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The Courtship of Julian St. Albans

(Consulting Magic #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Alexander Benedict is a misanthropic thirtysomething magical consultant, working with the Agency's top homicide detective, and perfectly content with his life, thank you very much.

Julian St. Albans is the youthful heir to his family's fortune and affiancéd to his beloved Cecil Mandeville, a family friend as well as Julian's lover.

When Mandeville is murdered using magical m
Kindle Edition, 361 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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At the end of this review, I will conclude that The Courtship of Julian St. Albans is very much like a puppy. But before that, there's some not-so-cute stuff to discuss...

Occasionally I've read reviews complaining about m/m romances that come across as m/f romances unconvincingly repackaged as m/m. With this book I finally experienced that phenomenon myself. The only male characteristic evident about the love interest here is the letter "n" at the end of the first name, which makes "Julia" into
Len Evans Jr
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
This book turned out to be so much more than I was expecting. Based on the blurb I got that it was a fantasy m/m romance mystery novel. My question was which genre would dominate the story... the answer was that the three were so tightly intertwined that no one took over. Which turned out to be perfection! The author has crafted and amazing story in a world that is fascinating in its similarities and well as its contrast to our own. I loved the magic system where a person created their magic usi ...more
Lilia Ford
This book was an exercise in frustration because it should have been great and the problems were pretty straightforward and would have been easy to fix. There were so many things I really admired about it--to name a few, the totally original and cool paranormal set-up, the fun, juicy idea of the "Courtship," and the overall excellent writing. But the novel was easily twice as long as it should have been, clocking in at more than 11,000 Kindle places, with way too many of those pages bulked out w ...more

This is the enjoyable and long (about 11200 Kindle locations) debut of a self-published author: a lot of work has apparently gone into its making and is evident throughout.
The average rating is due to some problems which do not disrupt the light-hearted enjoyment too much but are quite visible and must be noted.

If I were to define this work, I would describe it as a M/M fantasy romance built around a mystery plot and set in a sort of steampunk alternative contemporary England though none of thes
I hope the author forgives me for my speculations, but I am just sharing my personal impression of the book.

It seems to me the story was started some time ago, like a decade or two. When the author came back to it, tho, she did with gusto and somehow propelled the time period from regency or maybe even early 20th century to 2013 without a single glance back. All that I like had ended with Chapter 12. Chapter 13 welcomed us with a very sudden and very vicious addiction to cell phones, texts, voi
2.5 stars rounded up for effort.

This is a solid offering from a debut author, but could have really, really benefitted from a critical eye.
It's a looong book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there's a lot of unnecessary exposition that adds nothing to the plot or character development. Like the super-detailed description of food and clothes, and all the pointless hanging about drinking tea. And speaking of characters, there's quite a varied cast; but they're pretty much all stereotypes
May 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: patient fluffy fantasy fans

MandyM's review said it all.

The universe is a blend of 19th thru 21st century, with added common use of magic. That, and the fact that homosexuality isn't an issue, reminded me a lot of Megan Derr's fantasy universe (which I adore).

This story is full of descriptions. But most elaborate are descriptions of food, clothing, jewelry, and magic. I enjoyed the ones of magic, and had drooling trouble with the ones of food, and it was charming all around, but after a while it became a bit tiring. Th
Chris, the Dalek King
The driving force for me getting this book when it first came out was, I admit, the fact that it was being offered for free. The cover was neat, in a minimalist kind of way, and the blurb sounded interesting…but I had never read this author before. I tend to be a bit wary of new things, and things that have been untested. And let’s just say that I have been bitten by one too many self-published works in the past to really trust that they are worth the gamble. But it was free….so why why not take ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, mystery, pnr, fantasy

After The Magpie Lord I was in the mood for something similar and that's how I stumbled on this book.
Premise has enough similarities: we have a murder & mayhem, magical consultant and a lord in grave danger. :)

What worked for me:

