A Brush with Darkness by Erastes

Title:  A Brush With Darkness

Author:  Erastes

Genre:   Historical – Florence, 1875, Paranormal

Length:  Novella

Publisher:  Carina Press (March 19, 2012)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

After making a grisly discovery one night, I needed proof that there was still goodness in the world. I never dreamt it would come to me during my next commission–with a subject whose very name means light…

Yuri was glorious in his otherworldly beauty, surrounded by a bright halo of iridescence, but I detected a fierce darkness lurking underneath the surface. Sketching all night, I could hardly wait to capture his likeness in a painting. For Yuri has stimulated not only my creative urges, but my sexual ones as well.

His very presence infuses me with joy and passion, but what will happen if my patron should discover our trysts? Dependent on his good graces, I can’t afford to lose his support. But I fear the time will soon come when I must choose between restoring my family’s fortunes and obeying the temptation of the muse before me…

Previously published as Chiaroscuro, newly revised by author.

Product Link:  http://ebooks.carinapress.com/02B45553-0F33-4B4B-AF28-1CB2E4FEAA94/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID={F2D717D2-8B77-4B48-B6D7-5274564E0685}

Reviewer:   Portia

Review:  Michel di Fiesole is the only son of a business man, now deceased.  The circumstances of his father’s death are a bit shady, but Michel has neither the contacts nor resources to make further inquiries.  Luckily, he does have enough talent to secure his father’s former business associate, Signor Bettano as a patron.  For two years he has painted the portraits of the Florence elite.  Now, he has been commissioned to create a portrait of a man, who literally takes his breath away.

This was my first Erastes novel.  I have several of her works on my Kindle, but always seemed to skip over then, in favor of something shorter or more contemporary.

I could just kick myself.

The language of this book is magical.  There is a lilt to the cadence that was just beautiful.  Her use of language sets a wonderful tone that is historically accurate.  It is not just true to the period, it’s just absolutely beautiful.  As I read, I could almost head Patrick Stewart or better yet, Jason Statham voice in my head.  I would love to see this title turned into an audio book.

Michel is a dear.  He would love to tell his patron to drop dead.  But, he takes his responsibilities to his family seriously.  He will endure any amount of personal discomfort, in order to see to their needs.

I wasn’t sure of Yuri’s intent, at first.  He is so beautiful and so intense.  But, he also proves to want Michel for more than an evening’s entertainment.

This book will not appeal to everyone.  I happen to love the poetic styling of the 19th century British writers. And A Brush with Darkness is very much in that vein.  But, the story is very well-written.  Even if you don’t think of yourself as a historical romance lover, you will enjoy this book.  You would be amazed at how steamy sex can be, when you have to remain true to a historical period.  The mystery that is interwoven adds a darkness that is very satisfying.  Not to mention that little matter of Yuri’s avocation.

If you haven’t tried Erastes, I highly recommend A Brush with Darkness as your introduction.  It’s just long enough to weave a tale of intrigue with just a taste of the paranormal.  Highly recommended.


Muffled Drum by Erastes

Title: Muffled Drum

Author: Erastes

Genre: Historical Romance

Length: 187pgs – 43,000w

Publisher: Carina Press

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 1/2

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Bohemia, 1866

They met in a port-side tavern, their lust-filled moments stolen from days of marching and madness. After eighteen months, Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann have decided to run away from everything they hold dear. Resigning their commissions is social suicide, but there’s no other choice. Someone will eventually see Rudolph’s partiality toward Mathias.

Now their plans have gone horribly awry… When Mathias goes to Rudolph’s tent after their last battle, his lover looks at him without a hint of recognition. Mathias can hardly believe the man he knew is gone. He wants to fill in so many of Rudolph’s missing memories, but the doctor says a shock could result in permanent damage. The pain of seeing Rudolph on a daily basis, when Rudolph doesn’t remember their love, is excruciating. Now Mathias must decide whether he wants to fight for the man he loves or forget him completely…

Review:  This is a devastatingly touching story and it was a privilege to read it.

Mathias and Rudolph make a great couple and plan to leave everything behind to start a new life together but during their last battle before they resign they are both injured in battle, Mathias gets bandaged up and then resigns excited to start a new life with the man he loves. Rudolph doesn’t recognize the young First Lieutenant who comes to his tent and then accompanies him on his journey back to Berlin.

I have got to say I don’t think I have felt such sympathetic pain before when reading a book; this book took my breath away. I can’t imagine anything that is as emotionally painful as having your lover completely forgetting you and thinking they love someone else.   Oh yes, I can, having it happen to you and then seeing them with that person and believing you were just a convenience.

This book is beautifully written, you just can’t see how this will work out for Mathias, and he now has doubts about Rudolph. He can’t see any way forward. Rudolph keeps having flashbacks that include Mathias but they can’t be true, can they?

It is a poignant, incredible historical.   All I can recommend is… you have GOT to read this book.