Book Reviews

Conned by Jana Denardo at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Officers of the Law / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 18-July-2017

Book Blurb

Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.


Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion's cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.


Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He's surprised to find one of the most handsome men he's ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can't keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.


Book Review

The idea of real elves going to an anime convention to mingle with humans is really funny. For a crown prince of one of the elf factions to go there with his blinded-by-torture son is asking for trouble. So when murder and mayhem ensue, it was not a real surprise, but what happens as the details are slowly revealed did keep me enthralled. For such a relatively short story, there is some great worldbuilding, wonderful characters, and a touch of suspense that I enjoyed.

Sion is an elf from Alfheim who accompanies his blind son to the human convention. I smiled when he is admired for the realism of his costume and makeup, but when another man who cosplays the same character as Sion ends up murdered, it quickly becomes serious. As in many legends, there are two elf factions, and some of Sion’s enemies, the Dökkálfar, have apparently decided to try to get rid of him.

Roy, a detective by day, loves going to conventions and is busy colleting things for his friend and her daughter as well as for himself, when he runs into his “anime partner”. One thing leads to another, and while it’s all good in the relationship department, Roy soon discovers violence and danger and a whole world that he never dreamed existed. His down-to-earth detective thinking is much-needed if some semblance of order is to be restored.

While I didn’t get a lot of the fandom references of this particular anime/cosplay world (since I am not familiar with it), that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. Sion and a somewhat closeted Roy are great together, and I liked the murder mystery in the setting of a convention that soon morphed into a world where elves are real. Very entertaining!

If you like murder mysteries set in two worlds, if you want to see a human detective deal with the discovery of an elven world, and if you’re looking for a read that is full of adventure, danger, and some hot loving, then you might like this short story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by MLR Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 11000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-July-2017
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link