Retro Review Tour & Giveaway
SA Meade - Tournament of Shadows
Author: SA Meade
Length: 55,000 words
In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.
In 1842, Captain Gabriel O’Riordan of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a
mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir. On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interest. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev’s intense scrutiny. After all, he’s working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations. When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he’s desperate enough to turn to Valentin for help and offers him anything in return. What he doesn’t expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.
Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin’s past tears them apart.
Can they set the past behind them and move on together?
Valentin Yakilev are spies! One Irish, one Russian. Right there you know you're in for some great characters! The way these two meet is HOT. One offering them self for a favor. But there's more to these characters than their instant lust connection.
This is an historical novel. I've said it before and I'll say it again, historicals are touch and go for me. I either love them or I just can't get into them. Tournament of Shadows is the former.
S.A. Meade is able to link the characters to the reader. It's like a click and you're fully invested. I was very empathetic to Gabriel and Valentin. They travel the desert to get to Bukahara. When they get there they are forced to turn on each other. The emotions that play out are spot on and it's felt from page to person.
I have no doubt that this author researched to the gills because I was beyond amazed at the details and facts. And her writing? WOW! Totally sucks you into the time. Like jumping into the book and looking around. You can smell the scents and feel the feels... but you also succumb to the emotion too.
Loved the story structure, loved how she fleshed these characters out, the flow was spot on, and it was entertaining and gripping!
S.A. Laybourn lives in Wiltshire with her son and two needy cats. She works as a freelance editor and sometimes writes stories. Her alter-ego S.A. Meade writes gay romance. She loves cooking, reading, gin and tonic and the occasional glass of wine. She is not terribly domesticated and has trouble finding things that she thought she’d put in a ‘safe’ place.
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