A MelanieM Review: A Taste Of Copper by Elin Gregory

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5 (rounded up to 5)

 

Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Taste of copper 400x600Sir Maheris Schade, the Black Knight, has been charged with guarding a strategic bridge that leads into his Master’s kingdom.  His orders?  To allow no one to pass over the bridge.  It doesn’t matter that recent horrific events have made his Master, the Count of Tancred,  the most hated man in all the land.  All that matters to Sir Schade is duty and honor.  Many times the Black Knight has been challenged and each time he has bested his opponent.  And the toll of that constant fighting is showing on his body and soul.

At the Black Knight’s side, his squire Olivier.  Olivier has had other Masters but none has he loved like he loves Maheris Schade.  Olivier only wished that the Black Knight showed any interest in returning his love.  Instead Olivier has settled for a gruff Master/Squire relationship with occasional benefits on the side.

But everything is about to change.  The King and his men are approaching the bridge and they intend to cross.  As the army approaches, an intriguing archer arrives first to upset their status quo and leave Olivier questioning not only his Master’s resolve but their relationship as well.

I first encountered the author, Elin Gregory, when I read her splendid book On A Lee Shore, another historical romance.  So I was delighted to see another story from Gregory, this time set in the Middle Ages.   A story of approximately 58 pages, it takes place over the course of three momentous days.

Sir Maharis Schade, with Olivier at his side, has been holding the bridge against an onslaught of knights as war wages in the lands around him.  Gregory drops us into the action as the constant battling and lack of resources is wearing the Black Knight and Olivier down.  Their armor, tents, and clothing are  showing the wear and tear of their circumstances.  The worn, oft-repaired state of their equipment is also starting to  reflect their mental, emotional and physical status as well.  Down to just the two of them, Elin Gregory makes us feel every bit of the weariness and exhaustion that is starting to overtake them.

In concise, detailed descriptions, Elin Gregory’s narrative uses the perilous situation, the depth of their honor, and the terminology of the times to bring these men vividly to life.   This is not the expected  romance per se but it exists, subtly at first.  Then the thread of love weaves itself through the story in a manner both dramatic and poignant.  There are  several scenes in A Taste of Copper that will make you weep.   The weight of honor and duty upon a chivalrous man has never been so heavy.  That it is born by two makes it doubly heartrending and affective.

The author builds the drama and suspense in just the right increments, allowing the readers to learn to like, then love, finally able to comprehend  and root for the complex relationship that exists not just between the Black Knight and Olivier but Hywel the archer and his love.  Looking back, I find it hard to believe that all the events and the emotions and actions they engendered took place in only three days.  But that timeline restriction works beautifully to build the sense of alarm and resignation as the King and his men approach.  That sense of urgency, along with regret, run like the warp and weft of a tapestry the author is weaving in A Taste of Copper.

At first, I wanted more from this story.  Then I realized that while I want more of these characters amidst the aftermath of their battle and war,  I wanted it to come in a sequel, not as additional length to this story.  I would love to see Elin Gregory revisit these characters and their relationship but if I only get them in this story, then I am content.  A Taste of Copper is a small bit of literary perfection.  It is a historical slice of two mens lives that happens to contain far more emotion and depth than is first seen at first read of the page.  I can see this will be one of my favorite historical reads of the year.  If you are a lover of historical stories and romance, put A Taste of Copper on your must read list today.

Cover Artist:  Meredith Russell. Gorgeous cover, worthy of the wonderful tale within.  One of my favorite covers.

Sales Links:   Love Lane Books    All Romance eBooks    amazon      A Taste of Copper

Book Details:

ebook, 26,900 words, approx. 58 pages
Published September 26th 2014 by Love Lane Books Limited
(first published September 24th 2014)
Love Lane Books

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Anchored by Rachel Haimowitz

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Anchored Riptide CoverDaniel Halstrom was born a slave, brutally indoctrinated into sex slave behavior before he even reached puberty, and then sold by his master to NewWorld Media at the age of ten. Fortunately, they wanted him for a different role and now, twenty-five years later, the handsome, blond news anchor who began his climb to fame as a field reporter is fairly secure in his role in the newsroom—or so he thinks. When NewWorld informs him that he’s been leased to Carl Whitman, a talk show host on a rival network, for the amazing sum of $6 million for the year, he’s seized by total and complete panic and frozen by fear as old memories of what it means to be a sex slave come back to haunt him. So much so, that he doesn’t recognize Carl’s attempts at being friendly and compassionate and it causes much unnecessary angst and frustration for the both of them.

