Read Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper Online


First I was a sorcerer. Then I was a hermit. For so long—for years that seemed to go on forever—I couldn't bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole stone bunkers to keep everyone out, emotionally, and physically as well. I was protected from people, from ghosts, from specters real and imagined. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn'tFirst I was a sorcerer. Then I was a hermit. For so long—for years that seemed to go on forever—I couldn't bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole stone bunkers to keep everyone out, emotionally, and physically as well. I was protected from people, from ghosts, from specters real and imagined. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn't sure any longer whether a totally "safe" empty life was really worth living.Then Tobin came along. Out of the blue, out of my past, with a summons from the king that he wouldn't let me ignore. I tried to cling to my isolation, but he wouldn't give up on me. Tobin never believed in walls.This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love Has No Boundaries" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Title : Nor Iron Bars a Cage
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18003646
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 244 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nor Iron Bars a Cage Reviews

  • Julio Genao
    2019-07-09 11:11

    Harper is so damned good at those action scenes.I found the occasional anachronism frustrating, and one or two nits to pick in the plot, but for god's sake—100k words in a month and a half?Bravo.

  • Ami
    2019-07-15 11:02

    Lyon was a sorcerer; started as an apprentice for Meldov. But for the past fifteen years he closed himself from the world. A tragic event with a wraith that took over his teacher's body and mind, and tortured Lyon, had forced Lyon to kill in order to survive. His right hand crippled and he suffered from nightmares. Until Tobin, one time Lyon's best friend, came to his front door, asking him to help the King.--------------------Honestly, I don't know how Kaje Harper did it. The fact that she wrote 104k story alone, within short amount of time, with quality that was on par with published story was already something I appreciated. Even more so, this story was well-written, well thought-off, and well-told.First thing I noticed, the world building was slightly similar to that I usually experience from Megan Derr's novels. Nothing wrong with that. It was a world with fantasy/historical sense where being with men wasn't a crime (people might raise their eyebrows but there wasn't one of those abomination preachings) which reduce the homophobic angst. Since I read MM romance to get my escape, that kind of world build can be refreshing.Second, I just loved the characters, even the secondary ones. Like Xan, a thousand years old ghost that played a significant role in the story. Although the story was purely from Lyon's perspective but every other characters were well-written. Tobin was amazing, finally found Lyon again, he was determined to help Lyon. Tobin was so patient with him. At the same time, I appreciated how Kaje didn't take the path of "love heals everything". The trauma that Lyon experienced ran deep. So he still struggled with nightmares. He still wasn't sure that he could have sex even if he was the one doing penetration. It would be a long journey for him to completely healed, and that felt real.So, yes, I LOVED the story very much. Wizard and Mages are my choices of paranormal/fantasy trope (I have so many of great series with wizard/mages, Harry Dresden and Harry Potter came to mind). This one was a fine telling. I didn't have anything that I could complain about (not a single one, well, maybe one insignificant question of (view spoiler)[Aren't "Top" and "Bottom" too modern phrase for this world build"? (hide spoiler)]) ... and in the end, all of this for FREE? Well, I can only give this my 5-stars. God knows I've paid MORE for LESS.PS: There was a Lady Ami. She wasn't on screen, and only mentioned three times. But I was really giddy to read characters sharing my name. Since my name is not popular in Western world. Another "Ami" I read in MM was in Andrea Speed's story, and she was a Japanese waiter.

  • Nina
    2019-07-11 03:42

    First class romance, high quality light fantasy and top-notch writing.I know, right? There's got to be a catch. Well, the worst thing I can say about this book is that it took a while for it to hit its stride, which is why it took me a week to read it.As soon as it did, though, I was hooked. It's an intriguing, suspenseful and masterfully told story. The world that the author created is atmospheric and wholly satisfying, despite having as a basis the classic fantasy realm of kings, foreign tribes, sorcery and travel by horse.To top it all off, the romance is simply wonderful: the character and relationship development are realistic, complex and at just the right speed, the hot moments are hot and the sweet, tender moments made me feel as if my heart were being squeezed by an unseen hand.Just one thing: who the hell gives a full-length novel this good away for free? (Someone who loves to write, you'll say. True. But that's not the point now.) That's simply a wonderful thing to do. This author just got herself a new reader.

