A Lila Review: His Pagan Love by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

One day fate decides to smile on Brennus.

He’s hunting in the woods when he is almost seen by a group of Roman soldiers returning to their encampment. He hides until they pass, then decides to bathe in the nearby stream. Naked, he finds a mossy rock on which to lie while the sun dries and warms him.

It isn’t long before his instincts tell him he isn’t alone. He discovers a soldier watching him and leaps to his feet, ready to fight. But fighting is the last thing Cyprian, the handsome Roman soldier, has on his mind.

Over time the men become lovers, finding happiness in a world gone mad. They agree to meet regularly and for a time, they do. Until one day Brennus is captured by the Romans.

Where is Cyprian? Didn’t he see his handsome soldier as he was being led into the encampment? Or will he ultimately be betrayed?

His Pagan Love is an ode to the Romans and their love of gods and conquest. The story is in part unbelievable for the era and the events Cyprian and Brennus overcame. Yes, it is a lovely tale of sacrifice and devotion, mixed with an unforgiven quality of life. 

The assertions of tribes, Romans, and other primitive cultures were well integrated and gave the reader the flexibility to see beyond the need for a more extensive world-built. The silent ways in which they communicated not only between them but with the rest of their limited world were simple and interesting.

This is a short story that can be read at once between longer books. It has enough of a story to satisfy the reader’s curiosity without leaving them wanting for more. A little unremarkable but strong enough to leave us with a smile.

The cover by  Written in Designs has some historical aspects but is more modern than accurate. It works but isn’t enticing enough to get readers to stop and look deeper into the book’s description.

Sale Links: JMS | Amazon | Nook

ebook, 75 pages
Published: September 29, 2018, by JMS Books
ISBN:9781634867337
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: The Sky at Night by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

When Armand happens to look down into his new neighbor’s yard one night and discovers him lying on his back, staring up at the night sky, he doesn’t know what to think. It doesn’t happen every night, but it happens often enough for Armand’s curiosity to be piqued.

 

When they finally meet, Armand falls instantly in lust with Ben, a dentist with an interest Armand can only describe as out-of-the-ordinary. As they get to know each other, Armand’s feelings towards Ben blossom into love. Yet Ben reveals he has recently come out of a six-year relationship and isn’t quite ready for anyone special in his life. Armand is disappointed but learns to live with the fact he and Ben might only ever be friends.

 

But the future is a strange and wonderful thing. When Armand starts to show a fondness for Ben’s unusual interest, it leads to more than one surprise event.

 

This was much more a story of friendship than romance to me.  Armand has been attracted to his new neighbor since he first saw him and jumps at the chance to get to know him better.  He gains a wonderful new friend and new interest for them to share as they get to know each other.

 

We see this story from Armand’s point of view and don’t really get to see Ben’s emotions as he keeps them hidden a bit.  We see their friendship develop from their first real meeting to great friends that see each other a few times a week and spending a lot of time together.  Ben finally opens up near the end of the story giving Armand the chance to have what he has been hoping to have for months.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is understated but is perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages

Published: May 20, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863865

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Man and Tree by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

 

man-and-tree-by-wayne-mansfieldNathaniel, a horse-riding traveler in eighteenth century Europe, emerges from a vast forest to see a field of golden wheat. At the centre of the field is a large tree and, at its base, a man. Strangely, the man appears to be talking to the tree.

At the village inn, Nathaniel asks the barman about the man and tree. The barman refuses to tell him anything, so Nathaniel decides to visit the man himself. The following morning he rides back to the field, where he notices the man is still there, talking to the tree.

He introduces himself to the man, whose name is Adam. When questioned about why he sits beside the tree, talking to it, Adam reveals a story so amazing, it borders on being unbelievable. Nathaniel, too, has a similar tale, the conclusion of which is just as bizarre and shocking as Adam’s.

Man and Tree is a short, and quite frankly bizarre little tale about two couples who had the misfortune to run a foul of a witch.  I think had the author tried for more of a fantasy feel, instead of locating the story in 18th century Europe and going for an adult fairy tale, Man and Tale might have come off a little better on the whole.  As it is, its hard to explain the complete lack any awareness of the laws and societal awareness of homosexuality of those times.  Its completely ignored or made little reference to.  Surprising when both couples meet and jump enthusiastically into sex and relationships.  Then things go spectacularly wrong for all four of them.

I like the imagery the author provides when that happens.  Nice, very  nice indeed.  But Mansfield leaves other holes in his narrative.  Some things makes sense, others, not so much, especially when it comes to said witch.  Tell us more about that witch and her background. And that ending?  Wrapped up way too easily and without the requisite answers to some of the  questions the author himself raised about the village and the villagers.

All in all?  Man and Tree had some nice elements to it but more aspects to it that raised questions in my mind.  It sort of felt like an outline to a larger story than a completed short tale.

Cover art is ok but doesn’t really speak to any of the elements in the story.

Sales Links

JMS Books LLC

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 47 pages
Published September 10th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB01L8DXWMA
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Review: Before Lovers by Wayne Mansfield

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5
 

before-loversCalvin is convinced that he has met Paul before and for the first time in his life he seems to be attracted to a man. As Paul and Calvin start to explore this rather unusual occurrence they discover a genuine love for each other. 

 
But everything isn’t right, because every time Paul and Calvin have sex Paul seems to get flashbacks that feel vividly like memories.
 
This story is a paranormal romance. I liked the story’s plot and it was a quick and interesting read.
 
The best part of this book was its plot, how Calvin and Paul meet and how their relationship develops, and gets complicated by these flashbacks that Paul has, and how they resolve the issue is very interesting. The plot of this book while simple was also very intriguing and it made for a good read.
 
I liked the characters in this book especially Linda and Rick. Linda is a hopelessly pessimistic person but her dry take on the world was actually quite amusing and entertaining meanwhile Rick is a big brawny man who loves to cross dress. In fact Linda and Rick while not the focus of this story left quite an impression with their unique personalities. Paradoxically at the end of this story I feel that I had a better grasp on Linda and Rick then Calvin and Paul, even though Paul is the narrator of this story.
 
In regards to Calvin I think that there were a lot of things that we could have explored about his character that we didn’t probably because the book was from Paul’s POV and there were way weirder things happening to Paul. But I would have loved to know his opinion on this newly discovered aspect of his sexuality and how it was affected by the revelations in the end.
 
What I didn’t like about this book was its lack of detail to the extent that I was actually making up my own sentences in between transitions. This is especially true in the beginning of the book. Towards the end this is less obvious but this lack of detail made for some stilted transitions.
 
Also the scene which settles the conflict of this book could have done with better descriptions. I feel like the scene is good as it is but could have been better and more impactful if it was written from another perspective because right now even though it is written from Paul’s perspective it seems to be written solely for the benefit of a third party and is narrated completely devoid of any emotions on Paul’s part. On the whole if the author still wanted to keep the tone of the scene as it is it would have been better if a third person like Calvin was describing it so that we could better understand the implications of this scene.
 
Overall this book is a light, quirky and quick read that is very enjoyable and interesting.
 
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I like the cover with its bright and vibrant colours.
Sales Links
7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published October 15th 2016
ASINB01LYNEO21
Edition LanguageEnglish