Buy it now direct from Loose ID
Anyone who reads this blog regularly—and I hope that’s
everyone—knows I enjoy books that defy my expectations; books that lead me down
one path then spin me around in a delightfully different direction. I confess
to being a jaded reader, so the element of surprise always scores points with
me. And Hank Edwards wins big with Destiny’s Bastard.
In fifteenth century England, Sir Gerard Fogg—handsome
knight and protector of the Royal family—is having a beautiful and passionate
love affair with Prince Tristan. The only threat on the horizon, other than the
discovery of their relationship, is a mysterious band of robbers threatening
the countryside. Their leader, Malcom, is a time-traveler from the future who
finds the simple English country folk easy marks. When Tristan is killed by
Malcom in a sneak attack, Fogg finds himself traveling into the future for
revenge. But he finds much more than that.
Okay, so I’ve already ruined the time-travel surprise for
you. Sorry about that. But it’s no more than you’d get in any decent
description and there are plenty of other twists and turns to engage your
attention. Does the story have a happy ending? Well, of course it does—but it’s
not the one you expect. Edwards does a wonderful job of avoiding many pitfalls
and cliches, primarily the forced fish-out-of-water humor I’ve seen lesser
authors attempt in time-travel novels.
And those sex scenes … mmm-mmm. Hairy muscle-bears with
swords, leather and linen breeches. I have to say I found those scenes hotter,
but that’s my particular preference. Edwards has a way with the medieval sex
scenes, but there’s plenty of hot interludes both past and future to fire your
rockets. Or launch your catapults.
Hot sex notwithstanding, Edwards is on his game all around
here. The plot winds well around Gerard, who is a well-developed character (and
I’m not just talking about his pecs, either). Edwards also acquits himself
nicely with the action sequences. They’re suspenseful and pointed—and the pacing
is top-notch. The book moves with grace and assurance, never faltering or
making a misstep.
And I have to say this is one of the most well-edited
e-books I’ve seen. Someone has taken a great deal of care to weed out
misspellings, spacing problems and other layout issues, allowing me to immerse
myself in the end product without any of those annoying flaws to jerk me out of
Even if you’re
not normally interested in swordplay and knights in (and out) of shining armor,
old fashioned romance never goes out of style, and you’ll certainly find that
and so much more in this winning, wonderful tale.
Reviewed by Jerry Wheeler