Reviews: “Interlude with Tattoos,” “The Smuggler and the Warlord,” and “Feast of Stephen” (A Charm of Magpies short stories) by K.J. Charles

The following short stories are part of the Charm of Magpies series, an historical fantasy-romance world by K.J. Charles. They are best read as companions to the main trilogy.


Interlude with TattoosLucien Vaudrey, or Lord Crane, has seven magpie tattoos. This is presented in the first book of the trilogy, and only part of what makes him unique in a series of white English nobility. The tattoos are not magical. However, one of them ends up on his lover Stephen Day.

This is the story of how that happens, which is both very sexy and highly entertaining.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Goodreads.


Smuggler and the WarlordThis was not the story I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There’s plenty of violence and action, but the real point of the story is the relationship between Crane (then still Vaudrey) and his manservent Merrick.

I especially appreciated this look into Merrick’s point of view, which I wish there was more of. He’s one of my favorite characters in this series.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Goodreads.


Feast of Stephen“Feast of Stephen” is a coda to the final book in the Charm of Magpies trilogy. It’s funny, sexy, and delightful. It’s also complete fan service, but I don’t mean that as a criticism. The story includes a hilarious tale from Crane and Merrick’s time in China, a sexy interlude, and multiple happily ever afters. Well worth reading at the end of the trilogy to end on a high note.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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