A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

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Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

Focusing on homosexual relationships in historical fiction in the ancient Greek world is not new – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and The Persian Boy by Mary Renault have done so and reached wide audiences – but I am still thrilled to see another entry into this particular area, especially when that relationship is deep, abiding, and meaningful.  There have been centuries of writing and thinking that served to ignore and whitewash what was an important, and beautiful, part of the history of that era.  While there are certainly many parts of the culture that I am glad are no longer accepted – the treatment of women, slavery, constant wars, to name a few – the general acceptance of sexual love between two men (or women) deserves to be remembered and celebrated.

I also have a weak spot for epic stories, and the life of Alexander the Great is certainly a compelling subject.  Dr. Reames added to this book what is a new twist for me – using Hellenic (Greek) nomenclature for names, places, and concepts.  Thus we have Alexandros, Aristoteles, Philippos, etc, instead of the usual westernization of the names, which lends it an additional air of authenticity and interest.  There is a wonderful section where Hephaistion tries to puzzle out whether eros – sexual passion – can exist with true philia – brotherly love  – in his relationship with Alexandros, and the use of the Hellenic terms made me really look at the debate in a deeper way.

The book begins when Alexandros was 13, and newly entering the ranks of the Pages, or the servants of the king, Philoppos of Makedon (Philip of Macedonia).  Even at this young age, Alexandros had to find a balance between being set apart as a prince, and Philoppos’ heir, and yet still one of the youth of Makedonian aristocracy training to become a soldier and officer.  Hephaistion was 17, the youngest and only surviving son of Amyntor, who ran away from his home to Pella against his father’s wishes, and Philippos was more than willing to add him to the ranks of Pages.  Partly because both young men were outsiders in a way, and partly because of their natural intelligence and curiosity, Alexandros  and Hephaistion struck up an unlikely friendship, that deepened over the next few years in the time they spent as part of a select group of young men tutored by Aristoteles.

The coming of age of a prince must necessarily be different from that of other boys, no matter how much Alexandros might want to be like them.  The court of Philippos was full of political machinations, and Philippos himself was a master manipulator.  Alexandros’ mother had her own ambitions for him, and she also used Alexandros as a pawn in the power games she played with her husband.  Surrounded by people who wanted to use him, Alexandros found his friendship with Hephaistion one of the few things he could fully trust and depend upon.  Although their culture was accepting of same sex relationships, these relationships were typically defined with a very particular power dynamic – the older “erastes” was the lover and dominant partner, the younger “eromenos” was the beloved, and submissive.  Alexandros and Hephaistion loved one another, but how could they have that type of relationship when Alexandros was the future king?  (NOTE – by keeping the ages of Alexandros and Hephaistion relatively close together, the author was able to introduce this idea without giving it the creepy connotations of the modern day practice of pederasty, which is pretty much flat out pedophilia from what I’ve read about it.  I have to give the author props for that – even if I don’t know if their relationship was consistent with how the custom was truly practiced)

This book sets up what I expect will continue to be an amazing story.  I know how it ends of course – sometimes isn’t that the worst part of a fictionalized biography? – but I can’t wait to see the rest of the journey between here and there.  There is a large cast of characters, which can be confusing at times, but they are all nuanced, multifaceted people.  Warrior king Philippos; philosopher Aristoteles; priestess/witch/mother Myrtale; as well as the young men tutored by Aristoteles along with Alexandros, all interact in complex ways that seem to drive towards some inevitable destination.  This is definitely a character-driven plot, which is my favorite!  The book ends as Alexandros participates in a venerable ritual that fully initiates him into manhood, a logical completion of Becoming, which makes me truly anticipate the next chapter of Alexandros’ life in Book II:  Rise.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Cover art by LC Chase captures the ancient setting well, but does not reflect the grand, heroic nature of the characters.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 282 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title Dancing with the Lion: Becoming
ISBN139781626498969
Edition Language English
Series Dancing with the Lion #1
setting ancient Greece

Cover Reveal for Gentleman Wolf by Joanna Chambers

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Release Date: August 26 2019
 
Cover Design: Felix d’Eon
 
Blurb 
 

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…


Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, has no great wish to return to his home city of Edinburgh, but when he learns that the cruel Duncan MacCormaic is on the Continent and hunting for him, he reluctantly agrees to go into hiding.


