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Posts Tagged ‘historical’

The Courage to Love (Brothers in Arms, Book 1)

(read as part of KindleSmut readers group)

Kate Collier has to live a quiet life. With her soldier husband dead and a young niece to support, she takes a wealthy lover as protector, and then another. When one of them sets her up for a cruel gang rape and then spreads rumours about her, she is shunned by society.

Lord Jason Randall and Anthony Richards served in the Peninsula Wars with her late husband and they have long since been in love with Kate, but biding their time before they announce it. Now that she is free of a protector, they decide to stake their claim. They want Kate to marry them – both of them.

This book had potential. It had a number of great reviews and sounded hot, but… it didn’t really catch me. There was plenty of ménage style sex and a rather unsettling encounter between her 16 yr old niece and one of their friends – setting the scene for a future story – but not a lot else. I felt the language was a bit lazy too, especially in the guys dialogue. Plenty of effing and lots of cocks, as though they had no other ways to describe what they wanted. It bugged me as well that they were not more circumspect about their existing M-M relationship; this was set in a period where homosexuality was illegal. Locking-in-prison-illegal. My other grumble was that she recovered from her rape pretty easily, considering that she later fainted when she met her attacker. 3 out of 5.

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Love Revealed (The Market Series)

 

This was a fun and quick sexy historical with a taste of BDSM. Lady Katherine Drummond is a widow, but one NOT on the hunt for a new husband. In her experience, husbands are a bad thing and she’s quite happy to stay single. Especially since her sexual needs are taken care of so ably by The Market. She attends on a regular basis for a secret liason with a man she knows only as Sir. Since they both wear masks, her identity is safe, and she uses an assumed name – Kat. Nobody would ever recognise her.

At least, that’s what she thought. The Earl of Heathington (Heath) is one of the most eligible bachelors of her acquaintance and for some reason he seems to like her. Especially when he suspects that she may be the tempting beauty he knows from The Market.

The sex scenes are hot and the dialogue is crisp and sharp, I only wish it had been longer. I felt it was just getting going when it finished. 4 out of 5.

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Product Details

This is really a YA book, but the writing and sentiments are very adult. Although it’s the third in a trilogy, it works just as well as a standalone book. Set in the Dark Ages. Aquila is a British born soldier for the Roman Army who deserts when the Romans leave the British shores for good.

“Why should a deserter take the trouble to light Rutupiae Beacon?” Aquila demanded, and his voice sounded rough in is own ears.

“Maybe in farewell, maybe in defiance. Maybe to hold back the dark for one more night.”

Heading back to his family home, he barely has any time with his beloved sister and father when the Saxons invade and take everything. He watched his father killed and his sister carried off, before he is captured as a slave. The Lantern Bearers tells his story of his escape from slavery and subsequent search for revenge. He joins up with Ambrosius, the so-called Prince of Britain to fight the Saxons.

So Aquila took his father’s service upon him. It wasn’t as good as love; it wasn’t as good as hate; but it was something to put into the emptiness within him; better than nothing at all.

I loved this book as a teenager, and loved it even more now. It would be hard not to feel for Aquila and to sympathise for his cause. The quality of Rosemary Sutcliff’s writing lifts what could be a good story to being something of pure delight, littered throughout with quotes that I would read and read again, just to enjoy one more time.

The wind blustered in from the sea, setting the horses’ manes streaming sideways, and the gulls wheeled mewing against the blue-and-grey tumble of the sky; and Aquila, riding a little aside from the rest as usual, caught for a moment from the wind and the gulls and the wet sand and the living, leaping power of the young red mare under him, something of the joy of simply being alive that he had taken for granted in the old days.

Aquila is always alone, it becomes part of who he is, even when he eventually takes a wife.

But tonight, because Rome had fallen and Felix was dead, because of Valerius’s shame, the empty hut seemed horribly lonely, and there was a small aching need in him for somebody to notice, even if they were not glad, that he had come home.

There is a beauty and a poignancy to this story and it is one that I would recommend to any teen or adult with an interest in the period. One of the fabulous things about Sutcliff’s writing is the simple way she explain complex issues – her skill at writing for a younger audience. One thing’s for sure, I’ll re-read this again before too long. 5/5

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