Smoke and Mirrors: Carnival of Mysteries by Elizabeth Silver

"The last I remember, things were not looking so great for Team Save the World." Smoke and Mirrors.

From the blurb:

Two things I know for sure: Magic isn't real and never date your coworkers.

Xander knows for a fact magic belongs solely in the realm of fiction. But fate has other plans when he finds himself reluctantly going on a date to a mysterious traveling carnival. Little does he know that this seemingly harmless outing will thrust him into an entirely different dimension, where magic is very much a reality—though its practitioners label it as science.

As Xander navigates this extraordinary new world, he finds himself accompanied by distractingly attractive government agent Justus Farhill, whose good looks and honest heart make it challenging to keep those pesky emotions in check. Their undeniable chemistry grows the more they work together, and even though he knows he should be fighting to find his way home, Xander instead finds himself with one heck of a reason to stay.

But amidst the blossoming romance, the veil of tranquility over this strange realm has begun to fracture. A cataclysmic battle decades in the making looms on the horizon, where the balance of power between science and magic threatens the very fabric of existence if the wrong side gains control.

As alliances shift and loyalties are tested, Xander finds himself questioning what’s real… and what’s really worth fighting for. With the fate of multiple dimensions at stake, both Xander and Justus must confront doubts and insecurities about themselves and where they belong.

Even if that means sacrificing everything in the end.

Smoke and Mirrors is part of the multi-author Carnival of Mysteries Series. Each book stands alone, but each one includes at least one visit to Errante Ame’s Carnival of Mysteries, a magical, multiverse traveling show full of unusual acts, games, and rides. The Carnival changes to suit the world it’s on, so each visit is unique and special. This book contains a roller-coaster ride of magic, science, and heart-pounding romance—are you ready to take the plunge?

Miki J's Review:

One of the best novels I've read this year - totally engaging, great world building and twists that I was not expecting (but sooo exciting!!!).   

Justus is the stoic protector who does his job but is realizing there's a bit more to just following orders... And Xander - he is such a trip!!! His quips and views had me chortling a lot!!  

Loved the characters and world building - brilliantly done. It's funny and sweet with adventure and suspense - great blend!  

Totally wish there'd be more with this couple!!

Rating: 5 Stars

Smoke and Mirrors is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.