Duncan, who held Lindsay in abject captivity for decades after savagely transforming him with his bite, has been trying to find Lindsay since the day he escaped his prison a century before. If Duncan can find him, he has the power to compel Lindsay to obey his every command, so the more distance Lindsay can put between them, the better.


… on a mission…


While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission. All Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems—and there are others who want the papers.


… meets his match


As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

 
About The Author
 

Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.


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Love Historical Romance? Check Out the Release Blitz for The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman (Duke & Dandy #1) by Zakarrie C. (excerpt and giveaway)

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NEW RELEASE

Book Title: The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy

Author: Zakarrie Clarke

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date: May 6, 2019

Genre/sHistorical M/M Romance (Regency), Comedy/Humour

Trope/s: Forbidden Love, Highwayman/Duke

ThemesDuty, Expectations of Society, Redemption Tale

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: approx. 100,000 words

It is a standalone story

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

AVAILABLE FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

‘The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince, His Grace Padraic, Duke of Waterford.’

After enduring the Ducal Grand Entrance, one might be forgiven for thinking that an evening could only improve. One would be wrong. Padraic was then duty bound to find an amiable miss to romance and dance attendance upon. In truth, the Duke was rather more partial to establishments that promised charms he would ne’er find in the arms of a Lady. Such dalliances did add a dash of decadence to his life of ducal drudgery, but time was tick-tocking and a blue-stocking bride must be wooed, and wed…

Raff of the Rookeries. The most afeared rake-hell to have haunted the highways since Darkin denied them the pleasure at the gallows…by stepping off the ladder before they could whip it from under his feet. Raff had fought his way up to rule the roost with instincts as razor-sharp as his dirk. His sword skills, fists, and wily wits had stood him in good stead, but none had proved as invaluable as the weapon he’d ne’er needed to tend. His fury. A rage every bit as lethal as arsenic—deadlier than brawn, brains, or bravado—Raphael had carried it like a toxic plague. Until, he became Raff of the Rookeries. Unleashed upon the underworld, it was the most formidable foe in London. Two men from two different worlds…a mere few miles apart. That is, until the fateful night when The Duke was halted in his tracks by a very Dandy Highwayman…

Excerpt

Mayhaps twenty minutes later, the air turned decidedly rank; a stench that came accompanied by random street sounds and the odd drunken shout. They were, beyond any shadow o’doubt, heading for some godforsaken part of town. A logical assumption, further embellished by the aroma of decaying cabbage and other, far less salubrious odors.

If the Devil himself intended to demoralize the poor, he could not find a means more agreeable to his plans, than the London slums.

“Nearly there, Yer Grace,” The scoundrel called over his shoulder as they slowed to a trot.

“Where is ‘there’?” Padraic dared to wonder.

“My humble abode. It’s where you’ll be staying awhile; leastways until someone coughs up for yer safe return.” The highwayman’s voice sounded harsher, colder while imparting this, as if his words were poisoned by the rancid air as they fell from his lips.

“Whereabouts are we?” Padraic asked, curious as to whether his rogue would answer.

“The Strand.”

It was as he’d expected. They were in the warren of narrow, filthy streets and alleyways in the densely populated slums. Home to one of London’s most notorious Rookeries. An utterly lawless labyrinth of squalid living, gin dens, bawdy houses, and brothels. Popular legend told of a traveller who had entered Portugal Street on his way to The Strand and never emerged. His ghost was, apparently, still searching for a way back to civilization. Padraic would just have to hope to fare rather better than he.

The Duke had e’er been horrified that people were forced to live this way, right under the refined noses of the ton. Poles apart, but virtually overlapping in proximity. Padraic had poured thousands into funding an orphanage and school for foundlings, when he came into his inheritance. He visited them oft, choosing the staff himself to ensure that no child was ill-treated, but there was only so much he could do. With all the will in the world, there wasn’t a great deal to be done, as long as those in power turned a blind eye to the suffering of others.

