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Monday, May 16, 2011

Mere Mortals by Erastes

Mere Mortals by Erastes
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood, a man he’s never met, and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood’s house on an island on the beautiful but coldly remote Horsey Mere in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he’s not the only young man given a fresh start. Myles Graham and Jude Middleton are there before him, and as their benefactor is away, they soon form alliances and friendships, as they speculate upon the sudden transformation of their circumstances. Who is Philip Smallwood? Why has he given them such a fabulous new life? What secrets does the house hold and what is it that the Doctor seems to know?

Trust acclaimed author Erastes to tell a moving story in the field of gay historical romance.

Suddenly, orphan Crispin’s life shows incredible promise but he may not be prepared for the price. Crispin has just found that not only does he have a new guardian, but he’s going to live with him out in the middle of nowhere. When Crispin gets to the enormous house, he discovers two other orphans in similar situations. The three young men have many things in common, not the least of which is their desire for other men and no idea why this generous benefactor wants to help them. As the clues start to pile up though Crispin, Jude, and Myles realize their rich new life comes with a hefty cost.

Mere Mortals is an absorbing and interesting historical drama. The story includes a good deal of mystery as Crispin and the other two boys try to figure out their mysterious guardian. Why Phillip chose the three boys is unknown but they’re so happy to have a real future that they don’t want to question their good fortune too closely. The clues are slowly and carefully doled out so you never get overwhelmed but never lost either. The pace is very good as the story leads you along the cold and chilly house on a swampy lake as the young men try to understand what’s expected of them and what they mean to each other.

The writing is incredibly good and sweeps you away with both the setting and the story. The language is fitting to the historical time but never stuffy and overbearing, as some historicals can verge into. Instead the writing is crisp, fresh, and keeps you glued to the story from the start. The characters are all three dimensional with no easy villains and no hapless innocents. Crispin is the most clueless of the group but not maliciously or in a dumb way, but more so inadvertently. His relationships to the other two boys help define and change their personalities. Each young man grows over the course of the story, changing from their first impressions into something more complex and interesting.

Mere Mortals is an engaging story that you won’t want to put down. The creepy, eerie feeling to the whole story permeates as you read but it’s a delicious one that lets you sink into the story and experience it alongside the characters. The entertainment factor is very high while reading it’s one I doubt you can put down easily, I certainly couldn’t. If you’re looking for a wonderful, kind of creepy, yet intriguing story to delve into definitely get this. You won’t be disappointed.

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