The Word Nerd Reviews
Stone Wings (The Gargoyles of Arrington #1) ~ Jenn Burke
What an amazing start to a new series!
Although I have a few of Jenn Burke's novels in my TBR, this is the first book that I've read. All I can say is that it was a great introduction!
His curse can only be lifted with true love, but can true love come from a fake date?
Being the personal assistant to a trio of cursed gargoyle brothers who sleep for a hundred years and wake up for twenty-five wasn't a career proposed by Josh's high school guidance counselor, but it's a job that he’s eminently suited for. Not to mention a job his family has been doing for generations. The brothers are truly excellent bosses, but Josh is surprised when Drew offers to pretend to be his date for his high school reunion. And even more surprised by a supposedly fake kiss that feels as real as a kiss can get.
Drew and his brothers owe Josh and his family for watching over them each time they turn to stone for a hundred years, and for helping them reintegrate into the world when they wake up. The least he can do is pose as Josh's boyfriend for a night. Even though true love can break his curse, he knows he won't find it with Josh. Nothing that real can come from a lie. Or can it?
When the fake boyfriend situation stretches into two nights, and then more, Josh and Drew can’t fight the attraction blazing between them. There's no harm in exploring it, right? No expectations. But when paranormal danger comes to Arrington, Josh and Drew are going to have to battle for every moment of peace…and maybe a real happily ever after too.
I've always been fascinated by gargoyles in a historical context, but the number of fiction stories that have them as main characters are relatively few, and those that do it well... those numbers are in the very low double digits (and that's being generous!).
I can honestly say that I was hooked in the first chapter, and in next to no time, I was 110% invested in the brothers finding their true loves. This story will take you through the full range of emotions, but there is a lot of humour, a good dose of action and mystery, and just general good found family vibes that break up the more emotional moments, so the story is never heavy.
I really clicked with this author's writing style. The book is written from the points of view (POV) of the main characters: Josh and Drew, with seamless transitions between each change of focus. The story also continues to move forward through these transitions. Sometimes, with a change of POV there will be a slight backtrack, and the new character will describe an event that has already happened through their eyes. Not so here; each transition moves the story forward. We may remain in the same scene, with a change of focus, but the story still progresses.
Jenn Burke can undoubtedly write characters you want to see succeed (or fail, as the case may be). Love them or hate them, each character makes you feel something, and that alone brings them to life on the page. The dialogue was sharp, witty, and sometimes snarky, but you could always feel the love between the brothers and their guardian family. One thing I enjoyed was that the brothers sometimes have difficulty with modern terminology and technology. This was natural, and often added a bit of humour to the story.
Stone Wings was a perfect introduction for all the main players, good and bad, in this series. It sets the overall story arc to progress over the following two books and provides a delicious romance for Drew and Josh. Although Drew and Josh's romance is pretty much complete in this story (although I suspect it will also progress in future books), the overall story goes on, and the last chapter sets up the second book, which will be Rian's story. This final chapter from Rian's POV, whet my appetite for the next book; it can't come soon enough for me!
I highly, highly recommend Stone Wings!!
Stone Wings is available as an ebook