from Joshua Ian.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.


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