Darshian Tales - Book 1
It started off a little slow as we got to know the characters, Kei and Arman as well as their friends and family who will play a big part in the coming story, but that was okay because this is really the story of how two young men grow into mature men.
I only had two little problems with the story. The first was that I wanted to know more about Arman's father and brother. And the second was that I kept reading Arman as older than he was. I believe his stated age was around 24 or 25, but he read to me like a man closer to 30. Of course that might be due to the life he lead up to the point where the story begins.
Now some might find that Kei, the gentle healer and Arman, the honourable young general, were a bit too good to be true, but you know, this is a romance and the characters NEED to be a little bigger and better than life. Both men DO have their faults and Ms Somerville explores them in depth. And the romance takes time to develop. This is sort of momentous for me, because most of the m/m romance novels I have read seem to be fast and quick and done with in little more than 100 pages. This book is a hefty, juicy read. No novelette here, my friends. And I love that about it.
And the sex scenes... the intimate scenes... OMG, they were lovely! Y'all know that this is a major part of the reason we read romance/erotic romance novels, and in my opinion, Ms. Somerville does a TERRIFIC job. Arman's fixation with Kei's hair, for instance; even when it wasn't supposed to be hot, it was. :) And as always, my mind tends to cast actors in the major roles, so all the while I was reading, I was seeing Chris Hemsworth (who will be starring as Thor in the new movie) as Arman and Jesse Williams (Dr. Jackson Avery from Grey's Anatomy) as Kei.
In conclusion, I really loved this book and would recommend it highly to anyone who's looking for a juicy, m/m romance - the fantasy angle of it, while important, doesn't overpower the lovely character studies or the love story. I will definitely be reading more of Ann Somerville's work, I can tell you that!