Title ~ Another Place in Time
Authors ~ Tamara Allan, Joanna Chambers, KJ Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L Hawk, Alexander Voinov.
Genre ~ Historical M/M Romance
Published ~ 1st October 2014
Welcome to another place in time...where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.
Included in this anthology:
"Office Romance" by Tamara Allen
The post-war economy is at a standstill, much like Foster Wetherly’s life until he’s forced to do battle with irritatingly confident—and competent—fellow ex-doughboy Casey Gladwin for a position in their shrinking department at Manhattan Security Mutual.
"Introducing Mr. Winterbourne" by Joanna Chambers
Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.
A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.
Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?
"The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh" by KJ Charles
Lord Gabriel Ashleigh is a ruined man. Last night he lost everything at the card tables to his brother’s worst enemy, notorious gambler Francis Webster. Tonight, he’s going back for one more game. Ash thinks he has nothing left to lose. But Francis sets the stakes, and they’re higher than Ash could have imagined…
Two Regency bucks. One game of cards. Everything to play for.
"Unfair in Love and War" by Kaje Harper
Many men lost brothers overseas in the summer of 1944. Warren Burch was one of them. For months he still clung to his big city life in Philadelphia, but finally he's made the difficult choice to return to his home town. Warren's polio-stricken leg won't let him serve, so the least he can do is be there for his mother, when brother Charlie never again will. Arriving home means a whole new life, constrained by the rhythms and prejudices of a small town. Fortunately, it's made more interesting by the mysterious and attractive young man next door.
"Carousel" by Jordan L. Hawk
When a child goes missing, is it a simple case of a young runaway, or are more sinister forces at work?
“Carousel” is part of the Whyborne & Griffin series and takes place between the events of Stormhaven and Necropolis. It can be read as a standalone.
"Deliverance" by Aleksandr Voinov
This is a re-vamped, re-edited, improved version of "Deliverance". It's about William Raven, a templar, who thought he'd escaped his past. (Same character as in The Lion of Kent.)
Along with a foreword written by Alex Beecroft, enjoy these original short stories that make up "Another Place in Time".
All proceeds from the purchase of this anthology will be donated to AllOut.org in celebration of LGBT History Month, October 2014.
Not one of these short stories was less than a 5 star rating for me and I can honestly say I absolutely loved every single one of them!
Office Romance by Tamara Allen ~ 5 stars
First of all I have to say that this sweet, tender story from Tamara Allen kicks off what has been a consistently high quality anthology, not one of the short stories was less than a 5 star rating for me and I can honestly say I absolutely loved every single one of them. Set in 1921, a period when the first world war was still fresh in everyone's mind and the economy was struggling to find its feet, Tamara's contribution is a story that pits two ordinary men against each other in a bid to secure a job that only one of them will be the recipient of, after the company they work for hires an efficiency expert to find ways to cut costs across the departments. For Foster Weatherly it means being in competition with his nemesis Casey Gladwin, a man who since they both started together, only 3 months before, seems to spend most of his time flirting with the secretaries or chatting with his colleagues. Having been ill recently, Foster is living with his parents and has doctors bills to pay, he needs this job...but there are things he doesn't know about Casey, things that make it just as important for him to secure a permanent position with the company; so the oneupmanship and fight to claim the job begins....
It's watching the two of them start off at odds, but slowly come to realise that they have a lot more in common than they thought, that makes this such a lovely story, because deep down neither of them are really that ambitious, they're basically just two decent people who under normal circumstances would probably have become friends. It's obvious that some of the actions and decisions they make would never have crossed their minds outside of the situation they find themselves in; they're just normal everyday men with obligations they can't walk away from, trying to make ends meet in a financially unstable time, and it's the pressure they're under that is pushing them to act the way they do and I felt for them both.
Tamara Allen has a lovely writing style. It's gentle and tender, and I found myself really caring about these characters. I wanted to see both of them triumph, and the way she wrapped up their predicament couldn't have happened in a more satisfying way. For them to find romance and love along the way was just the icing on the cake. Not a time in history I veer towards usually but this was a surprising little gem.
Introducing Mr Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers ~ 5 stars
Another delightful surprise. I haven't read Joanna Chambers before but after reading this, I'll definitely be rectifying that pretty soon. I have a bit of a thing for the regency period, it's one of my favourite book era's in history...the eccentricities and formalities of The Ton, the social divides, marriages of convenience to further social standing or wealth, family hierarchy...it's all here in this short and there's a touch of a 'Pride and Prejudice' vibe about it too; as the two love interests start out with negative pre-conceived notions about each other's roles in society. Complete opposites in society's hierarchy, it's a matter of the North and South divide and neither of them are particularly happy to be in each other's company but they're both constrained by family obligation, so a refusal isn't an option, and there is an attraction that Adam in particular doesn't want to acknowledge because of Lysander's beauty...but it's there.