  • Lisa Henry
    2019-06-28 05:04

    Love this one to bits. The world building is fantastic: rich, and dark, and wonderful. Lyon was a wonderful character -- crippled by his own past, and tormented by his memories of dark magic. And Tobin was a perfect hero: honourable, steadfast, and loving. And Just wow. I think his emotional journey was even more satisfying than Lyon's. Just so full of sadness, and regret, and just beautifully realised.

  • Mark
    2019-07-17 05:59

    ...and now for something completely different. A different read for me as this was my first foray into fantasy and a different kind of story for Kaje Harper compared to her previous works to date.I was a little sceptical about this story first as I haven't tried fantasy in the M/M genre to date. I LOVED it. Kaje's writing soon drew me into her fantasy world and didn't let me go for the whole visit to this faraway place with sorcerers, kings, ghosts, mages and magic.Lyon is a recluse, possessed by demons after his time as a sorcerer's apprentice after his old master Meldov calling forth a wraith and its taking control. Although Lyon manages to stop the happening before it possesses him totally a part still remains within him.One day Tobin a messenger from the king turns up out of the blue and commands that the king wishes the presence of Lyon. Tobin is an old childhood friend of Lyon's and was delighted to find him after many years thinking he was dead. Lyon is obviously reticent but gives in to Tobin's tenacity and they start out for Riverrun. The king needs someone to translate an ancient language no longer spoken and this is Lyon's speciality. The king's mages have summoned a very old ghost who can give them a vital tactical advantage over the R'gin, a folk that is preparing to attack Riverrun. There he takes the brave step and lets himself be fused with the ghost from the past in order to communicate with him.Obvioulsy I could write more about the plot, but I think that will suffice now to give you a taste of things to come. I loved the character Lyon, alone and fighting with his past and demons. For him this is a journey where he will learn he is stronger than he thinks. With the support and love that Tobin gives he grows stronger everday, doing things he never would have done until now. Everyday being a small triumph. Tobin is strong but gentle and never forces Lyon to do things he is not comfortable with. This thread runs through the book where he supports and encourages Lyon.In this world it as OK to be gay, or as it is called in Riverrun "fay" I loved this term and smiled when it was first coined. This creates again the feeling that you are in a fanatsy world. A little bit like Lord of The Rings meets M/M romance. Kaje creates a whole fantasy world full of vivid characters and an adventure that keeps you on your toes.This is a well rounded fantasy story with the amazing fact that it is free under the banner of the M/M Romance Group's LHNB series. It is novel length and written in what must been an incredibly tight deadline. Unbelievable.

  • ttg
    2019-07-09 09:05

    4.5 stars – Really enjoyable fantasy novel with very likeable and appealing characters. (And has the extra fantastic bonus of being free to download.)I’m a fan of Harper’s mysteries and shifter books. I find her style excessively readable, and I always dig her characters and their relationships. This is her first “high fantasy” work, and I found it just as readable and enjoyable as her more “modern” world works.The story focuses on Lyon, a sorcerer “in hiding,” from his past and from the world, who lives on his own in his stone cottage, and is so introverted, it takes a lot of energy to muster up a conversation with the boy who delivers his food. But Lyon is hiding for a reason, and that reason comes out as the story progresses, especially when his childhood friend Tobin comes knocking, and asks Lyon to leave the safety of his stone walls for a request by the king. It is Tobin’s reappearance and his steadfast nature to coax Lyon back with him that propels the story (and Lyon) forward.Really enjoyed the story and its progression as Lyon struggled to take in these changes and his feelings for Tobin. I also found that struggle very resonating—Lyon’s battle against his fears, the disability with his scarred hand, his feelings of self-worth, his ability to interact with others. It was very easy for me to feel his struggle and sympathize with him.And I loved Tobin’s patience and willingness to bend and alter in order to either find a way that would work with Lyon’s disability or traumas or would give Lyon the space to move forward on his own. Very supportive and loving character, and totally won me over. (I also dug that Tobin realized that this was something he could have only done because he was older and more experienced. He mentions at one point that if he came upon Lyon when he was 20, and Lyon was just coming out of surviving his ordeal, that Tobin probably wouldn’t have handled it well, and not been able to provide the same thoughtfulness. I thought that was nicely realistic.) I thought the romance was handled great—it was a nice slow burn that seemed to always be bubbling. The slow burn also worked well and felt consistent with a character that was so touch-phobic and had to slowly learn how to open up and be okay with contact.Overall, I really dug it. It’s a long novel, at over 100,000 words, which is pretty amazing since it was written for a prompt for the MM Romance Group’s Love Has No Boundaries summer story event, and was completed in less than a month and a half. Probably with more timing, some parts could have been tightened more, some typos caught, but those are small complaints for a story that I thought was actually pretty awesome.And it’s FREE. Seriously, what a great gift, and a wonderful read. Recommended for anyone who likes m/m fantasy stories. The whole thing can be downloaded here.

