Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guest review of The Lion of Kent by Aleksandr Voinov & Kate Cotoner

Aleksandr Voinov & Kate Cotoner
The Lion of Kent
Carina Press, 2010

Squire William Raven has only one goal—to finally receive his spurs and become a knight. When his lord, Sir Robert de Cantilou, returns from a five-year crusade in the Holy Land, William wants nothing more than to impress him.

After Sir Robert's return, noble guests arrive from France, bringing intrigue to the castle. William is oblivious to the politics, as he's distracted by nightly visits from a faceless lover—a man who pleasures him in the dark and then leaves—a man he soon discovers is none other than his master, Sir Robert.

But William can't ignore the scheming around him when he overhears a plot to murder Robert. He becomes intent on saving his lord and lover from those who would see him killed...

Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Historical, Intrigue, Medieval, Knights, Crusades, Swordplay

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

*Review copy received from the publisher through Netgalley*

Guest review by Lis:

When I read the blurb for this book my first thought was “Oh yeah! Knights! Mine!” Since I have a BA in medieval history and culture there was a lot of curiosity on my part as to how this book was going to play out. There are a lot of pseudo medieval bodice rippers out there, but only a very slim selection actually know what they are on about. However, I needn't have worried! This short story rocks the chainmail right of you (or should I say chain male).
As I learned from the website of the authors The Lion of Kent is part of a series of novellas about William Raven, our main protagonist, each focusing on various stages of his life. This first is a prologue that starts with William's quest to become a knight and the intrigue at his Lord's home.

While this is a short story, the story is well drawn out and paints a vivid picture of medieval life and the life of a squire. In fact, the life of a knight is not at all as romantic as some of the bodice rippers make it out to be. There is virtually no privacy as all the squires eat, train and sleep together. The focus of the story is both equally on the mystery of who is trying to kill Sir Robert, recently returned from the holy land, William's quest to become a knight and his discovery of his sexual preference. If you're looking for a romantic story, you've come to the wrong castle!
Yes, there is definitely hot nekkid sex in this book and boy do they ever get it on! But probably not as you expect. The sex is reminiscent of the setting. As you will find out when you read this book (and I tell you, you have to!)

The writing is exquisite. When you travel through this story, you'll find out that the authors know what they are writing about. They have a way with words that draw you right into the story and make you stand up shake your fist in the air in protest or blush at certain points. The latter, my little bookworms, is exactly why I like this book so much. There are a lot of m/m books out there and quite a lot of them are plagued by circular narrative. (Sex)scenes described with certain words and certain ways. You won't find that in The Lion of Kent. It was a very refreshing book to read.

In fact, the only two minor points I could dish out are: one, this story was way too short and two, did the authors ever wear a hose (very complicated medieval version of pants)? Because let me tell you I have! and it is not easy to just “fish out” anything from them! *grin*
All in all The Lion of Kent is quite the read that I would recommend any time!



  1. I have heard good things about this book - sometime the best things do some in novella size...

    Thanks for your thoughts..


  2. *waves like crazY*

    Medieval hotties, wohoo :D

  3. Great review! I'm looking forward to reading this. I totally believe you about the hose. ;)

  4. You made me really curious about this novella, Lis! You've piqued my interest with the refreshing (sex) scenes. And the medieval clothing made me grin! :D

    @EH: I second that! I've read some very good novellas lately. :)

    @Blodeuedd: How are your first steps on the m/m path going, B? Maybe this novella is right up your alley? :)

    @Val: I take Lis on her word too, but that hose stirs all kind of images in my head now. *grin*

  5. I've read this book and absolutely loved it. All that was said is true and so much more.

    These authors are talented!!

  6. Historicals aren't my favorite, but I've heard good things about this one.

  7. Woohoo! Thanks guys! :-) This was not a hard book to review. Mmmm yummmeeee! And the authors are good. Next time I'm buying books there will be more of theirs in the basket!

    B. this would be a really good m/m book to read after Stra8t boys!

  8. Janna and Lis
    Lol, I am getting there, baby steps, baby steps. Who knows perhaps this weekend, cos I have this book to read...and it feels rather boring so perhaps I need some mm loving during it

  9. @Lis - I enjoyed reading your review and I agree with you about how the knowledge of the authors pulling the reader right in to the time period. I was so glad to hear William Raven has more page time coming up because I really liked his character.

    @Janna - Hey hon, hope you're having a fantastic day off and enjoying some reading time. The gloomy weather sure is a great incentive ;) (Like we need one to read LOL)

  10. *waves at Brita and Chris* Great to see you! =)

    *wipes tears from eyes* I'm so proud, Blodeuedd! Can't wait for you to start reading it!! And look at you talking like an experienced m/m smut reader! :D

    It was a fab day off, Leontine! The weather inspired me to do nothing for a change, which is so luxurious! :) I'm a happy girl now.
    Hope you had a great day too.

  11. Leontine, me too! At the end of the week I'll be getting more books! I'm looking forward to see how this story progresses.

    I always love it when an author or authors know how to pull you into a story with the right words!


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