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.
This is my first book by Aidee Laidner and I was pleasantly surprised. The prose was tight and the character’s plight engaging, and just a tad frightening because the Weaver was defiantly scary. I had to keep telling myself that I would get an HEA/HFN, just keep reading whenever she came on page.
Cory was trying so hard to hold on to what remained of his fractured family and with every passing year, he was more depressed and miserable. Both him and Poe kept saying, “it’s what our parents would want” but it obviously wasn’t working. Cory was denying himself any sort of happiness and I kept waiting for the explanation why once I realized Poe wasn’t a child but nineteen years old. I could understand why he kept pushing Sanderson away if Poe had been much younger.
I wasn’t sure if I could connect with Sanderson because he was a circus performer. Even a child I wasn’t interested in Big Top performances but when I got to see him put on the act and how he was such a different person to Cory’s eyes, giving an almost mystical feel to the surroundings I was hooked. He was suddenly a character with two faces/personalities and more depth. I eagerly wanted to know more about him.
Like I said, the Weaver was creepy. I would be one who avoided her at all cost and wanted to thump Sanderson for thinking she had his best interest at heart. She was sinister and the flashes of… a predator and possibility a thing of evil the author gave of her was awesome.
Between Cory and Sanderson there is a bit of back and forth where they tell themselves, “No, I’m not going to do…” and then the next paragraph they do the opposite. It was frustrating sometimes but in a couple of cases was understandable, especially when they were pushed by outside forces. There are touching family moments even though I wanted to thump Poe for how she treated Cory. Sanderson made a couple of bad decisions but he tried to rectify them. The last quarter of the book was a fast paced page turner that kept me on my toes.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. The writing was tight, giving the story a mystical feel, especially when they entered the market. Cory had my heart from the beginning. The foreshadowing around the Weaver made my skin crawl. Definitely a book that I would recommend to friends.