“Whoa…” When Demon clattered to a halt on the cobblestones, the Duke reluctantly relinquished his grip about his captor’s person. The scoundrel shifted in the saddle and with one sharp tug, the kerchief was gone, alongside a fair few strands of hair that were tangled into its knot. The Duke scarce felt the sting as his hungry gaze guzzled the sight it had been denied for the duration of the ride. ’Twas with a devilish wink that the highwayman threw a leg over the horse’s head, before lightly dismounting.

“Billy, m’lad!” He hailed a youth seated on the front steps of a large dilapidated townhouse, holding a lantern aloft. An endearing grin lit up his grimy face as he sprang to his feet.

“Yer all right, Raff?” he chirped, in very genuine cockney tones.

“Too right I am. We ’ave ourselves a guest m’friend. Yer Grace, this is Billy—he ain’t got another name—so I can’t tell yer that. Billy, this ’ere is His Grace, The Duke of Waterford, so yer better mind your p’s ’n’ q’s, like I taught yer.”

“Hello Billy, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Padriac greeted him.

“Lawks! I can’t fink why, Yer…Grace?” Billy glanced at the man he’d called Raff, seeking reassurance for his form of address, and received an approving nod.

“I can’t think why ’twould not be.” Padraic smiled. Billy looked puzzled for a moment—as if trying to make sense of something he’d patently understood—then just beamed instead and reached for Demon’s halter.

“See that he’s rubbed down and well-fed, won’t you, Billy? I need to get our guest settled in.”

“Righto. C’mon Demon, let’s be ’avin yer, there’s oats awaiting and some fresh hay.”

“After you, Yer Grace…” The rascal sketched a bow, waving his hand with a flourish as he bent extravagantly low, before straightening up to push open the front door. It was painted black; blistered, peeling and desperately in need of a fresh coat. A large, dimly lit hallway lay beyond it, with a wide staircase ascending on the left.

“Raff! I’d almost given up ’ope on ya. Thought you’d gone a-whoring,” announced a stocky, bow-legged man, with close-cropped hair and forearms like lamb shanks. His broad grin revealed several missing teeth, the remaining ones having seen better days. Several decades ago.

Despite having tugged his kerchief down when they entered, Padraic was still unable to drink his fill of Raff’s face, for much of it was cast into shadow and the rest, obscured by a tangled fall of hair.

“Not tonight Bluff, I was off procuring us a guest,” he smirked.

“Crikey, you’ve nabbed a right nob. Who the ’ell is he?”

“This ’ere’s The Duke of Waterford.” Raff declared, inclining his head with divine insolence.

“Lawks! A Duke? Couldn’t yer find a Prince ’anging about then?” Bluff gaped.

“’Fraid not, we’ll just ’ave to slum it…” Raff tutted, with a fulsome sigh.

“I hope yer don’t expect me t’curtsy. I ain’t got the legs for it.”

“You ain’t got the legs for owt except sitting on ’orseback,” Raff retorted, about a breath before his tone darkened to a deadly rasp. “Bluff. See to it that no one. But no one. Lays a finger on him.” He added nary a dire threat, nor had he raised his voice. Raff had, in fact, lowered it to a lethal lash of sound that sliced the air like a whip—but it was the glint of green he levelled at Bluff that made the man swallow visibly while nodding several times.

“Will do, Raff. He’ll fetch a pretty price, won’t he?”

“Too bloody right, he will. I’ll have to keep him up top with me—Duke he might be—but he ain’t above being too ripe and ready by ’alf.”

“A dark ’orse is he? I ain’t at all surprised, now you mention it. Beggin’ yer pardon, Yer Dukeness. Right, I’ll just wait for Billy an’ lock up then.”

“Thanks, Bluff. ’Night.”

“’Night Raff…’night yer Dukeness.” Bluff doffed an imaginary cap at Padraic, who inclined his head with ducal gravity, so as not to disappoint him. The amiable miscreant was chuckling away to himself as he took his leave of them, before disappearing through a door further down the hallway.

“Right then, Yer Grace, up yer go. Right to the top,” Raff instructed, gesturing towards the staircase with a regal sweep of his hand.

“Are you locking me in the attic?” Padraic asked, as he clasped the bannister.