As the story progresses they begin to see that beneath those preconceptions, they're not that different in what they truly yearn for, something that doesn't include a wife in either of their futures, if they can help it. What I found charming was how it all takes place over the course of a day. From the first strained meeting to the passionate last one, I was totally lost in their growing appreciation of each other. The sexual tension that Joanne created beautifully; which built up slowly until it reached a point where it almost jumped off the page, was paced perfectly. The kisses were delicious and the big love scene, when it arrived, was toe curlingly hot and sensual but in a classy way and it really gave me the tummy tingles. Two beautiful men giving in to their passion... *sigh*...It did end with a couple of threads that I would have liked to have seen played out but that didn't really dent my enjoyment. Personally I think would make a fabulous full length novel if it was continued. I didn't want it to end there. I wanted more and I wanted it then!!! So I really hope Ms Chambers decides to tell the rest of Lysander Winterbourne's and Adam Freemans story. If she does then I'll be first in the queue to read it. Just lovely!
The Ruin Of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles ~ 5 stars
Back to the regency period again, and another absolute cracker! I adored this story. It's probably the most overtly sexy out of all the shorts and that's because of the palpable sexual tension that's generated between its two protagonists. I'm a big fan of that type of tangible anticipation and I thought this story had it in spades. Gambling was a big thing in Regency times; fortunes could be made or lost on the turn of a card or throw of a dice and this all begins the morning after Lord Gabriel Ashleigh, a young Rakehell, and the black sheep of his family, has lost every possession he had, including the house and estate left him in a legacy from his Great-Aunt Lucinda, after recklessly playing against a ruthless, cold hearted card sharp, Francis Webster. A man who's history with Gabriel's older brother and heir to their fathers fortune, Lord Maltravers, is far from amiable. In fact a certain, humiliating run in with him at an earlier stage in his youth, where Gabriel unintentionally humiliated Francis, has a huge impact on what plays out, when later that day, a ruined Gabriel receives an invitation from his nemesis, requesting his company at Webster's home. Under the circumstances Gabriel has no choice but to accept, as his future depends on it. Already a disappointment to his father, without his legacy his independence is a thing of the past. Then the fun starts...as a cool and calculating Webster gives him one more chance to win back ALL his losses in another card game where the only thing he has left to wager is...himself!! Oh my! Let me just say what transpires is one of the hottest card games I've ever witnessed...I had to fan myself more than a few times as first of all Francis strips Gabriel out of the only things he has left; the clothes on his back, before taking his final bounty from Gabriel in a way that had me drooling. At the end Webster does gain the one thing that Gabriel can give freely after their sizzling encounter, and that's his heart! Oh Mr Webster I was undone!!!! I will definitely be reading this story again...and again...and again...
Definitely one of my faves.
Unfair In Love And War by Kaje Harper ~ 5 stars.
Another favourite author of mine and another story that didn't disappoint in the slightest. The range of historical era's covered in the anthology go as far back as medieval times but this one is the most modern as it takes place in 1944, beginning when Warren Birch comes back to his home town to see his mother, after his brother Charlie has been killed in action. A civilian, because of a bout of Polio that kept him from being drafted into the army, he's been working in Philadelphia and hasn't been home that often. Within moments of arriving on his mothers doorstep he witnesses an act of vandalism on the house next door from some of the neighbourhood kids. A swastika has been newly painted on the front door and they've lobbed something through one of the windows, shattering it to bits, and it's obviously not the first time the house has been targeted as he notices the other window has been boarded up too.
The owner comes to the door and Warren sees that he's tall, blond, lean, handsome and very 'Teutonic' looking with his chiselled features. It turns out that his new neighbour, Stefan Koehler is Swiss, but the closed minded townsfolk, are convinced he's a German spy, and however often they're told about or are shown his Swiss passport, they won't listen to reason, treating him like a pariah and a traitor; a state of affairs that appals Warren, who sees the goodness and underlying sadness in this enigmatic man he befriends. A friendship that turns to love as it transpires they're both gay...and lonely. They seek solace in each other's arms, but this is a story with many layers that as you read, get slowly peeled away, revealing secrets and heart-breaking revelations that have a dramatic impact on their burgeoning relationship, causing Warren to confront implications that threaten to shatter his and Stefans new found happiness. It's a sensual, emotional, thought provoking short story which gripped me from the start. A poignant journey, but at the end I came away contented and smiling. Classy writing in a classy anthology.
Carousel by Jordon Hawk ~ 5 stars
If you're a fan of Jordan Hawk's Whyborne and Griffin series then you're in for a real treat with this one. If not then I'm pretty sure after reading this you'll be searching out book #1, Widdershins, ASAP. These events take place between Stormhaven (#3) and Necropolis (#4) and there are some mild spoilers which if you want to rigidly stick to the series' timeline, you may want to save this till later. I've only read the first two but personally I didn't feel as if I'd spoiled it for myself; the warning's there though so use your own caution. I love what I've read so far in this series, and have the next books waiting on my Kindle, so it was a foregone conclusion this wouldn't spoil the 5 star run that each story has had from me up to now. It's written in a steampunk-ish style historical setting, with it's trademark touches of magic and mystery to feed the imagination.
