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In medieval England, duty is everything, personal honor is more valued than life itself, and homosexuality is not tolerated by the church or society.
Sir Christian Brandon was raised in a household where he was hated for his unusual beauty and for his parentage. Being smaller than his six brutish half-brothers, he learned to survive by using his wits and his gift for strategy, earning him the nickname the Crow.
Sir William Corbett, a large and fierce warrior known as the Lion, has pushed his unnatural desires down all his life. He’s determined to live up to his own ideal of a gallant knight. When he takes up a quest to rescue his sister from her abusive lord of a husband, he’s forced to enlist the help of Sir Christian. It’s a partnership that will test every strand of his moral fiber, and, eventually, his understanding of the meaning of duty, honor, and love.
Christian and William are both sons of nobility and live in a time (Medieval) when the church and society fear homosexuality (while ignoring it if Royalty are involved.) There is absolutely no way these two can be a couple – except that Eli Easton manages to find a beautiful solution to their problem.
The romance is slow to build but hot and tender. Eli is a master at making us fall in love with her characters and given the time period and constraints it was a daunting task but she did it!
I even loved Christian’s wife – yes wife!- and thought that aspect of their lives was really depicted marvelously.
In the end we see our lover with a HEA and …. Well… I’m not so sure why the end needed to go beyond the HEA – I suppose ripping my heart out was a requirement! – but it was beautiful even if I’d wished I’d never read it.
I love this author, she is absolutely gifted in her ability to draw you into a story and immerse you in the POV of her characters. She is never too wordy and chooses her words with the utmost care.
I am NOT a historical romance fan, and I put off reading this for a long time. When it came out on audio and I listened to a sample I just had to have it!
I was not disappointed. The narration coupled with the expert writing are superb. Truly an immersive experience.
The narrator does all kinds of wonderful voices – appropriate to the time and place of the story – and makes you feel like you are watching a movie or something similar. He’s a new narrator to me and I hope to see more from him in the future.
I have to subtract a little bit – one smidge down from perfect – only because I’m not sure I needed the Epilogue with all it’s … completeness. It was very, very touching, but I enjoyed thinking of the lovers in their happy glory and didn’t really need anything else to make me appreciate their love – though it was magnificent.
5 of 5 hearts