Historical

/Historical

Review: Blue Paramour by Louise Ligon & Hunter Maine

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Title: Blue Paramour (The Blue Ridge Saga, #)
Author: Louise Ligon & Hunter Maine
Cover Artist: Najla Gamberd
Publisher: Voir Media Group
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay & Heterosexual
Length: Long Novel
Heat Rating5 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

When Brayden, a devastatingly handsome heir to a prominent Southern family, is caught in a compromising position with his handsome male lover, Jackson, life as he knows it comes crashing down. Exiled from the only home he’s ever known and separated from his love, Brayden is ordered to live in Boston where he is expected to become a true man and a proper successor.

But life will show him that things don’t always go as planned…

When Brayden encounters the mysterious and powerful, Vincent Gallaud, he instead embarks on an unforgettable adventure with his newfound king in the tantalizing world of New York City, forsaking everything he has ever known. Taking him on an unexpected journey that teaches him lessons Daddy would never approve.

Back home, Jackson has no choice but to consent to marry Brayden’s greatest adversary and twin sister, Annabelle Steed. Consumed with greed and longing for revenge, Annabelle will stop at nothing to destroy Brayden’s life and rob him of his birthright, Blue Ridge.


Review:

If it were possible to give more than 5 stars this book would be one of the very few deserving of that!!!! There aren’t words to adequately describe how this story made me feel and how much I loved it. It is set in a time when the North and the South were divided on the issue of slavery and when a man caught loving another man would get you hanged.

Blue Paramour is not your typical historical romance and it took me completely by surprise. I was expecting a sweet, flowery easy to read gay romance and what I got was a gritty, angst filled drama about deception, jealousy and hatred. It’s so much more than any gay romance out there and I’m hard pressed to call it that. Yes, there is romance, actually more than one, but they are so far from the easy romance I’m used to reading, it will gut you….it did me. This is one of those few stories that had me crying buckets, one of those stories that made me want to throw my kindle in frustration for the hardships the main characters had to endure but I kept reading because through all the hardship and the angst is a really great story and some beautiful scenes. The guys are amazing and I have to say the sex is hot!

I thought the writing was incredible and the characters were perfect, even the ones I hated. The story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I was hooked from page one and read far into the night, I just couldn’t put it down. Even if you aren’t a fan of historical romance I think you’ll love this one. I have one pet peeve when it comes to books in a series and that’s when the story ends with a cliff-hanger like this one does. Normally those stories will lose stars from me but I was just so blown away by this particular story, it deserved every star and then some. The next book in the Saga can’t come soon enough for me!

*Note* A heads up to those readers that really dislike anything m/f in their gay romance. Blue Paramour has an m/f sex scene in it but it’s crucial to the story. I just wanted to mention it so there are no surprises.

I highly recommend this story!

October 2nd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Captured at the Castle by Alexandra Ainsworth

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Title: Captured at the Castle (Scandal in Sussex, #)
Author: Alexandra Ainsworth
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Geoffrey Hammerstead always dreamed of protecting others. Geoffrey is delighted when he moves to Ashbury Castle to take on the duties of magistrate. But when his uncle, Sir Ambrose, goes missing and is accused of running a long smuggling network, Geoffrey finds himself under suspicion.

Former thief Etienne Rivaud is furious after being wrongfully thrown into prison. But Etienne is more furious when the new magistrate is assigned to protect him.

Geoffrey and Etienne are both confident they abhor each other, but somehow they cannot stop thinking about each other. Can they ever attempt to forge a future together in a world where sodomy is illegal, and Geoffrey’s job requires him to enforce that?


Review:

I loved Duke in Denial– the first book of the Scandal in Sussex series – and couldn’t wait to read more from this author and this world. While I ended up loving the main characters in this book some of the story just didn’t do it for me. The mystery wasn’t very exciting and I actually had trouble following what was going on to the point of almost losing interest in story all together. The pacing was good but it didn’t flow, as a matter of fact it took me a while to get into this story and the only thing that kept me reading was that I fell so in love with Etienne I just had to know what was in store for him and if he would get his HEA with dear sweet Geoffrey.

The main characters are wonderful and their romance is beyond sweet. There is no insta-love or intsa-lust but there is an instant attraction and that part of the story made for a pleasant read. It’s been a few hours since I finished reading this book and I’m still not sure what to think of the mystery except that I’m really disappointed, I was hoping for so much more. This in no way will stop me from picking up another book by Alexandra Ainsworth. I think she’s a wonderful writer, unfortunately I just couldn’t connect to everything in this particular story.

September 24th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Disappear With Me by Dean Pace-Frech

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Title: Disappear With Me
Author: Dean Pace-Frech
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?

In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trail, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past by the end of the trial; it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Reverend Leander’s likely sentence.


