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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another Place in Time by Aleksandr Voinov, K.J. Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Joanna Chambers, Tamara Allen ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

I found this anthology as I was combing through all of Aleksandr Voinov book list yet even though I read a few Historical Romance novels by Aleksandr I was reluctant to try this one. See, the ones I read by him were all round WWII (meaning - not THAT Historical ;)). Then I stumbled upon Joanna's Enlightenment series which made me see this genre in a different light and so I decided to give this one a go and generally try out more Historical novels which are a bit out of my comfort zone yet might surprise :)

While all of these are Historical by definition, the setting of each one is quite different, which gives a great arch of interest to anyone wanting to try out the Historical MM Romance genre.  




Office Romance by Tamara Allen   ½
A nice enough story. Casey and Foster are working in an office together. Management decided that they are going to fire one of them and through hard work they'll decide which one it would be. Most of the story didn't grip me. Yet I did like it a bit more when Casey and Foster both realized it's not the way THEY want to play it - against one another. There's a bit of "romance" in the mix and a nice hope for the future but nothing more. 

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers  

REALLY enjoyed this one! I loved everything I've read by Joanna and this seems no different! This story is really short time-wise - the whole plot takes place in ONE day in which Lysander Winterbourne has to take Adam Freeman - a wealthy business man who is about to marry his sister - around Town. They don't start off well especially with everyone looking down at Adam for not being Nobility and Adam on his part isn't impressed or interested in all these snob-y types. Then when the both just act on what THEY enjoy they start to see each other in a total different way. I loved the sexual tension and how much they needed to be SURE of the other sexual orientation, I could totally get that considering the time this novella takes place.. Lysander was really sweet, and Adam just needed someone who understand him and sees him for who he is (not just a way to get money..). Both of them got what they needed. Oh, one last thing, this novella is told from both their POVs which I really appreciated :)  
 
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles  

WOW, hotness! Another great installment. All it takes is one afternoon between Gabriel and Francis Webster. There is so sort of animosity between Gabriel and Francis, it started with the rivalry between Gabriel obnoxious brother and Francis, years and years ago, but somehow Gabriel got in the mix when he was stupidly drunk, come to think about it, 5 years later he does no better when he gambles his life away and loses EVERYTHING. Francis offers to meet him the day after. Gabriel isn't sure what exactly for, and as they return to playing he is even more unsure of Francis's intentions yet when they become clear, they are both desperate for one another. 

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper
  
While three three previous novellas took place in Britain round the 18th century, this one takes place in the US in 1944, near the ending of WWII. While this story started very innocent and sweet, it was obvious something more emotional is going to happen and when it did, I couldn't hold the kindle close enough to get the whole story and the final resolve. An excellent read! I loved both MC - Warren (our sole POV) and Stefan. Warren was very warm and sensitive and Stefan so reserved I couldn't wait to hear his life story and understand the internal struggle and the sadness in his eyes. Also unlike the previous ones, it was great getting a whole story with an actual time line of them having an actual relationship for a while so the emotional connection between the two of them felt very genuine.

Carousel (
Whyborne & Griffin, #3.5) by Jordan L. Hawk  
Even though this is an Historical MM Romance anthology each novella is totally different especially with timing and setting (I think 19th century in the US). This one is also different because it has a Paranormal streak to it and actually it's a LOT more about the Mystery than the romance, though it might be because Detective Griffin Flaherty and Doctor Percival Endicott Whybornesince are already have an established relationship from the previous novels in the "Whyborne & Griffin". They are living together as lovers for the past year( even though naturally most people don't know of the true nature of their relationship..)
We start the novella with a father looking for his missing kid. The mystery was very obvious, ending in a very predictable way (I guess makes sense when you think about how short this novella...)
The whole novella felt unoriginal or special. First, the Paranormal part felt too simple (and wasn't specifically needed) and also, since I don't know the characters though the sex in the end felt loving it also felt foreign to the story.. They felt too much like the gay version of Sherlock and Watson, but I gotta say, from this short novella without the sex in the end, they could still remained JUST good friends..
I have a series by this author on my "To Sort" list (the pile that I have to sort through and see when and maybe IF I want to schedule) and I gotta say, though it's different in genre (Paranormal MM, yeah, but not Historical) I'm not sure if I'm interested to try it out now.. I"ll have to reconsider. 

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov
  
I just finished reading "The Lion of Kent" a short novella of William, the MC in this one from the time he was a squire. Now William (again our sole POV) is a Templar in the Holy Land and the last man he expect to find is Guy, his lover from 6 years ago, just before he left to become a man of god. 
William is struggling with his identity. Especially him sexual orientation. But while in the Holy Land he actually felt at peace with himself so when Guy comes and "rocks the boat" he isn't happy about it AT ALL. 
We get glimpses of the kind of relationship Guy and William shared and it seems that beyond the adventures there was a lot of emotions as well as promises to one another. 
The story ends kind of abruptly. There's not real closure, maybe because a third story of William is planned for the future. I didn't like the way it ended because it didn't even give a feeling of what's really to come yet I enjoyed the overall novella, William's struggles with himself and accepting how my Guy still means to him and how much the vows he made to him are still relevant.  

I"m really happy with this Anthology! Yeah I had a few disappointment but I also got 2 novellas from favorite authors - Aleksandr and Joanna (which I've read most of their work already) I was also introduced to 2 new (to me..) great authors - KJ Charles & Kaye Harper. So though I'm swamped with books and very little time to read, I truly hope next year I'll be able to add books by these two to my reading list. 



Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 232 pages, 14-17 September 2015 / On GoodReads

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