Reading Round Up: September-October 2010

September and October were steady reading months with some very good to excellent reads. Early in September I revisited (and reviewed for the first time) two of my favourite books by gay romance/erotica author Sean Michael – The Center of Earth and Sky and its sequel Painting the Desert now available only in a compilation entitled, Center (Torquere Press), and made a small dent in my reading pile with Tere Michael’s third book in the Faith, Love and Devotion series and the eagerly awaited sequel to Faith & Fidelity – Duty and Devotion (Loose Id). I also had the opportunity to review for Rainbow Reviews The Guardian Angel of South Beach by Neil Plakcy (Loosed Id) an author I’ve been wanting to read for a while, as well as reviewed for Three Dollar Bill Reviews Test of Faith by Aleksndr Voinov and Raev Gray (eXcessica Publishing). Finally, I had the pleasure of reading George Seaton’s Big Diehl: The Road Home (MLR Press) which I reviewed for Three Dillar Bill Reviews and his short story entitled Continuum (Untreed Read) for Rainbow Reviews, both of which I absolutely loved.

The Center of Earth and Sky by Sean Michael (Torquere Press) – Read Review

Painting The Desert by Sean Michael (Torquere Press) – Read Review

Duty & Devotion by Tere Michaels (Loose Id) – Read Review

The Guardian Angel of South Beach by Neil Plakcy (Loose Id) – Read Review

Big Diehl: The Road Home by George Seaton (MLR Press) – Read Review

Continuum by George Seaton (Untreed Reads) – Read Review

Test of Faith by Aleksandr Voinov and Raev Gray (eXcessica Publishing) – Read Review

Test of Faith by Aleksandr Voinov and Raev Gray

July, 1187: Saladin has defeated the Crusader army at The Horns of Hattin. While hundreds of his comrades have perished in the battle, Thierry de la Tour Rouge, a Frank and Templar Knight, has survived only to be taken prisoner by the Saracens. Thierry is living hell on earth, but he is alive and sure to stay that way if his ransom can be secured. The only thing those bloodthirsty heathens like more than spilling Christian blood is good Christian silver.

Parched, stripped of his armor and tied like an animal in a tent, Thierry fears torture in the attempt to break him and his faith. While he suspects that he has been bought and paid for, he doesn’t know why.

Abdul Basir is French by birth and a convert to Islam. As an advisor to Saladin, Abdul has been accepted by the Saracens and regarded with respect, but he will never be one of them. Thierry has been bought for him and while Abdul owns him, he cannot guarantee that Saladin will spare Thierry’s life.

In the spirit of acceptance and forgiveness and in the hopes of dying without torture, Thierry chastely kisses Abdul, hurtling them both into a clash of faiths and a contest of wills, one man motivated by the fulfillment of a fantasy and the other by the need to survive and keep his faith intact. In the process, they come to show each other mercy, kindness, mutual respect and trust – enough to reveal their desire for one another.

As Saladin holds the fate of Thierry’s life in his hands, can Abdul ensure the safety of this honorable crusader? Or will he have to find the strength and courage to let Thierry go in peace?

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