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Ratings and Reviews (2 5 star ratings
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3.8 out of 5
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    Thrust into history

    Marcus has served the Roman Legion for years, but the empire has fallen and all he wants to do is return home. He is hoping beyond hope that his old master, the blacksmith Mathias will still be there. When he finally gets home he's greeted by a giant of a man, who mistakes him for a marauder. Only after Wolfram realizes that Marcus survived his hammer blow does he recognise Marcus as his predecessor at the forge. The two men were once boys together, and now as Marcus recovers they realize that they want each other. A wonderfully written look at one possibile history of the the fallout of empire. I look forward to reading the next installment.
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    Great start to this m/m series!

    This first part of Marcus and Wolfram's journey introduces us to the setting of a world used to brutal violence on a daily basis. Rome has conquered and gone, leaving its local soldiers behind to make their way back to their homes. Away for twenty years, Marcus doesn't know what to expect when he gets back to where he grew up on the German frontier- he just knows he wants to find the blacksmith who gave him a home. But the smith he knows is gone, replaced by the once teenaged apprentice Wolfram who idolized Marcus before he went off to war. The area is deserted, only Wolf left tending the fires of the smith for no merchants. A daily struggle for survival against bandits and wild animals is the norm. Marc and Wolf have the bond of their teenage years between them, but not much else - though an attraction grows. It's a fight for survival and a place to belong that brings them together, looking to an uncertain future. It's not often you come across a historical romance set with the backdrop of the early days of Rome's conquest of Europe, so I was intrigued by the synopsis of this story right from the start. It's well described and vivid in detail, such that you can feel the blow of the hammer and smell the woodsmoke of the blacksmith shop. The two men are both strong, fearless warriors. Marcus is leaner, years of marching in battle having honed him to a spare fitness with no spare tire. As a 37 year old now ex-soldier he's weary in body and spirit. Wolfram is larger, muscular, with strong arms to wield the hammer and used to solitary. Having Marcus re-enter his life is a good thing, though he is already awaiting his departure. Their sexual chemistry startles Wolf, as it is new to him whereas Marc, having lived the life of a male soldier is used to having his needs met no matter the partner. They share some steamy scenes together. As this part ends, they have decided to throw their lot in together and see where the winds will take them. It's obviously the start of a great adventure, one I'm looking forward to reading. 4 stars.

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