Table of Contents

Seducing the Sorcerer by Lee Welch : REVIEW : Excerpt : Author Guest Post

Book Cover
Trigger Warnings:
graphic sex scenes including consensual rough sex/spanking/humiliation; kidnapping (named character is tied up and gagged); gun violence (gun is held to a named character’s head); death by crushing (non-named character); mention of suicide.
Author's Notes:
Seducing the Sorcerer is written from the point of view of a hero whose grammar isn’t perfect. These are not errors in the text but deliberate style choices. Thank you!

Book Info

Author:
Cover Artist:
Publisher:
Lee Welch
Published:
23 September 2021
Formats
Book Type
Words:
100,000
Pages:
261
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.

Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.

However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.

Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?

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Guest Post By Lee Welch

The main characters are, of course, what any good romance is all about. Meeting them, getting to know them, falling in love alongside them, feeling their tenderness, their despair and their joy—it’s why we adore romance.

The main characters of Seducing the Sorcerer are Fenn, a tough, middle-aged, working-class cynic with a heart of gold, and Morgrim, a scheming court sorcerer in a long black robe. Neither one is perfect. Neither one is a typical romance hero. They’re fallible, complex men; world-weary, experienced, trying hard to cling onto hope. Neither one of them expects to fall in love.

Much of Seducing the Sorcerer takes place in the cavernous rooms in Morgrim’s rain-swept tower, perched on a tall finger of rock high above the ocean. Of course, every sorcerer deserves a lair, and a tower is a time-honoured symbol of personal and political power, not to mention the phallic implications! But there were other reasons to give Morgrim that particular home, because the setting, particularly in a fantasy novel, shouldn’t only be cool and fun to read about. It should also support the themes of the book and say something deeper about the world the characters live in.

Morgrim’s tower is safe because it’s so high up, but the possibility of falling, both literally and metaphorically, is ever-present. One wrong move and you’re done for. And that’s because the characters in Seducing the Sorcerer are living their lives on a knife’s edge: the possibility of failure is very real and ever-present and it would be catastrophic. And the setting reflects that.

It also rains a lot in this story. That’s a vital part of the setting too. It isn’t raining everywhere though, but only over Morgrim’s tower. In fact, the rest of the land is suffering from a drought. People say the drought is Morgrim’s fault. They say he’s stolen all the rainclouds with sorcery. They say he’s done it to hold the country to ransom, to force the young queen to marry him.

But of course, not everything is as it seems, as Fenn is about to find out…

Review

Reviewed By: Josh Dale

5/5

A refreshing unique and quirky fantasy romance.  I love fantasy / Paranormal novels.  But there are so many out there, that the average novels tend to blend into one.   It takes a good author to pull something different out of the bag, especially something that in the real life you would think was totally mad.

Well, let me tell you Lee Welch has done both, a unique and quirky story that felt so real and true whilst reading the book.  It takes a good author to make a horse that is nothing but sacking cloth, not only believable but also have its own character.

And who could not fall in love with Fenn Todd, such a down to earth guy, who has been downtrodden most of his life, can scarcely believe his luck when he is invited to the Sorcerer’s tower as a guest.  And he has his very own horse, a dream he thought would never come true, even if it is made of sacking and only feeds on cloth.

Morgrin the feared sorcerer has many problems of his own, including one big lie to the nation.  Yet everything he has done and does do, is firmly for the benefit of the country.  He is so lonely.

The characters fight their growing attraction until it boils over. But neither has been 100% truthful, and a long with outside forces and evil hexes coming for them.  Their path seems set to meet a grim end.

I loved the way the author wove the magic system and the history of the country into the story seamlessly, that you don’t even notice that you are being given information.  No boring info dumps here.

There are betrayals, lies, political wrangling, dark enemies, which makes this book a riveting read.

I highly recommend the book.

Excerpt

 

The sorcerer gave his staff a vicious twirl and pointed it at Fenn’s chest, clearly ready to destroy an army. Fenn gritted his teeth against whatever hideous hex was about to kill him. How much would it hurt? How unnatural would it be? He ought to run, but he could barely move. He hunched, eyes closing of their own accord, and clutched the horse’s sacking mane as if the coarse twine could help him keep a grip on life.

