Nova Praetorian by N.R. Walker ~ Audio Review

N.R. Walker - Nova Praetorian Audio Cover fhv34Title: Nova Praetorian

Author: N.R. Walker

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Genre: Historical

Length: 12 hrs, 24 mins

Publisher: N.R. Walker (27th August 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Nea-polis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.

Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realizes the gods have fa-vored him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.

Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso’s neck, and together, they discover the senator’s move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian – the new guard – rise.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Nova Praetorian is a standalone historical romance by NR Walker. I am somewhat familiar with NR Walker’s previous work, and while I recall enjoying the books, I’m fairly certain that this is the first historical book I’ve read (or rather, heard) by Walker.

I have a complicated view on historical MM romances. I’ll be up front. In the world of MF romances, historical romances are the only ones I really like to read. So, I’m already inclined to like MM romances. However, because of historical views of homosexuality I find some difficult to read and that just means I really need to be in the mood for an MM historical romance.

Now, this leads me to an equally complicated view on Roman historical romances. Because let’s face it, there are a lot of such romances that are set somewhere close to Pompei on Volcano Day. And part of me finds that a tad bit tedious. Yet, with Ancient Romans (as well as the Ancient Greek) were a much more accepting society when it came to homosexuality… and so my mixed feelings continue.

But as soon as I started Nova Praetorian I was completely blown away.

This is a story that has it all. Political intrigue, power plays, gladiatorial fights, a couple with an intense attraction and loads of sexual tension, that also demonstrates the diversity of the Roman Empire. There is a lot of development as we get to know the characters and their motivations, but there is also a great rhythm throughout the story which weaves together political games, action/fighting scenes, wonderful romance between the two MCs and some great sex scenes too.

The story opens with Quintus Furius Varus, he owns a gladiatorial school which had been passed down from his grandfather and father before him, and is well renowned for training some of the most fierce and strongest gladiators, both male and female. He has interesting back story, where he lost his parents but was raised by two house slaves who kept the gladiatorial school going through Quintus’s childhood. However, now as an adult, his reputation has garnered the attention of a powerful senator that wants Quintus himself to train the senator’s own guard as the man makes a play to gain more political power.

This is how Quintus meets Kaeso. Kaeso was taken from his homeland of Ibera (comprising parts of modern day Spain and Portugal for those playing at home) by the Romans when they had come to his villages and destroyed everything, as well as killing his beloved family. Kaeso arrives in what is near modern-day Naples defiant. However, with the fear and heartache that had brought him to Rome against his will, he discovers he is given to a man who is nothing but kindness, even to slaves. The two men become close, although Quintus is insists on being noble and not taking advantage of Kaeso.

The men have to battle their feelings for each other, the physical attraction, as well as watching every step they take as the senator brings danger and intrigue. They even find themselves in the orbit of the Roman Emperor himself. I really loved – and was really relieved – when I got to read a really nice HEA because it was one well deserved for both Quintus and Kaeso.

The narration of this story was performed by Joel Leslie. I suppose like television, even ancient people tend to have a British accent (or something similar to one) in audio books. But that is not a bad thing. Leslie’s narration is a wonderful performances that keeps the momentum of the story going strong. He managed to nail the pronunciation of so many Latin words and keep it even throughout the course of the book. I also love the voice he gave Quintus and Kaeso, in particular I loved his portrayal of Kaeso. A totally wonderful performance that brings so much more life to the book.

Amazing story. If you’re a person who is unsure about historical romances, I recommend this one as an a good example of a thoroughly well written and well performed story.

Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Karrie Roman - Sons of Rome RB Banner

Hi guys! We have Karrie Roman popping in today with her new release Sons of Rome, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic $10 NineStar GC giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤️ ~Pixie~

Karrie Roman - Sons of Rome Cover mej374

Sons of Rome

by

Karrie Roman

9CE Germania

Battle weary and fearless Centurion Drusus Tuscus has only three more years in the Roman Legions and then he can return home to the mother and young brother he was forced to leave behind seventeen summers ago. Drusus has suffered much during his years in the Legions: defeats, fallen comrades and excruciating wounds, but this time the stakes are so much higher. As he prepares to lead his warriors from the safety of their winter base, across the Rhine into the wilds of Germania, he awaits the arrival of new recruits to bolster his century. With these men he will face the ferocious barbarian tribes, many still chafing under the yoke of Roman subjugation.

When his friend and Optio returns with the new men, two faces in the crowd change everything for Drusus. His brother, long lost to him and now a man, stands before him and he brings with him a friend, a man named Caius. A man who stirs the long dead fires of Drusus’s heart. Two men, neither of whom Drusus is willing to lose to a barbarian blade.

As the campaign begins, whispers of betrayal and rebellion stoke a fear in Drusus, especially as his arrogant commander refuses to take heed of the warnings. As catastrophe stalks their footsteps Drusus must balance his duty to Rome with his love for Caius. He will give everything he has to save his beloved brother, and Caius, the man who has stolen his heart.

Two lives that mean more to Drusus than his own.

.•.•.**❣️ NineStar | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo ❣️**.•.•.

Continue reading “Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman Release Blast, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Beloved Enemy by Star Noble

BelovedEnemyLGTitle:  Beloved Enemy

Series: NA

Author: Star Noble

Genre: M/M Historical

Length: 193 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/ Timeless Dreams (February 13th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Blurb:  At the edge of the Roman Empire, Cheruscans Kjeld and Dafried forged the bonds of childhood friendship, playing and hunting together along the mighty Rhine—until Romans ripped Kjeld away from his idyllic life and best friend to live as a Roman soldier.

That was ten years ago. Kjeld, now a Roman general, returns to his foster parents to prepare for a glorious celebration: a battle in the Coliseum. What he doesn’t know is that Dafried, after being captured during an assault on Roman military post, now trains as a gladiator in preparation for the upcoming competition. When the childhood friends reunite in the sands, it could spell death for one of them.

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

Product link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3573

Reviewer: Cat

Review: The story starts out about two boys and their friendship. Kjeld and Dafried’s world seem to revolve around each other and you can feel their closeness and know they have a deep bond.  They are also boys who want to help fight for their families against the Romans.  Then one day the Romans come and take Kjeld away. They say they will not bother the clan if they let them have him; he will be taken to Rome and taken care of. The boys’ worlds are shattered.  Then it moves ten years later and tells of how Kjeld was raised in a wealthy environment. He finally had to put his past behind thinking his family and Dafried had been killed.  One night his servant was administering to him and was especially endearing and he remembered Dafried.  Marcus misinterprets Kjeld’s reaction and kisses him. Kjeld is shocked and doesn’t return his feelings, so he knows he has to let him go. But, now he can’t stop thinking of Dafried. To his surprise he finds Dafried is a gladiator and is in a death match against his step- father’s best gladiator.

I thought this story was beautifully written and I wasn’t able to put it down once I started. I thought the characters well-developed, inspiring and the story fast paced and intriguing.

Recommendation: I recommend this book to anyone that loves a story of friends to lovers, a well- developed historical setting, love lost then found again, Soldiers, Gladiators, and sensual and beautiful lovemaking.