Review: Magic Mansion by Jordan Castillo Price


Titlle: Magic Mansion
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Genre/Themes: MM romance / magicians / reality show
Release Date: 10 April 2012

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My rating: 4.5 Stars


Professor Topaz is tired of fending off advice that he should retire in Vegas where magicians his age have an easier time finding work.

Ricardo Hart's career has sunk so low, he's resorted to shaking his moneymaker at bachelorette parties.

But there's a casting call for a new reality show called Magic Mansion that could change everything for these two gay stage magicians, one recovering from the loss of his partner, the other awe-struck by the presence of his idol. Each is poised for a critical second chance: at fame, and at love.

Who will win? Step into the Mansion, and find out....


This was such an expected and pleasant read! I do love magic and though I'm not a fan of reality shows, I'm curious how they can be presented in fiction. I'm a big fan of Ms Price' writing - imaginative, great world building and attention to detail and powerful and unforgettable characters, so I decided to give it a try.

Now, romances with big age differences are not my thing usually and initially I had some worries about that aspect of the story but as it turns out I can trust Ms Price completely to build a believable and ultimately, very tender, very real and emotional love story. It was Professor Topaz and Richardo the Magnificent romance that I loved the most in this book.

The setting was also great - a reality show with magicians going through all sort of challenges to get the big prize. Ms Price created a whole cast of intriguing magicians and TV crew thus giving the reader a rich, realistic world where the passion and chemistry between the Professor and Richardo shone so brightly. 

At times I felt their romance was overshadowed by the reality show element in the story but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the slow build up of their romance. In a things happened rather quickly between them, the I-love-yous were said somewhat in a hurry, and at the same time it all felt excruciatingly slow because being in a reality show did not allow them to really come together as a couple till the end. 

I liked them both but the Professor definitely stole the show for me. His journey back to being able to give and receive love (at the age of 63) was phenomenal - so personal and intimate. There is a depth to his character and his emotions that I find irresistible. Richardo was his opposite, at least in appearance - easy going and fun and caring. He is the kind of person that is easy to love and be friends with but he had his fears and insecurities to overcome and so many dreams to follow through. Together they complemented each other in the best possible way and made a mesmerising couple. You can't help but want them to overcome all odds and find happiness together. 

This a contemporary romance with strong social elements, yet there is a touch of paranormal in it, we are talking about magicians after all, I loved how it was interwoven in the story. The reader is pretty much grounded in reality with the brutally honest presentation of the what happens behind the scene of a reality show and the small leaps into the True Magic scattered throughout the story were a pure pleasure to read. 

Magic Mansion is a sweet and tender a love story but also a story about life in general - about finding happiness, being successful, forming friendships and just interacting with people. It plays a lot with ideas of identity and projected image, making the reader look deeper into things to find their true significance and ultimately appreciate all the things that bring us joy and make us laugh and love and feel complete.

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