By Jan Irving
Published January 13th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press (first published 2010)
Genre: MxM Historical / Hot Romance (light power-play)
Source: own copy
Lucius Mettelus Carbo, once a legate on the rise in the Roman army, rescues a beautiful young prostitute, Varick, who immediately stirs him. However, Lucius doesn’t believe anyone could want him, a man cursed by the gods with an ugly, twisted leg. He resists his attraction to the pleasure slave as they forge a tempestuous relationship, and Varick tries to convince Lucius that he desires his master despite the injury. Both men are fighting their fears as they strive toward a future together… a future in the shadow of the volcano Mount Vesuvius.
~ Goodreads Blurb
World Building: The world is built slightly twisting the actual historical facts a bit. I didn’t mind, really, I don’t read historical for the history, never was such a fan of it per se, I read these for the stories. The atmosphere and the world felt right for the time frame.
Characters: Lucius was interesting, but something about him didn’t really reach me. Varick on the other hand reached me a lot more, the two of them were interesting together, though I wouldn’t say they had a lot of chemistry, it was this odd sort of chemistry where they’re always on different sides of things or something, you know?
Plot: Nice to go with considering the novella length of the read. I felt it focused more on their interaction and relationship, which was fine by me. Short reads can be tricky to pull off, this one was nice.
Writing: Ok, though the tone of the narrative just didn’t connect with me all the way.
Curb Appeal: I saw the cover on a list of titles and wanted to read this, so yeah, smexeh.
All in all, nice short read, though I wouldn’t say I was swept off my feet it was entertaining. This is more of 2,5 rating then a full 3.
By Evangeline Anderson
Published June 7th 2010 by Loose Id (first published January 8th 2010)
Genre: MxM Fantasy / Hot Romance (light power-play)
Source: own copy
In a time of mystery and magic, one man is seeking to find his destiny. Prince Thrain Blackwater is on a deadly mission to capture the one who can help him get his revenge and make him whole. But in order to do so, he must perform an act of brutality that will alienate the man he hopes to claim as his own.
Prince Elias Trueheart is a Null–a noble of the royal Trueheart line who has no magic of his own. Resigned to a life of obscurity, his entire world is turned upside down the night Thrain comes for him. After the Blackwater prince claims him in a way Elias feels he can never forgive, he kidnaps him as well and drags him back to the snake pit he calls home–Castle Black.
Thrain is certain Elias will hate him forever–and he doesn’t blame the other man a bit. Still, he hungers for Elias’s love and will do anything to earn it, even if it means facing down his brutal older brother who wants Elias for himself. But will Elias ever return his feelings or is he incapable of forgiving Thrain’s crime? He will have to make up his mind very soon for beneath the dark and dangerous Castle Black lies a secret that will unlock Elias’s magic and a deadly riddle that will put both his life and Thrain’s in peril.
~ Goodreads Blurb
World Building: Fantasy world, not overly done or stressed upon. We have magic, dragons, and such.
Characters: Despite the traumatic events both went through, neither of the main pair reached me. Their interaction didn’t either, for some reason it didn’t feel lively, you know?
Plot: Fairytale like sort of story, where Prince Charming makes a dubious entrance in the story, so to speak. It could have worked for me, if I’d made a connection with the characters, though it wouldn’t have swept me off my feet.
Writing: Sort of epic-style, and I’m not a fan of epic, as you know.
Curb Appeal: The cover got me curious, the blurb did too.