Lord Mouse, by Mason Thomas
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 out of 5
Scoundrel by nature and master thief by trade, Mouse is the best there is. Sure, his methods may not make him many friends, but he works best alone anyway. And he has never failed a job.
But that could change.
Between the cover and the opening part of the blurb, I was immediately hooked! Fantasy books are often hit-or-miss for me, but Lord Mouse promised action, adventure, an interesting mystery, and a burning hot romance. I literally couldn’t resist!
When a stranger with a hefty bag of gold seduces him to take on a task, Mouse knows he’ll regret it. The job? Free Lord Garron, the son of a powerful duke arrested on trumped up charges in a rival duchy. Mouse doesn’t do rescue missions. He’s no altruistic hero, and something about the job reeks. But he cannot turn his back on that much coin—enough to buy a king’s pardon for the murder charge hanging over his head.
This is a book for people who like rooting for the underdog. While Mouse isn’t without his skills, he’s definitely up against seemingly insurmountable odds, and surrounded by people who either want him dead, want him in prison, or just want him gone. (Of course, the few who want him in bed are the ones who are the most helpful!)
I love romance heroes who don’t fit the mold. Mouse is small and thin, like his name suggests, and a gifted thief. He’s not a good guy, because he’s happy to steal whatever he’s paid to steal, and he won’t hesitate to kill anyone in his way… but he is noble, and that’s more important.
“Swear it!” Garron growled again.
Mouse sighed. “Very well. I swear it. But this severely cuts our chances of success, you realize.”
“If it means never witnessing something as atrocious as this again, so be it. What kind of man are you?”
“One who gets things done. It’s a rough world outside your gilded chambers, Your Lordship.”
This novel does a lot of things really well. Mouse’s character is really excellent, with a detailed back story. He’s not black-and-white, but very much in the gray space between. Garron, though, is very much a good guy, and I like the contrast between him and Mouse as they work together to escape. Garron has morals, and he slowly convinces Mouse that the job isn’t always the most important thing.
Of while Mouse’s internal dialogue, his sneakiness and his wit, are hilarious, it’s the sarcastic banter between him and Garron that made me love their budding relationship:
Garron threw him a look. “You sure know how to win people over.”
“I can be charming,” Mouse retorted. “When need be.” And he wasn’t going to waste his time kowtowing to some entitled snob that he was going to ditch somewhere at the first opportunity.
Garron pressed his lips together in a sardonic snarl. “Warn me when it’s about to happen so I know to keep an eye open for it.”
Overall a really enjoyable novel. The plot was strong, and the mystery intriguing. The action was exactly as promised, and I loved the relationship between Garron and Mouse as they slowly moved from forced companionship to friendship, and eventually to something more.
Really looking forward to future novels from this author!