REVIEWED BY LARK
TITLE: February and December
SERIES: Dominus Calendar Series #1
AUTHOR: JP Kenwood
PUBLISHER: JP Kenwood
LENGTH: 72 pages
As a lifelong passion continues to fade, another love deepens… two stand-alone m/m stories of love, lust, and friendship in ancient Rome.
February: Home from the first war against the kingdom of Dacia, Gaius Fabius ignores his obligations in Rome and returns to his secluded seaside villa in southern Italy. Under the pretense of a holiday trip, his best friend and secret lover, Lucius Petronius, surprises him with an unexpected visit. Later that evening, the lusty masters share the delights of Gaius’s blond pleasure slave, Nicomedes.
December: With whispers of an embezzlement scandal floating through the capital, Lucius Petronius and his beloved concubine, Bryaxis, celebrate the raucous winter solstice festival of the Saturnalia with Luc’s family. After a joy-filled evening of food, gifts, and stories, Lucius and Bryaxis reverse roles in the master chamber.
Warnings for explicit language, filthy loving, and daft shenanigans
When JP Kenwood says that something is going to be filthy, she delivers — but she also delivers on the plot and the story that I’m coming to rely on when it comes to this particular author. I really enjoyed reading both of these stories, and I honestly can’t say which I enjoyed more. Lucius is probably my favorite character of the books (JP, darling, I resist the urge to give spoilers here), and it’s nice to see him in both stories.
We also get to see Nic, who I adore, and Bryaxis, while Lucius yet again defies the norm in favor of what he wants even as he does his duty.
These were beautifully written stories, with just enough of a balance between smut and story to keep me interested from start to finish. Readers shouldn’t fear the word ‘historical’ in association with the novella. There’s enough explanation to keep the reader understanding what’s going on without so much that the eyes glaze over with too much of it.
If you haven’t already read Dominus and Games of Rome, never fear; these stories take place before those books and can be read beforehand. These are reminiscent of Kate Aaron’s Free Men series — though admittedly grittier and darker. While the novellas are short and sweet, expect the books to be anything but.
RATING: I loved it!
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