At least he’d die astride a horse.

But nothing happened. The rain pattered cool on his head and hands. He opened one eye, then the other, and risked a glance at Morgrim. A shadow of doubt passed over the sorcerer’s narrow face. It was almost confusion, if a hunting hawk can ever be said to look confused.

Well?” Morgrim said.

His tone said “and how dare you keep me waiting”. It was clear Fenn was expected to make the next move.

“Er, evening, sir. My lord.” Fenn ducked his head. “I’m right sorry for the intrusion.”

“You’re sorry?”

There was such vicious scorn in the sorcerer’s voice that Fenn flinched. Morgrim cocked his head to one side, raptorlike. He hadn’t lowered his staff. “Who are you?”

“Fenn Todd. Er…your grace. Sir.” Gods, what were you supposed to call a court sorcerer? “Um…your honour.”

“Fenn Todd.” Morgrim sounded as if he were sizing it up to put in a spell.

Fenn shivered. Should have given a false name. Why hadn’t he thought to give a false one? Now Morgrim would be able to find out that Fenn had a criminal record and all. Oh Gods, this was going to be bad.

“And what is your purpose here?” Morgrim snapped.

“There ain’t one, your worship. It was a mistake. The horse brought me. I didn’t mean to trespass. I’ll go, eh? Quick as you like.”

Morgrim frowned as if Fenn’s answer hadn’t made sense.

“Who sent you?”

“No one. Honest. I came by the horse sort of…accidental. Tried riding it, only it took off in the air and…well, then it came down here.” Fenn had never felt more stupid or incompetent in his life. The whole thing was a ludicrous humiliating nightmare. “But I don’t want no trouble. I’ll be off, eh? Sorry to disturb you…er…sir.”

“You came to the Unket Tower by accident? You expect me to believe that?”

The name made Fenn shiver. He’d heard of it, of course, because court sorcerers had lived here for over a thousand years. The name was synonymous with magic. The place was reputed to be haunted. It was a giant trap.

He glanced about the courtyard again. There were several doors but they were all closed fast. The stone walls were five yards high and slimy with wet that flickered red in the torchlight. And there was that young bloke with the sword to think of, let alone the angry sorcerer. If the horse wouldn’t fly there’d be no escape. Why in blazes had the creature brought him here?

“Aye, by accident. Gods’ truth,” Fenn said grimly.

“And what magic did you use?” Morgrim still hadn’t moved from the top step. The tower door stood open to the dark behind him.

“Magic?” Fenn shook his head. “No. No, no. I know what it looks like, but I ain’t a magician.”

“You’re lying. Worple horses can’t fly. Don’t antagonise me, Mr. Todd. You’ll regret it.” Morgrim’s glare intensified. “I repeat: What magic did you use?”

“A worple horse?” It was Fenn’s turn to frown. “Wait. Is that a thing? What is that?”

I’m asking the questions.”

There was an edge to the sorcerer’s tone, like anger and yet not quite. Fenn found he’d raised his hand in a reassuring gesture.

“All right, sir. I meant no disrespect.”

“What. Magic. Did. You. Use?” Morgrim demanded.

“None. Honest. I know the horse has a rune on its chest but that weren’t me. That just appeared. I can’t do magic.”

“Liar.”

“You think I’d come here if I could?”

“You are trespassing in my courtyard in the middle of the night. Are you now also being insolent?” Morgrim sounded as if he couldn’t believe his ears, but he lowered his staff.

Some of the tension went out of Fenn. It seemed Morgrim wasn’t going to do anything unnatural to him just yet.

“No, sir. It was an honest question. If I could do magic, why would I come here? Wouldn’t I be lying on silk sheets somewhere with a glass of wine and a valet peeling me a grape?”

Morgrim gave him one of those quelling looks that folks who liked to be in charge often gave. Fenn had weathered plenty in his time, though never one from the most powerful sorcerer in living memory. It made his blood run cold, but he kept his face plain. It didn’t do to be too easily cowed. It could make these domineering types worse. No, Fenn must strike the right balance between deference and dignity, and never mind that he felt too rattled to be up to the task.

