|This is the second book of The Aloysius Tales Series by Tara Lain. In the first story, Spell Cat, we meet Killian and Blaine who are both professors at a local university. Killian teaches a history class pretty much about witches and this leads us to a group of students who discover they are witches as well.
Our story begins with one of four friends, Sammy, returning from a date. Everyone at their University knows the four (Sammy, Jimmy, Chen and Alvish) are best friends…and his date asks the question no one ever wants from a date, you know the 'uh do you know...' If that isn't a buzz kill then I don't know what one is. Of course, Sammy is a sweet guy and nicely lets his male date know that the person he was asking about is into girls. Sammy goes up to his apartment and just goes to bed. Apparently, our boy Sammy is not only a witch but he is unclear what his talent actually is. He sometimes finds himself on the floor in his painting area looking up at whatever he ended up painting during the night. Sammy pretty much feels bad about himself and his talents but heads to school after his stop for coffee with Chen and tells him about what he painted. He turns to see the subject walking towards him. It's his friend Alvish who wants to go by the name Ryder now.
Ryder, even though he's in his twenties, has gone through a growth spurt and is now a tall and even more handsome man than before. Sammy has always had a crush on him, but everyone thought he liked girls since he was always making comments about the size of women's breasts. Sammy, Chen and Ryder are all in the history class taught by Killian and at the end of class Sammy seems to have been adopted by Killian's familiar, Aloysius (black cat, see cover). That night Sammy ends up having another dream, only this time it isn't Ryder he paints, but a man who looks like an angel. The next day we meet Lucien Eshel from Europe. Eshel has kind of a generic European accent which can't be pinned to any specific country. He is very popular with the young witches group, everyone likes him and he actually wants to be with Sammy!
You know, I am a huge fan of Ms. Lain's work and usually have to read straight through, but not with this one. I had to put it down for a little while because I was so engrossed, I began to be a little creeped out by Eshel and by what was happening with Ryder. Mostly Eshel. No, I will not be telling you why for either of them and ruin the story for you. All I can tell you is, to quote William Shakespeare, by chapter three I realized ‘Something is rotten in the State of Denmark'. I did make sure to finish the story during the day and WOW! As is typical of Tara Lain, this is a good story, and Aloysius just rocks!
Reviewer: Teresa T.