Bell, Book and Scandal
Bedknobs and Broomsticks 3
by Josh Lanyon
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Pub Date 30 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2021
Black Cats. Black Arts. Black. Mail.
Must a witch break one set of vows to keep another?
Cosmo Saville has never been happier. His adored police commissioner husband has finally—mostly— accepted his witchy ways. And in return, Cosmo has promised to stay out of police business. It seems their Happily Ever After has come at last, until Cos discovers John’s sister might be a pawn in a dangerous game of blackmail…
Commissioner Galbraith is relieved the lies and secrets are over and his marriage is back on track. Especially since he has his hands full with a high-profile suicide and rumors of a citywide extortion ring. So when John realizes his own slightly wicked witch is using magic to play sleuth, all his old fears and doubts return to haunt him.
With the commissioner’s badge and family in jeopardy, Cosmo feels he has no choice but to use every power in…his power. Even if that dark decision costs him everything he cares about most.
A Note From the Publisher
The third book in a six-part series.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 30 members
I love this series and always had a lot of fun reading the stories of Cosmo and John.
There's plenty of humour, a well developed world building and quirky and fleshed out characters.
The plot is fast paced, tightly knitted and I kept turning pages as fast as I could because I wanted to know what Cosmo was going to do and what was going to happen.
It's fun series and I think you need the previous books if you want to understand the characters and what is going on. There's some backstory but it can be hard to read this book as a stand alone.
I would be happy to read other stories featuring Cosmo and John, this one is strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
5 Spell Binding Stars ☆☆☆☆☆
I was so excited to get the much anticipated book 3 of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks series. It absolutely did not disappoint. Cosmo and his hubby, Police Commissioner John are still blissfully happy, despite the few hiccups in their new marriage. By hiccups, I mean finding out that Cosmo is a witch, murder, magic and all around mayhem. You know, the usual newlywed stuff. This series is absolutely amazing. Brilliantly written, witty and full of intrigue.
If you haven't read the two previous novels, I strongly suggest you do. Cosmos life is very complicated and it will really help you to enjoy this latest installment. Blackmail mixed with magic can be a very wicked and evil thing indeed and it looks like John and Cos are getting sucked up into the heart of it.
This series has been so much fun. It's like a sexy French version of Bewitched. This book gets a little darker. Uncontrolled spells, blackmail attempts, and death is swirling around poor Cosmo. All he wants is a quiet life with his mortal husband that he adores.
Don't let Cos fool you. He is smart and doesn't back down for what he believes is the greater good. He knows how fragile the coexistence is between the mortal and magical worlds and he wants it preserved. Another fantastic story from Josh and much to my delight the series is going to continue. Happy reading!
Special thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy for my reading pleasure.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Yes, this is a series that is different. It deviates from JLs usual in that the two MCs are not living in blissful harmony. Which of course, her other characters didn't really do either, but they seemed more equal in the relationship, not so with Cos and John. John is very strong minded, firm, unbending, set in his ways, hard, always wants to get what he wants and usually does, almost prejudiced against Cos and what he wants.
It's not easy liking John, as a fellow reader said. He's kind of a jerk and Cos accepts it because he loves John. This time John knows full well who and what Cos is and yet still pushes him to be something he is not, a non magical person. Cos can't help having magic, and he wants to help John with a case, but nope.
Things go crazy when Cos does anyway, and I won't spill the beans about all that happens. The good news is there are more stories coming in the series!!!!!!
I get to see Cos, hopefully, put John in his place. 😁 I do recommend this and you have to read these in order. Just because John isn't a super nice guy and I don't always like him doesn't mean this isn't a good story. I've enjoyed the series more with each book. I can't wait to get the audios!!!
4 stars and I look forward to future re-reads.
Bell, Book, and Scandal by Josh Lanyon is the third installment of the M/M fantasy series Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The character setup leans into the old Bewitched TV show, with a quirky, magic-wielding main character and their serious human spouse who isn't always comfortable with the trouble magic brings into their lives. But John is a strong-willed, politically-focused police commissioner and Cosmo has more going on than just the existence of magic, so even love doesn't mean their lives will be easy.
Magical politics, blackmail, and murder keep dragging both Cosmo and John in different directions. John is struggling with Cosmo's secrets and needs discretion with his high-profile position, but Cosmo has made commitments to more than just John and is constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I'm looking forward to future books, as John learns more about Cosmo's life and responsibilities outside of their relationship, and Cosmo deals with the political machinations that he can't escape. John is cynical and distrusting, while Cosmo's efforts to keep John separate from the magical world mean John doesn't understand many issues that Cosmo is trying to juggle. The relationship is still not a happily ever after, but that helps make the characters more interesting going forward.