A child goes missing and Whyborne and his partner in both crime and love, Griffin, are called in to investigate. It soon becomes clear that there's something paranormal surrounding the circumstances under which the boy has gone missing and the intrepid investigators are eventually lead to an eerie, old carousel which puts the creeps up them and definitely got the shivers going up and down my spine! What happens after that is an experience you need to enjoy for yourselves...needless to say I loved it! Another winner.
Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov. ~ 5 stars
Finally the story that finishes Another Place In Time. A Medieval tale written by Aleksandr Voinov, a man who really knows his stuff when it comes to this era in history. Another fantastic author who's contribution to this anthology makes it the great read that it is. If you've read the novella The Lion Of Kent that he co-wrote with Kate Cotoner, you'll have been introduced to William Raven, and read how as a young squire he fell in love Sir Robert de Cantilou. In this story, years have passed, Sir Robert is long dead, lost to treachery and William is now a Knights Templar, devoted to God and fighting the Saracens. He and his fellow Templars get a call one day to aid a group of Christian pilgrims who are being attacked In a Saracen incursion so they gather arms and ride out, only to find the pilgrims being slaughtered and plundered. One pilgrim is fighting fiercely and when the fighting ends William finds its Guy de Metz, a young nobleman and lover he took after Sir Robert passed; a man he loved, but fled from six years previously, when he felt the sin of his desires pressing down on him. Their reunion is not a great one as the feelings that he has been trying to escape, and has managed to repress over the six years since they've parted, begin to gnaw at him.The memories of their past together and intense lovemaking haunting his nights...it's an emotional explosion waiting to happen as Guy's presence threatens to break his celibacy and religious vow's and it culminates in a heated, passionate encounter that reawakens his love for Guy, who has never stopped loving William. Leaving him, as the story ends, with a hard decision to make about his and Guy's future. The ending almost seems a bit abrupt but that's because it's left open for a follow up and there's light on the horizon as Aleks states at the end, that one is currently in the pipeline. I for one cannot wait, I love this period he writes in and desperately want to know now what fate has in store for these two conflicted men.
This has been a fabulous read from some fantastic authors and I have to say it's been one of the best anthologies I've ever come across, and overall, most definitely a full on 5 star experience. I couldn't give ANY of the stories any less. This is for a most worthy charity so if historical is your thing, or even if it's not, take the plunge and buy, because it's worth every penny. Just awesome!
Buy It Here
What do I love about historicals?
For me, historical writing is tied very much into my love for history. I deserted law studies after two semesters in favour of history and American Studies (language and culture/history of the United States), and apart from a few, very few things (like linguistics and semantics), I fully enjoyed both.
But even before that, I loved historical films. Ivanhoe was a turning point in my life—though nobody of course explained to me that Ivanhoe isn’t exactly historical or accurate. I guess I loved the drama and adventure and also how different and yet similar it all was. For example, I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of honour, and honour is a concept that seems to have no space in modern times in Western civilisation—at least barely ever anybody talks about it. The deeper I delved, the more I saw how subtly different things were, and how humans are still hard-wired to behave in certain ways. We’ll always have war, or love, but how we go about it changes hugely from century to century, or even decade to decade. I’m fascinated both by the similarities and the differences.
As a reader, I appreciate when a writer teaches me something new—about a period, about how people behaved and how they thought, and when a writer has clearly done their research. As a historian and as a history geek for more than thirty years now, I can’t cope with “modern people in period dresses”, which is why I find it very hard to read any historicals (mainstream or queer) these days, and am very grateful when somebody gets it right.
As a writer, it’s interesting to deal with the limitations of a certain period and transpose your mind into that time, try on the morals and facts of that period and work inside that framework. It’s no big deal, for example, to have a “wider European” mindframe these days, travelling in Europe or even further, ad having friends in those countries, but, say, during the Third Reich, that would make you suspect, and what happens to people who are suspect to the regime … .
Mass tourism as we know it didn’t really exist until after the Second World War. At the same time, people still travelled—there are historians who argue that the first crusades was just an “armed pilgrimage”, and pilgrimages were one of the few acceptable reasons to travel and see the world, comparatively limited as it was. So as a historian, I think people always had wanderlust (or we’d all be still in Africa), but what shape it takes or how acceptable it is changes. I love reading and writing about these changes. With every aspect and age, we’re learning something about humanity and understand ourselves better, I think. Which, again, I think is the main benefit of fiction. Every generation of readers and writers examines history under different criteria. When I write about Templars, I bring my questions and interests to them—much as Sir Walter Scott did in Ivanhoe. Same time period, very different angle. Yet, in their way, the Templars don’t ever change—we do.
There is a giveaway that will be available throughout all blog tour stops.
- A backlist ebook from ALL of the authors participating in the anthology (one each from Tamara Allen, Joanna Chambers, KJ Charles, Kaje Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Aleksandr Voinov, and Alex Beecroft)…7 books in total!
- A $50 Amazon giftcard
- A $50 donation in the winner’s name to AllOut.org (all proceeds from the sale of this anthology will also be donated to this charity)