Today's snippet is from A Shared Love, the final book in the Spartan Love arc of Apollo's Men. It's a lot longer than six sentences, but I think I can be forgiven for not being able to cut it shorter.
Four out of five stars.
Lionel is a waiter at the local gay bar. The Bird is the perfect place for him. The patrons range from a straight crossdresser, to straight-acting men, to an entertainer who is even more femme than Lionel. Here, he can be himself while working with other men society is reluctant to accept. What could be safer?
Doug hadn't intended to go home with the young waiter with a penchant for pink and women's shoes, but one too many shots and it was a done deal. Normally, he wouldn't have given the guy a second glance—girly boys aren't his thing—but now that he's woken up next to Lionel, he can't get him out of his head.
But even The Bird isn't safe enough for Lionel. He's not the "right" kind of gay. He's too femme. He shouldn't "put it out there." Bigotry that should have been checked at the door follows him even here.
Now the captain of Doug's softball team has launched a campaign against Lionel and expects them all to back him in his assertion that Lionel "makes us look bad." Even though Doug would be better off just walking away from the waiter, he can't bring himself to do something that is so clearly wrong. He's gotten to know the feisty guy, and while Lionel isn't his type, he likes him anyways.
Lionel and Doug are forced to question who they really are. Both thought they knew until they took the time to get to know each other and see themselves through the other's eyes. Were they true to themselves or trying to live up to others' expectations of what they should be?
This story explores tolerance, and the lack thereof in any human interactions. How even the people who should be on your side aren't always.
Femme is a study in opposites attracting and how sometimes we can see beneath our differences without realizing it. It's about making choices and doing the right thing. And maybe, just maybe finding someone you never thought you would.
ARe is having a 50% rebate. Get both Spartan books for $7!
A Spartan Love: Alone, Andreas toils on a remote farmstead for a Spartan overlord. When a kryptes enters his world, Andreas fears for his life. The dread warriors stalk and kill helots—like Andreas' father—as part of their training.
Andreas sees only one way to save himself: he must tame the fearsome warrior.
But what began as self-preservation develops into attraction. Yearning for the company of someone other than his ferret, Ictis, Andreas decides to trust the Spartan warrior and risk the fate that claimed his father.
Born to rule by the sword, Theron sees the world as his and acts accordingly, taking everything Andreas offers and reaching for more. However, love between men in Sparta is considered shameful and requires either exile or suicide to redeem Sparta’s honor. Now, only the gods can save them from the terrible price Sparta extracts from men who desire other men.
A Tested Love: Lured by seductive promises, Andreas risked his life to be with Theron, only to find himself betrayed. Abandoned and alone, Andreas resigns all hope of seeing his fierce warrior again and resumes his life as a helot.
All too aware of the harsh punishment Sparta demands of men who love other men, Theron reluctantly surrenders Andreas in hopes of keeping him safe. The warrior returns to Sparta to embrace his destiny in place of the helot he has grown to see as a man, not just a slave. Cold but honorable duty will be his new lover.
Duty proves to be a jealous lover when Sparta demands the final test of Theron’s loyalty. Sent to kill Andreas, Theron must find a way to come to terms with his burning desire for his handsome helot before their forbidden love destroys them both.
Read a snippet from my current WIP, A Shared Love, the final book in the Spartan Love arc of my Apollo's Men series.
“For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice...” ~ John Burroughs
Andreas, of 'A Tested Love' by Kayla Jameth, believed Theron when he said he would come back to him. When Theron doesn't keep his promise, Andreas is despondent and feels like a fool for trusting him. At first, he worries that Theron is dying or already dead, but as time goes on, he accepts the harsh truth. Theron probably went back to his men and will soon forget about Andreas altogether. Broken-hearted, Andreas returns to his solitary life and tries to put Theron out of his mind and heart.
Theron tries to resume his former life, convinced that Andreas will soon forget him and is safer without Theron around. No matter how hard he tries, memories of their times together haunt Theron; he misses Andreas with an intensity hardly fathomable, much less for a kryptes. When Theron is given his first mission to 'eliminate' certain Helots who are deemed to be revolutionaries, Theron is shocked to find that Andreas's name is on his list. Apparently, his ploy to keep Andreas safe has not worked. In fact, it's put him directly in the line of fire. Theron accepts his assignment with as little emotional reaction as possible, but inside he is torn apart. Theron wrestles with the situation, going back and forth in his mind, but he sees no other solution; Theron has to kill Andreas. He goes to Andreas's with the intent of doing so as humanely as possible, but when he sees Andreas, he knows that there is no way he can go through with it. Theron knows if he doesn't get Andreas to safety, others will come to finish the job. No longer trusting Theron, but having no choice, Andreas and Ictics, his ferret, begin a journey out of Spartan territory.
During their trip, Andreas and Theron are faced with a multitude of emotional battles as they decide whether or not it's even possible to rebuild trust in each other again, but neither can deny their strong attraction to the other. They second-guess themselves and each other as they struggle not only with their feelings, but their mind-set. What they have always believed to be true suddenly isn't. If they're to remain together, they have to learn to see themselves as men rather than as master and slave like they have always been taught. Since knowing Andreas, Theron can never think of other Helots as anything besides men, therefore making it impossible for him to kill indiscriminately as he did before. Coincidentally Andreas, having tasted the freedom he has with Theron, can never go back to the inferior attitude he had of himself before knowing Theron. They are changed men no longer fitting into their preconceived notions of who they were and what they believed in the past. As Theron and Andreas adapt to their new ways of thinking, they also have to alter the way they look at one another and how to respond to each other if they have any chance of creating a true bond of love, trust, and forgiveness.
There's a lot more to this epic story, but I can't fit it all in the review. Andreas and Theron have an enormous amount of work to do on their relationship. The men need to decide if they are capable of altering their entire life paths and forge one together. Itcis, the ferret, creates a good bridge between Andreas and Theron, bringing them together when needed and adding some comic relief, because if anything, ferrets know how to mix things up. There's also a very useful and informative section after the story that provides histories of gods’ and goddesses’ genealogy, adventures, and celebrations, along with definitions and customs of ancient Greece. Thanks, Kayla, for a great second book in the series. I look forward to the next edition.
Looking for a gratuitous sex scene to spice up your night?
Apollo x Halys take up the slack for Andreas and Theron. Well, someone takes it up...
The release party and giveaway has begun! Stop by my blog for the links to the stops along the way. I will be updating them as we go so drop by every day.
Cryselle was kind enough to host Theron and Andreas. Of course Ictis came along and stole the show.
Not sure ancient historicals are your thing? Give Body Language a try. It's a prequel to my Apollo's Men series. And as it's free, a good way to get your feet wet.
Travelling with Narses through conquered Lydia, Lykos hides his identity as a prince of Aenus. He intends to take the measure of the encroaching Persian Empire. But before they reach Sardis, he hears cries for help and charges into battle with mountain bandits. Unable to save the beleaguered merchant, he rescues Kas, a young Persian man.
Now his protector is dead, Kas would like nothing better than to remain with the handsome warrior who came to his aid. But how can he explain that to a man who speaks little but Greek?