Review: Christmas Wishes by JP Bowie

York 1922

Christopher Fielding has no choice but to spend Christmas with his family in York, away from William MacPherson, the biology professor with whom he has fallen in love. Finding his sister Nan in some distress over her pregnancy, Christopher makes a wish that all will be well with her and the baby, and another that William, traveling by train to his family in Scotland will be safe from the blizzard raging over the countryside.

As Christmas Eve approaches, William’s train is stranded in snow drifts and Nan’s baby is about to arrive prematurely. Cut off by the weather from a doctor’s help, the family is in despair, and Christopher feels that his wishes may not be enough. Perhaps what they now need is nothing short of a miracle.

(60 pages, ebook only, MLR Press)

Review by Erastes

This is a winter’s tale, a Christmas themed book (obviously) and as so is warm as mulled wine and full of Christmas cheer with a guaranteed schmoopy ending.

The plot is relatively simple, hard to be otherwise in sixty pages, but it does manage to pack a lot into those pages, some conflict, two red-hot sex scenes at least, a dedicated love affair and a lot of individual characters.

My problem was that it clearly states that it’s set in 1922 but the prose and dialogue smacks all too heavily of an earlier era. It wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian setting. This more antiquated feel could be explained by Christopher being a college man, but everyone talks like it, and considering this is the Jazz Age (even in England) and the time of the Bright Young Things it seems odd.

This illustrates it well, I think.

“What would you like to hear, Mama?”

“Something sacred perhaps, Silent Night?”

“Oh, something more cheerful,” Horace exclaimed. “Deck the Halls or something.”

“I shall play them both–and Horace I expect to hear lots of fa-la-la-la-las from you in particular. Charlotte can assist you.”

“Splendid!” Charles Fielding, their father, rose to his feet. “Let’s all gather around the pianoforte and have a sing-along. It’s almost Christmas after all.”

There’s no mention of World War One either, which is disconcerting. Christopher is 27, so he should have served, and his elder brother is 30. Yes, it’s only sixty pages, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the country had been ravaged by the loss of a generation, together with the ravaging of influenza so these things needs to have some nod given to them, even if it’s only to mention how lucky they all were to have made it with no casualties. I don’t expect there to be shellshocked ex-soldiers on every page, but some mention would have been more realistic and stopped it sounding like an Alternative Universe.

The love story was nicely told, and as I said, the erotica is hot. All in all it’s a decent little story and I think many people would enjoy it. You may not fancy reading about the snow and cold in June (unless you are from the antipodes) but I recommend you buy it anyway, tuck it away and pull it out of your stocking next Christmas.

Author’s Website

Buy at MLR Press

Review: Warrior Prince by J P Bowie

Set in the early turbulent years of the Roman Empire, and seen through the eyes of three men, Warrior Prince tells the story of a love that will not be denied, of courage in the face of adversity, of political intrigue, betrayal and death. Against this backdrop of death and mayhem, Lucius and Callistus, two estranged lovers, meet at last, but can their love overcome the enormous odds they must face when it seems that every man – and the gods – are determined to tear them apart once more?

Review by Vashtan

Dear FBI,

I got this book for free from Erastes for the purpose of the review. If you do come knocking, please arrive in the morning, so you don’t interrupt the writing. And – may I take my bonsai? He’s been looking down, lately.

Yours sincerely,

Vashtan

I must admit I’m torn on this. I Googled (and binged) reviews for “Warrior Prince” to help me form an opinion. It didn’t help. I have notes and thoughts and I’m still torn. I’ll likely remain torn on this. While this book didn’t work for me at all, I know there are many people who will enjoy this. So I will write a lot about how it didn’t work for me and why, and then rate it three stars, because it is exactly what it wants to be, and the misfortune is that I don’t like what it is.

This is the story of Lucius Tullius, a Capuan (not a Roman) middle-class youth who was one of the protagonists of “Slaves to Love”, the first part of this  “Warrior Prince” is the sequel of that book. The first part of “Slaves to Love” develops the love story between Lucius Tullius and the Gallic noble Callistus, who is a gladiator, joins Spartacus’ rebellion, then returns home, leaving behind a heart-broken Lucius.

In “Warrior Prince”, Lucius hears stories that Callistus is fighting against the Romans in Gaul, and joins the army to be reunited with his lost love.