Great book. Finished the trilogy beautifully. Really happy the author is going to write more stories. Great characters and a nice happy finish.
Cosmo and his husband, SFPD Police Commissioner John Galbraith, have finally settled into their happy newlywed life. They've maintained an uneasy truce: Cosmo will try not to perform any magic and will stay out of police business. But it's not long before Cosmo finds himself struggling to keep his word, especially when a blackmailer has set their sites on Jinx, John's sister. Cosmo is sure magic is involved but John isn't, and Cosmo can't help but feel the need to do the one thing John asked him not to and run his own magical investigation.
Bell, Book and Scandal is a fast-paced and fun new addition to the Bedknobs and Broomsticks series. I enjoyed watching Cosmo gain greater control of his abilities while fighting for his friends and family. He's come a long way since Mainly By Moonlight, and while he's quick to point out that he's not a detective and solving crime is not his talent, he's definitely more competent. With John at his side, he's also very aware of the lines he shouldn't cross, even if he accidentally finds himself in the center of conspiracy and crime.
I also loved the way John and Cosmo's relationship has developed. They are complete opposites and they put in the effort to make their marriage work, both through compromise and by making time for each other. Their teamwork, inside jokes, and flirting are super sweet, and their chemistry in the bedroom is as passionate as it is tender.
There's a host of side characters, both from Cosmo's magical circles and John's police life, and each one brings something special to the story, even if they're only on the page a few times. The magical systems and world are super interesting, though you may need Google translate for the French spells! I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series!
There is something intriguingly indefinable about the relationship between the staid pragmatic police commissioner John Galbraith and the sauve French speaking (witch) Craft royalty, Cosmo Saville.
Meeting up again with Cosmo and John Galbraith is like reconnecting with old friends .... if one were the pragmatic San Francisco police commissioner and the other was involved in unearthing his sister-in-law's blackmailer, saving his Maman from charges of treason from the high council of Societe du Sortilege and (big breath ...) running from a levitating blind GramMa shedding unfocused magic like a telephone transformer about to blow. Whew ...
Again, there is plenty to admire about this series - the universe Lanyon has created with the uneasy coexistence between mortals and member of the Craft, the underlying murder mystery, and the incredible collection of characters, events, and intertwining relationships that make absolute sense when reading the book .... and are about impossible to summarize in a coherent manner.
At the core of the story is the unlikely love story - and sizzling sexual dynamic - between John and Cosmo and finally, after all the struggles through the series, they are on the same page:
"Hell, yes, it's my job," John said impatiently. "It's my job to protect you. To love, cherish, and protect you. That's what I signed on for."
"But it's my job, too, " I said. "To love, cherish, and protect you. And I hate that I keep doing things that put you in the position of having to go against what you think is right just to keep my secrets safe. You don't even like secrets."
"You think he doesn't have secrets?" Phelon said with sudden poisonous softness.
Ah, right there. That's why I love this series. After three books, Lanyon continues to dole out tempting tidbits about John's nightmares, about Cosmo's terrifying past-life regressions (?), the struggle between elements in the Craft world and so much more ... and it all fits together into this wonderfully created universe. 4.5 stars.
urban-fantasy, m-m-mystery, relationships, relationship-issues, magic, law-enforcement, relatives, rivalry, erotica, LGBTQIA*****
Even though I haven't read the earlier books in series, the worldbuilding and characters are so good that I rarely skipped a beat. The personal relationship is the easiest to grasp, the witchcraft community was a little more involved, but I think that's because of other urban fantasies in my head. Good story except that now I WANT to see what I missed in earlier books!
I requested and received a free temporary ebook from JustJoshin Publishing, Inc. via NetGalley. Thank you!
Such a fun addition to the series! Bell, Book, and Scandal is so much fun to read with a complex witch society, conspiracy, blackmail, and the layered problems of a newly married couple. Josh Lanyon creates a world that is brilliantly woven with magic, society, and balances the structures of two worlds. John is entirely human and a police commissioner so he's firmly in the idea of normal as being no magic and being able to solve problems. Cosmo is a witch so he's aware that anything is possible and has this stretch of belief despite being part of this strict secret society. The witches are tight-lipped about their world and it creates some drama for the various characters such as Cosmo's friend who is dating an ordinary person. Lanyon excels at the complexities of this world with a society within a society that has its own rules, structure, status, and culture. The richness of the writing lends the story beyond the mystery and into an otherworld that makes you want to learn more.
