4 Stars, Elin Gregory, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Love Lane Books, Reviewed by Rena

Review: A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory

Title: A Taste of Copper

Author: Elin Gregory

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 71 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything. Continue reading

Elin Gregory, Love Lane Books

Guest Post and Giveaway: A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory

Taste of copper FB

Knights & Squires

Hi, I’m Elin. Many thanks to The Novel Approach for allowing me to post here today in celebration of my new release. A Taste of Copper is a historicalish story with a medievalish setting.

The story concerns the troubled relationship between a loyal squire and his master, a grumpy and unappreciative knight, and was inspired by the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Continue reading

Elin Gregory, Etopia Press

Set Sail On The High Seas With Elin Gregory’s “On a Lee Shore”

Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.– Johnny Depp

I am generally not a fan of historical romance novels. I read this one only for the purpose of reviewing it. I am glad I did. I don’t know that On A Lee Shore changed my mind about historicals in general, but I sure liked this one, and I loved Kit! I loved his courage. I loved his growth from beginning to end. His slowly evolving realization that there must be more to life than that which he had been taught. His relationship with Griffin, so hot!

On A Lee Shore is the story of Kit, who is assigned as a valet to a British diplomat sailing to the Caribbean. Kit has been demoted after losing his ship, although not at fault, he has to suffer the consequences. He boards the Hypatia, a merchant ship and sets sail. When the ship is taken by pirates, he and a ship’s hand, Davy are taken and forced to work on the pirates’ ship.

Kit discovers a way of life that, while lived on the wrong side of the law, is freer than he ever experienced in the navy. Each pirate has his own story of misfortune to tell and each one has chosen this life of crime rather than be condemned unjustly. The captain of the band of misfits, La Griffe (Griffin), is in charge only as long as the crew are satisfied with his leadership. I liked getting to read about the lives of the pirate crew and why they felt they had no choice other than living the harsh, cruel life of pirates. All of them seemed to be victims of circumstances beyond their control.

There seemed to be a conflict just over every wave. The pirates must avoid the Royal Navy and another band of pirates set on taking the Hypatia from them. Kit is struggling with internal conflict as well. He has always believed the values he was taught, and respected the navy in which he had served. Now he sees a group of men, who, while considered criminals, are just trying to survive as well as they can. They seem to be an educated group of men, respecting authority and their own code of ethics. Nothing like what he has been taught to believe about pirates.

Not only is Kit in conflict with his core values, but also his desires. He finds himself attracted to La Griffe. It is a slow burn, developing naturally, with Kit denying what he wants, even to himself. But the pirates are more honest with themselves about their feelings and believe each man to his own as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. There is one openly gay couple within the pirate crew, and it is accepted as normal. (We as a modern society could learn a lot from this!) La Griffe is determined in his advances towards Kit and eventually Kit gives in to his desire for the pirate captain.

Ms. Gregory has written a layered and intricate plot. Davy and Kit trying to survive among pirates. Both of them trying not to let go of the values they have been taught but are now questioning. They both resist initially, but eventually understand the men who call themselves pirates and the lives they lead. On A Lee Shore, for me, read like a historical novel with the romance taking the sub-plot position. I prefer the opposite formation.

The writing in On A Lee Shore was a little bit awkward at first, but Ms. Gregory quickly found her sea legs. To my untrained mind, it seemed well researched. There was adventure around every corner and the danger was relentless. The romance between Kit & Griffin really wasn’t very romantic. It was more about stolen hot sexy time than feelings. Lewis and Protheroe, the openly gay couple living among the pirates provided the romance. They made it abundantly clear that they were truly in love.

My one complaint would have to be that there were, at times, jumps in the time line without line breaks. Up to a week would pass between paragraphs. It required me re-reading the last and current paragraph to make sure I was getting it right.

Overall, it was an amazing adventure. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Tina

You can buy On a Lee Shore here:

All Romance Ebooks, Dianne Hartsock, Elin Gregory, Kiran Hunter, Renee George, Tristram La Roche

It’s Never Too Early To Turn Up The Halloween Heat

’Tis the night—the night
Of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without,
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they—it is they! – Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Halloween Heat is a collection of five short stories from five authors, each taking place on the one night of the year that the veil between the here and the other is at its thinnest, the one night of the year that the most sinister, macabre, and mystical is made possible, the one night of the year when the parallel realms of the unimaginable will mingle with our own and unsettle the balance between the tangible and the ephemeral.

The first story in the anthology is Tristram La Roche’s Love Lies Deep, the tale of Josh, a man whose Halloween night will be spent in a cemetery in the small North Country village where he lived with his lover Sam. It is a night of “ifs” but no answers for Josh in this tale of loss within an impossible erotic fantasy made entirely possible through grief and the benevolent spirits that deliver second chances just one night of the year.

It’s a “Same Time Next Year” story of anguish and love made manifest through the supernatural, a sorrowful bit of flash fiction that at the same time holds a weighty promise, the only sort of promise for Josh and Sam that’s attainable, and in that, it’s a happiness-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder story with a bittersweet ending. – 4 Stars

Next up is Reneé George’s Idle Hands, which everyone knows are the devil’s tool, but who knew they could also be the Devil’s Playground?