Review:

Another great historical written by an author that knows his history. I love a good historical, I especially love the ones that teach me things I may not have known and this story did that. Along with the history lesson is a really moving story of love, loss and extreme hardship.

This story isn’t a cookie cutter romance by any means. It put my emotions through the wringer and spit them out the other side. It was worth every tear, every bit of anger and all the heartache I felt, because in between all of that were some really beautiful times that made me smile and fall in love with the men in this story.

The bittersweet ending – which I’m not usually a fan of – is totally appropriate for this story and the era it takes place in. I say bittersweet ending but really the story itself is bittersweet, so not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for a sweet romance with an HEA.

The way the story is told takes a bit of getting used to. The back and forth between time periods can be confusing at first but once you’re into the story – which won’t take you long – it’s the perfect way to tell it. I’m really hoping there will be a sequel, the romantic in me wants her HEA!

I highly recommend this book to those that love historical stories and are looking for something different.

September 17th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Lord Loxley’s Lover: M/M Regency Romance by Katherine Marlowe

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Title: Lord Loxley's Lover: M/M Regency Romance
Author: Katherine Marlowe
Cover Artist: Rachel Schoenbouer of Dreamslate Pub
Publisher: Honeywine Publishing
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Lord Loxley is bewildered when his noble-born friend and former lover, Miles Rochester arrives on his doorstep and applies for a position as his valet. His friend has suffered a complete loss of status and finances, and has become bitter at the world, but Lord Loxley is determined to find a way to soothe his friend’s pain and restore their friendship and love.


Review:

Lord Loxely’s Lover is a fast, easy, angst free read. The main characters are likable and there is some chemistry but, there were some issues that stopped me from loving this one.

There are a few things that aren’t explained well enough for my liking and unfortunately if I say what they are here I’d have to hide them as a spoiler and I so rarely do that. I can say things happened way too easily and the ending is all tied up much too fast. I’m left feeling like things are missing and not things that a sequel can clear up but things that are important to know in order for me to get attached to the story and its characters. There are some light-hearted moments that made me chuckle near the end of the story involving one very sweet little girl, I wish there had been more moments like those throughout the book.

While the plot could use some work I did see a lot of promise and in no way am I saying pass this story by I just needed a bit more. I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to pick another read from this author.

September 9th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Through Adversity by Amelia Faulkner

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Title: Through Adversity
Author: Amelia Faulkner
Cover Artist: Satyr Designs
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the Promoter/Marketer in exchange for a honest review.


Blurb:

Tortured German fighter ace Lt. Siegfried Krämer has a terrible secret which could ruin him: he prefers men. Hurried, loveless encounters have armed him with a sardonic wit and a bleak outlook, and he faces a life in which his only companion is his dog, Eike.

The young and talented Lt. Valentine Westbrook should be considered an ace, but most of his victories are unconfirmed, and now that his squadron is relegated to bombing missions the chances of him ever reaching the magic number are dwindling. When he encounters an equally-skilled enemy pilot during a terrible storm, Valentine is unable to resist the hunt.

Both men soon abandon all common sense and – with a protracted dogfight at their backs – crash-land in the midst of the German Empire’s last great offensive push. Injured, stranded, and with no idea which side of the Line they are on, they must work together if they are to survive. One of them will become the other’s prisoner just as soon as they figure out where they are, but until then they are stuck with no food and no shelter in storms which don’t seem ready to end. But worse still, their mutual respect blossoms into something dangerously intimate, and their lives are about to become forever intertwined…


Review:

I liked this story but as much as I wanted to I just couldn’t love it. It’s an historical that takes place during WWI with two fighter pilots on opposite sides of the war depending on each other to get to safety after they crash and falling in love during their journey. Neither know where they’ve crashed landed and have no idea who will eventually become a prisoner but until they do they work together to find their way to the nearest town.

The main characters are great, their romance is sweet and they made me laugh. I’m a sucker for stories where one or both characters experience their first time at love and in that aspect this story didn’t disappoint. Through Adversity is a quick read with little to no angst and I do wish there had been more of Siegfried and Valentine’s romance and less talk of their flying. In my opinion that took up too much of this short story. With all of it taking place at the beginning it almost made me put the story down. I am glad that I persevered and I am very happy with the story that came after their crash but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough for me.

September 3rd, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: A Place to Call Their Own by Dean Pace-Frech

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Title: A Place to Call Their Own
Author: Dean Pace-Frech
Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating2 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

This book was purchased by the reviewer


Blurb:

Frank Greerson and Gregory Young have been discharged from the Army and are headed to their childhood homes. They both defied their parents in 1861 when they joined the Army. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union of the United States of America, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Once they find their claim, they encounter common obstacles to life on the Kansas Prairie in 1866: Native Americans, tornadoes, wild animals, and weather.