History first: so far, this seems fair enough; while I doubt very much that our “hero”, Lucius Tullius, could just join the Roman army a bit for a couple years and then just leave, and then re-enlist on a whim, that is something I’d need to check more closely. Roman soldiers served for a long, long time, and at least 6 years according to one source I have here. But it doesn’t matter, because Bowie is being very vague on the history anyway. It’s the Late Roman Republic (rather than the Roman Empire as the blurb claims – that happens later), and Capua, but there are very few in-depth details. The military service is just a backdrop, and shows us a Roman army that is staggeringly incompetent, undisciplined and so corrupt that only the vainglorious, stupid and self-absorbed rise to any kind of importance. Doesn’t really matter, this is what I call “history light.” It’s not blatantly wrong, but the feel isn’t quite right – there’s an absence of the “telling detail” or an insight into the depicted culture or time, and the small details are left out and nebulous, which often happens with writers who don’t care that much about the period to get the small stuff right.

I’ve read much, much worse, but it didn’t grip me.

The story is told in first person by the main characters (and a Roman officer called Flavius, who I found insignificant to the plot and unbelievable as an officer, a military man, a Roman citizen and a member of the social elite), who endlessly reflect on what has just happened, so this feels very repetitive, like the author wants to make sure we don’t get lost in the plot. The way these characters speak didn’t ring very authentic to me, nor what they say or how they frame it, but at least they are not totally modern characters.

The writing. To state up front, I’m a voracious reader. I love to read. It’s a bad sign if I keep checking how many pages I have to trawl through. In this case, that “oh dear, still X pages left” started from pretty much page 1.

Why? For my personal taste, the style is simply schmoopy. The emotions are over-the-top, the characters spend forever thinking about how much they love each other and how wonderful the other is, to which my mind responds with: “I get it, he’s great and you love him, can we please now get to the meat of the story? Please?” The characters seem to spend 50% of their time pining for each other:

Never would I forget that first moment when his lips met mine in a kiss that had set my senses reeling, and my body on fire with a passion that had never abated. The memory of the time we had spent together making love would live with me for all time, and diminish any other moment spent in another’s arms. Sometimes I would curse him for having given me a taste of a rapture I could never again experience. But then I would immerse myself in the memories of his smile, of his strength and of his sweetness of nature that had brought me from mere infatuation to a deep, abiding love of the man he truly was.

And

Belenus was brought to me, saddled and bridled, and as I swung myself up onto his back, I thought for the thousandth time of Lucius, and how he had looked astride the steed on the day I sent him back to his family. I hoped he had forgiven me for taking Belenus from him after our last night together. I urged Belenus forward, and the men gathered behind me to watch what they imagined would be a very short conference with the emissary that now cantered toward the camp. I knew him before he got near, and for a moment my heart stopped in my chest and my breath caught in my throat.

“Lucius…”

His name was torn from my lips as my eyes took in every part of his face and form. Despite the fact that he was wearing a Roman soldier’s uniform, I could tell he had not changed one whit in the years that had passed since our last all-too-brief meeting. As he drew abreast of me, I could see those same shining brown eyes now fixed upon mine, and the same sweet smile I remembered each time he looked at me.

Oh, Lucius, what have you done? Why are you here on this field that will soon be covered in blood, and the bodies of men? But of course, I knew the reasons, and as he gazed at me with an expression of longing and love, I felt my loins burn with lust, and the need to crush him in my arms and cover his face and body with my lips.

I know this kind of writing works for some, but I find it grating and much prefer realistically depicted, believable emotion. The sex scenes and writing seemed quite repetitive to me, too. I was tempted to start a drinking game – one shot of vodka for every time an embrace is described with the words “I was a willing prisoner in his arms” or a variation of that. I would easily have got through three bottles before the book was up. I’m totally okay with having only a couple sex scene, as long as those are smoking hot and mean something. Here, they are just “proof of how much they love each other” and the sexual spark hits the moment gay or gay-inclined men look at each other – no more meaning or relevance than that.

