10 December 2014

A Spartan Love Tour Stop!

Alone, Andreas toils on a remote farmstead for a Spartan overlord. When a kryptes enters his world, Andreas fears for his life. The dread warriors stalk and kill helots—like Andreas' father—as part of their training.

Andreas sees only one way to save himself: he must tame the fearsome warrior.

But what began as self-preservation develops into attraction. Yearning for the company of someone other than his ferret Ictis, Andreas decides to trust the Spartan warrior and risk the fate that claimed his father.

Born to rule by the sword, Theron sees the world as his and acts accordingly, taking everything Andreas offers and reaching for more. However, love between men in Sparta is considered shameful and requires either exile or suicide to redeem Sparta’s honor. Now, only the gods can save them from the terrible price Sparta extracts from men who desire other men.
Let me start off by saying that if you don’t want to fall madly in love with the two MC’s, then be left hanging on an evil cliffhanger – this book may not be for you. If you think you can handle the agony of not knowing what happens to Theron and Andreas for a while – then take the plunge. It is sooooo worth it.

This story is set in – you guessed it – ancient Sparta, a few decades before the events in the film 300. The author has done an obviously painstaking amount of research on the peoples and the time period, and it’s presented in a way that isn’t burdensome. There were only a very few minor spots where the dialogue or the narrative lapsed into a more modern nuance, but really, I’m just nitpicking. Overall, it was extremely well done. The author has also provided an introduction to the world as well as a lexicon at the end to further explain terms.

Now don’t let all this high-falutin’ history stuff scare you away. This is a wonderful story that you don’t want to miss. I’ll admit, it took me a few pages to get into the historical groove, but once I did – BAM – I was there in ancient Sparta with all the Olympian gods throwing their two cents in as well. The story follows the lowly helot (similar to an indentured servant) Andreas who lives alone with his goats and a mischievous ferret. These creatures are his only companions, and when a Spartan warrior sneaks into his hut one evening to steal food, he develops a fascination with him while hiding under the bed, hoping to evade detection. Spartan warriors in training will kill helots if they catch them out after dark merely for sport.

But poor Andreas – who also happens to be quite hunky from plowing those fields – is so starved for company, he leaves food out in a bowl the following night in case the warrior comes back. He does, and this little dance goes on for a few nights. He finally gathers all his courage to actually invite the Spartan – Theron - into his hut. At that point, I was hooked and desperately rooting for these two men who are so different and come from such opposite worlds.

As they tentatively work their way toward one another, threats abound. Sparta puts men to death for lying with another man. Andreas’ neighbors would kill Theron if they were to catch him there – merely for the fact that he’s a Spartan warrior. They fight their own distrust of the other and the confusion of the new feelings they have that go beyond spending their lusts. Their sexual encounters were sensuous and hot. I loved it all.

My only complaints would be the aforementioned cliffhanger (Really? When is this next book coming out? It’d better be next week!) and a section in the middle that began to wear me down to the point where I skimmed. There ended up being way too much inner hand wringing going on over ‘what will I do? ‘what should I do?’ ‘what will he do?’ ‘what if he does that?’ ‘why did I do that? ‘why did he do this?’ ‘I should leave’ ‘but I can’t leave’ ‘I want to stay’ ‘but I can’t stay’. God help me. The basic points that were made had to be there to create the tension and to establish the character’s dilemma, but I think the intent of the story and the drama would have remained intact just fine if about fifty percent of that had been trimmed off.