When a prairie fire destroys their crops and takes their neighbor’s lives, Frank and Gregory are instructed to find their young son’s aunt. Faced with leaving a destroyed claim, the railroad coming through their land, and dwindling funds, Frank and Gregory must decide whether to leave the place they have worked hard to make their own or fulfill their friends’ dying wishes.


Review:

I’m a nut for historical novels. It’s not often I run across one that takes place after the civil war in the old west with Indians and land claims. A time when families packed up and moved west to work the land hoping to lay claim to it and make a life. A Place to Call Their Own is that type of historical.

It’s an easy, almost angst-less read, more gay fiction than romance but there is a beautiful love story about two men who meet and fall in love while in the Army. Frank and Gregory make plans to head west when they’re discharged to find place they can call their own and live together without trouble. The journey takes them to Kansas where they find land they can homestead but it’s not easy. Through bad weather, a man that wants to ruin what Frank and Gregory have, a fire that wipes out all their hard work and the lives of some special neighbors these amazing men find a way to keep going when most would give up.

Frankie and Gregory are wonderful characters and I fell in love with them immediately. Their story is sweet and at times an emotional one. The unexpected addition to their family and the happily for now ending has me excited to see where they end up next.

I recommend A Place to Call Their Own

July 28th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: All the Arts of Hurting by Amelia Faulkner

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Title: All the Arts of Hurting
Author: Amelia Faulkner
Cover Artist: Satyr Designs
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating3 Stars (3 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review  


Blurb:

As far as Lord Duncan Aldham is concerned, war is a thing which affects other people. He’s quite content to sit in the ancestral pile, ride his horses, and defend himself against his mother’s attempts to marry him off. So when Duncan meets the Manor’s new stable hand he’s thoroughly unprepared for the desire which the man ignites within him.

William Fossett is handsome, muscular, and utterly forbidden. A kind and gentle soul, William is a pacifist in a country which is about to force every man to test the strength of their convictions.

Confused by his yearning for Fossett, Duncan will soon be forced to work out whether he dare act upon this illicit attraction to another man – and to a Commoner, no less. But Fossett has bigger problems: the Military Service Act has been passed into law, and even absolutists are at risk of conscription…


Review:

I liked this little historical, I just wish there had been a bit more to the romance between Duncan and William. Also without William’s POV it was impossible to know what it was about Duncan that attracted him and made him fall in love with Duncan. The chemistry between the two is somewhat lacking and I’m absolutely sure that comes from not knowing what is going on in Williams head. I am bit surprised that it didn’t completely put me off, maybe it’s because I think Duncan is such a great character and he wormed his way into my heart. He’s sweet and a tad naïve and when he first sees William and things start stirring in him it becomes clear to Duncan why he’s never been attracted to women.

This story is well written. It’s easy to visualize the era and events of its time period and for those readers that history isn’t their strong suit it gives a bit of a history lesson. I would have loved for All the Arts of Hurting to have been longer with more time spent developing the romance between Duncan and William but as it stands it’s still a worthwhile read.

This is my first time reading anything by Amelia Faulkner and I look forward to reading more from her.

July 14th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas by Geoffrey Knight

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Title: Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas (Buck Baxter Murder Mysteries, )
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Cover Artist: Wilde City Press
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novella
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4 Stars (4 / 5)

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Blurb:

Something sinister is occurring at the Maharaja Majestic Theater on Broadville Boulevard. The domineering actress, Dominique Darlington, has vanished without a trace, the opening night of the theater’s new production of The Snake Charmer’s Slave is now in jeopardy, and six suspects are about to have the pleasure of meeting Buck Baxter, Private Detective, as he investigates whether there’s a killer on the loose… or a phantom at the opera?

Could it be the handsome leading man, Errol Hemingway, who’s responsible for the disappearance of his leading lady… or perhaps it’s that sweet, doe-eyed understudy Olivia Overton? Is it the theater owner himself, the tall and mysterious Raja Khan who has committed the crime… or the show’s investor, the autocratic aristocrat Serafina Somerset? Or is it possible that the meek and mild stage manager Stanley Small, or the flamboyant and frustrated director Barnabas Blake, is guilty?

And what of Buck’s romance with playboy millionaire Holden Hart? Will Buck get a backstage pass to access all areas of his one true love… or will this be the final curtain for Buck and Holden?

Follow the clues, and you might just solve… the mystery of the disappearing divas!


Review:

I was so excited to read this! I loved book one in the series and was waiting patiently for more. Like Buck Baxter, Love Detective the Disappearing Divas takes place in the 1920’s which is perfect for me being a self-professed historical nut. I’m also a lover of Gumshoe detective series whether in books or film and TV. There is just something campy and fun about them and Book 2 of this series was chockfull of campy and fun with a bit of spice for the loving couple and of course a mystery that needs solving.

