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Dead Man's Deal

(The Asylum Tales #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,245 ratings  ·  143 reviews
The dark and dangerous follow-up that continues the adventures of a magical tattoo artist begun in Angel's Ink

In a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. Looking for a little love? Need some luck? Desperate for revenge? Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town,
Trade Paperback, 371 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Harper Voyager
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Lori Meckes obermark only one book ahead of this and it is the one that sets a lot of things up. So I would say, "yes" you should read the other book (Angel's Ink?) first.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,245 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Kim Harrison
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ha, ha! I got to read it already! One of the perks for having the same editor as Jocelynn. :-)
Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
4.5 stars

Originally reviewed on Romancing the Dark Side:

Gage stole my heart! Another fabulous installment to The Asylum Tales!

Fairies, trolls, elves, vampires and werewolves are just a few of the residents of Low Town, where warlock Gage Powell owns his tattoo parlor, Asylum. Unable to use his magic for anything other than self defense, he tries his best to live under the magical radar and earn a decent living tattooing alongside his friend Bronx and elven girlfriend Trixie, but his troubled
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at The Book Nympho 

magic howling_good cantstop
First Thought:
Still loving this world!

The Set Up:
Gage was outted to his friends as a warlock in Angel's Ink and now not only is Gage in danger of the White Tower but so is his friends and family.

Reaver, the dark fae mobster in Low Town is blackmailing Gage with the threat of doing harm to Bronx so that he has to work for him. So not only does Gage have to worry about the witches and warlocks he has the glorified thug on his back too.

Then there's Trixie's pa

We first met Gage, a wizard in hiding turned tattoo artist, in Drake's prequels (The Asylum Interviews: Bronx & The Asylum Interviews: Trixie). In those shorts, we meet his fellow artists, Trixie (elf) and Bronx (troll). In the first full-length novel of the series, Angel's Ink, Gage tattoos angel wings on a woman dying of cancer. Not long after he learned the dire consequences of his decision to add a little extra something to the ink.

Now, in Dead Man's Deal, Gage is faced with figuring out ho
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At an early age, Gage was found to possess magic and was thrust into the world of the Ivory Towers, the ruling class of witches and wizards. Discovering quickly that it was a kill or be killed world, Gage left the Towers at age 15, giving up his right to use magic. Living every day in a mortal world, Gage makes his way as a tattoo artist. But someone is threatening the secrets of the Ivory Towers and the council has declared war especially targeting Gage. Now he must balance on a razor edge and ...more
Jen Davis
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked Angel's Ink, as well as the two novellas published so far in this series. But I'll tell you, this story is where the series really hits its stride. Maybe it's because we've gotten past all the introductions and establishing the characters. But more than that, it features a fast moving plot and unpredictable course of events. With great world building and a fantastic sympathetic hero, it's a book I didn't want to put down.

As the story begins, Gage is being forced to work for Reave, the Da
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the first book in this series but I didn't love it. For some reason I never connected with Gage and that made it a little hard to really fall in love with it. But, I did like the plot and the writing and the fact that it was in Gage's POV. Especially since that is pretty rare in the Urban Fantasy genre right now.

So I was a little hesitant going into this one because I really did want to fall in love with it. I really did want to like Gage more.

Thankfully, this second installment blew me
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

I had hoped to get my hands on a copy of Angel's Ink before reading this, the next book in Drake's Asylum Tales series but I didn't quite manage it. Thankfully Dead Man's Deal worked surprisingly well as a stand alone and I gratefully escaped into a world of magic, monsters and mayhem.

Dead Man's Deal features Gage Powell, a wizard who turned his back on his training in order to escape the horrifying politics of his fellow magic wielders in the Ivory Towers. He makes his living as a tattoo artist
Mary Roya
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved the latest story from Jocelynn Drake, "Dead Man's Deal", The Asylum Tales. As usual I became involved with the characters. Gage, our hero, Trixie the hiding Elf and Bronx the troll all become family. Even in real life sometimes friends that are not blood become closer than real family. I find that element intriguing in this story.

I like how the hated Guardian Gideon becomes an almost friend. Enjoyed the emotion of Gage meeting up with his family.

This story is chocked full of
I liked Dead Man's Deal every bit as much as I did the first book. There is still a Dredenesque feel to the series - both star outcast mages who are good guys - but I don't mind that. This time Gage is between a rock and a hard place, having been blackmailed into working for a dark elf mob boss and having the mages of the Towers out for his blood since they think that Gage is giving away their secrets. So Gage manages to win in the no win scenario, but ends up having to make some concessions in ...more
Cindy Heaton
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: swapped
This book was certainly better than the first book. I'm still not feeling the relationship between Gage and Trixie. There was a bit less going on in this book and that was my main gripe about Angel's Ink. I did enjoy Gage more as well since his character wasn't being pulled in a thousand different directions. I hope Bronx has more of a role in the next book. I felt like he and Trixie's character's were after thoughts with this installment.

Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very much worth the read! Even though this book can be a stand alone, please please please!! take the time to read ALL the earlier books. You will not be dissapointed :D
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this! Even though a lot of Gage's problems have been now solved, there's a whole other can of worms waiting for him!
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gage is rogue warlock that runs the local tattoo shop, The Asylum Tattoo. Only allowed to use magic in self-defense, the longer he's away from the Ivory Tower, the looser his definition of self-defense becomes. Gage's tattoos are special and sometimes contain magical ingredients.

Dead Man’s Deal dives headfirst into all things Gage. He escaped the Ivory Tower and the cruel wizards living there. He’s hidden himself in plain sight but eventually his luck will run out. The wizards from the Ivory To
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “A smart man would keep his mouth shut. I wasn’t always a smart man.”

