Author: Lexi Ander
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: M/M Group event Goodreads
Genre: M/M Historical Paranormal
ISBN 13: N/A
Summary: STORY LETTER:
Please help this poor Laird. He’s a warrior and a leader, always alone. Now he’s fallen in love with the enemy and his clan won’t allow it. Please don’t make him time travel, but he can shift for sure.
Hugs and please make sure he has an HEA. He deserves one. This is for Kevin and his incredible highlander addiction.
Genre: historical, paranormal
Tags: men in kilts, non wolf or cat shifters, mythology, alternate world
Word Count: 31,006
Writing a true historical set in the 12th century requires the author to be a bit of a poet. The cadence of the speech has a certain lyrical rhythm to it. Alas! I’m not a poet and this is not a strict historical because there are the hints of magic, of mythical wonder, shifters, and living curses. I chose the period because I needed a plausible time period for the pagan, Roi. It never crossed my mind to consider language of the period as well. I would have loved to write this as historically accurate in both the time period and the language, but there just wasn’t enough time to do both. You will find that the language is from the 14th century and before. All other elements are as historically close as I could get with the short period of time I had for research. I hope you enjoy the story as it is.
NOTE: A lexicon of the old UK English used in this story can be found at the end.
Prequel here: http://heartsonfirereviews.com/?p=22519
Review: I need to be honest right away that this review may be biased – it’s my photo and story prompt! I feel like I have waited forever for this type of story (hence my request) and I was nervous about what I would get. I should have known better. I got more than I had even hoped for in this story of Ewen and Roi.
Roi has the gift of foresight. Scarred, tattooed face and long golden hair, he has been forced to serve an enemy clann, awaiting the moment death would set him free. He has always seen Ewen in his dreams (not knowing the man yet) and knowing that his death would be at the hands of this man he has come to count on without even knowing him. Ewen is a fierce warrior, loyal to his clann and King Malcolm. When the moment arrives for Ewen to slay Roi on the battlefield, Malcolm intervenes and gives Roi to Ewen as a gift.
Thus begins the journey of Ewen and Roi to save their clann. Roi is scarred and beautiful; Ewen gruff and uncertain. It made for a lovely back and forth because there is no insta-love here in a usual sense. Roi is hiding the fact he’s a seer, Ewen is hiding something even bigger. There is the shifter aspect of mating but Ewen has to work at getting his mate. Work hard, because sometimes he’s a dunderhead about these things.
There are so many times that this just made me say, “awww”. Big bad Ewen, confident and brave on the battlefield, is just sort of lost when it comes to romance and wooing. Add in that Roi makes everyone feel better so all want to woo him if Ewen can’t handle it, and it’s a lot of pressure for a 12th century warrior. He just reacts badly sometimes, not intentionally. He makes Roi suffer for it unwittingly but either his too hasty words or his too prolonged thinking about things. “Belonging. I belonged nowhere. At that point, I hated myself for wanting what I could never have.”
Sometimes it made me amile – Roi climbing the tree, Roi moving his bedroll after Ewen tries to sleep next to him. Roi may be gentle and loving but he is no one’s doormat. Ewen admitting that he would take Roi fishing even though he was not very good at it. Even better is Ewen doesn’t demand to know Roi is his, instead Roi asks “Tell me, Ewen, who dae I belong to?”
The characters are not perfect and this made them all the more endearing for me. Donn, Ewen’s brother, is a loyal, honest person, well worthy of Ewen’s trust. He seems a little sad and I hope his HEA gets told. The story is told with 12th century accents and words. This was a great plus for me – it allowed me to envision their world all the more.
There are unanswered questions by the end but Ms Ander has promised their story will continue. I am excited, I want Ewen to really meet Bear and share his name. I want Roi and Ewen to go forth and kick ass. I want Donn to find his one true. I want cousin Cinead to get his due. I am greedy yes, I want more!