World building- In this world Crook created, magic is not just usual- it's very present. It's part of everyday life. For example, they have charms against wrinkling for their trousers or restaurants have charms that prevent guest from spilling their coffee- it's like th
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Probably more of a 2.5 rounded up. I really liked the first half of the book. I enjoyed the magic and the plot set up. Reminded me of The Bachelor. I thought is was a cool world and setting and I was quite interested in how things were going to work out for Alex and Julian. It was a world I couldn't quite place in any genre. It almost seemed historical in the way the romance and courtship was done but there were modern things like cars, phones, etc. Then there were the cool steampunk type insect ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love face pace books with lots of twist!
But this book is not fast paced yet I loved it! the author describes the food in details which should have been boring and should have encouraged me to skip the page but I found myself enjoying the experience of taste of different courses and the concept of ’feel’ of magic by the mage is different. The MC can perform magic through sound and works as part time (rather full time) consultant for the Government by solving murders involving magic. The way he
This was fun, but really really REALLY long. It actually took me about a week to finish it, which is practically unheard of. Anyway, other than that, I completely enjoyed this story. Alex was totally loveable as the grumpy and talented mage who consults with the police on murder cases that involve magic. I'm definitely going to read the second one and see what other magical mischief he can find. ...more
I have put off reading this for ages and I have absolutely no idea why. This was a ton of fun. Admittedly the mystery and the magic was a lot stronger than the romance itself though. Alex's magic was really interesting. I liked that he saw things through sound. It was an interesting new concept. Julian was a sweetheart who was slowly learning to stand for what he wanted himself. The who behind what was going on wasn't too hard to figure out, but I did keep wondering how things were all going to ...more
Danielle  Gypsy Soul
I'm giving this 3 stars but I'm not sure I should. In fact I'm not sure about a lot of things after reading this book. I'm not sure what time period it was set in - at first I thought historical but then they had cell phones and modern terms. I'm not sure why Julian needed a master or why he was a consort. I'm not sure Julian actually ever fell for Alex or if he was just the best option. I'm not sure how they managed to solve the murder since hardly any investigation actually took place. I'm not ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Nope. DNF at 30%. I give the one star for the quality of the writing.
This is a gay version of "The Bachelor" in a strange steampunky 18th century AU with mobile phones and Gin & Tonic and magic, but the most repressive and stupid view on gay relationships I read in a long time. Plus a totally boring crime mystery.
Cue one: One guy becomes "Master", the other "Consort". The Master is responsible for the estate and the business, and the little wifey - ahem - consort for the household.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 stars. Despite its substantial length, this book kept my interest engaged throughout and I easily overlooked some inconsistencies in the characterisations or language register used. Why? Because I enjoyed very much the combination of historical, fantasy/paranormal and mystery elements (reminiscent of Megan Derr or K.J. Charles). The universe and descriptions were richly detailed, while Alex was a distinctly likeable and interesting protagonist.

My significant complaint is that Julian - the rom
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this sweet cozy fantasy mystery romance with its mix of magic, modern day tech, and old fashioned class system dynamics like formal courtships, which here is like a fancier, gayer version of the Bachelor. With some magical murder mixed in.

It did feel like an early work. I would recommend the author work with a heartless editor to cull away all the giggling and chuckling the characters do. (Julian giggles out most of his dialogue. It made things hard to imagine.) Also there's
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm, romance, fantasy
This was an absolutely delightful read! A delightful long read. *shivers in pleasure* Such a hard combination to find these days.

Set in an alternate universe with magic, cellphones, and courtship rituals. I would label it Contemporary-Regency-Fantasy. Which might sound strange but I thought it took a lot of the best parts (well, I don't particularly like cellphones, but I will admit they are rather handy) of each, to make one very intriguing whole.

The story is told from Alex's pov and I thought
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Courtship of Julian St. Albans has been an incredible surprise. Set in a parallel universe, in what would be a sort of steampunk modern London (where cell phones and guns coexist with strange machines created and sustained by magic) it tells us about Alexander Benedict, a magical consultant who works with The Agency (Scotland Yard?) helping them solving mysteries where magic is involved. His latest case puts him in contact with lovely Julian St. Albans, whose fiancé has been murdered through ...more
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ku, gb-19q4
2.5 stars