It wasn’t helping that it was still raining. Even though the moon was right there, clearly visible over the yard wall to the east. It was raining only on the tower. Fenn shivered.

That was right uncanny. It certainly looked as though Morgrim had stolen all the rain clouds like people said.

This whole situation was unimaginable. Perhaps Fenn was dead after all.

There was a change in the solid body of the horse beneath him. It was sinking, deflating like a pricked balloon. Its legs bowed and then slid outwards. Its body grew thin and its head nodded towards the ground. Fenn jumped off with a muttered curse and it sank into a sad pool of sacking on the wet cobbles at his feet.

Fenn scratched his beard. “Blame thing.”

There’d be no flying out of here on it now. Not that it had seemed inclined previously, but now he was definitely stuck. Perhaps that quelling look of Morgrim’s had been more than just a look. Perhaps it had been some sort of evil eye.

Fenn glanced up. “You do that? Sir.”

Morgrim made a scoffing noise that said, “of course I did, but your question is beneath me”. He was glaring at the horse with a sort of outraged curiosity. He looked like a bloke who did a lot of glaring. His eyebrows were two perfect curves, positively made for the job.

Fenn nudged the horse with the toe of his boot and it gave a plaintive whinny. So, it hadn’t gone lifeless. It just wasn’t standing up any more.

In a way, Fenn sympathised. His knees felt right shaky. But Morgrim didn’t seem about to strike him down with a bolt of lightning just yet. And if Fenn was flung in a dungeon for a few nights, well, it wouldn’t be pleasant, but it wouldn’t be the first time. Who knew what would happen to the horse, but he himself would at least be fed and watered. Probably. Regular prisons had to feed you these days, though it was quite possible that Morgrim was a law unto himself.

“Well. I know it’s an ugly great thing to have littering up your courtyard,” Fenn said, wiping a raindrop off the end of his nose. “And I’m right sorry to have bothered you, and I hope you’ll be a gentleman and forgive the nuisance. I’ll be off now, eh? I won’t trouble you again. I promise.”

“All in good time.”

Morgrim came down the stairs in a ripple of black silk. He moved like a snake and in spite of himself Fenn was impressed. The man’s grace was mesmerising. It was hard to look away. And not just because Morgrim was so bloody terrifying.

“I have questions for you, Fenn Todd.”

Fenn was hardly in a position to refuse. “Aye, sir. Ask away.”

 

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What people are saying about Seducing the Sorcerer.

“Seducing the Sorcerer is a book that wears its heart on its sleeve, and I loved every minute of it. Beyond being a beautifully written romance, this is a story about kindness, compassion, and what we owe one another as human beings, that will stay with you long after the last page. Outstanding.” – Jordan L. Hawk, author of the Whyborne & Griffin series.

“If you’re looking for fainting pretty boys, this book is not for you. Fenn and Morgrim are grown men: worn, world weary, stronger than they know, and scared to reach for what they want—for a while. The world is tangible, often beautiful, the story complex and engrossing, by turns dark, gritty, humorous, tragic, and rough. It’s the kind of story that stays with you after you’ve devoured the final page.” – Lynn Flewelling, author of the Nightrunner Series and the Tamír Triad.

“Seducing the Sorcerer is tender, sharp, and funny all at once. I was immediately drawn into the magical world that Lee Welch deftly creates and happily stayed up well into the night reading.” – Cat Sebastian, author of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb and the Seducing the Sedgwicks series.

“Seducing the Sorcerer is a classic ‘grumpy one falls for…extremely grumpy one’ romance, featuring two middle-aged cynics who might just be each other’s sunshine. Throw in some magical mysteries, a gothic tower, and a healthy dose of skullduggery. Add libraries, kittens and magical horses. It all adds up to a bracing hug of a book that’s full of heart.” – Dr Sam Hirst, Romancing the Gothic.

Lee Welch

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Biography

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, two cats, a dog and quite a lot of spiders. Lee studied ancient history at Auckland University and creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. By day, she works as an editor and business communications adviser for a large government department. By night, she writes escapist romances, usually with magic in them.

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