The Magpie Lord by K. J. Charles (A Charm of Magpies, #1)
The Magpie Lord is sometimes dark, frequently sexy, and overall just what I was looking for. Crane and Day work well as quasi-reluctant partners overcoming a traumatic family history to unravel the dark events surrounding Crane's family home.
This was a very fun read. Paranormal romance is a surprisingly dark genre, and though this particular entry doesn't have vampires or werewolves, it accomplishes a similar level of violence by also being a murder mystery with curses and general magic. It has smartly used power differentials... and consent. Enthusiastic, affirmative consent.
The magpie motif makes its presence felt without being predictable, and we receive part of an explanation that makes me hope we'll gradually learn more of Crane's family history as this series continues. The mechanics of magic receive enough of an explanation in between the main action to feel developed, implying more to be explored later.
Don't skip the Interlude with Tattoos at the end of the book. It continues the romance while also establishing the state of Stephen and Crane's relationship after the events of the main book.
CWs for suicidal ideation, homophobia, and brief antisemitism.