“I am, indeed. Yer can’t get up to any mischief up there.”

The Duke thought it might be wise to hold his tongue and make his way upstairs, afore the scoundrel decided to shove him in the coal cellar instead. Padraic’s brain was abuzz with demon steeds, daft monikers, and bandy-legged blackguards. A boy with only one name and a heart of gold.

About the Author

After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, Zakarrie settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea. ’Twas here that her castaway dreams resurfaced and she began to write; stories that are, in truth, better at being her than she’s ever been. Her one hope now is that someone, somewhere, will enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she loves writing them.

Social Media Links

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A MelanieM Review : Under The Radar by Lillian Francis

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

It’s 1942 and after a sexual indiscretion, US Navy pilot Zachary MacKenzie is sent to serve in the Royal Navy’s submarine service—a shockingly harsh punishment for a man who loves to fly. The submarine is oppressive and frustrating for him, and he’s marked out from his peers, publicly by being American, and privately by his attraction to men.

The only bright spot is the company of his steward, sonar operator Gethin Llewelyn. Despite the differences of rank and background, they’re drawn to each other. Gethin’s integrity complements Zach’s casual joie de vivre, and soon the friendship develops into something much more.

As the threats of war increase, the submarine is plagued by potentially hostile vessels, and circumstances lead them to suspect there’s a spy amongst their own crew. Being forced even closer together as they work for the greater good reveals a new awareness, and Zach doesn’t know what is in more danger, the vessel under his charge or his heart.

I am a long time lover of historical novels, historical romance included, among them several stories of Lillian Francis.  So I knew I was in good hands historically speaking when it came to the era and details of naval mariner life found in Under The Radar by Lillian Francis.  As always the author ended up delivering so much more than I anticipated, astonishing me with new revelatory details about gay life from that time period, secret naval oddities and historic events that Francis folds effortlessly into her novel and romance, along with characters that show great growth and redemption.

It is the latter that had me most concerned and yet won me over the most. US Navy pilot Zachary MacKenzie is passionate about flying, his need for the sky almost as fierce as his need and passion for men, but homosexuality isn’t merely a sin, it’s against the law, ending careers and sending people to jail.  But Zachary has an arrogant, almost fearless streak that gets him in trouble time after time until one last scandal sees him bedding the wrong person and ending up with an enemy too powerful  for his friends and family to assuage.  It costs him his “sky and flying”.  He’s sent to serve in a submarine in England.

You would think he’d be more contrite but no.  The character of Zach barely acknowledges his part in all of it.  And I had a huge time connecting with him.  His attitude towards trying to seduce Gethin (a true innocent about his attraction towards men), his responsibilities on board, Zach was just too glib for me to like.  Especially in contrast to the realistic portraits of submariners on board and the life everyone was living there.  Luckily, the author proceeded to slowly have the character of Zachary MacKenzie undertake a much needed personal growth, his character changing as his relationship with Gethin turned from pursuit into friendship and his appreciation of the people and duties on boards shifted as well.

The life inside the small cramped “tin can” of a 40’s submarine is mind boggling.  The descriptions of how the men lived must have come from journals it feels so real and authentic.  That includes the fact that homosexuals serving in the navy (or later adopted outside military services) used a secret language called Polari to speak to one another, a sign of recognition and let each other safely know they knew you were  one of them.  Here the author uses it in a wonderful scene and it sent me scrambling to know more about a piece of history I’d never heard about. Astonishing to learn that the language has been in use worldwide from 1600 to 1970’s, until LGBT laws made the language less needed. And the use of stewards in a submarine! A place where headroom was scarce alone with personal space!  And the fact that carbon monoxide poisoning was a constant threat upon diving…well the facts of life on board just continued to amaze me.

So with such a rich, solid foundation and framework established with her history and naval and gay culture, Francis proceeds to give her readers a wonderful slow burn romance with elements of suspense and drama that keeps both the characters and reader deeply connected to the men and plot right up to the end.  It’s all the many interlocking relationships here, the friendships that add to the romance as well as to the structure and responsibilities needed to run the submarine. It’s such a tight knit community of men that spills from career into friendship and in this case (and others) into romance and love.