I liked a lot of this, but it got so slooooooow in the middle and really the whole last half. It just got super boring, and I didn't like the way the romance played out either. Julian worked less and less for me, and we didn't really get any answers about his relationship with the late fiance or even some of the other Courtship suitors. I know he liked Alex as a person and considered him the best of his options, but it never really felt like more than that. So much potential with some r
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brooklyn by: Calila
Shelves: mm
I totally enjoyed this book. I loved the mix of historical and modern elements so that the reader is never quite sure when they are. So fun! The fantasy was great. I love how it was completely woven into the story even in the small details. It was all very proper with some casual, improper moments thrown in here and there. Such a fun read. It was far more than I expected and I'm happy I gave it a go. ...more
Tully Vincent
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This began like Sherlock Holmes set in a Megan Derr type fantasy world which was very cool!! Loved the beginning! The concept, the world-building, and the writing were all great. The author is skilled at writing description, and I enjoyed the in-depth descriptions of the creation of the magics. However, the detailed and lengthy description of food and clothing made the story read slow for me. I think foodies would love this book because it leans towards food porn at times.
I really enjoyed reading this but parts dragged. The descriptions of the food were a bit OTT and too descriptive for me(though my mouth was watering!!). Pleasing to see strong secondary female characters and loved that the sister Emmeline was portrayed in such a positive way. I will definitely be adding the rest of this series to my tbr!!

4.5 stars(unfortunately only 4 for GR)
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: z-2018
The Courtship of Julian St. Albans just did nothing for me. I did like the mystery for awhile and the whole mage thing but then the book dragged for a long time. I became a bit frustrated.
I like Alex the most. The world the author created was interesting but I just did not connect with it.
Margo - Determined to get my book life back
The Courtship Julian St. Albans by Amy Crook is a delightful mix of murder mystery, magic, music, and high society. This is a uniquely creative story which uses a British sense of propriety and familial obligation, but without any prudishness or prejudice against same sex relationships. The mystery is as detailed and riveting as the courtship itself making this more than the usual romantic mystery. I downloaded this book for free and feel very, very lucky to have done so. Amazon Prime mem
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Intriguing idea, but I think it could have been better

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 6/10

- I found the premise amusing: turning the conventions displayed on modern dating shows such as The Bachelor into an historical ritual known as a Courtship.
- The extreme formality of the Courtship allows for Alex and Julian to get to know each other well before anything physical happens. (Readers looking for sex should move on. The book is long--approxima
A great idea undermined by lack of an editor.

The Courtship of Julian St. Albans isn't a bad book but it does feel like a missed opportunity. The basic concept is so well-crafted, that it just highlights the lack of follow-through.

I was absolutely charmed by the beginning of this book. Our hero Alex is a Mage who wields his magic through sound. He can 'hear' the magical world and uses his skills to help the police in investigating crimes. He is also the unrepentant black sheep of his very wealthy
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-by-friends
I decided to read this because my friend wrote it. I like my friend. I know a bit about the kinds of things she likes and I thought I'd give it a try. This is despite the fact that I haven't read much mystery fiction in a long while, don't really read a lot of romance, and am not that intrigued by magic.

I really enjoyed this book. The interweaving of the romance and mystery worked well. The main characters were well developed and I quite liked them. The magic was integral to the story and made
Roger - president of NBR United -
by all rights I should have hated this book because it is a society manners novel, but the magic and the mystery saved it for me. Julian is a private person who after his fiance, who he was to be a consort of, is murdered. is forced by society's rules to hold a Courtship with him being the prize won by one of the suitors, including all of his lands, titles, and fortune. Alex is a consulting Mage for the Agency which investigate the murder and is the national law enforcement agency for UK in the ...more
Sheesh! I'm glad I didn't read the reviews before buying/reading this book. This is one of the best novels I've read this year. The extensive cast of characters were all unique and clear to me. Magic was different from any other novel I've read. Romance in this story was just that, romance. A lot of courting and kisses instead of the typical wham-bam. Yes, it was a long story, but not once did I stop and check to see how far along I was. I was too engrossed to care! Pay for it, or read it for fr ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Book cover + Author name 3 160 Jul 10, 2013 01:13PM  

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Amy Crook has made her living since the 90s with writing, art, and design. She lives in San Leandro, CA, with two cats, a roommate, and a pair of custom-made tentacle pillows. She loves tea, gin, and pumpkin spice chai, and has no shame about much of anything, really. She has collections of all sorts of things, including Halloween socks, unread books, and friends from all over the world.

You can f

Other books in the series

Consulting Magic (3 books)
  • The Apprenticeship of Julian St. Albans (Consulting Magic, #2)
  • The Guardianship of Julian St. Albans (Consulting Magic, #3)

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