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Salt Magic, Skin Magic

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,825 ratings  ·  409 reviews
Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray. When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale ...more
ebook, 241 pages
Published August 9th 2018 by Lee Welch
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Lee Welch Thanks for the question. Sorry, I didn't see it until now because I'm in the middle of research for another book in the same universe (different chara…moreThanks for the question. Sorry, I didn't see it until now because I'm in the middle of research for another book in the same universe (different characters), but who knows quite what will emerge. I also have some ideas for another book about John and Soren. So, can I give you a definite maybe? ;-)(less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,825 ratings  ·  409 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Who are you, Lee Welch, and where did you come from?!


Salt Magic Skin Magic took me completely by surprise. I had never heard of Lee Welch before picking up this book, but I decided to give it a go because it reminded me of a K.J. Charles-ish story. I was completely blown away by what I found.

If you are looking for that perfect blend of magic and historical romance that is so hard to find, look no further. I loved the gloomy, dark English countryside setting with the crumbling ca
K.J. Charles
DISCLAIMER I edited this book.

I enjoyed this one gigantically. The opening is terrifically creepy and compelling, the magic system is really unusual and intriguing--John's magic is gloriously inventive in particular--the romance is emotional and hot, the setting is Gothically vivid, and the author manages, extraordinarily, to make me absolutely desperate for a sequel starring a character that we haven't even seen on page. A lovely new voice in historical paranormal romance. More please!

(Note: I
* A Reader Obsessed *
4.5 Duly Impressed Hearts

I must say, this brought the best of historical romance and seamlessly mixed it with a new twist on magic as well as a known fantastical legend.

This starts off with Lord Thornby who is trapped. His father has made it his sole purpose to marry him off for personal greed and until Thornby agrees, he can’t leave the family estate. Literally. Surely that’s not possible right? Is Thornby slowly losing his mind from being confined for so long?

When mysterious guest Mr. Blake ar
Richard Derus
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled, quiltbag
Real Rating: 4.75* of five

Almost perfect in its genre. Almost! I'm amazed, astounded, delighted that it was such a top-flight romance, since it came by way of a newly minted author. And what a coinage Author Welch has struck! Confident, unhesitant strokes of imagination and inspiration, several passages that made me stop. dead. and. savor, just a wonderful reading experience all the way around.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a refreshing change from the usual historical romance that was!

Absolutely brilliant Victoriana with a magical twist looking at traditional British/Irish mythology and magic which is based on the "scientific" ideals of John Dee back in the time of Queen Elizabeth.

I love the thought that Dee's thoughts were based on something real and that people went on to study thermatology, alchemy, the magic of inanimate objects etc and made careers out of it.

There's a lovely tie in with the Crystal
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: meh, 2018, mm-romance
This was a new-to-me author, and I really enjoyed Welch's writing style. It's engaging and flows easily.

There was a great deal of potential here, but the plot left me wanting, unfortunately.

Soren is trapped on his father's estate. He reacts violently every time he tries to leave. John Blake arrives on the estate, and, as a magician, sees about breaking whatever spell, curse, or other thing is keeping Soren trapped on this piece of property.

The romance was done well, and it evolved naturally. Wi
*** 3.5 stars ***

I ended up a little disappointed by this. My expectations were probably set too high by how much I loved Mended with Gold and Out Loud.

Most of my dissatisfaction came in the early chapters, where it seemed that Soren's characterization was all over the place. Eventually that settled down, and the second half of the story seemed pretty solid in comparison.

What I really loved about the book, much to my surprise, was the magic. Normally I have no particular interest in magic -- wh
**3.5 stars**
Not a real fan of magical historical romance, but I was very curious about this release and eager to give it a try.

The writing is really good and it’s adequately fast-paced : a page turner. However, the plot confused me. Maybe because I’m a newbie for this genre ? Renée’s review well described my thoughts.

As I had just read The Magpie Lord, I couldn’t help making the comparison. I enjoyed the magical plot more in The Magpie Lord, and the sexual tension and romance more in this bo
h o l l i s
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to h o l l i s by: Em
Recently I saw advance praise (two five stars in a row!) of SALT MAGIC SKIN MAGIC from folks on my flist and I'm not ashamed to admit that without really even knowing what this book was about, it sent me scurrying, almost immediately, to get my hands on this book. And boy am I ever glad I did.

