Author: C.B. Lewis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy
Page Count: 78
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.
Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.
But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.
Set in Victorian England circa 1860, Theodore Wentworth studies law but “for my own pleasure, I study Greek. The art, the language, the poetry….” In order to access the British Museum’s famed Reading Room where he can read classic Greek literature in the original language, Wentworth needs a wealthy sponsor. An offering placed at the feet of a statue of the Greek god Hermes, patron of oratory and good luck, bring Theodore unexpected luck as well as the attentions of a mysterious black-haired mentor named Alexander.
And when Theodore reads passages bowdlerized from Greek works “of heroes who happened to love and be loved by men” – Achilleus and Patroklos, Gandymede, Apollo and Hycanithus –
It was as if the thought were a spark in a tinderbox, catching on memories long forgotten and desires long smothered. Once kindled, he could not help but look further. He couldn’t explain the strange comfort in seeing a little of himself reflected in such ancient legends, even if the world around him would have roundly condemned both them and him.
This beautifully written short novella shows Theodore’s awakening and the realization that Alexander offers him something he only need be brave enough to accept. I loved this unusual unexpected story and definitely recommend it to anyone interested in M/M historicals with a fantasy element. 4.5 stars.
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