There were more than a few times that I chuckled or outright laughed. From Harry and Buck getting caught by Harry’s father bare ass naked doing the nasty on the balcony of Harry’s penthouse to Buck’s incredibly hilarious and snarky assistant Stella. Boy do I love her, that women has no filter and she talks non-stop. Sometimes I couldn’t believe the things that came out of that mouth of hers. I love Stella’s feistiness and for someone who stands a mire 3 feet tall the visual is hilarious. Beware of Stella she’ll steal your heart.

Buck Baxter and the Disappearing Divas is a great little story. The writing style, the pacing, the mystery, all the wonderful characters and Buck and Harry’s growing love affair all make for very enjoyable read. It’s a quick easy fun afternoon read and I can’t wait for the next installment.

July 13th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: Release by Ingela Bohm

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Title: Release (Pax Cymrica: The True History, )
Author: Ingela Bohm
Cover Artist: Ingela Bohm
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review  


Blurb:

Things are moving forward for Pax – at about 35 miles per day, actually. Their new tour may be unorthodox and their sleeping quarters less than glamorous, but they do have fans, tucked away in the backwaters of England. Besides, there are whispers about bigger gigs, interest from abroad, maybe even another album. But there’s something wrong with Jamie. Michael doesn’t want to believe it, but on the eve of their big break, the truth can’t stay hidden anymore. Will it destroy everything, or will Jamie make it through his Purgatory in time?


Review:

I think I was expecting something a little different from the third installment in the Pax Cymrica series than I got. Something with a little less angst and a much smoother path to Jamie and Michael’s HEA. While Jamie and Michael do get their long awaited and hard fought HEA it’s not the sweet romantic kind nor is it complete. These boys still have a lot of work to do on securing a long and happy life.

Release cannot be read as a stand-alone and I would highly recommend reading all three to get the complete picture of Jamie and Michael’s thoughts and of course their lives. There is too much history that’s important to know and all of it combined gives a better understanding of where Jamie and Michael are coming from and how their relationship works, it’s a complicated one for such young men.

I love Ingela Bohm’s writing style. Her description of people and events made it easy for me to visualize. In this book Jamie struggles through some very dark times. His relationship with his father isn’t a healthy one and since his mother’s passing nothing has been the same. Jamie also battles alcohol dependency which make his thoughts a mess and his moods unpredictable. There were times I wondered why Michael stayed with him.

Ingela Bohm did an excellent job with all her characters and this story but Jamie’s character in particular. I didn’t feel like I was just reading words on a page but I was actually in his head with as scary and as hard as it was to be there sometimes it made this series one of my favorites.

Is Jamie and Michael’s journey over? I really hope not, I’m not done with them.

July 10th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments

Review: The Road Taken by Ingela Bohm

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Title: The Road Taken (Pax Cymrica: The True History, )
Author: Ingela Bohm
Cover Artist: Ingela Bohm
Publisher: Self-Published
Reviewer: Monika
Genre: Historical
Type: Romance
Pairing: Gay
Length: Novel
Heat Rating3 Stars
Book Rating4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review  


Blurb:

Michael and Jamie have one single rule to follow in their new life as touring musicians. One single, simple rule: DON’T. Don’t ever touch each other. Don’t collaborate on the songs. Don’t share rooms and don’t even bloody look at each other without proper permission from the powers that be. But the music is suffering. The chemistry that made the band is gone, together with the happiness they once found in each other. It all seems hopeless, until they start thinking… Maybe there’s a chance to convince the record company that they aren’t getting up to anything fishy? Maybe if they create an innocent front, they can do what they like behind it? It seems like such a good idea. But when they ask Sapphire to act as their accomplice, they get more than they bargained for.


Review:

I couldn’t wait to start reading The Road Taken, the second book in the Pax Cymrica: The True History series. Having just finished reading Just Playing – the previous book in the series – I was ready for all the angst and that heart in my throat anxious feeling I got reading Just Playing. While there’s still a lot of angst and I did have my heart in my throat more than a few times I didn’t feel the same anxiety, hence the loss of half a star in my rating.

I still absolutely love and adore Jamie and Michael but their story took a slower pace in this book. Gone was the frantic all-consuming need to be together replaced by a more cautious but sweeter romance. The pair still have major hurdles to jump to find happiness together, it is the seventies after all and being an out and proud gay couple takes bravery and confidence the latter still in short supply for these two but they’re working on it.

This story is beautifully written and I love where it has taken me so far. Ingela Bohm is a wonderful story teller and I can’t wait to begin reading book 3. I’m not finished with these two they’ve got their hooks into me and aren’t about to let me go just yet.

The second book in this series cannot be read as a stand-alone and why would you want to, you’d miss watching a budding romance between two very special characters.

July 9th, 2015|Categories: Review|0 Comments