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!