Title: Until the End of Time
Author: Nicky James
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Release: 7th December 2016
Genre: M/M (historical)
Being a gay man in 1827, was not only frowned upon in England, but punishable by death. Magistrate Simon Stockley would know. He’d convicted men in his courtroom and sentenced them himself. Every time, it left a vile taste in his mouth because Simon was no different than the men whose lives he claimed.
Overcompensating for his secret, fearing discovery, Simon walked the straight and narrow with everything he did. Being overly cautious with life was second nature to him. The consequences of being discovered were among his worst fears. Sadly, this was his life and he accepted it.
Until one cold day in October when James Hansen was led into his courtroom.
Blinded by the fire in James’ eyes and the energy seething from his core, Simon’s entire life was thrown upside down. One cursory glance at the criminal and nothing would ever be the same again.
James’ crimes were severe and his punishment was death. However, there was something about him that Simon couldn’t put his finger on. Despite all sensibility, Simon couldn’t let him go.
Maybe some things were worth the risk.
Maybe rules were meant to be broken.
Secrets were wonderful… until someone found out the truth.
I don’t usually read historicals but something about the blurb caught my interest and I am very glad it did. There was something almost mesmeric in the way the words are written with a haunting nostalgic feel that was somehow personal. The book is based on the contents of a journal and there was certainly a sense of almost intruding upon the private thoughts of another.
Simon, for all that he is – or is on his way to becoming – a hard-nosed lawyer/magistrate/judge, was charmingly naïve at times and terribly impulsive for one in such a serious position. All the characters from the wicked uncle to the pretend bride were well drawn and endearing and, understandably given the nature of the story and the POV of the protagonist, the character of James practically glows on the page.
I can’t honestly say which of the two MC’s was my favourite. Simon was deliciously complex but had a very straightforward view of love – it’s worth anything and everything. James is also complex and his situation even more so. Therefore we come to see his personality more slowly but it is clear from the very start that he is fearless, strong and true.
There were some shocking twists in the story that lead us down uncomfortable paths, but, in the end, the story is tightly woven and everything makes sense and all aspects are true to themselves.
Although I am a history buff this is not my period so I really can’t comment much on historical accuracy. However, nothing stood out to me as being out-of-period.
The only criticism I have is that I found the modern-day elements of the story to be somewhat irrelevant. We learn next to nothing about the characters and don’t have a chance to get to know them at all. Therefore I feel they have no real value to the story. I would like either to have their roles and characters expanded, or deleted altogether. That being said, I suppose they did help to give some context and the epilogue is touching and slightly creepy.
Overall and throughout there is a strong and complex story, with strong and complex characters and plenty of excitement, adventure and romance, all told by someone from a nostalgic past.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it not only to readers who are interested in historical books, but also readers who like a warm, yet tumultuous romance.
Meet Nicky James
I live in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada and I am a mother to a wonderful teenage boy (didn't think those words could be typed together...surprise) and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn't think I'm crazy.
I have always had two profound dreams in life. To fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, not bogged down by technology and to write novels. Since only one of these was a possibility I decided to make the other come alive on paper.
I write mm romance novels that take place in fantastical medieval type settings and love to use the challenges of the times to give my stories and characters life.