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, and 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....
I love this book and after five or six rereads I love it even more than I did after the first read.
For those of you who have not read it, it is JCP's version of reality show, competition between the magicians. It is also a gay romance - love story of Ricardo and John, story of Ricardo getting to know the man behind his idol, a man behind the face he was crashing on for years. Their love was so , I don't know, appealing to me and I loved how she made the age difference between the guys a total non-issue for me.
But competition here is not used just as a window dressing for romance - the challenges are well thought out, described in detail and most importantly fun. The competitors are very vibrant, very alive personalities, no matter that sometimes they are not very likeable. It is as if you were given the possibility to pique behind the scenes of real reality TV. I am not particularly enamored by so many reality shows on our (American) TV - but I won't lie, I watch some of them (mostly cooking ones :)) and I do want to be a fly on the wall of what is happening sometimes especially in the shows where contestants do need to show at least some of their real life skills in order to win.
This book delivered an example of that and with gusto. And let's not forget that some of the magicians have True magic and how all of that mixed into the story, I am not sure what metaphor the author intended with this one - divine spark? Surely not that the person who has True magic is a better person, because at least one person who ends up having a spark of truth is not such a great one? No matter what the intent was, I thought it was beautifully done - conversations magicians had with their props were great for example.
And I loved that in the end the author decided not to give the guys extra cookies, I loved whom she gave the win to.