Author: Stevie Woods
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Amber Allure (August 22, 2011)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Can two men build a relationship when one must tear down each stone that the other has worked so hard to build?
In the year 1535, after a misspent youth, Brother Mark is a hardworking Benedictine monk toiling as a stone mason at Tavistock Abbey. There, he finds himself irrevocably drawn to one of the men sent by King Henry to audit the monasteries prior to closure.
Andrew Cheyne is fascinated by the handsome young man and breaks down the monk’s boundaries with an ease that neither expected. When Andrew returns four years later to finally close the Abbey, each man must also come to terms with their past to attempt to plan a future they can share.
But fate plays a cruel trick on them. Or, as Mark wonders, is it God teaching him a lesson?
Attempting to forget Mark, Andrew commences a brand new life, but fate has more lessons in store for him yet…
Product Link: http://amberquill.com/AmberAllure/StoneByStone.html
Review: This is exactly how I like my historical fiction served. History and romance are woven together so tightly that you don’t realize just how much research and effort went into its creation. In this case, the era of religious reformation in Europe and all the political ramifications that came along with it, is brought to life without feeling like you’ve fallen into a history textbook.
This story is as much tragedy as romance. What else would you expect when the main characters are firmly on two opposing sides of such a heated issue? Mark and Andrew recognize their mutual attraction, but both feel obligations; Mark to the Church, Andrew to the Crown.
Woods did a nice job of breaking this story into three parts; each part another opportunity for the lovers to meet only to be separated again by circumstances. I don’t know if Woods being British gave this story a more authentic flavor, but I know it didn’t hurt. I only hope the author revisits this time period in future books. I find I have a real appreciation for sexy monks, political intrigue and clandestine meetings. If that sounds like your cup of tea…I highly recommend this book