And at the end, I’d gone from not liking Zach very well to whole hearted admiration for the man he’d become.  That went for Gethin too.  What a journey this was, what a path both still had still ahead.

Under The Radar by Lillian Francis is such an incredible historic romance, one I absolutely recommend.  You  feel as though the era and these men come alive for you.    It’s a romance not to be missed!

Cover art: Tiferet Designs.  Love the sub emerging behind the character and the beards, which yes, many of the submariners had.  Its part of the story.  Wonderful cover.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 407 pages
Published April 14th 2019 by Finally Love Press
Original Title Under the Radar
ASINB07QMM3H8R

New Book Release Blitz and Giveaway for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.


Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.



When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.


It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.
 
Author Bio
 

REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.

 

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Cover Reveal for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton (giveaway)

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AVAILABLE APRIL 25 2019
 
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.


Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.



When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.


It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.
 
Author Bio
 

REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.

 

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A MelanieM Review : Murder at Oakschott Hall by Jim Austen

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

In the Junior students’ dormitory at Oakschott Hall, a heavy gaslight falls from the ceiling, crushing the head of a student sleeping beneath it. Was it simply a tragic accident? To avoid publicity, the Headmaster asks Colin Revell, a young Oxford University graduate and former Oakschott student, to quietly investigate.

While interviewing the faculty and staff, Colin meets Max Lambourne, a handsome don who was wounded and gassed in WWI. When Colin tries to help Max overcome his trauma and depression, the two men fall in love and begin an erotic affair.

But when another student dies—diving at night into an empty swimming pool—murder is suspected. Students and faculty all come under suspicion, and rumors proliferate when Scotland Yard intervenes. Meanwhile, during all this confusion and wild theories, the murderer sees Colin and Max as threats. Unbeknownst to the two lovers, their lives are now in danger.

Murder at Oakschott Hall by Jim Austen is my first novel by this author and it’s in a genre, two in fact, that are hard to get right.  The first is the historical novel.  This is set in 1927 in England and has its own lingo/colloquialisms and historical framework wherein  the story and characters have to adhere to.   For Austen, that meant having his characters with WWI as part of their back history, including being gassed,  and having PTSD although it wasn’t called that at the time.  Getting all those elements that make an era come alive without making it feel like a history info dump takes hard work and i believe that Austen did a great job here, albeit with an occasional  slip up or two.  This author is inordinately fond of the word queer and uses it so frequently that it becomes not only noticeable but an annoyance.  When you count it’s use 3 times in 3 short sentences in a row, well, you can see my drift.  Other words could have been substituted but he was either making a point about its use in the 1900’s which yes, we know it meant something different, or its just his favorite word.  Either way, it took away from the scenes becauses it was a distraction.

The other thing that is hard to write?  A good old mystery!  And here, Austen does well too.  The author keeps us guessing  with multiple suspects right up until the end, with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the main character poised for either a major breakthrough or major trouble.  Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed this element of the story.

No, I think where the story floundered a bit was in the romance itself.  And perhaps the main character of Colin Revell.  He just never seems to have much substance to him. A flighty sort might be one description.  I didn’t particularly like him.  And the romance?  A total case of instant love or lust.  It was a matter of Max Lambourne having a bad case of PTSD which turns into sex, when they barely knew each other in 1927.  Talk about taking risks.  Which of course turned into “I love you” almost immediately.   I mean how fast could my eyes roll? Yes that fast.  What follows between them is just as superficially epic while asking the reader to believe this is a real relationship.

No for me, while the historical elements and mystery worked, the two main characters actually didn’t, which was sort of a first.

I think that while I wouldn’t read this story again, I would seek out more from this author.  As I said there’s much to recommend here,just not the romance.  If you like historical mystery, pick it up for that.  And the language and setting.  I never could resist a mystery.

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 204 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Flying Heron Press
ASINB07NJ2L79L
Edition LanguageEnglish

Love Historical Fiction? Be Sure to Check Out the Tour for The Fall Guy by Chris Quinton

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 13,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



In 1920s New York, Pinkerton Agent John Brady is assigned to a brutal robbery/kidnapping, an open and shut case with an obvious culprit – but nothing and no one are what they seem.