The characters. Lucius Tullius is 26 years old and has the emotional maturity of a 14 year old girl. There is a lot of blushing and tears in this book, many, many “I love you!”s and Lucius to me comes across not as a full-grown man, but a child, a push-over, whose main aim is to have sex with the love of his life, the barbarian prince Calllistus. It’s good for him he also has the famous self-lubricating anus – the sex scene sometimes involve a little spit or rimming beforehand, but there are several instances in the book where Lucius takes it like a girl, without preparation. Little Lucius has no mettle whatsoever, or at least I just don’t believe he does. When he thinks he’s cunning, he really is not. If the author tells us he’s tough, he really isn’t (or maybe show me some basic training/army life in the late Republican army), and I never liked him. I had no chance to. He never really struggled, and it takes more than a lot of luck and a lot of whining for me to feel with a character. Every time Lucius gets in a tight spot, he’s rescued by happy coincidence, which will not only solve all his problems, but often reward him in some way, too. This rather reads like the story of a pampered pet that ends up in a spot of bother and then is rescued by some deus ex machina with no credit to his own mettle.

In short, I really couldn’t get into the character. I disbelieved him going through army life, and to me, he wasn’t a believable male character of the time. I think I may have winced when he told us he treats his slaves like “friends” and “servants”, he disagrees with slavery, and treats his slaves like confidantes (in “Slaves to Love”, he just lets one of his own slaves join the forces of Spartacus and wishes him luck on the way).

That kind of anachronistic thinking stretches to other characters. We have Flavius, a Roman character so blown away by Callistus’ charisma that he would rather serve him than Rome. O-kay.

Callistus, the Gaul, is the cliché of the “noble savage”. He’s more honourable, humane, and everything else than any Roman character in the book. He’s just so great that everybody respects and loves and follows him, even the few Romans who aren’t simply evil and incompetent. Never mind he’s shagging an enemy who could be a spy. Never mind that, according to what I’ve read, Germanic tribes killed homos. Here, nobody seems to care much (at least, Callistus is shagging his little Lucius behind closed doors/inside his tent).

The sex: lots of “willing prisoners”, lots of quick shags that did nothing to me – they were too purple, for once, too over-the-top, with self-lubricating anuses, people crying out each other’s names and “I love you!” all the time, and miraculous recovery times (well, I guess those Gauls are just *better* at recovering).

Now, the good bits. It’s well-edited, and the cover is ok. It has a discernible plot, so you can read this without wondering what the hell you’re doing. The history in broad strokes is enough to make this “history light”. It is a fluffy romance, written like a fluffy romance, with over-the-top emotions, a manly man, and a little boy (who’s legal age for sex), and if you like that kind of dynamics, you can’t go wrong here.

To sum up: History-light costume piece in the sentimental romance tradition narrated from a number of first-person POVs, with plenty of sex, over-the-top emotions, much pining, a hard-warrior-and-pliant-eager-boy dynamic and characters that often feel anachronistic but few glaring errors. Many settings and scenes are very vague (like Roman army life and warfare); the good people are very good, the bad people are very bad. I could see the plot twists come for a mile or two, but it is an art form to give the reader exactly what they are expecting, and many readers like that.

It didn’t work for me and I was glad it was over, but I know there are people out there who will enjoy this kind of book, so I rate it with three stars. It’s solidly made for what it wants to be.

Author’s website

Amazon UK Amazon USA Manloveromance

Review: The Officer and the Gentleman by J.P. Bowie

A young Scotsman and a Cavalry Officer embark on a forbidden love affair as the winds of war threaten to tear them apart. When Robert Alexander Macdonald locks eyes with Captain Charles Wentworth at a social gathering in London, it’s not long before they are also locking lips and engaging in a covert love affair. After an idyllic time spent together in a cottage on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall Charles receives orders to report for combat duty. Britain and France are at war with Russia, and Charles, an Officer with the 11th Hussars finds himself part of the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade, a military disaster that outraged the British population. Robert, on hearing that Charles is missing, goes in search of him, but finds only the shell of the man he loves, a man damaged in body and mind, with no memory of his family or loved ones. Faced with the possibility of Charles never again knowing what he and Robert meant to one another, Robert decides to dedicate himself to Charles’ full recovery. Going against all medical advice, Robert removes Charles from the hospital and takes him back to Cornwall in the hope that the familiar surroundings of his old home will bring back some latent memory to his lover’s mind. A hope, that as time goes by, becomes less and less of a possibility

Review by Tamara Allen

The year is 1854 and Captain Charles Wentworth is two weeks away from going into battle against the Russians. At this pivotal moment in his life, he meets the gentleman of the title, Robert Alexander MacDonald, who came into his inheritance after the death of a not-so-beloved grandfather. The two are introduced by Charles’ sister, Emily, who is surprisingly in the know regarding her brother’s sexual inclinations. Charles and Emily’s aunt, Lady Haddon, invites Robert to her home with the goal of introducing him to a bevy of eligible young ladies. But it isn’t the ladies who win Robert’s attention.