  • Lori
    2019-07-09 06:57

    Up until I started reading the, oh so addictive, M/M genre, fantasy was my bag. So imagine my delight when I found a book by one of my favourite authors that combines the two.Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper was a delight to read. Lyon and Tobin were fantastic characters. Written in the first person from Lyon's POV we see how he struggles with events from his past and how, with Tobin's help, he is able to conquer his fears.I loved the fantasy element details, they really kept the story moving along as did the developing friends to lovers relationship between Lyon and Tobin. I do love how Kaje Harper writes romantic story lines, her style never fails to make my heart beat faster.The added bonus, the cream no cherry on top of the bun - this is free. Yep, you heard me, it's a free read - yet full length novel sized. I know. Really - check the calendar, it's not April 1st - I'm not kidding, it's a free, full length, fantasy novel from the fantastic Kaje Harper. Well, what you still reading this it now!

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-07-21 05:55

    Available to read online on the Goodreads M/M group today (June first) and now, thanks to Jen taking pity on peoples' eyesight, also available for download. The download link is in the first post of the thread, after the picture and letter request, and also now in the url for the book listing here on GR. That link works even if you're not a group member.

  • ⚣❣☙ Michaelle ❧❣⚣
    2019-07-18 03:42

    5 StarsEvery single thing about this book was perfect. Every. Thing. It's one of those books that I'll probably read again and never really mark it as such here at GR. But only because I'll likely use it as a balm to my soul, to make me feel better about how even the most fearful, scarred and damaged among us can be loved, can overcome even the worst of circumstances...and I wouldn't want to draw attention to how often I'll need that.The quality of work that comes out of those DRitC events will never cease to amaze me, and that they are offered for free is nothing short of heroic. I don't think we appreciate the hard work those mods do to coordinate everything to make the whole endeavor work so well. I certainly hope we'll get another event, soon.Thank you to the MMRomance DRitC mods and to the authors like Kaje that contribute their work, asking nothing of the reader but to enjoy it.(Stupid face leaking right now.)

  • Breann
    2019-06-20 06:09

    3.5 starsThis was especially hard for me to rate - and to review, I might add. I adored Lyon and Tobin. They were wonderful together, so sweet and loving. While I loved them, I was just so bored through parts of this book.Lyon , who is a hermit, barely speaks to anyone and can’t bear to be touched, is contacted by the King to do some translating for him. The man sent to find Lyon is his childhood friend, Tobin. Tobin, not knowing that Lyon was even alive still, was ecstatic to see his old friend again. He wishes to reestablish their friendship and maybe something more. Obviously, Lyon’s hermit-like tendencies get in the way of this. Lyon is a hot mess, but with good reason. He was severely abused by his mentor who was possessed by a wraith. His many hang ups were portrayed very realistically and I could feel his internal struggles. I loved that he didn’t do the king’s bidding willingly. He fought Tobin at every turn. Who is the king to take Lyon away from his comfy little home and life? But being forced out of that was the best thing that could have happened to him. So, likewise, Tobin didn’t give up either and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was determined to see Lyon through this. Tobin was awesome. He knew what his friend needed in order to survive leaving his secure home and he delivered. He totally delivered. He waited (and waited and waited) for Lyon and was willing to take whatever Lyon was ready to give. I think my lovely friend, Heather K, said this about another book, I loved that there wasn’t a magical dick that solved all of the PTSD. Lyon made progress but not everything was solved, especially not sexually. No matter how much he grew, he still struggled and had his freak-out moments. Which Tobin was there every second for, caring for him. So, basically, they were perfect for each other and I loved every moment they were together.This is where my issues arose. The whole translate for the king, let’s summon a ghost and go to war plot? I didn’t care. At all. Not even a little. Every time there was a scene with some of my favorite guys with the king and sorcerers? I dozed into skimsville. Which is why, no matter how much I wanted to love this, I can’t rate it a solid four stars.

  • Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌
    2019-06-21 02:58

    Truly, utterly and deeply romantic; the best thing about this book would have to be their relationship. Such genuine and delightfully real and endearing characters with a romance that charmed me right down to My toes. Tobin was absolutely amazing with his unending devotion, patience and love. One of the most memorable and amazing characters though would have to be Xan. It takes immense courage to overcome your own hatred and prejudices, and to go further than even that is simply amazing. Other than that, the world building was solid, if so-so in creativity, and the plot held my attention nicely, but nothing special. Watching Lyon's growth, however, was particularly heart warming and splendid! This was a good read, and I especially enjoyed the romantic nature of it, even as the plot, writing and world building did not enthrall me (though they were by no means bad).Rating: 3.75 - 4

  • Vivian
    2019-07-14 03:05

    Strong fantasy adventure read with magic, mayhem, and true love. When you get the second chance you never thought was possible--you hold on tight. Tobin and Lyon's friendship is beautiful; finding someone who can be strong for you when you need it, being able to relax. Love their journey and there are some great secondary characters--Xan, he stole my heart.Favorite quote:"He was my safety and my wall, the mirror in whose eyes I somehow looked brave and desirable."

  • Eric Westfall
    2019-07-16 10:01

    I think I'm going to have to sacrifice my principles for Kaje Harper.[sigh]You see, I try to get the most "bang for the buck" when buying books and I think far too many ebooks are overpriced. Way overpriced. I figure that an average "mainstream" paperback, selling for $7.99, is about 300 pages. I have some quick math, based on the ebook price and page numbers (or word count) that tells me if my $3.99 ebook is the equivalent of a 350 page paperback at $7.99, or the equivalent of a $25 paperback. If the latter, I don't buy.When Ms. Harper was kind enough to offer assistance about finding a designer for a cover of my eventually-to-be-posted LHNB story, and others I'm finally working on, I figured I'd check her books out. They sounded intriguing, but unfortunately, the math didn't work for most. Then along came "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" at the of course perfect!And the novel...and please don't call it a "novel-length story" because that's kind of extraordinary. I've been reading fantasy/scifi since I was 5 (just short of 65 years now) and it is truly wonderful.Why? Because the book meets my most fundamental criterion for good writing: She creates people I care about. And I cared about these two men deeply. The world they live in is fascinating. The story is powerful. I read it in one sitting.Run, do not walk, to the nearest mouse and clickety-click away so you can download. Get comfy. Prepare to be moved and enthralled.As a local men's clothing store commercial (national maybe?) used to say, "I gare-on-tee it!"Thanks, Ms. Harper.Eric

  • Pjm12
    2019-07-15 08:02

    God, this fits into almost all the shelves. There are so many elements to the long-short-story. This involved and intricate world-building fits perfectly with Harper's attention-to-detail style.The care that has been taken with developing Lyon's backstory reaps rewards for readers when we see him work through his psychological issues with Tobin.I love how Tobin never gives up on his lion-boy. So patient, so steady, so integral to Lyon's recovery.The quest aspect was a lovely parallel to the romance and rescue. Gosh, I pretty much loved this.

  • Тамрико
    2019-07-19 07:57

    4.5 stars.I would love to know more about pretty much everyone in this book (other than Lyon and Xen). More about Tobin and the king. More about that annoying captain, who drove Lyon crazy in the second part of the story. There is So. Much! Loved it :)

  • ♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
    2019-07-09 10:42

    Kaje, Kaje, Kaje, how I feel as though you rule me with these words. Simply fantabulous.Ahem, now then… Lyon and Tobin – wait, I really can’t start there because it’s definitely Lyon that grabs you by the shabby shirt collar and just doesn’t let go, which makes sense because he’s finding it very difficult to do that himself. Of course, this makes sense considering what’s happened and what still has a firm hold on him and his days and his dreams. Being surrounded makes it difficult for anyone to attempt an escape, and yet he’s trying, whether through bags under his eyes or blade to his skin. Ok, now we can get to Lyon and Tobin, because Tobin does arrive in the story rather early as he is the catalyst for the journey on which Lyon is destined to take – to survive? thrive? despair? enjoy? fear? When Tobin does arrive, it’s obvious that, not only do these two have a history together, but their own very complicated and lengthy stories to tell. Despite it having been so long since the last time they did see each other, their interactions are immediate, rapid and honest. It’s… heartwarming and heart-tugging. Damn it. Damn you, Kaje, damn you for reaching right in and teasing mine. From spending most of those years alone, Lyon is a little frenetic. His brain is constantly thinking and resetting. Maybe he’s that way because he’s been alone. Maybe Tobin can do something about that. Forty five pages in and I could not have turned from this even if I so desired. Choices. I found myself already hoping that they would be able to find each other again, in whatever form that may be. They are unavoidably interesting men in their own rights, but together, I had thoughts of: family, fatherhood, serious teasing, grounded lovers, soulful flights. I’m not even sure what some of that may mean but it’s what I felt. A perfect example is (view spoiler)[I won’t even say who says it, I’ll let you discover: “I wish this was all there was,” I said. “Daylight and traveling with you. I could do this forever.” (hide spoiler)] Normally, that may press my ‘uh, way too sweet’ button but it feels very real, honest, a part of this history that they have, and yet fresh to the future they’ll maybe share. Acceptance. Chilling. From cabin to the road, to the castle and the coast, we get happily tugged along, watching these two struggling to reconnect. All the while, though, despite insecurities (especially Lyon’s), it feels like they don’t want to give up, know they can’t give up. If they do, that’s it, they’re both done. Nothing. General Vio! ;) About half way through and we start to see some of the changes that may help them get there. The influence they begin to have, one over the other, in positive ways. It’s almost like each of them have been waiting so long for such a satisfying meal that their bodies and minds and hearts are taking it all and filling in those holes.(view spoiler)[The bathing scene, that’s all I’m saying. (hide spoiler)] So not connected to the above thought, and yet very connected. And then this, from Lyon: (view spoiler)[ he and Tobin are getting into bed, they’re in the keep and Lyon does this – I rolled over and pressed my back to his chest. I could at least give him this, that I trusted him behind me. Because I did. (hide spoiler)] Do I need to say sigh worthy?? Probably not. This review is feeling a bit haphazard so let me try to rein things back in a bit. The details of this world are fun: earthy magic, olde world warfare and horse sense, food and lodging, stumbles and laughter. This kind of magic-tinged story, it’s told clearly, not muddled, not heavy and overladen with dense passages of too-clever names and spells. It’s a well written first person point of view, with the other characters owning well defined voices. Somehow, this author makes it so that I can enjoy, desire, wallow in truly romantic stories without feeling the ick. Toss in commanding creativity and imagination, delectable characters and dialogue, and you’ve got a fucking rodeo I’m more than willing to ride, bucking and all. Especially the bucking. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Kaje Harper and this now resides on that same warm, dark-wooded mantle of must-read and must-have books.

  • Octobercountry
    2019-07-15 11:10

    I confess I have a certain weakness for tales about fellows who have gone through some traumatic experience in their past, and have withdrawn from the world as a result---only to be brought back to life, so to speak, by the love of a special man.This story fits the trope perfectly; you can’t help but feel for Lyon when you hear what he went through as a young apprentice mage. Things went horribly wrong for him when he was 18, and he spent the following 15 years in seclusion, just trying to deal with everyday life while hiding from the eyes of the world---until his old boyhood friend Tobin came along to help him out of his shell.I absolutely loved this story; completely satisfying in every way. Highly recommended for fantasy fans! And I still can’t believe it’s a freebie. You can download it from this address, which contains links to all the free stories the M/M Romance group will be offering over the next two months in their Love Has No Boundaries event:

  • Christina
    2019-07-20 09:06

    3.5 stars This is the first non-contemporary I’ve read from Harper and I was very happy with it. She created a vivid world filled with magic and darkness. There was just enough of the magic/history/politics to get a good feel of the world, however it could have used more background/details on the sorcery and mages. There were a couple of parts that dragged, but for the most part I enjoyed the story.First and foremost this is a story about Lyon, breaking through his stone walls (both physically and mentally), and reclaiming his life. Not always by choice, but nevertheless, he finds strength. I loved how the romance didn’t overshadow his PTSD or that he suddenly becomes healed by love.I really liked all the characters, especially Tobin. He was understanding, tender and patient. Yes, he was just about perfect and that might irritate some, but it didn’t bother me one bit. It was a wonderful story of friendship and courage.

