Series: The Iron Warrior 01
Author: Erin O’Quinn
Genre: Historical, (Ireland, Roman, England 400+)
Length: Novel (292pgs)
Publisher: Siren – BookStrand (8th August 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts
Blurb: Former Roman soldier Gristle—“tough and hard to swallow”—has rarely allowed anyone in his life to become close to him. One outstanding exception is Tristus, a man he saved ten years before from the urges of lonely soldiers near the Wall of Hadrian. Tristus became his own lover for eleven months, and then he disappeared. Ten years later, the young pony trainer Wynn is smitten by Gristle’s looks and manner and follows him to his new home in Éire (Ireland) where he becomes his lover.
The stories of the three men interweave until at last they all three meet briefly in sacred Tara, home of the High King. Wynn is abducted by druids with sinister and lustful designs, and Tristus wants to follow the ministry of Father Patrick.
Thus no sooner has Gristle found an old lover and a new one than they are all pulled apart by the one whom Gristle calls “the bitch goddess Fortuna.”
Purchase Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/warrior-ride-hard
Review: Gristle is a sworn armsman, unlucky in love and rarely seeming happy. He is sworn to protect the hellion, Caylith, and it is a journey that will take him to Ireland and discovering new and old love. Wynn is the pony trainer. He wishes for Gristle to train him, but he is also strangely attracted to Gristle as well. But, love doesn’t run smoothly when Gristle’s old love turns up and Wynn finds himself in more trouble than he ever imagined.
This is a very interesting novel that pulls us into 5th Century Ireland as Roman, Welsh and English immigrants flee from the Saxon promise of invasion of Britannia. Gristle lost the only man he had loved when he disappeared in the night 10 years before, and now with Wynn he has a new opportunity to embrace love, but the path is not an easy one. Wynn wants nothing more than to be with Gristle, but when Gristle’s old love arrives on the scene he has brief doubts. But, before he can reaffirm his love with Gristle, Wynn is kidnapped and Gristle thinks he has run.
I must admit to enjoying the storyline of an old Roman soldier, Gristle, and a Welsh pony trainer, Wynn, falling in love and then Tristus arriving confusing Gristle. I found those aspects of the story to be good and the way something would come up to keep them from sorting out the problem was interesting. Wynn’s kidnapping was surprising and added a touch of meat to the bones, but was completely unrealistic, and Gristle’s casually dismissal of Wynn when Tristus turned up was much more than just dented pride. Tristus was a great character who came through as a much better man than Gristle did.
I will admit to being completely baffled when the story suddenly took a turn back in time by ten years to when Gristle and Tristus first met. Mainly because Gristle had already remembered it all earlier on, but secondly because it didn’t add anything new, until we got to Tristus’s POV and we find out why he disappeared. It just seemed to be more filler than any useful aspect of the story. The author has done a very good job of creating a world for Gristle and company and using artistic license to make it work.
So, I will recommend this to those who love historical stories, Romans, Welshmen, primitive hot sex, fighting for survival and a happy for now ending.