It takes barely an exchange of glances before Charles and Robert are swept by a mutual attraction so powerful that they sneak out of the house for a brief moment together in which to declare that attraction and indulge in some barely restrained kisses. In escaping Lady Haddon’s clutches, they are amusingly assisted by Emily and rumors of a rather enthusiastically spiked bowl of punch. It isn’t long at all before Charles and Robert are making the most of Charles’ time before his call to duty. Lust and attraction deepen to love in a believable way and I anticipated a very painful parting. The two men explore London together, giving the author an opportunity to add some interesting historical detail to enliven an already strong setting. When the time came for Charles to leave, the moment was as heartwrenching as I’d expected. Robert was so lost without him, I’d wondered if he would try to enlist just to be with Charles, or follow him into battle.

The sex is detailed, which I found more erotic later in the story when the two men had gotten to know each other, deepening their bond and making the impending separation an agonizing thought for both.

Though I am not familiar enough with the time period to judge the author’s description of the war, I had a bad feeling it would not go well for Charles. Though the descriptions were necessarily brief, I had a vivid picture of the Light Brigade’s charge and the consequences of it. Left to wonder how badly Charles was hurt, I devoured the rest of the story as Robert went out in search of his love, determined to find him and bring him home. The use of real life people I thought was well done, so much so that I wished this had been a novel rather than novella. Fleshed out into novel length, I think it would have been an even more interesting work. It’s a fascinating time period that I haven’t read much about and this novella made me curious to learn more. As a longer work, it would have definitely increased the story tension of Robert’s struggle to find and then save Charles. I would have liked to see that part drawn out more, because Charles’ recovery seemed almost too quick, right at the end, though I thought the author made it as believable as possible within the confines of the word limit. It was certainly romantic as could be. Robert declares in his love for Charles that he would do anything for him and fate puts him to the test. These are lovers who have to fight for their happiness and fight they do, which makes you love them both and cheer them on.

Despite my small complaint regarding length, I enjoyed The Officer and The Gentleman immensely. There was an almost innocent sweetness to Charles and Robert’s love affair, despite their earlier experiences. Neither man had ever fallen in love before as thoroughly and completely as they fell for each other. It had a whirlwind romance feel that was very appealing. The writing itself also had an innocent sweetness to it that contributed to the overall charm of the story. There is the occasional bit of dialogue that could have used polishing, such as when Robert in conversation with Charles refers to “Lady Haddon, your aunt”–apparently for the reader’s benefit, since that is something Charles would already know. I didn’t, however, find that it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. There are lovely lines, too, such as Robert’s trusted servant Morag’s comment as Robert goes to comfort Emily. Morag tells him to “keep hope in your heart and make her a gift o’ it when you see her next”. That was beautifully put. There are moments in the story that are moving in unexpected ways, such as Robert’s needing to hide his intense grief from his servants so they will not guess how deeply he loves Charles. Moments like that which will make your heart ache for Bowie’s characters. Moments that make this story quite a worthwhile read.

Author’s website

Buy at Total Ebound

Review: Slaves to Love: 1 and 2 by J P Bowie

Raised in the city of Capua, renowned for its gladiator training grounds—Lucius, a young patrician, is unprepared for the obsessive desire that almost overwhelms him when he first sees Callistus, a captive Gaul condemned to a life, and probable death, in the arena. Unsuccessful in his attempt to buy Callistus and save him from a premature death, Lucius instead follows his career, attending all of his bouts in the arena, including one with Spartacus, the rebel slave. Spartacus incites Callistus and his fellow gladiators to rebel and form an unbeatable army, almost bringing the Roman legions to their knees.

Although torn between his love for Callistus and loyalty to his friends and family, Lucius determines that before one, or both of them might die, he must find Callistus, confess his feelings, and spend at least one night in the arms of the man he loves.