  • AnnaLund
    2019-07-06 03:59

    First of all, that was exactly what I needed: magic, sorcery, good and evil. And boys, beautiful boys.Second, this story was born into the fantastic happening that is Love Has No Boundaries within the m/m romance group here on Goodreads, and for an author to write an epic story like this one (100k words!) in some six weeks? Ridiculously gifted author. Really!I adored the storyline, the world, the characters, especially Tobin. I adore a steady presence. I read it nice and slow, and really tried to taste the words on my tongue, reading out loud. Poetry.Then I fell in love also with a ghost. Not many books can do that for you. His interaction with Lyon was adorable. And Lyon? For a boy who thinks he is very weak, he shows incredible stamina and strength. Beautiful.Of course, I especially appreciated that Lyon was language man. Perfection. Just *happy sigh*

  • Steelwhisper
    2019-06-20 08:48

    This normally would have been somewhere between 3.75 and 4*, because I don't usually like fantasy that much and am terribly picky. However, I enjoyed the ride Kaje gives me with this book, and I am simply blown away by her writing a 100k novel in such a short time and still putting out a quality story simultaneously! Kudos!Recommended reading for everyone needing a longish out-time in m/m-landia!

  • Mandapanda
    2019-07-20 11:03

    Amazing that the author can write a fantasy novel with considerable depth in such a short time. I was completely drawn in by the storyline. In particular in the beginning Lyon's agoraphobia and fears were excellently written. I was enjoying the story so much that the sex scenes didn't even feel necessary and I skimmed through them a little.

  • Sagajo
    2019-07-15 03:54

    This was a very good story. So good actually, that I think she should write mainstream fantasy, though this story had a bit too much erotica to be mainstream. Maybe an author capable of something like the Nightrunner series?

  • Ulysses Dietz
    2019-06-29 05:44

    I am a Kaje Harper fan, and having read Kim Fielding's excellent "Brute" recently, this sounded like a good fit for my other-worldly-fantasy mood these days. I was not disappointed. Amazingly, this long novel (over 100,000 words) was part of a challenge competition (?) for writers, and was downloadable for free - a series of books and stories that are part of a "Love Has No Boundaries" effort to inspire authors based on an image and a letter prompting them to begin.This is another of those books that I love - a "slow burn," in which the main characters take a good long time to really feel strongly about each other. In this case, we have two young-thirty-somethings (who, adorably, are referred to as middle aged in this long-ago-and-far away landscape) who have been separated for fifteen years. Indeed, Tobin, the soldier, has believed that Lyon, his childhood friend, was long dead - burned in a fire that destroyed a sorcerer's house when they were both teenagers. But Lyon wasn't dead - he's been hiding from the world, shattered mentally and damaged physically by the sorcerer who was supposed to be his protector. As they rekindle their friendship - Tobin persuading Lyon to come back to their hometown to do something mysteriously important for the young king Faro - we begin to learn both of their stories as they open up to each other. Like the title character in Fielding's "Brute," one character, Tobin, is the soul of gentleness - a man who instinctively is caring and open-hearted. While this is not something I have ever associated with any male of the species in the medieval world, in fantasy medieval world this works just fine. There is psychological complexity, emotional depth, tenderness and romance aplenty - it is a beautifully written and carefully crafted narrative that draws the reader in and makes him part of the story. No false antiquity jars the mind - but no disturbing anachronism breaks the illusion of sometime and someplace away from what we know. To me, this beautiful book doesn't have quite the impact of "Brothers of the Wild North Sea" (Harper Fox) - but they are surely in the same league, with "Brute" making up a very fine trio in any serious romance lover's library.

  • Shelley
    2019-07-20 03:51

    I'm so sorry I forgot to leave a review for this book and now it's months later and I can only recall that I really, really liked it. Great magicks and a lovely romance? It's free and you should read it?Sorry, I suck.

  • Jerry
    2019-06-30 05:47

    Such an unusual direction for one of my favorite authors. I had the privilege of reading it before she published and was blown away by it. I would love to read more like this. Kaje I love you!

