Book Review: Greenwode by J. Tullos Henning

Book One of The Wode
J Tullos Hennig
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Robin Hood
Publisher: DSP Publications
Date of Publication: Oct. 28, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-63216-437-7 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-63216-438-4 eBook
Number of pages:  350
Word Count: 151,000
Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu

Book Description:

The Hooded One.  The one to breathe the dark and light and dusk between....

When an old druid foresees this harbinger of chaos, he also glimpses its future.  A peasant from Loxley will wear the Hood and, with his sister, command a last, desperate bastion of Old Religion against New.  Yet a devout nobleman's son could well be their destruction—Gamelyn Boundys, whom Rob and Marion have befriended.  Such acquaintance challenges both duty and destiny. The old druid warns that Rob and Gamelyn will be cast as sworn enemies, locked in timeless and symbolic struggle for the greenwode's Maiden.

Instead, a defiant Rob dares his Horned God to reinterpret the ancient rites, allow Rob to take Gamelyn as lover instead of rival. But in the eyes of Gamelyn’s Church, sodomy is unthinkable... and the old pagan magics are an evil that must be vanquished.

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Review: 5 Stars

The computer finally worked again thanks to my husband and I got it back :)

I've been a Robin Hood fangirl since I was about five years old. Now, many years later, I sitll am so I snapped up the chance to review this Robin Hood book with a male/male romance.

Ms. Henning has created a wonderfully well-crafted tale based on the Robin Hood legends, but has made it uniquely her own here.

This book takes place in the years before Rob becomes Robin Hood. We get to see his childhood, his parents and his sister Marion and how childhood friendship with the local lord's son becomes something more as they get older.

Rob's family still follows the old Pagan religion, his mother is a healer and a herb wife, but some do not see that - they see a witch. Gamelyn's family is very devout Christian and as the third son with little inheritence to speak of, Gamelyn is expected to enter the Church. For years he thought that was the path that lay before him, for he had never found himself being attracted to women and didn't dally with the serving girls like his brother did.

All that changes one day when Gamelyn catches Rob and one of the stable lads at his father's castle in a lovers' tryst and Gamelyn realises that as well as the sudden arousal at their antics, he also feels jealous. Rob is just a friend, isn't he?

But the path of love doesn't run smooth for our two heroes. Gamelyn is conflicted with his faith and with his feelings for Rob and after they cement their physical attraction, Gamelyn runs, shocked and ashamed at what they did and seeks out confession with his father's chaplain, Brother Dolfin. Gamelyn is even more shocked to discover that Dolfin even knew of such things. "I come from a community of men, do you really think such things are unknown to me?"

Gamelyn struggles with his feelings for Rob, as Rob does with him. For Rob is the Hunter and expected to lie with the Maiden in the Great Marriage of Beltane, but Rob doesn't want a maiden, he never has. He always knew he liked men, but his previous encounters had felt nothing like being with Gamelyn. Being with Gamelyn feels like destiny and he will not turn away from it.

The book is passionate, sensual, romantic, filled with adventure, magic and mysticism that you want keep you reading to see what happens next. It's quite a long book, but it didn't feel long. I was so engrossed the pages just flew by. The conflict between the old and new religions was well-handled and balanced and left you thinking. The main antagonist is Gamelyn's cousin, Abbess Elisabeth, who decides Gamelyn has been bewitched by Rob and his friends and needs to be saved from himself. She does some terrible things, but she thinks she is doing what is right.

The world building is detailed, lush and descriptive and the author has a way with words that leave you breathless. You can almost feel the wind ruffle your hair, or smell the earthy scents of the greenwood. Rob and Gamelyn's love scenes are sensual and erotic without being coarse or crude and it's not so much the physical aspects as it's the emotional connection between the characters. Rob and Gamelyn were both wonderfully drawn characters, as were everyone else. Everyone had their part to play. It was an emotional roller-coaster with triumphs and tragedy.

It does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger, which I hope will be addressed in the sequel, Shire Wode. (and having a quick look at Goodreads, yes it does, yay!)

In short, it was a fantastic read and left the Robin Hood fangirl in me very happy. And the author's note mentioned various Robin Hood inspirations, including my favourite, the 80's television show, Robin of Sherwood.

About the Author:

J Tullos Hennig has maintained a few professions over a lifetime--artist, dancer, equestrian--but never successfully managed to not be a writer. Ever. Since living on an island in Washington State merely encourages--nay, guarantees--already rampant hermetic and artistic tendencies, particularly in winter, Jen has become reconciled to never escaping this lifelong affliction. Comparisons have also been made to a bridge troll, one hopefully emulating the one under Fremont Bridge: moderately tolerant, but. You know. Bridge troll.

Jen is blessed with an understanding spouse, kids, and grandkids, as well as alternately plagued and blessed with a small herd of horses and a teenaged borzoi who alternates leaping over the furniture with lounging on it.

And, for the entirety of a lifetime, Jen has been possessed by a press gang of invisible ‘friends’ who Will. Not. S.T.F.U.

Book Review: A King Undone by Cooper Davis

A King Undone
by Cooper Davis
Samhain Publishing
Noble Pleasures Book #1
M/M Historical/Fantasy
4 Stars


Sometimes you have to risk everything, to follow your heart

In a world where gentlemen openly court and marry fellow noblemen, the threat of scandal still lurks behind every velvet drape for kings and princes. Such has been the fate for King Arend Tollemach, forced to sacrifice his heart on the altar of regal duty.

Now that his wife is dead and his royal obligations are at an end, he s ready to take an unthinkable risk. King Arend seeks a concubine from Temple Sapphor, a secretive, gated world where he will finally shed his virginity as least as it pertains to making love to a man.

