Tag Archives: historical

New Release: 3.5 stars for Perilous by Cari Z. #MM #Historical @NineStarPress @author_cariz

CoverTitle: Perilous
Author Name & Publisher: Cari Z (NineStar Press)
Publication Date: May 9, 2016

Synopsis

In 1803, England declares war on France, staking the fates of two mighty empires against one another. Thousands of men serve in the British navy, hungry for distinction in the battle against Bonaparte.

One of them, Lieutenant Thomas Williams, thinks he knows what he wants out of life: prize money at sea, a career of decent note, and the means to maintain his independence when he leaves the navy. What he finds is service under Captain Christopher Knightly: a tactical genius, inveterate charmer, and the youngest son of a wealthy noble house.

Their unexpected and perilous love affair is a gamble against the odds, for in a time of war, nothing is sure to last. If the French don’t tear them apart, one slip in front of the wrong eyes or ears might. When the demands of Christopher’s family take him from Thomas’s side, he thinks it might be the best thing for his captain. Little does Tom realize just how far Christopher will go to return to him, and when life takes a turn for the worse, how much further he will go to save him.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This is a historical romance with sexy British navy men. Lieutenant Thomas Williams wasn’t sure how well he’s be getting a long with his new captain, Christopher Knightly. He was expecting a spoiled, rich noble playing captain. He was happy to discover that Christopher wasn’t like that and fell for him.
I liked these two characters. Thomas was brave and loyal. Christopher was smart and reminded me a bit of Jack Sparrow. lol. Not sure how accurate this is, historic wise, but it was enjoyable read to pass the time. Wish there was more scenes with Christopher and Thomas as a happy couple. I wanted to sink Chris’ relatives in Davy Jones Locker…
Cookie

Excerpt

Just before he went over the side, his captain brought his lips close to his ear. “Good luck, Tom,” he said in a voice that drove the shivers out of Tom’s system. Tom closed his eyes for a moment, savoring their closeness, and then slipped quietly into the black water of the bay.

It was cold, bone-chillingly cold. Tom caught his stuttering breath and then began to swim, slowly and silently, toward the distant guard boat. It hadn’t seemed so far away sitting in the cutter, but now that he was in the water, the distance felt interminable. The frigid water sapped his strength, but Tom was built strong in body and determined in mind, and he ignored it, focusing only on his goal as he edged closer and closer. He was within a few feet when he heard his captain’s voice.

“Messieurs! Ici, je suis un ami!” It was soft but carrying.

The guards sat up straight, dropping the bottle they were sharing and staring away into the darkness, away from Tom as he crept to the side of their boat. “Qui est là?” One of them called out. “Qui êtes-vous?”

Tom couldn’t allow them to keep calling out; the noise would bring unwanted attention. Grabbing his knife, he lunged out of the water and drew it across the noisier one’s throat even as he fought for a place in the boat. The man he held gargled hideously as he died, but the other had time to draw his knife.

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4 stars for Choices (Golden Collar #1) by Grace R. Duncan #MMM #MMMM #Poly #MM #BDSM @GraceRDuncan

CoverTitle: Choices (Golden Collar #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Grace R. Duncan (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 4, 2013 – 380 pgs

Synopsis

Born and raised a gypsy in the late eleventh century, Teman values freedom over everything. He and his best friend, Jasim, are thieves for hire—until one night they’re caught and their precious freedom is revoked. Given the choice between the dungeons or palace pleasure slavery, they become slaves, but Teman vows to escape someday.

Bathasar doesn’t want the throne. He supports his brother instead, which suits their sadistic father, Mukesh. When Teman, the handsome slave Bathasar has secretly been watching, saves his life, Bathasar requests a slave for the first time. Before long, Bathasar and Teman fall in love. But all is not well. One day Mukesh brutalizes Teman before the court, angering the empress of a neighboring nation. To appease her, he then offers her Jasim as a gift, and Teman decides to stay with Bathasar for now—despite the abuse he may suffer.

The peace doesn’t last. Mukesh plans to invade Jasim’s new country, and Bathasar must find a way to stop the destruction. But if he succeeds, he’ll ascend to the throne and have the power to grant Teman his liberty. Then Teman will surely leave him. What other choice could a gypsy make?