  • YullSanna
    2019-07-03 10:03

    Я вспомнила, что уже начинала читать эту книгу и бросила. Понятно почему - так и не поверила персонажам, хотя в этот раз дотянула до конца. Все время казалось, что поведение мне объясняют словами, а не действиями. Lyon загибается в добровольной изоляции, ищет спасения от кошмаров в уединении, а потом вдруг решает ехать с Тобином хрен знает куда/зачем, и ничего, кроме пары дурных снов, не подтверждает серьезность его психологических проблем. Куда делась агорафобия? С чего человек, наносящий себе увечия ради облегчения стресса, станет доверять другу далекого детства. Кстати, эта стародавняя дружба объясняет половину взаимоотношений героев, но при этом почти не описана в книге. Пара воспоминаний - этого мало, чтобы читатель поверил в их расцветающую с пустого места любовь. Фэнтези... Тут я не большой специалист, конечно, но лично мне не хватило развития. Такую закваску нужно было брать на серию книг и разворачивать постепенно. Идеи понравились, все эти одержимости... духи... - очень круто, но бездарно слито в конце. Последние главы вообще полная каша. Зачем создавать такой мир, чтобы потом взять и скомкать его?

  • Sandra
    2019-06-24 04:44

    Offered for FREE from the M/M Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries event. Thank you too all the amazing authors who participated!4.5 stars I was pleasantly surprised when reading this to find that it's a full length story, despite most of Don't Read In The Closet being comprised of shorts (although often good ones). The story was complex. The plot arc creative and intense. The characters real, genuine, and just fucking great! When I got to the end and saw the authors page and realized this was by Kaje Harper my first thought was "duh!" because her stuff is always above and beyond.My one criticism, I gotta admit I didn't like the last line. A little cheesy and out of character, and truth be told, I'm not one for big public decelerations. But everything else was perfect, down to some amazing side-characters, namely Xen and even Dag (view spoiler)[the Epilogue ending with them getting the house was sweet but I almost would have preferred it starting with that and then seeing them reunite with Dag's family to help them on the farm or some other thing. (hide spoiler)]Lastly, props to Plainbrownwrapper for a wonderful prompt, and of course to Ms. Harper for doing great things with it. I love that the picture seems so sensual (being a black & white close up of a tongue about to lick a nipple!) but when it's worked into the story it actually becomes a moment of tenderness and vulnerability (view spoiler)[Lyon has a hard time being touched due to his traumatic past so Tobin is showing him to enjoy pleasure while ensuring he doesn't bring about any bad memories (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Sunne
    2019-07-16 09:01

    How can I explain?I'm not a huge fantasy-fan. And then I read that Kaje Harper's LHNB-story would be fantasy. I was kind of reluctantly sure that I would like it but I wasn't sure that I would love it.Baaam - hit in the heart, I love it. It is just adorable with wonderful MCs and the right amount of fantasy that was good for me.Lyon is a deeply hurt man, he has a past of abuse (mental and physical rape). He has sworn off soccery and leads a quiet and reclusive life, balancing on the edge.Tobin has believed for over a decade that his friend died in a huge fire. So when he discoveres that the translator Lyon is indeed the man he had had feelings for, he is overjoyed. But Lyon is no longer the same man and Tobin's task to bring him to the king doesn't make for an easy reconnection. And the translation-job Lyon has to perform for the king results in more complications, pushes Lyon even more out of his comfort zone. Good thing that Tobin is such a solid person. His understanding and solid presence is what gets Lyon through more than one dire situation.So - Kaja Harper has built a whole world with kings, enemies, soccerers and magic. It is well built without being to strange to understand. She has given us two wonderful MCs - Lyon with his fears, his wish to overcome them, his nightmares and his bravery and Tobin with the big heart, the patience and the honor. I love them both, they are wonderful together and I enjoyed every moment. Highly recommended

  • Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
    2019-07-21 11:08

    Kaje never disappoints. This is a finely crafted story, character driven with a great plot. Lyon has been hiding from the world for 15 years because of terror in his past. One day, that past comes knocking at his door, metaphorically as well as literally. It's a great examination of PTSD and moving forward, set in a fantastical realm where sorcery is real, but the characters and plot are rooted in realism. So many other authors would have gone for melodrama, but not Kaje. There's drama, yes, but there's hope and compassion and a light to balance the dark. Excellent read!

  • Irina
    2019-07-20 09:08

    Despite a slow first half of it, the story did pick up eventually, and I enjoyed that part much more. The turning point for me was a millennia-old ghost's story which I found fascinating and heartbreaking. Very interesting idea to explore, and I wanted to spend more time with Xan, learning of his ancient world. ***3.5 stars***