Blog Tour ~ Tournament of Shadows by SA Meade ~ (Review + Giveaway)
Author: SA Meade
Length: 55,000 words
In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.
In 1842, Captain Gabriel O’Riordan of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir. On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interest. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev’s intense scrutiny. After all, he’s working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations. When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he’s desperate enough to turn to Valentin for help and offers him anything in return. What he doesn’t expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.
Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin’s past tears them apart.
Can they set the past behind them and move on together?
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
I will admit that, at first, I wasn't too sure I was going to like this book, then slowly but surely, S.A. Meade's writing swept me away and transported me back in this timeless spy romance novel.
I loved both Valentin and Gabriel, even if there were a few times when I wanted to strangle Gabriel. While the book is told from Gabriel's POV, I have to give props to Ms. Meade for being able to make me feel as if I knew what kind of man Valentin was through Gabriel's eyes.
The setting of the story and the descriptions were amazing and the author gave us just enough detail on how life was back in 1842, without going overboard. The progression from strangers to friends to lovers was pretty good, and I loved seeing Valentin and Gabriel interact and get closer. There was angst, suspense and some romance, all wrapped up in a well-written, enthralling and believable package. All in all, a highly recommendable book!
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!
S.A. Laybourn lives in Wiltshire with her son and two needy cats. She works as a freelance editor and sometimes writes stories. Her alter-ego S.A. Meade writes gay romance. She loves cooking, reading, gin and tonic and the occasional glass of wine. She is not terribly domesticated and has trouble finding things that she thought she’d put in a ‘safe’ place.
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