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Review
FourStars

****this review contains spoilers****
Choices, by Grace R. Duncan, follows a gypsy slave Teman and his master, the amir (prince) Bathasar. There was quite a bit that I loved about this book. The dynamic between Teman and Bathasar was perfect, the way Bathasar tried his best to make them as equal as possible, while Teman struggled with his desire to submit to his master. On top of that, I was happy that Jasim found happiness in the end as well. Relationships aside, the political aspect of it, with the planned assassination was amazing and I loved that the malik ended up dying because he was just a terrible person anyway. The manner of his death, too, was incredibly fitting.
On the other hand, there were a few things that I didn’t particularly care for. Three, in particular. The first was Cyrus and Nadir’s relationship, and the way they fit in with everyone else. Poly relationships can work really well, but this one just didn’t…click. It wasn’t quite poly, but it wasn’t quite monogamous, either. While Cyrus and Nadir did love each other, it didn’t really feel like it all the time. At times, it felt like Nadir loved Jasim more than he loved Cyrus, and the same with Cyrus and Teman. That part left me more than a bit confused, and I wasn’t particularly fond of it. Additionally, the setting was a bit confusing. The book was supposed to be set in a fantasy world, with fantasy kingdoms, and yet there were pieces of our own world, like the mention of Beowulf. So that threw me just a bit. Thirdly, and this is completely my own personal taste, there was far too much focus on denial. The first few times was great, but eventually it became a bit repetitive, and I have to admit I skimmed over those parts toward the end.
Overall, though, this was a really good book, and I highly recommend it to people who love master/slave relationships, menage scenes, and orgasm denial. A bit of warning, there is a lot of violence in the book, done by the malik, but it isn’t condoned at all. So just take note of that.
~Alyson

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4 Star Review for From Lies (New Beginnings #1) by Ann Anderson #MM #Historical @LT3Press

1.5

Title: From Lies (New Beginnings #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Ann Anderson (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: December 2, 2015

Synopsis

Rafe is on the cusp of legally being an adult, which will finally allow him to pull himself and his sisters free of their mother’s clutches. Unfortunately, freedom also entails breaking the law by way of starting his own business under a fake name, and playing a role he fears he’ll never escape.

When Rafe meets with one of his primary buyers, he is made an offer too good to refuse—and refuses it, not willing to take an offer that would hurt people relying on him and the goods he provides. The lost opportunity and the constant despair of the role he must play compels him to confess all to a beautiful, compassionate stranger at a ball.

But the man he is so helplessly drawn to is instead captivated by Rafe’s sister, and Rafe wonders if he’ll always live his life trapped and watching everything he wants slip away…

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Review
FourStars

From lies is an appropriate name to this short story. Rafe’s life thus far has been based on all sorts of lies.

Rafe is not the person he portrayed to be in this story. He is in deed the exact opposite. Rafe in my opinion felt his need to lie about who he felt was his family. He lied about the business he started up. He acted as if he was a horrible person and treated people as such to keep up appearances. He did all this to protect his sisters and to escape the clutch and cruelty of his mother. He did what he has to do until he was considered “of age” to become the head of the family and make sure that all the wrongs his mother inflected on his sisters was set right again.

This in my opinion is a book about self sacrifice. Rafe sacrificed what was in his heart to protect his family and he made himself seem cruel when he was the exact opposite. Rafe is an admirable person to sacrifice what he did and in the end, because of those sacrifices he may actually end up with his hearts desires.

Cannot wait to read the next short story in this series to see if Rafes sacrifices leads him to happiness.

Tosha

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TWO 5 stars for The Tin Box by Kim Fielding @KFieldingWrites {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Romance #Historical @Dreamspinners

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Title: The Tin Box
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 20, 2013 — 210 Pages

Synopsis

William Lyon’s past forced him to become someone he isn’t. Conflicted and unable to maintain the charade, he separates from his wife and takes a job as caretaker at a former mental hospital. Jelley’s Valley State Insane Asylum was the largest mental hospital in California for well over a century, but it now stands empty. William thinks the decrepit institution is the perfect place to finish his dissertation and wait for his divorce to become final. In town, William meets Colby Anderson, who minds the local store and post office. Unlike William, Colby is cute, upbeat, and flamboyantly out. Although initially put off by Colby’s mannerisms, William comes to value their new friendship, and even accepts Colby’s offer to ease him into the world of gay sex.

