Recent college graduate Eli Katz is desperate to continue his studies in the field of magical botany. When a family friend arranges an apprenticeship for him with the most famous botanist in the country, Eli leaps at the chance without asking questions.
Robert Lord-Harding is a reclusive bachelor with an interest in dangerous plants. What he’s not interested in is another apprentice—especially not after the scandal of his last one. But, intrigued by Eli’s research, he offers Eli the chance to prove himself and earn access to his greenhouse.
Ever the keen student, Eli thrives under the attention. And if Lord-Harding is younger and more attractive than Eli had imagined, and if his teaching methods are more hands-on . . . Well, it’s not the first time Eli has had a crush on an instructor. It doesn’t mean he has to act on it.
But Eli and Lord-Harding aren’t the only ones in the greenhouse. A carnivorous plant that emits pheromones to lure men into its deadly embrace has been watching them flirt for weeks. Its pollen is irresistible, and it has certain effects on male physiology that make it impossible to ignore. Eli and Lord-Harding might be able to resist their attraction to each other, but resisting the man-eater is something else altogether.
Point of view:
3rd person. Entirely from Eli’s perspective.
Low angst, age gap, fantasy romance short story. I liked Powell’s ability to build such a lush world in so few pages. 20-something Eli Katz & 40-something Robert Lord-Harding are pushed together by a mutual friend. Eli’s apprenticeship means an opportunity to learn about magical plants found few places in the world.
Easy read and enjoyable characters with a lovely, and sometimes dangerous, fantasy element. Looking forward to more of Powell’s work.
About the author:
Arden Powell is a speculative-fiction author and illustrator from the Canadian East Coast. They graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Honouring in English Literature. As a hybrid author they self-publish as well as publish with indie presses, and have had work accepted by literary magazines including Baffling Magazine and Lightspeed. Their most recent release is Flos Magicae, an historical fantasy romance series. A nebulous entity, they live with a small terrier and an exorbitant number of houseplants, and have conversations with both. They write across a range of fantasy sub-genres and everything they write is queer.
You can connect with Arden Powell here:
My Favorite Quotes
To flirt with the man was enjoyable; to study under him was transcendent. – The Botanist’s Apprentice by @ArdenPowell #KindleUnlimited #ShortStory #MMRomance #AgeGapTweet
Though truthfully, he had always experienced love and lust as intertwined, like ivy vines or lovers’ bodies. – The Botanist’s Apprentice by @ArdenPowell #KindleUnlimited #ShortStory #MMRomance #AgeGapTweet
His forearms alone were enough to drive Eli to distraction. – The Botanist’s Apprentice by @ArdenPowell #KindleUnlimited #ShortStory #MMRomance #AgeGapTweet
Like he was something wild and fey that had wandered into the greenhouse, to be worshipped and cared for. – The Botanist’s Apprentice by @ArdenPowell #KindleUnlimited #ShortStory #MMRomance #AgeGapTweet