Overall though, I really can’t recommend this book enough. If you like historicals, you have to read this. If you shy away from historicals – give it a chance. A Spartan Love gets four and a half lizard claws from me.
With a smile and despite his concerns, in the most pleasant tone he could manage Andreas said, “Let’s get you cleaned up and out of this dirty chiton. You can wear my spare while I wash yours.” He reached for Theron’s wide leather girdle, but blushed and stopped before he touched the zoster.
“Sounds like a good idea.” Theron stood there, waiting for Andreas to continue. The corner of his mouth turned up. Was he smirking?
And just like that, he was back to lusting after the man. Had he ever stopped? Should he touch him or wait for permission? Blessed Aphrodite and Eros! What am I to do?
Too late to back out now—hadn’t he dreamt of performing this service for the warrior?—Andreas fumbled with the buckles on the leather belt. He glanced up to see Theron smile as he bore with his clumsiness. When Andreas removed the zoster, the man’s chiton slithered to the floor as it had in Andreas’ mind countless times before. Trying not to stare at Theron’s exposed manhood, Andreas helped him step out of the jumbled cloth. He set the blood-stained clothing on the carved chest at the foot of the bed.
The sleek warrior sat on the edge of his bed, knees spread. Andreas’ heart jolted before setting a pace he didn’t think it could maintain. Oh Gods! Does the man have any idea what he is doing to me? He probably does. Please Zeus, don’t let him see my shameful thoughts.
Mesmerized, Andreas sank to his knees at Theron’s feet, biting his lip to keep from groaning. He cupped one calf in his hands and stroked the bronze skin covered with soft black hairs. All his dark Theron-filled dreams were nothing in the face of touching the man himself, seeing the kryptes in the dim light of his hearth. Trembling with desire, Andreas closed his eyes, allowing his hands to roam.
Theron exhaled heavily. Was that pain or pleasure? Andreas stroked both legs with a wet cloth. Once he’d cleansed the blood and dust away, he caressed the man’s warm and mercifully unbroken skin, fingers digging into the hard muscles. Theron shivered under his hands and Andreas inhaled sharply.
Theron’s warm musky scent filled his nostrils, better than the exotic incense his mother had once purchased as an offering for the household gods. He’d never smelled anything so good. A feast for a starving man. Andreas wanted nothing more than to lean in close and take a deeper breath and then lick him clean.
How would Theron’s rich golden bronze skin taste? Salty from his sweat? Sharp with arousal? Would the other man’s erection be larger than his? He’d stolen the briefest of glances at Theron’s cock when the warrior seduced him. His own shaft pulsed as a wave of desire swept through him at the memory.
Now the object of his fascination was right before him, he need only raise his eyes to see Theron’s manhood. But he dared not. Following the sweep of his hands with his eyes, Andreas explored the strong muscles of the warrior’s thighs. He tried not to stare, but his eyes kept drifting toward Theron’s cock. And finally, he couldn’t force himself to look away.
Kayla Jameth grew up on the family farm in Ohio, baling hay, raising cattle, and making maple syrup. An unrepentant tomboy, her father taught her to weld before she graduated from high school.

She attended Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University and later, Texas A&M University in her pursuit of veterinary medicine, taking her farther away from her rural roots. You can transplant the county girl, but you can’t make her a city slicker. Besides, it was only going to be for a little while, right?

But it wasn’t all hard work for Kayla, her sojourn as the princess of the Celestial Kingdom left her with the title sir and a costume closet the envy of many knights, lords, and ladies. See? She does have some ladylike qualities complete with the title of Lady to back it up.

After declaring for years that she was just a veterinarian who wrote not an author, Kayla now finds herself living in Spring, Texas (practically Houston) and writing m/m erotic romance. The location is probably a bigger surprise than the genre. Never the kind of girl to discuss makeup and clothing designers, she would rather be outside getting dirty with the boys.

Kayla shares her home with a cat, two guinea pigs, a gerbil, three guppies, a husband and a son and daughter.


  1. Thanks for the great review!
    You'll be glad to hear that the next two books in the series, A Tested Love and A Shared Love, are starting the third draft stage. In fact, I am working on the third chapter of A Tested Love right now. I'm writing as fast as I can before turning them over to my primary beta reader She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

  2. Awesome review! Congratulations, Kayla. I can't wait to buy and read... and I'm happy to read that the other two books are in the works.