Small-time crook Cesare Donati has the perfect getaway: a transatlantic cruise ship. When Brady turns up at his cabin door, Cesare knows he is out of options until they reach England.


Will London be a safe haven or a place of reckoning?

About The Author
 

Chris Quinton started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was ten, and it was probably the best gift she’d ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.


Chris’s reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, writing mostly in the male/male genre. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. Over the years she has been a stable lad [briefly] in a local racing stable and stud, a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, a civilian clerk at her local police station and a 15th century re-enactor.


She lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, three dogs, a frilled dragon [lizard] and sundry goldfish and tropicals.

 
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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1) by K.J. Charles

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

KJ Charles is an incredibly talented author and when dealing with a UK historical, her work is top of the line.

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar. He, his older brother who is set to inherit the title, and his sister have been estranged from the duke for ten years. Their other sister, who has since passed away, witnessed the duke murdering their mother so he could marry the caretaker’s widow—a miserable, miserly, poor excuse for a stepmother if ever there was one. Alec, his sister, and his brother’s family live in poverty while the duke and duchess flaunt their wealth. As the 20th anniversary of their marriage approaches, Alec determines he’s going to do something to bring the two down.

So he begins the first steps to his long game and hires the Lilywhite Boys, a notorious pair of jewel thieves. Jerry Crozier is suave, debonair, charming, a total rogue, and before Alec knows it, Jerry discovers his secret and dominates him into a series of submissions to Jerry’s desires. Alec’s plan is to get Jerry, and his partner who will be disguised as Jerry’s valet, into the house party the duke is planning as their anniversary celebration. There, Jerry will break into the duchess’s safe and steal away with her set of diamonds commissioned for the anniversary event. But along the way, Alec has to ingratiate himself to his father with a public apology and distance himself from his siblings who want nothing to do with the duke and to whom he can’t reveal his plan.

Needless to say, Alec falls in love with Jerry and Jerry, surprisingly (to himself) falls in love with Alec. The dynamic between the two is outstanding. I really wanted to hate Jerry for manipulating Alec and for holding himself aloof. As it turns out, his own heart was engaged and directed many of his actions.

I also love the author’s sense of humor, which is woven throughout the story in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For example, Jerry is teaching Alec how to play billiards in a semi-public location when he tells Alec to put his “nose to the ball,” and the pair totally lose their composure, laughing hysterically—along with this reader.

Tender moments are equally as well done. “The question was never whether I loved you,” Alec whispered. “It was, How brave am I or maybe, How afraid am I? And it turns out I’m slightly braver than I am afraid when it comes to you…” Gah! I loved this romance.

There were also brief visits from, and mentions of, characters we met in the past, including those in the Sins of the Cities series, though this story takes place about twenty years after An Unsuitable Heir.

And the ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting. KJ Charles is a pro at plot twists and yet always manages to find a way for her gentlemen (and rogues) to find their way to their HEA. I very highly recommend this one as a fine example of her work.

The drawn caricature cover by Vic Grey features two gentlemen of the late 19th century at an opera house—one seated and one standing, both in formalwear. Not only is it symbolic of their first adventure together, the fact that it’s not a photo cover may be a play on Lord Alexander’s talent as an artist.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2019 by KJC Books
ISBN 139781912688074
Edition LanguagebEnglish
Series Lilywhite Boys #1

Love Holiday Stories? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by N.R. Walker

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 55,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb


The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.
Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.
 
 

Dec 2 – Boulevard des Passions, Gay Book Reviews, Dec 4 – Lelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Megan’s Media Melange, Dec 8 – Xtreme Delusions, My Fiction Nook, Dec 10 – Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Open Skye, The Secret Of Ko, Rainbow Book Reviews, Dec 12 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 14 – Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews, Dec 17 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To Read, Lillian Francis, Wicked Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed, Dec 19 – Drops Of Ink, Kimmers Erotic Book Banter, Bayou Book JunkieAmy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 21 – Bonkers About Books, Book Corner Reviews

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We are loving this series!

 

 

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Author Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 

 

 

 

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