William’s self-image begins to change when he discovers a tin box, hidden in an asylum wall since the 1940s. It contains letters secretly written by Bill, a patient who was sent to the asylum for being homosexual. The letters hit close to home, and William comes to care about Bill and his fate. With Colby’s help, he hopes the words written seventy years ago will give him courage to be his true self.

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Review

FiveStars

This review is for the audiobook read by K.C. Kelly.

It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered such a beautiful and inspiring book. I wish there were more stars to give. I’ve read Kim Fielding before and enjoyed it, but this gives me a whole new appreciation for her writing.

This story is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It’s a story of injustice and cruelty, but it’s also about personal growth, identity, compassion, and love.

The story is immediately engaging. The characters are very real and relatable. It was such a pleasure getting to know William, Colby and Bill. The reading by K.C. Kelly is great, and the voices suit the characters perfectly.

All in all I highly recommend this book, especially for those with an interest in LGBTQ social and historical issues. And don’t forget the tissues!

~Amanda

FiveStars

If I wasn’t already a fan of Kim Fielding, this book would do it for me. This is by far my favorite of her novels. What a beautiful and hopeful story, centered on an important piece of gay history. I knew some of the things described here, but I hadn’t realized they were such recent history (other than more recent methods of “curing” gay people).

The juxtaposition of the two eras was the best part of the novel. Had it centered only on the terrible and sad story of Bill–told through the letters–it would have become another in a long line of gay tragedies which marked earlier genre lit. Had it excluded the history and only centered on William and Colby’s present-day relationship it would have been nothing more than a standard romance. It’s the pairing of the two, and William’s own emerging from his painful past, which makes this story truly great.

This would be a tough read for anyone who has been through “ex-gay” therapy of any type or who is old enough to remember the days when gay novels were largely doomed romance. It will also hit a nerve for people who have been involuntarily admitted to mental health facilities. However, there’s a lot of hope here, including the way in which William and his friends choose to preserve the history he’s unearthed in the old hospital.

I don’t see it as being played for drama or as making light of serious crimes against humanity in mental health treatment. The author touches on a variety of sensitive subjects, and I see this more as a way of ensuring we don’t repeat the past. This is not really a story about the horrors of how the mentally ill have been dehumanized; it’s about a specific and brutal homophobic system. By comparing it with William’s present-day experiences, it’s made starkly clear that while we’re no longer carving people up as treatment, we haven’t gotten entirely past the idea gay people need to be fixed. The story should be read with that in mind.

In the end, this is far less about William’s romance with Colby and much more about bigger and more complicated themes. If I have any complaint at all it’s that I think this could have worked just as well as a much longer story. Regardless, it’s a well-written novel containing important documentation of a dark era.

~Amy

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5 stars for Acceptable Lies by C. M. Corett #MM #Historical @Dreamspinners

28459215

Title: Acceptable Lies
Author Name & Publisher: C. M. Corett (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: February 3, 2016 — 103 pages

Synopsis

William’s task is clear: catch the blackmailer. William Richmond is an earl, a father, a country gentleman… and a former spy. Catching the blackmailer should be simple, but when William finds a beautiful, injured young man on the beach, unfamiliar desires surge. He is determined to focus on the task and resist temptation—resist Daniel, or his carefully constructed illusions will crumble, exposing his lies to the world… and himself.

Daniel’s question is simple: Should he trust William? Daniel has secrets: his identity, his past, how and why he washed up on the shore… and more. With revelations of espionage, blackmail, and the arrival of William’s colleagues, the danger of exposure grows. Daniel’s instincts tell him that William is a decent man, a man of honor, but his instincts have been wrong before. As the attraction grows, so does Daniel’s desire to confess, but if he’s wrong, he risks everything—his secrets, his freedom, and his heart.

