by Kayla Jameth
Gay Historical Romance
A SPARTAN LOVE is a Kayla Jameth’s latest book set in ancient Sparta and complete with ancient gods and historical detail. For any true lover of historical and fantasy, this is a book you will be swept away with. Firstly, I gotta love a book with its own lexicon! I mean, how was I supposed to know what klah was if Anne McCaffery hadn’t given me a lexicon? But enough geeking out for me, on to the review.
Not all readers enjoy brilliant world building, but I do. There is no modern prose pulling me out of the book either, which happens all too often with historical, IMO, especially in books set in ancient cultures like Greece. In A SPATRAN LOVE I learned a lot about the culture just by following the hero Andreas go about his life. The history and mythology are woven in seamlessly, without long descriptions of who this god is and what this jar is called. You just figure out as you go through context. In other words, my intelligence is not insulted by a historical author trying to “teach” me all he or she has learned about the culture. Also, this book dispels the myths about Spartan’s having a gay band of soldiers, which is interesting to say the least.
Oh and the gods are real, much like when you read The Iliad, and they are watching over our wayward hero. Apollo is rooting for the two men because he had his own gay romance with a prince—that’s where the hyacinth flower came from. See, I told you I learned stuff, LOL. When Apollo showed up in the story, I began to sense a connection to Ms. Jameth’s other book, Alexios’ Fate??? Hmm, maybe I should Facebook her and ask!
The main character Andreas is a gentle giant, nervous, unsure around people because of his isolated life. Deeply superstitious, Andreas lives alone on a farm, save for the company of his pet ferret Itics—I LOVE his ferret— and his goat Pan. Out of sheer loneliness, Andreas forms an unusual bond with a Spartan warrior named Theron by feeding him. But Theron is an elite Spartan warrior—one of the very warriors with permission to kill men like Andreas. See, Andreas is a helot, basically the farm machinery that comes with the land. Not a slave, per se, but not a free man either. These Spartan elite already killed Andreas’ father, so why is he risking his neck for a Spartan warrior, luring him into his home with roasted rabbit and lentils—hey, Ms. Jameth actually makes the food sound yummy—and befriending him? Andreas’ longing for companionship and love is deeply felt on the page so you really want his new relationship to work out, and you definitely want Andreas to have his first sexual experience! In the end of the reader will be so proud of how he learns to open up his life and his heart.
A SPARTAN LOVE has a historically accurate and believable ending. It is a HFN, but if my spider sense is right, there is more to come from these two Ancient Greeks. One can hope!
The heat level here at Naughty Editions is priority because we like some plot with our sex. A SPARTAN LOVE is definitely more plot than sex, but I would give the book a heat level of 4. There is a lot of longing and discovery in the beginning, which heightens the first few scenes. The scenes are well done, no dipping into modern phrasing, and perfect for the story and time period. Not over the top, but just with enough teasing to leave you breathless and begging for more. Andreas is a virgin living in a world where sex between men is forbidden—despite what you may see on Facebook memes. Theron has fooled around with other guys, mostly just dry humping and some groping, so the way they discover new and exciting things to try together is really sweet and sexy. The forbidden nature of his relationship only adds to the hotness. Oh and they both like to jerk off while day dreaming of the other, so if you like those sort of scenes, you’re in luck there are a few!
I have read most of Kayla Jameth’s books, and I will tell you that she really can create a vision of another world in your mind’s eye effortlessly. Her writing style is reminiscent of some of the best fantasy writers of our time and there is a lot of detail which totally immerses the reader into her world without overwhelming you. I wouldn’t recommend A SPARTAN LOVE to contemporary lovers who prefer a fast paced, dialog heavy read. But if you enjoy beautiful storytelling, historical and fantasy like I do, and you like your man on man love to be hot HAWT, than this book A SPARTAN LOVE should definitely be added to your TBR pile. You will not be disappointed.
Plot: 5 stars Sex: 4 stars—Total rating: 4.5 stars
Buy link for A SPARTAN LOVE