The Moonlight Market
by Aidee Ladnier
GENRE: LGBTTQ, Fantasy & Paranormal, New Adult
College senior Cory Long tracked his missing sister to the magical Moonlight Market to bring her home. Instead, he found a disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights and sounds, and one very familiar showman, Sanderson Beets. Like a drowning man, he latched onto Sanderson, trusting him to navigate the twists and turns of the Market as unerringly as he had steered Cory to passion in their furtive trysts on campus.
But Sanderson was tired of being the quickie in the alley.
Sanderson Beets had escaped the Moonlight Market to attend college, hoping to settle into a normal life, maybe meet someone and fall in love. To obtain that new life he made a dangerous bargain. And when the sinister woman known as the Weaver of Dreams is involved, second chances always come with strings attached…and sacrifices. Sanderson’s debt has come due, and the only payment he has to offer is Cory, and their chance at a relationship.
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This was a refreshingly non-stereotypical mm fantasy romance, though I’d say New Adult didn’t really fit the bill, it was more adult really. The plot did mirror some other paranormal fantasies I’d read but I still found this particular tale to be original and well-paced. The two main characters drive the story, so there isn’t as much world-building as I would have liked but what we did get was marvelous. Very reminiscent of a certain London Below if you know what I mean. I’m a huge fan of all things magical and mythical so this was a lot of fun and I’d be interested in reading more from this author.
He almost ignored it.
Tiny bells tinkled nearby.
They sounded closer.
His skin tightened with goose bumps.
Niari glided into the pool of light cast by the lantern hanging on the back of the tent. Her long, inky dress brushed the bells on her ankles and pulled the shadows forward with her.
“Your debt is coming due.” Her trilling, accented voice floated over the noise from the fairway beyond. In front of the tent children giggled and laughed, the calliope blared out its joyous concert, and the lanterns burned away the darkness. But Sanderson stood in the shadows behind…with her.
Sweat coated his palm, and it slipped from the curtain. He swiped at the bead of perspiration on his upper lip, the pit of his stomach icing into a lump.
“I found someone.” He blurted out the words. “A lost soul. Someone who’s lost something.”
Panic bloomed in Sanderson’s chest. Was he actually going to offer Cory to the Weaver? Cory who just wanted to find his missing sister. Cory of the soft hair, bitable nipples, and beautiful, slim c—. Who made Sanderson feel normal. Like a regular guy.
“Good.” Her smile widened, filled with too many tiny teeth that gleamed bright in the lantern light. “Are they tasty and ripe?”
“Madame?” Sanderson’s gut twisted at the hard glitter in her eyes. A chill crept down his spine. She looked…hungry.
He blinked. Niari stood before him, still and silent, waiting, just a woman again. The malevolent flash must have been a trick of the dim light. He shrugged off the unease and shook the numbness from his fingers.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites: