Review: Sound and Fury by B A Tortuga

Running from his past, Declan Murtagh arrives in London and immediately sets it on its ear, earning himself so many duels with his temper that he never needs to shoot for target practice any more. One early morning assignation leads him to the most intriguing, and infuriating, man he’s ever met. Seth Rhodes.

Seth is a old rakehell, and he sees something of himself in Declan, vowing to take the young man in and teach him a few things about controlling his temper, polite society, and debauchery. When they come together it’s like lit gunpowder, but what will they do when their pasts catch up to them?

Review by Erastes

Once more I encountered a problem I see again and again with these gay historicals, that don’t tell you WHEN they are occurring. When you pick up a book at the library or in a bookshop you flip over to the back and read something like: Fresh from Waterloo -Captain Carter is ordered by Lord Wellesley to quell an uprising in the SoandSo province. Will Carter be able to infiltrate the warlord’s defences? Blah blah…

So we know where – and when – we are!

But this (and many others I read recently) has no clues as to setting it firmly WHEN. And call me picky, but I like to know! The early and mid 19 th Century was a hugely transformative century, the modern civilisation was being born and even 20 years here and there made a large difference to the fashions, the language, the transport etc.

So I had to ASSUME it was pre-Victorian, even Regency perhaps but I had no idea, and as I said, it’s about the sixth book I’ve read recently (more if you count the four short stories of J Talbots) that has this problem and I’m getting more and more sensitive to it. /rant

However, the books starts in a promising fashion, our hero Seth is acting as second to a friend’s duel. The antagonist Declan Murtagh (who is surprised that Seth knows he’s Irish!!…no jokes please) is a kind of D’Artagnan figure when we first meet him, and he admits that he’s been in eight duels in a fortnight. Seth becomes attracted to the young man, invites him back to the house for breakfast and Declan stays for good, and they are shagging before you can say “what era is this?”

If you like long long LONG sex scenes you’ll love this – the first sex scene goes on for 22 pages!!! – about 5000 words. I have trouble writing entire short stories of that length… The book is 35k words long approx and about 18k of those are sex. They are fairly hot, but really, who wants to wank for 5k??? Ouchie.

However – unless my version had something missing – I couldn’t find any actual plot at all. There’s a “conflict” shoe-horned in half way through which causes Declan to bolt but the resolution is weak and the reunion is unrealistic. After its promising start the book deteriorated into a series of rather strange arguments which seemed to have no point, a lot of scenes of the characters eating rather anachronistic things and the marathon love-making scenes as mentioned.

The writing isn’t bad, at all, it’s engaging and I warmed to both characters early on – surprisingly they are three dimensional but I’d like have have seen them given something to do other than.. well, you know. The trouble is that it got boring and I just thought OMG NOT AGAIN – flipped forward for pages – which meant I only read about half of this book at most because when I saw them (after a break of about five paragraphs) getting into another clinch I just kept turning pages until they’d both spent. Again.  It actually feels very much like a converted RPG, now I come to think about it.

If you want huge tender sex scenes, you’ll love it, but if you want some story with your sex you’ll be disappointed, it’s probably one of the longest PWP’s I’ve ever read.

Author’s Website

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