In Shining Armor

In Shining Armor cover

Title: In Shining Armor
Author: E.L. Phillips
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Genre(s): Historical, Time Travel, Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 314
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Krish Nayar is damp. He’s cold. He’s an American lost in the foggy woods of Wales and sporting a sprained ankle. When a handsome renaissance faire player in shining armor, Bleddyn ap Rhys, rescues Krish from stumbling around and getting even more lost, Krish thinks his prayers are answered. At least until Bleddyn brings him to Castle Gwydir, where everyone lives like it really is Medieval Wales, no one knows what an iPhone or indoor plumbing is, and where, by all accounts, the year is 1626.

Traveling four hundred years into the past is improbable, but apparently not impossible. Learning to fit in with medieval Welshmen is difficult, but not impossible. What’s impossible is Krish not losing his heart to gallant Bleddyn in a time when, if acted on, their love means a death sentence.

A M/M romance set in Wales? A gorgeous wise-cracking American of Indian descent? A gorgeous Welshman riding to the rescue through the fog? Time travel to the Wales of 1626? Sign me up! I gave the book 3.5 stars, but oh how I wish that the book was as good as the blurb ….

Krishnan Nayar is lost in the Welsh countryside, separated from his friends by a mysterious fog, when he is rescued by Bleddyn ap Rhys, an Welsh knight on an honest-to-gawd horse. He brings him to Castle Gwdyir and very quickly Krish realizes he has time-traveled to the year 1626, and just as quickly he and Bleddyn fall into insta-lust / love, as in a matter of hours.

As the blurb says “their love means a death sentence”. For real, as in castration, stoning, burning at the stake, flogging, mutilation …. you get the horrid, totally sickening idea. Which is why the idea of Krish and Bleddyn pretty much openly living together, the occasional kiss in the stables, a snog in the countryside, and a blowjob OUTSIDE the door of their bedroom in the castle is way too historically inaccurate to bear. Despite the plentitude of very steamy sex scenes (with most involving Krish “getting banged like a Salvation Army drum” – love that phrase), at this point it felt like the story was in a rut, a long drawn-out rut. In fact, there were almost too many similar sex scenes ….. wait, what? Yeah, I can’t believe I actually wrote that either.

But the introduction of a paranormal element that explained Krish’s excruciating nightmares and why Krish and Bleddyn were so drawn to one another salvaged the story toward the end of the book. E.L. Phillips did a very good job of showing just how much in love Krish and Bleddyn are, as well as their sizzling sexual chemistry, and I liked how the author threaded the story of Bleddyn’s first love through the plot, and how that brought about a very satisfactory ending to the story.

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Galley copy of provided by Bold Strokes Books, via Netgalley, in exchange of an honest review.

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