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Review

FiveStars

 So I have always loved historical books and the way this author wrote this story was perfect!

So this being such a short book I really do not want to go to much into the story and what happens because I do not want to give away any spoilers. I will say this was such a sweet story and the steamy scenes between William and Daniel were so damn hot!

The way this author wrote this time period and the characters “which I really loved both William and Daniel” was amazing!

So I will leave this review with…I really loved this story and would definitely recommend it!

~Kara

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3 stars for Because You Despise Me by J. S. Cook #MM #Historical @Dreamspinners

27484154

Title: Because You Despise Me
Author Name & Publisher: J. S. Cook (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: January 26, 2016 — 200 pages

Synopsis

2nd Edition

When Feldwebel Horst Stussel is murdered in Jake Plenty’s Moroccan brothel, local police chief Nicolas Renard suspects Jake’s involvement in the crime. Renard has loved Jake since their service in the Legion Etrangère during the Great War, but in this era of concentration camps, gas chambers, and the infamous pink triangle, his love for the American dare not speak its name.

When sadistic Nazi officer Major Danzig, a fanatic who excels at the arts of torture and interrogation, comes to Maarif, it isn’t because of the Feldwebel. He is in search of Christophe Picard, Resistance leader and Jake’s former lover. Danzig will stop at nothing to uncover Picard’s whereabouts, to find him and destroy him, and in so doing, strike a fatal blow against everything Picard stands for.

With an Allied invasion of North Africa mere days away, Jake and Renard must combine their wits, cunning, and courage to help Picard escape to America and freedom. In the midst of war and struggle, the two men are drawn into the fight of the century—and each other’s arms.

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Review

ThreeStar

Okay so I want to start of this review by saying while I really like the premise of this story and I am huge fan of historical books, this book I honestly am unsure of how I feel about it at this point..

I had the hardest time getting into this story because there were so many parts that really just dragged for me. While there was some very good parts to this story too it just seemed like there were honestly more parts that were hard for me to get into. Now I really liked Jake and Renard’s characters and I did like them together too very much! With this book you will get steam and action too!

Really liked the premise of this story and the characters but I am on the fence on what I feel about the story overall because of the parts that did drag a little for me overweighing that parts I loved..

~Kara

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3 stars for Rooks and Romanticide by J. I. Radke #MM #Fantasy #Historical @Dreamspinners

25497701

Title: Rooks and Romanticide
Author Name & Publisher: J. I. Radke (DSP Publications)
Publication Date & Length: July 28, 2015 — 250 Pages

Synopsis

In an alternate world, Romeo and Juliet are gunslingers. Verona gives way to a steampunk Victorian London. The victims of turf wars are dumped in an alley they call Lovers’ Lane, and the moment the son of his family’s enemy touches his face, Cain’s revenge is poisoned by love. Fate would have it no other way.

Levi Ruslaniv is the heir to the Ruslaniv family gang, but ridiculous ancient feuds do not interest him. Cain Dietrich’s vengeful hatred for the Ruslaniv family is rooted deep, since he believes the Ruslanivs arranged for the murder of his parents. But his encounter with Levi pierces him deeper than hatred ever could.

With bullets and blazes of glory, schemes, spies, and pack mentalities, loyalty runs as deep in the veins as passion or revenge, and there is only one way to end the fighting. From the start it was inevitable—a bloodstained fate for children with bloodstained hands, and the streets of New London will never be the same.

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Review

ThreeStar

Rooks and Romanticide is a moody, gay retelling of Romeo and Juliet in atmospheric old London. Despite knowing the premise (and the ending) I really enjoyed the ride JI Radke provided.
Cain is a tortured soul bent on revenge. Levi comes only for fun but is compelled by his lover’s pain. There’s a lot of violence and a lot of darkness. I felt for the characters.
I appreciated the flowery language that was a tribute to Shakespeare, not a repetition. It added to the otherworldliness and romanticism of the story. I would have liked Radke to show me new things and go more into the unknown, rather than to rehash ancient woes. Hopefully there’s more from this author soon.
– C. E. Case

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