I had only a vague idea of what this book was about, seeing as I am mostly averse to blurbs and tend to skim only for keywords as I like to keep the mystery alive, and right away the opening chapter hooked
Len Evans Jr
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
First off I just want to say that I am extremely impressed at the wonderful characters the author has peopled this book with, as well as the complex and awesome system of magic she put together for this book. This story was riviting, suspenseful and beautiful. I love Soren and John... together they are perfection. If the author can write like this for her second book... I can't wait t0 see what amazing things she does in her third! ...more
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caz by: Em
4.5 stars rounded up.

First of all - don't let that horrible cover put you off!

Salt Magic, Skin Magic is a very impressive almost-début novel from Lee Welch – I say ‘almost’, because the author has previously published a novella – and I devoured it in two sittings.  I’m not widely-read in the fantasy genre, but the premise seemed quite unique, the world-building – in terms of the rules governing the use of magic – is well-thought out and explained, and the two central characters are engaging and
5 Stars

I loved this story! I read it in one night; could not put it down. The combination of historical romance, mystery, and fairy tale was fantastic.

Soren, Lord Thornby, is trapped on his father’s country estate. He cannot physically/mentally cross the boundaries of his father’s land. The townsfolk think him insane, and his father’s new wife thinks he is dabbling in witchcraft.

John Blake, an industrial magician of working-class origins, comes to the Yorkshire estate to investigate rumors of wi
Skye Kilaen
Mini-review: I'm so glad people on romance Twitter were raving about this paranormal historical M/M romance. Soren being trapped on the estate at the beginning was terrifying and grabbed me immediately, and then I stayed for the lovely magical worldbuilding and the relationship. I can't wait to see more from this author. If you're in doubt, give it a try. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sofia by: Maya
I first heard this tale from Clarissa Pinkola Estes of Women Who Run with the Wolves fame. Clarissa tells a lot of tales in her books and I'm not going to tell you which tale I'm referring to. Please just take it from me that Lee Welch take on this particular tale is brilliantly done in my opinion. Subtle good writing with character. This character is then infused in all around even the most unexpected.

Well did you ever imagine that salt can be a character in itself, well read this and see.

Lord Thornbery is trapped on his father's land by a curse. A curse he believes his father placed on him. Every time he tries to leave somthing pulls him back. After a year and a half he fears he is close to madness.
Mr. Blake has been hired to help the new Mrs. Dalton. She fears her husband's son, Lord Thornbery, has placed a curse on her. When Mr. Blake shows up he finds things are not what they appear.
Overall an ok read.
Claudie ☾
4.5 stars.

I really enjoyed this one! Salt Magic, Skin Magic was almost perfect, combining three of my favorite things — historical romance, fantasy, and kinky sex (or rather, kinky-ish, ‘cause it was pretty tame compared to some of my previous reads).

The mystery was very good. I was totally shocked by the reveal near the end, which is pretty embarrassing when I think about it, because I was simultaneously reading another book with a similar theme! This confirms one of two things — either I’m hop
Lost in a Book
4.25 Stars

Well, Well, Well. This is a captivating (and a tad gruesome) read. Sign me up for immediate membership into Lee Welch’s fan club. I'll patiently await my official VIP card, please and thank you.

Lord Thornby is trapped on his father’s estate. Still. After being kept there somehow for well over a year, the days are bleeding together and he’s barely keeping a hold on his sanity. Thornby's father and step-mother arrive back in town and there’s an increase in the already peculiar happenings
Brian Johnson
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In addition to being a fabulous, richly- and precisely-imagined work of historical urban fantasy, Lee Welch’s magnificent Salt Magic, Skin Magic is a textured, moving, and lyricial queer romance--the kind of book you immediately want to force all your friends to read because it is just THAT GOOD. I absolutely loved it, and loved Joel Leslie’s brilliant narration too.

Set on a Yorkshire estate in 1851, the novel follows the dilemma of Soren, the tormented and beautiful Lord Thornby, who is someho
Oh, this was so good. Need to think a bit before I write my review. But basically, if you like paranormal historical romance, you should read this!

