Ill-Conceived Magic by R. L. Naquin
Series: Monster Haven #1.5
Source: Free through Smashwords
Empath and caretaker to monsters, Zoey Donovan, finds a package on her front lawn. It cries a lot and wears diapers. It also has horns, cloven hooves, and green skin. Zoey and Maurice the closet monster look for the unlikely parents in a crazy attempt to bring together the mismatched family. A dangerous prospect, considering the family’s hostile relatives.
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I’ll-Conceived Magic takes place between MONSTER IN MY CLOSET and POOKA IN MY PANTRY so you should read at least the first book before tackling Ill-Conceived Magic. Although the extended Smashword description says otherwise, this short story does sort of assume that the reader is familiar with Zoey and her world so it won’t be the smoothest introduction if you’re brand new to the series. Naquin gives you the basic intro in Ill-Conceived Magic but it won’t be nearly as satisfying if you don’t already know Zoey and Maurice.
This’ll be a quick post because it’s a short story. Zoey find a baby in her backyard and spends the duration of Ill-Conceived Magic trying to find her parents. It has Naquin’s signature humour, including some really great moments and one-liners with some satyrs. There’s also a lot of great random statements by Maurice’s brother-in-law, the gargoyle.
Most interesting about this story is what we learn about Maurice. We’ve only seen the softer side of Maurice in the novels so far and Naquin uses this opportunity to show us why he’s a “closet monster” not a “closet bunny”. This little revelation will make reading future (and previous) novels a bit more interesting, though it’s definitely not essential to read this before moving on to POOKA IN MY PANTRY. That being said, why wouldn’t you read this? It’s a free visit back into the Monster Haven world.