Julian never thought he d spend ten years on the temple shelf, passed over again and again. Just when he despairs of ever finding placement in a nobleman s bed, Arend walks into the temple. A lonely eyed, beautiful king who could easily steal his heart.

Arend discovers he has no problem opening his bed to the exquisite concubine. The problem lies in finding the key to his long-shuttered heart.

Warning: Contains a beautiful, virgin king desperate to bed another man, a concubine who fantasizes about being claimed and revered by a strong monarch, and a sea of scandal set against a sensual, palatial backdrop. 


In a fantasy kingdom somewhat reminiscent of Victorian or Regency England, men who love men is considered acceptable and a common occurrence. But for nobility, due to the laws of inheritance, it isn't as easy. A nobleman or a king may indeed enjoy the pleasures of a male concubine, but he must be discreet and he must also marry and beget heirs for the kingdom.

At the age of eighteen, Prince Arend fell in love with the prince of a neighbouring kingdom and they secretly became engaged. But Arend's parents soon put a stop to that and he is forced into a loveless marriage with a woman.

Now, widowed at the age of forty-one, Arend has just seen his only son marry the man of his dreams and Arend is determined to put his own happiness first for a change. And for a noble in search of a concubine, there is only one place to go, the Temple of Sapphor.

Arend is very clear in what he wants on the application form. A physical, no-strings attached relationship for a year.

Julian, or Jules as he prefers to be called, has been a courtesan in the temple for ten years, after his brother loses the family fortune gambling and sells Jules to the temple. Jules has read lots of fairy tales and romances, and that's what he wants. He wants a happily ever after with a loving husband.

But not once in the ten years at the temple has any noble seemed interested in him at all, never mind take him as a concubine. He falls instantly in lust with King Arend, long before he knows he's a king. And when Arend finally takes Jules off the shelf, he thinks he is finally going to get the happily ever after he yearns for. But loving a king is never that simple.

This was a wonderful, sensual romp which had a dash of humour throughout. The prose was a bit purple and flowery, and dare I say was perhaps poking good-natured fun at Regency romances of a bygone era? For a novel about a king getting a concubine, there was very little actual sex in the book, but there were tons of UST which left this reader breathless. There are some love-scenes, lush and sensually described and fitted with the tone of the rest of the novel, rather than more graphic descriptions might have done.

I adored Jules, he knew what he wanted and is determined to get it, no matter other people's opinions on the matter of him bedding the kingArend I took a bit longer to warm to, but by the time the two of them got to talking things through and coming to an understanding I was rooting for them both to get their happily ever after.

Alas, since this is only the first book, I suspect that their happily ever after will be well fought, if they get there at all.

If you like historical romances, give this one a try.

Book Spotlight & Giveaways: Breaking Saint Jude and Falling From the Sky by Nikki Godwin

Nikki Godwin, author of Chasing Forever Down and American Girl on Saturn among others, has a treat for you! In celebration of her newest contemporary M/M YA romance novel Breaking Saint Jude releasing this January 14, her LGBT YA novel Falling from the Sky is FREE this week across all retail sites! Yes, you read that right!

Read more about these two novels right here and don't forget to get both!

Breaking Saint Jude
Title: Breaking Saint Jude
Author: Nikki Godwin
Date of Publication: January 14, 2015
Genre: contemporary LGBT YA romance
When sixteen-year-old Jude Calvert sets out to steal stained glass from a broken cathedral window, he finds more than shards of red. He finds Max Rangel - his eye candy from his new LGBT support group - hauling a giraffe carcass across an abandoned part of town with a pack of guys. And he still accepts Max's dinner invite a few days later. 
Still, animal lover Jude can't get the giraffe out of his mind. It doesn't take long for him to confront Max, who gives him partial answers and introduces him to a secret brotherhood of not-so-typical game hunters. Unable to tell his mom (the savior of black cats everywhere) or his dad (the zoo's head veterinarian) and unwilling to go back to his overbearing therapist, Jude quickly finds himself sucked into the underground world of taxidermy, theft, and drug deals.
At first, he's willing to do anything for the brotherhood just because he's so thankful to belong to someone again after serious drama with his ex-clique and ex-boyfriend. But when his underground life collides with his life above, he realizes he may have bitten off more than even the biggest animal can chew.
Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Smashwords (For only $2.99!)

Falling From The Sky

Title: Falling from the Sky
Author: Nikki Godwin
Date of Publication: February 21, 2014
Genre: contemporary LGBT YA romance
All stability in sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy’s life crashed and burned in the plane crash that killed his dad. This summer-long basketball camp is his chance to improve his skills and escape his problems back home. But his summer plans take a turn in an unexpected direction when he meets Micah Youngblood, the guy who runs the carousel at the local mall and has a reputation for devouring straight boys’ heterosexuality for breakfast, alongside his chocolate chip pancakes.
Ridge needs a way to avoid the guys at camp, whose only quest for the summer is to drown in beer and hook up with girls. So when Micah offers to explain how the ten unique horses on the carousel are significant to his tribe, Ridge takes him up on it. Still, Ridge can't decide if this is a bad thing or not. All he knows is that he hasn’t felt this alive since his dad fell from the sky, and as the horse adventures come to an end, Ridge finds himself falling as well – for Micah.
Purchase from Amazon | B&N (It's free from January 12 to 16!)
Lastly, it's also Nikki Godwin's birthday this January 14.

Three celebrations, three swag packs to give away! Join the giveaway to get a chance to win swag items from Nikki. Open internationally!

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