Tag Archives: m/nb

Strong Wine, by A.J. Demas

4 Mar
Cover for Strong Wine, where a short haired man in a short Roman-ish tunic holds up another man, who has long black hair and is wearing a long tunic, in an embrace. It's nighttime and there are two swords on the foreground.

What a wonderful conclusion to the Sword Dance trilogy! As I said last week, I read Saffron Alley and Strong Wine literally back-to-back, then read them again when I was writing my reviews. Yes, they are that good. And by the by, am I glad I did not have to wait between books!

Reader beware: xenophobia, transphobia (one of the leads is a formerly enslaved eunuch–not by choice–and non-binary–entirely by choice), homophobia (the other lead is a bisexual man), a bit of violence, and some graphic sex on page.

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Saffron Alley, by A. J. Demas

25 Feb
Cover for Saffron Alley, showing a man with short hair, wearing a Roman-ish short tunic, sword belt and holding a round shield aloft with his left arm, his right hand on the waist of a long-haired man wearing a long sleeveless tunic, who's holding a sword on his left hand, his right forearm over the first man's left shoulder as they face each other. The sun is behind the shield.

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to glom an author and enjoy it, and I must say, I’ve missed it.

And yet, I read the second and third books in the Sword Dance trilogy in one day, and now I’m torn between being grateful the author only has five books under this pseudonym/in this world, and bemoaning that there are only five books in this world. 1

In part it’s just because my reading has been shit for almost seven years, but I’ve also grown a lot more grumpy and a lot less forgiving of writing tics. Spacing out books by the same author benefits everyone here.

Readers, people. We suck.

Reader notes: there’s some graphic sex and just a bit of violence, mostly near the end. One of the leads is bisexual, the other is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (entirely by choice); also an undercurrent of xenophobia.

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Sword Dance, by A. J. Demas

11 Feb
Cover for Sword Dance; drawing of two men, back to back. Man in the front wears a short-sleeve, mid-thigh Roman-like tunic, wields a sword on his right hand. Behind him, a man wearing a flaring, long-sleeved tunic and long black hair, whirls, holding a sword in each hand. Their heads are turning, looking at each other from the corners of their eyes. It's early morning.

This novel was my introduction to the writing of A. J. Demas, after a recommendation by K. J. Charles. It is the first book in the Sword Dance trilogy, and I now own all three titles.

Reader, beware: There is graphic sex and some violence on page, as well as some PTSD and references to past sexual abuse and torture. One of the protagonists is a eunuch (not by choice) and non-binary (very much by choice); the other is unapologetically bisexual.

Oh, and while it’s very much a romance, and a very sweet one at that, it is just the beginning; this book ends in hope, with a promise to meet again.

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