Travis Boyd is a barista, Matthew Rowland is the man who has been coming into his coffee shop every year for the past three years. Every year, Matthew’s invitation is the same: for Travis to meet him at The Devil’s Playground haunted house where Matthew works, but there’s just one problem—Travis doesn’t go out on Halloween night. Ever. It’s a practice in non-participation that’s been ingrained in him since childhood. But for every rule, there is always an exception, isn’t there? And, in Travis’ case, that exception is called desire.

The Devil’s Playground isn’t your average haunted house in any way, and neither is this story at all average. This particular haunted house is the kind that, if you aren’t careful, you will enter but may never come out again. The story is filled with surprises and sex around every corner, as secrets are revealed and the strange and unusual reveals itself in startling ways.

Travis’ journey is unbelievably erotic, entirely unbelievable in a completely fantastical way and I loved it. Idle Hands is one of those stories that I didn’t want to put down until I was finished, and then when I’d finished it, I cursed it for being over. I would love to see Ms. George revisit these characters again soon. – 5 Stars

Dianne Hartsock’s Costumes takes place in a house of horrors of a very different sort, the sort of house where death and evil lingers, and is not afraid of the humans who would dare brave poking around at its secrets.

Paul and Bennie, childhood friends and now lovers, are in for a night filled with lust-fueled visions and wild fantasies they’ve never experienced before, visions filled with a sort of malice that can only belong to the malevolent spirit that haunts the nowhere beyond the strange door in the attic, a door for which the key is the means to unlocking evil.

Of all the pieces in this collection, Costumes is the one I must say I connected with the least. The house and the evil trapped within it was set up a bit like a gothic horror—or that’s how it felt to me, at least—but I never felt a sense of true threat from it, nor at any point was I unsure whether the men would survive it.

The eroticism of the other stories in this anthology is the effect of the mystical and ethereal nature of their plots. In this story, the eroticism is a manifestation of the evil—sex is the cause; it’s a plot device rather than an erotic result of the metaphysical muses playing havoc with mere mortals, and as a result, it fell a bit flat for me. That’s not to say this wasn’t a pleasant enough story, but for me it didn’t quite measure up to the intensity level of the others in the anthology. – 3 Stars

Kiran Hunter offers a through-the-looking-glass tale called Eden, a story that takes place in Eden Curiosities shop, where Jack tends to Sebastian Hargraves’ oddities. A mistaken turn down a previously untraveled corridor leads Jack to a room with a mirror, not one that reflects without but one that reflects within, to a place of midnight gardens and serpents and desire and a temptation unlike any Jack has ever experienced before.

Known only as the woodcutter, he is a seducer in a world that exists only in myth, the landscape so seductively other as to be the current that pulls Jack through the mirror and into a realm so provocative that Jack is like the fly to the woodcutter’s spider, lured by things he’d never before imagined.

Eden is an erotic fantasy wrapped in folklore, atmospheric in its “was it real or wasn’t it?” beauty. – 4.5 Stars

Rounding out the supernatural seduction is Elin Gregory’s Set in Stone, part time-travel fantasy, part dreamscape set around the megalithic Maen Madoc, a standing stone that becomes a magic portal to another time in history.

Joe is ex-army now working for the National Park authority and spending the night at the standing stone on the one night of the year when any- and everything is possible, and he is about to take an erotic journey to a time when the Romans were still a presence in Wales, where two warriors, Madoc and Dervacus, are battling for opposing clans—their love forbidden and if discovered, altogether deadly.

I loved this story for its bittersweet melancholy, for its touch of history, for its hallucination-like journey, and for the legend of a love that ended too soon yet defies lifetimes, breaking all the rules of time and space. I also loved it for the promise of something new for Joe and Greg in the end, forged in a common knowledge. – 5 Stars

Coming from someone who cut her reading teeth at a very early age on the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker, this anthology was right up my fictional alley, with its blend of spooks and shivers, though the misters King and Barker never wrote erotica like this. Throw in the sensual elements on top of the otherworldly, and I’d say this one is an overall great read.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy Halloween Heat here:

Elin Gregory

Well, Thanks to Elin Gregory, My Blah-Blah Has Actually Turned Into An Interesting Conversation

In my effort not to be a shit stirrer re: the state of M/M fiction, it seems I might’ve accidentally stirred up some productive discussion instead, with many thanks going to the lovely author, Ms. Gregory, and the lovely reader, Kazza, who’ve been weighing in on the state of romance versus erotica and how there doesn’t necessarily seem to be an honest distinction between the two within this genre, as well as the way in which some authors have been unfairly labeled erotica writers, not necessarily owing to the sexual content of their books but for nothing more, it seems, than the simple fact they write M/M romance.

If you’re at all interested in joining a discussion with other readers who’re are passionate about plot and see copious sex, or any sex, as unnecessary to the enjoyment of a book, or who simply see sex as a nice bonus to a meaty plot with real and well developed characters, go have a look at the two groups Elin started just for you.

Passionate About Plot: Facebook
Passionate About Plot: Goodreads