Review - What If? by Barbara Elsborg

book cover

What If?

by Barbara Elsborg

My rating:

Volume 2 of Lost and Found

Tags: Fantasy

Posted in Book Reviews on September 25, 2022

Garrett is a fae who works in his father's Christmas shop, making magical toys and sometimes dealing with faeries who have broken the rules while in the human realm. One day his store is visited by Crispin, an apparently human young man about Garrett's age who shouldn't be able to see or enter the shop, but does so anyway. They spend a magical day together, and Garrett gives Crispin a specially created bee that should be able to lead Crispin back to the store when it reopens the following year. But thanks to Crispin's vindictive brother, the bee is lost for eight years. When he retrieves the bee, Crispin can once again find his way to the shop and is reunited with Garrett, but will the two young lovers be able to stay together?

Although this is the second book in the Lost and Found series, it is very much a stand-alone, as there is minimal overlap with the characters of the first book until the very end. It would still be best if you read Double Trouble before reading this story, but it's not absolutely necessary.

There are some parallels to the previous volume, in that the set-up of this story involves two young men who meet as teenagers, but are then separated for many years before rediscovering each other. However, aside from the basic premise, the two plots are very different. Crispin is quite believable as an upper-middle-class young Englishman with an uncaring mother, a wicked older brother, and a doting father. Although privileged, Crispin has had a challenging life yet remains optimistic despite, or perhaps because, he has had to face death at a young age.

Garrett is a charming character. Very talented magically, but with a little dark side he hesitates to reveal to Crispin. The two men have a lot in common, and yet are very different, which really comes through in the storytelling. The story itself is quite compelling. While there is a bit of magic, the bulk of the drama comes naturally and very believably.

“What If?” is available from Amazon.