In Low Town, where elves, fairies, trolls, werewolves, vampires and other manners of supernatural life are happily walking among humanity, everything has its price. Gage Powell just wants to run his tattoo parlor and live a quiet fuss free life with his girlfriend, but Gage has learned that the warlocks and witches who command the Ivory Towers are neve
Eric Mesa
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, Ms. jocelynn Drake did something pretty rare among the trilogies I've been reading for the past half decade - she made a second book in the trilogy that doesn't end on a cliffhanger. My memories of books I read when I was younger have this happening more often. But I know I have written many, many reviews on Goodreads where I talk about how hard it is to rate the second book because it's a setup for the third. So it was nice and refreshing to have a second book in a series where if Ms. Drak ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced dark urban fantasy with multiple stories interweaving into one final surprising outcome.

Opening Sentence: They were killing pixies.

The Review:

Gage Powell returns with a whole new set of troubles in Dead Man’s Deal. A dark elf has learned Gage’s secret and has been using him to do his dirty work, even forcing Gage into using his magic which he has been forbidden to use. If Gage uses his magic then his time as a free man is running out
Janet Martin
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I just want a paranormal romance, but Drake delivers much more with this one--lots of action and adventure, moral dilemmas, solid plotting, and fun characters. The romance isn't just an excuse for sex, but a story about love as well as survival as outsiders struggle to live in a world not of their choosing. Really good listen
Kristyn R
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love reading this series, I wish there was another after this. Tattoos, warlocks, elves, hobgoblins, what more could in want?
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The shit Gauge got himself into, pshhh, but he came out of it all shining.
It was a cute and enjoyable little story :]
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great book. Lots of layers, great world building, intriguing characters.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oooh I love this hero. Gage is brilliant and I love the way his character is written - unique voice, interesting plot twists...good stuff.
athiest nunnery
Feb 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, dnf
Really wanted to like this series - good concept but weak bones, and, apparently, no editing allowed. Lots of redundant descriptions, childishly-simple sentence get the drift
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jocelyn's writing in these stories is incredibly cheesy but I don't mind it! The descriptions and emotions are so spot on and riveting that I couldn't stop reading and I felt every emotion!
Dead Man's Deal (The Asylum Tales, #2) by Drake, Jocelynn
The second novel in the Asylum Tales series is better that the first. The story is tighter, the stakes are higher, and the action is more compelling. By the time I finished it I was ready for book 3! Over all a really fun read and well done.
Lot’s of spoilers!

(view spoiler)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of Spoilers*

In the heat of the moment magical tattoo artist and ex-warlock-in-training, Gage, made a mistake and killed his former mentor using magic, meaning that he will have to forfeit a year of his life; a year that will be spent in the underworld with Lilith who already has a piece of his soul. He doesn’t know when that year will be taken, but Gage knows it could happen at any time.

In the meantime, he is trying to live a normal life, but his probl
Laurie Treacy
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
I get jazzed just hearing the name Gage Powell. My favorite rocking tattoo artist/shop owner warlock really expands in Dead Man's Deal. No sophomore slump in Jocelynn Drake's second book of The Asylum Tales series. I just see strength, more creativity, and an urban fantasy series I'm seriously hooked on.

"A smart man would keep his mouth shut. I wasn't always a smart man."
Gage is easy to love. From his wicked sense of humor to skewed way of looking at things to his fierce need to defend what or
Stephanie  G
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Gage is working for a mob like dark elf. Since Gage can’t use magic to get himself out of the elf’s hands, he doesn’t have much of a choice. Gage is told that the elf is going to have someone swing by his tattoo studio to get a kind of protection tattoo. The last person Gage expects to walk through his door is his brother. The surprises don’t end there, the information that his brother is supposed to be harboring is not only dangerous, it could bring the whole world down around their heads. Whil ...more
Jessica (a GREAT read)
I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Dead Man's Deal is the second book in the the new Asylum Tales series by Jocelynn Drake! This one picks up about two months after Angel's Ink and we immediately see Gage and Bronx working a job for Reave, the dark elf mob boss. But Gage is still a good man at heart and cannot stomach helping Reave out in his illicit affairs, so he does his best to muck things up!

The bulk of t
Kristie Elston
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Dark Faerie Tales:

Quick & Dirty: Fast paced dark urban fantasy with multiple stories interweaving into one final surprising outcome.

The Review:

Gage Powell returns with a whole new set of troubles in Dead Man’s Deal. A dark elf has learned Gage’s secret and has been using him to do his dirty work, even forcing Gage into using his magic which he has been forbidden to use. If Gage uses his magic then his time as a free man is running o
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New York Times Bestselling author Jocelynn Drake loves a good story, whether she is reading it or writing one of her own. Over the years, her stories have allowed her to explore space, talk to dragons, dodge bullets with assassins, hang with vampires, and fall in love again and again.

This former Kentucky girl has moved up, down, and across the U.S. with her husband. Recently, they’ve settled near

Other books in the series

The Asylum Tales (3 books)
  • Angel's Ink (The Asylum Tales, #1)
  • Demon's Vengeance: The Complete Final Asylum Tales

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187 likes · 49 comments
“I think I should be in mourning. Many brain cells were lost in the creation of that orgasm."

Trixie chuckled. "I appreciate their sacrifice.”
“I could feel her wipe away something wet, but I refused to think she had made me cry as well as admit that I was a coward. The League of Men was going to come confiscate my balls at this rate. But it didn't matter. Trixie was worth it.” 5 likes
More quotes…