OK, let's give this a try.

This was definitely one of my favourite reads this year, with really beautiful language.

I liked the magic system (material magic vs. thermatology, and apparently based on some Elizabethan beliefs?) and would love to read more about it, perhaps in more books set in the same world? Hopefully?

I also found the characters compell
Wow, what a great story! It is nearly as good as The Magpie Lord.

To be honest this books is so much like The Magpie Lord. But at the same time it is different enough not to have a feeling that you read a re-telling.

And I loved everything about this book. Just like in The Magpie Lord, we've got an aristocrat with a problem of magical nature and a lower-class magician. Thornby and John indeed remind me a lot of Crane and Stephen, however, the dynamic between them is completely different. And I li
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well that was a joy to read.
It felt gothic and claustrophobic, the characters were well fleshed out and manage a growth and redeeming arc even in the context of the mistery/magic going ons.
The book was beautifully written and the story gripping. Throw in magic that does not feel like "other" to the plot and a very romantic subplot and you have one of the best romances I have read in ages.
Highly recommended
I loved everything about this! The world building, the storyline, the writing, the developing relationship between Soren and John, and maybe, a bit with the current Lady Dalton. I loved the way magic was written as an everyday, if not wholly accepted, part of life, and how the whole scope of that magic changed for John over the course of the story. The historical period the story was set in is one of my favorites and was well set without spending an inordinate amount of time doing so.

The chemis
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook, magic
Audiobook (MAR 2019) Narrated by Joel Leslie

I thought it was a glorious book when I read it last year; I placed it on my "honorable mention" list for 2018. But when an incredibly talented voice actor performs this marvelous story... it becomes sublime. The prose all the more stunning, the story line even more brilliant, deftly drawn characters explode into life, and the atmosphere becomes something in which a listener could drown. Highly recommended. More, please!

Dear Author: I only have ONE, al
What a ride this was!

I loved everything about this book and wish it was longer or at least had a proper epilogue. I never wanted it to finish.

I know this isn’t much of a review but if you like magical /historical/paranormal romance or a mixture of all three genres like this was, read this. You won’t regret it.

Lee Wench has found a new fan in me. 😊
After finishing this at the beginning of the month, I've finally got around to writing a proper review.

I've discovered Lee Welch's works in the summer and I really loved her novella Mended with Gold and its short sequel, Out Loud. Her first novel, Salt Magic, Skin Magic, is at the same time very different and deeply similar to her debut works.

Set in the isolated Yorkshire estate of Raskelf in 1851, the year of London's Great Exhibition, the novel focuses on two main characters: the young L
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic!!! Historical and fantasy hook up in England for a fantastic mystery full of magic, fae, and curses!

Amazing audiobook by Joel Leslie— one of his better ones!!!
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4.5 Stars

This was one of those books in which the characters/narrator were just the slightest bit absurd in a funny way, but also with pretty writing (I think, it's harder for me to notice writing in audiobooks). Anyway, that humor and writing style is one of my favorite types, so I loved this.

I also loved Thornby. I felt terrible for him, trapped on this estate for a year and a half, going mad, desperately wanting to know it wasn't all in his head but also desperately wanting to leave. B
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star, historical, lgbtq
Loved this! The author managed to create the sense of genuine fondness between the MCs (in addition to physical attraction) and make it believable for feelings to develop in such a short period of time. Happy to have found a new writer to glom on to.
Joyfully Jay
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

I really love the combination of historical and paranormal, so I was definitely intrigued by this book when I read the blurb. I think there is something about the rigid rules of formal society that contrast so well with the otherworldly paranormal themes. In this case, Lee Welch has created a fabulous story that is a wonderful mix of romance, historical setting, and fascinating paranormal world building.

First off, the paranormal elements Welch has built here are
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Lee Welch lives in a house on a hill in the windiest city in the world – Wellington, New Zealand. She shares the house with her partner, two kids and two cats. Hedgehogs visit occasionally, which makes her happy.

Lee wrote her first novel (an unpublished pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) when she was seven and has been writing on-and-off ever since.

She studied ancient history at Auc

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