One thing I didn’t say – this book is M/M erotic and rather graphically so.
The Jouster’s Lance by A. J. Marcus A review by Julia Flowers writing as A. T. Weaver.
A.J. MARCUS has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them, and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people. He lives
in the mountains with his extremely supportive lover. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, trail riding or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work, and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer; don’t get him started talking about his birds because he won’t stop for a while.
* * *
As someone who spent nearly every weekend in the fall at the local Renaissance festival, I know you can find three types of people there. There are the patrons who come to spend their money and be entertained. There are the townspeople who, for a few short weekends a year, leave their mundane lives and are transported back in time to a fictional, fantasy world that somewhat resembles the Middle Ages. Then there are the professional performers who, for their livelihood, travel from fair to fair much in the manner of carnival workers or gypsies.
Such is Dale O’Toole, aka Diederik, the Demon Duke of Denmark. For the last five years, he and his two horses have traveled from fair to fair. Working as a jouster by day he also moves from man to man by night. When the book opens, we find him at the Scarborough Fair in Texas wondering if maybe it might be nice to settle down with one man, someone with whom he can form a lasting relationship.
He’s never been to the Colorado Springs fair, but when one of their regular jousters is sidelined by an injury, he heads north. There he meets Austin Renfro, one of the above mentioned townspeople who for several years has worked as a pirate at the fair. Austin is in the process of breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. There is instant chemistry between the two men. Shielded by Catherine and Jasmine, two townswomen who work at the fair, the two men begin a relationship.
As the two struggle with their budding romance, they are discovered by a homophobic bigot in the form of John Bishop, Dale’s opponent on the joust field.
When Dale is seriously injured, he discovers how much of a family his new friends have become. And Austin discovers just how much Dale means to him.
I like to compare a story to a tapestry and this author has woven a tale of love, friendship, and intrigue set against the background of the Renaissance festival.
This is the first of a series of stories based on Renaissance fairs by A. J. Marcus. I look forward to the rest of them.