When Damian, a young artist, is commissioned to sculpt the image of Demetrios, Rome’s current darling of the arena, he finds himself falling in love with the handsome gladiator. Despite his father’s vow to disown him, Damian follows his heart—and when he and Demetrios are caught in the conflagration that threatens to destroy Rome, their love for one another gives them the strength to survive the flames.

But their future together looks uncertain when Damian, rounded up along with Christians accused of setting the fire, is separated from Demetrios and forced into a fight to the death in the arena.

Review by Alex Beecroft

‘Slaves to Love’ is a beautifully written book consisting of two novellas. The linking factor which connects the two stories is the fact that in each story a youth of a Patrician Roman family falls in love with a gladiator.

In the first story, Lucius and Callistus, patrician Lucius, a rather limp youth, falls for a barbarian warrior, Callistus. Callistus is a barbarian chieftain, captured in the wars and forced to fight as a gladiator. He soon becomes involved with fellow gladiator Spartacus’s rebellion, and clearly leads a much more exciting life than Lucius, who is a (lackadaisical) teacher. The big drawback of this story, to me, is that all the exciting things are happening off camera, as it were. We are riding along in Lucius’ point of view, while he worries about his big brave man away at the war, but we don’t get to see any of the action.

In point of fact, Callistus treats Lucius exactly as a traditional hero treats his lady; he keeps the youth away from any danger, sends him home and refuses to allow him to participate in Callistus’ dangerous life at all. I believe this is meant to be romantic of him, but it’s exactly the sort of example of one person refusing to allow another person to live their own life and make their own decision that the rather heavy handed anti-slavery message of the story denounces. The lovers are so star crossed and so hobbled by Callistus’ refusal to treat Lucius as a man – and Lucius’ spineless acceptance of this ‘chivalry’ – that *spoiler warning* if one of the things you demand in a romance is a happy ending, you’re not going to like this at all. *End spoiler*

J.P Bowie writes with such authority about the period that I hesitate to wonder if any Roman youth, particularly of a patrician family, could be as passive as Lucius. But still I can’t help but find it odd. Taking orders from a barbarian slave? It really didn’t work for me at all.

I was also not at all happy by the fact that all the women in this story were bitches. In a climate where m/m is often attacked as misogynistic, I would find it hard to defend this story.

Which was unfortunate, because as I say the research seems impeccable, and the author has the most beautiful, powerful writing style. I desperately wanted to like the story, but I couldn’t.

Fortunately, there is a second story. The story of Damian and Demetrios is much more to my taste. We do start off with a similar setup – Damian is a high class boy starting out as a sculptor, and Demetrios is a gladiator. But almost everything I didn’t like in the first story is overturned in this. Damian reacts to being thwarted by growing a backbone, becoming active in the story and beginning to shape his own destiny. Demetrios tries the high handed ‘I’m letting you go for your own sake’ tactic, but eventually gives in to Damian’s persistence. They go into peril and adventure together, and when one goes into exile the other goes with him. It almost seems a reward for their persistence that this story does have a happy ending.

Oh, and Damian’s sister, Portia, turns out not to be a bitch after all, so even there I have nothing at all to complain about.

I sincerely hope that the second story was written after the first and represents the author growing into a m/m sensibility where nobody has to be the damsel in distress. If that’s the case, the combination of gorgeous writing, wonderful world-building, and likeable characters makes this one a winner and a definite sign of a rising star to come.

Author’s website

Lucius & Castillus  Manloveromance

Damian and Demetrios  Manloveromance

Review: The Journeyer by J.P. Bowie

Edited blurb: In the year 1746, after the armies of the Scottish Highlands rebelling against the King of England were at last defeated at the Battle of Culloden, the English government began a vicious campaign of punishment and humiliation against the people of Scotland.  Jamie MacDonald, a young Scot mourning the deaths of his father and brothers in the massacre, and his mother embark on a dangerous journey to find a better life in the New World. But tragedy and unforeseen circumstance dog Jamie’s path and he finds himself pressed into service aboard a pirate ship commanded by a ruthless Spaniard-a man with a past as dark as any on the wrong side of the law, but with an allure Jamie cannot resist. When he finally reaches the New World, Jamie is a changed man-one whose innocence has been replaced with a keen sense of self-preservation and a determination to survive-no matter what. Fighting to endure in the wilderness, he believes he has found his destiny as his life becomes irrevocably entwined with a Choctaw warrior-shaman-a man who had a vision of Jamie’s coming. Together they fight the elements and those who seek to destroy them.