The mystery revolves around scandal and blackmail with a touch of witchcraft thrown into the mix. This furthers the friction between the newlyweds as John insists Cosmo doesn't intervene in police business and Cosmo sees magical involvement everywhere. This doesn't take away from the romantic moments between the two or the growing pains in their relationship. Lanyon uses everything to further the story and to grow the characters together. They have friction and arguments which end with one teleporting out but that doesn't mean they don't have a strong foundation of love. It's easy to fall for them as a couple and it's how well-written their relationship is that makes you so invested in seeing them work out. A highly recommended read!
This third book in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks series works like a charm, going deeply into the relationship between Cosmo and his husband, John, and moving the two men to a different place. What I love about the series, and especially in this book, is Cosmo's authentic Frenchness. He speaks dryly and with wit. Brevity is the soul of wit, as they say, and if John is "grim," Cosmo also has his version of grimness.
In fact, I began to wonder if he trusts anyone — but then, at the end, we see Cosmo back amid his friend group in a highly unexpected, cryptic scene that has not been foreshadowed at all. This leap of faith is also a sign that the author trusts her readership to follow along, to "get it." What we also receive earlier in this novel is an intense, beautiful sex scene followed by an equally intense nightmare on Cosmo's side that pulls the two men apart briefly. What *are* John's secrets? We will find out in the subsequent books. But what I discovered about myself while reading Bell, Book and Scandal is that while I love the closeness between the characters, I also love the distance. In that way it's an ideal book for me, set in the place I've lived for more than thirty years.
Loved it, and was grateful to receive a copy from Netgalley for my honest review.
The further I got in this series, the more it grew on me (even more so with this third installment), so imagine my groans and frantic eye-rolling when, after finishing this book, I realized it was the last one. Trilogy – third book – duh, ParisDude! Luckily, Josh announces at the end that she might be publishing three follow-ups (I virtually hugged her for that all across the Atlantic Ocean and American continent), so I didn’t feel completely like an orphan.
This time, the plot starts with Cosmo getting an anonymous letter containing seemingly compromising photos of his intrepid sister-in-law. Faint traces of magic can also be detected on the envelope, which strikes Cosmo as… weird. For once, having learned from past errors, he immediately informs his beloved husband, no-nonsense rugged and handsome Police Commissioner John Galbraith. He also tries to find out via his illustrious mother who could be behind this blackmail letter; he finds the whole incident really troubling, namely because a vast extortion scheme seems to be hitting San Francisco’s high and mighty at the moment. Then things get even weirder—it wouldn’t be Cosmo (and it wouldn’t be Josh Lanyon “pulling the strings” if I dare say so) if the storyline developed in a different direction. Cosmo of course undertakes some nosing around (even though he promised John he wouldn’t), and of course, that course of action backfires as it always does, leading to the accidental death of a suspect (with loads of witnesses, to complicate things even further). And then, Cosmo’s mother is summoned to Paris to answer for her son’s behavior before the leading witches, and Cosmo is at a loss: what should he do now? Well, he does what I thought he’d do right from the start: the perfectly wrong thing. Which leads him into the greatest danger so far…
I should be mighty cross with Josh Lanyon (if she weren’t such a sweet woman) because she deprived me of my much-needed beauty sleep. Once more, I should add. I opened this latest (and for-now last) installment of the ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ trilogy late one evening, took it up the following evening… and then was so caught in the tangles of the plot and the suspense coming in with a vengeance in the middle of the story that I simply couldn’t put it down. Therefore I went to sleep much too late and had to go to work the next morning in a zombie-like state. But it was really worth it because I loved the story. The characters come through as well fleshed-out and relatable, the story progressed with a relentless pace (hence my binge-reading), I was rewarded with the usual witty dialogs I always cherish in Josh’s books, and the lose bits and pieces were taken up and brought to a satisfying finale with a bang.
Maybe I could say that the final culprit came as a somewhat “deus ex machina”-ish surprise to me, but I confess that I read the first two books quite a while ago, so that might be my fault. Anyway, as much as I normally dislike this writing ploy, I didn’t mind for a second in this book. Probably because the pieces fell finally into place, and I got an overall view of the situation and all the characters involved. The worldbuilding (when one gets magic in a trilogy, I think one can use that word) was excellent throughout the series, and I noted with satisfaction that all the characters were treated to a nice and natural development, even stubborn, antimagic John, who realizes how much he loves his husband and that therefore he needs to accept him necessarily with all his positive as well as negative sides. I find the couple really endearing in this last book, and the ending… I wanted to hug them with joy.
Unconditional recommendation for lovers of well-written suspense with a magical twist. A must for Josh Lanyon fans, it goes without saying.
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