Carl seems determined to include Daniel at the dinner table and as a companion while he watches television in the evenings. He doesn’t order Daniel around and fails to give Daniel the direction he’s come to expect from his masters. In fact, Daniel really isn’t capable of making his own decisions, having been born a slave and punished severely all his life for any attempt to do so. When Daniel fails to engage in any conversation with Carl, remaining mute and remote, in frustration, Carl reports his disappointment to the brass at NewWorld.

Once his bosses learn that Carl is not happy with him, they take Daniel to their punishment room. Spoiler alert. Continue reading

Let’s Get Intimate with Sean Michael and “Bruised” (book tour)

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Love and Fate and Billy and Johnson

If you asked Billy and Johnson what it was about each other that made them fall in love, Johnson would hem and haw and if he had at least a beer in him, would tell you that he fell for Billy’s skin, for that smooth beautiful skin that he just knew would bruise like a dream. And that once he knew that’s what Billy needed, too, he was lost.

Billy would probably give you a case in point argument, complete with slides and possibly a break for lunch if it ran long.

Yeah, they’re different guys from different backgrounds with very different jobs. And they never would have met if Billy’s Jeep hadn’t conked out right near Johnson’s garage. But for that one little twist of fate, their love affair never would have happened.

I imagine everyone has people in their lives who they only met because they zagged in a situation where they usually would have zigged, be it a friend, an enemy or, like in Billy and Johnson’s case, a lover.

Were they fated to meet, was it destiny that put a hand in and made that one little thing happen so Billy and Johnson could meet? Or was it pure luck? Would they have found love even if it wasn’t with each other? Luckily, they’ll never have to find out because, as chance (or was it fate?) would have it, I saw the man who inspired Billy, or their story might never have been told at all!

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Sean Michael
smut fixes everything
http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

About Sean Michael:

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organising his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channelling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago”.

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Blurb for Bruised:

bruised_exlarge_PNG-210x336Johnson and Billy come from different parts of the country, different backgrounds and different places in their lives. Maybe different is exactly what they both need.

Johnson figures it’s got to be a sign when cowboy Billy shows up at his garage after hours, just as he’s about to go find someone to spend the night with. He’s horny enough that a lot of guys would look good, but Billy seems special somehow.

Billy thinks Johnson’s the hottest ticket he’s seen since he moved to California from Texas, and after a good meal and some good fun, he takes Johnson home. They both find out they’re getting more than they bargained for. Can Johnson and Billy figure out why they feel so connected and can they make it last once reality sets back in?

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

Like the sound of Bruised? Buy it here!

 

 Bruised Excerpt :

The chili was good, the beer cold. The cobbler was promising to be perfect and the company?
Fucking hot.

Johnson was fine, nice eyes, great voice. They had started swapping horror stories from their childhoods—his own fights with his older brother, being the only boy cheerleader in a fifty-mile radius, Johnson’s most hated teacher, pranks he’d pulled.

It was fun, relaxing. A hell of a lot better than singing along with the jukebox and reading depositions.

Carol brought over the cobbler ’n’ ice cream and Johnson gave him that sexy grin again. “Now for the real test.”

He arched an eyebrow, licked his lips. “Yeah?” He waited to see what Johnson said, to see where the flirtation would go.

“Cobbler versus sex. That’s quite the challenge.”

“Hmm.” He scooped up a spoonful, balancing the pastry and cream, and held it out. “Open up, tell me what you think.”

Johnson gave him a slow, easy smile and leaned forward, mouth opening. Oh, now that was sexy as fuck. He fed Johnson the bite, watching as the hot-cold sweet hit Johnson’s tongue. The man’s eyes closed, a soft moan sounding, the whole experience sensual as hell.

Johnson took his time, savoring the bite, licking his lips. When his eyes opened, he gave Billy another smile. “Oh, now that was good. Of course, there’s only one way to make a true comparison.” Johnson’s voice was low, gravelly.

“Yeah? How’s that?” Oh, sweet fuck, he was hard as a frigging board and so ready to play.

“Have sex, of course.” Johnson winked at him, that smile firmly in place, invitation in the almost-green eyes.

“Do you kiss on the first date?” Hell, do you put out? How do you feel about nice hard fucks?

Down, Billy. Up-and-coming lawyers do not go to bed with mechanics after beer and chili. Don’t. Just…

Well, they might.

Possibly.

 

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