Review(with some spoilers) by Erastes

This book was the book that I thought “Brethren Raised by Wolves” was going to be. It’s an adventure story, and a damned good one.  This is no story of an innocent lad with wide open eyes who is taken by surprise by life; to me this reads like a true “journey” of a boy who quickly learns the harshness of his lot and the injustices of his world and strikes out to find new ways of living – only to find that life isn’t that much different, wherever you might go.

It’s not so much “coming of age” but the first stage in a life which could probably fill books, as this really only deals with a surprising small number of years in Jamie’s life.  If you like frontier stories or pirate stories you’ll like this as it has enough of both to satisfy.

I had a few moments, right at the beginning that challenged me and made me worry if I was going to like the book as a whole: One being the fact that Jamie MacDonald made no secret of his identity after fleeing the Highlands.  My knowledge (to my shame) of the post Culloden months is based almost solely on “Kidnapped” but I remember that people kept the fact that they were highlanders secret, and to mention a name like MacDonald would have been like tossing a cinder into a powderkeg – I didn’t find it realistic that he was bandying his name around, even in London, let alone in Scotland as he attempted to flee.

On a much more minor point I also shied at the fact that – when through circumstances he is forced not to take the boat to America that he has spent all of his money on – he didn’t attempt to try and sell his tickets on, despite the fact that there was a desperate queue of people attempting to leave the country.  It seemed a rather contrived way of beggaring him, when there were easier and more convincing ways to do it.  I also have to say, and I don’t like to – is that he struck me as just a little bit of a Gary Stu; everything he does, he tends to do really well. He rides well, he learns to sail, he fights incredibly well, everyone (well, to be honest, nearly everyone) he comes across takes to him, and a lot of people who didn’t like him to start with grow to like him.

But – and for me this is a big but, when the story got going it was nothing more or less than a page turner, and a grand adventure that put the wind of the Atlantic into my hair and made me remember the days of my youth when I wanted nothing more than to wear a deerskin breechclout and to run, unseen, to fight the white man.  The story moves along at a cracking pace, whilst never losing characterisation or romance development.

And yes, there is romance here.  We are given a hint of it right at the beginning, and then Bowie goes and veers off course and surprises the reader by giving Jamie a love interest that even he wasn’t expecting and one that he doesn’t even want to accept.

I liked Antonio a lot, and I appreciated the way that Bowie made us follow Jamie’s thought processes – and we fell in love with Antonio in the same way and for the same reasons, but it was fairly obvious to me that there was going to be something that ended this idyll on the sea and I won’t spoil you for what it is.

It is when Jamie comes to the New World that you get the sense that he’s a man – I enjoyed his time here a great deal. It was everything “Last of the Mohicans” should have been for me, a great love, loads of action and plenty of hot man-lovin’.

A word about the romance scenes, though – because I know some of you require hotter scenes than others – the sex is very subtle. It’s more about “he could feel his excitement” and “they spent their passion” than anything throbbing or spurting, but that was fine with me.  It was the plot that interested me far more than the anatomical details. I find it interesting that some male writers are writing what are more traditional “romance” scenes (Pierce, Virga, Bowie to name a few) and the majority of women seem to write them a lot more graphically.

Aside from the minor quibbles at the beginning of the book, I have to say – that like Lee Rowan’s, or Alex Beecroft’s books, even though I wasn’t at all au fait with the Jacobite period it was clear to me that Bowie had done a good bit of research and I was able to relax and enjoy the book for what it was.  If there are errors within it that an historian could point out, then that’s fine – there weren’t glaring and that’s a plus for me. I felt like I was in a safe pair of hands and I could wallow in the adventure, string my arrow to my bow and hunt the white-man while protecting my tribe. The ending kicked me in the stomach, too, so be warned.

May I further add that it’s self-published by iUniverse and the editing is pretty damned good. I hope that as the genre gain popularity that this book is picked up by a mainstream publisher because it’s one that deserves to sit on any historical fiction shelf.

Definitely a recommendation, and I’ll seek out his other historical, the Roman “Slaves to Love” soon.

Author’s website

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