The following review was just posted to the Paranormal Romance Yahoo Group.
New Ickford Manor
By Anthony Stevens
May 5, 2008
ISBN Digital: 978-0-9817144- 1-7
ISBN Print: 978-0-9817144- 9-3
Reviewed for PNR by Stephanie Q McGrath
Warning, you are about to experience the past, welcome to another world, the world of Sylvanus, a man of great strength and intelligence and in his world only men like him ruled, and they will not be questioned. No, this is not another planet, it’s our own past. Loyalty is a complex bond that forms in men and women, Sylvanus must demand respect, but in so doing he also earns the respect he demands. His world is about to change forever, when in one act of bravery, a beautiful young girl¢s life will be saved and reborn at the hands of the strong, handsome and sexually dominate Sylvanus. For Sylvanus, his treasure becomes everything, even in the face of betrayals and dangers that may face the new found lovers. Grateful to her savior for saving her, the lass must now learn her new place and that he is now the center of her world. He will train her to know that she is his. He alone will have her. He alone can make her body respond with such desire and he will protect her as is his right. She will learn because he will teach her, she will always belong to Sylvanus, but he will find out she has more then a few things to teach the hardened warrior was well. Can master and slave find love? In this world where only the strongest and most cunning survive, one does what one must. For Sylvanus, this will mean rebuilding his entire life, and protecting that which is his, this is only something a true man can do. They live and they love and they care for theirs.
Some SCA members love celebrating the past and live for their weekends away.. The drumming, the bellydancing, the sword fights, the role playing, which sometimes moves into the bedroom, all of it. And they love their time at gatherings with their friends. The times they recreate are from a past life that was rife with passions and excitement. This is a time when the world was ruled by the sword and the strong arm that wielded it, a time when women cleaved to the men that were their protectors, their Lord and Master. In this time and place, men rule the world and that is what attracts some men to the SCA, others are attracted for varied other reasons, some to experience the past, some women desire to submit fully to the man you have entrusted your life to, be his devoted slave and perhaps more. However, something strange is happening, a Florida SCA site has rumors abounding of missing people. In the midst of horrible electrical storms, some unsuspecting SCAdians will be experiencing their role playing in a very real sense. Hopefully they are prepared for what life will really be like in the past they love so dearly. They will also soon find out that in order to survive, one must have loyal friends, men that they could trust and in turn aid. Those unlucky enough to stumble on that time traveling vortex will find out just what the period of Lords and Ladies has in store for them. All the beauty, the pageantry, the harshest, and most brutal of realities will all be seen. Some of those realities are hard to handle for the faint of heart, so be warned. Not only SCA members stumble into this trap, but so do unsuspecting travelers. Can they find their way together and survive this turbulent trip into the past to create a bright new future? Or will they find their deaths among the hard life they had once craved?
Sylvanus finds that strange people begin to appear on his land, but Lord Sylvanus is brilliant as well as fair, though he must make shrewd decisions.. He must decide if he will help or turn these strangers away. Are they friend or foe? The strangers fear what they will find in the new Lord, but they must do what they must to survive. Can these new found friends work together for the greater good of them all? If that’s possible, how will they then protect themselves from the very real and ever present dangers that will plague them in this strange new world? Ignorance, violence and disease run rampant. Life is not easy and they must learn to adapt and survive together. The travelers strange ways alone can bring down the perils they will face, and they face many in this exciting romp. What type of future could come of the melding of times?
Master Anthony Stevens has proven his mastery! Mr. Stevens has certainly done his homework, I am impressed! If you are a history buff, as I am, there is nothing better then a well thought out and accurate historical backdrop in fiction. His explanation of time travel is one I found to be very interesting and plausible at that, it’s struck a cord. It draws one further into the story. You find yourself wondering if it’s possible, read it and see what I mean. The many characters are all unique and develop in a way that is very touching. The references to the Old Religion are quite accurate and respectfully done; Vixen’s character was particularly fascinating to me as a reader, her emotions are so endearing you can’t help but love the lass. They each bring a nuance to the story that makes it a highly enjoyable read. In particular, Sylvanus is an amazing character and you will find he has many facets that constantly surprise you. He is intensely dominant, his training of his slave is amazingly breathtaking in its intensity and use of light bondage, but the depth of emotion he is capable of was very surprising. That is what makes his character so intriguing. I highly recommend this book if you are a history buff, into the SCA or just love a good time travel. My only warning to readers, is that this is not a fluff read, do not expect a light romp into the past, these themes are adult, thought out, some violent or cruel in their intensity, but their need was nonetheless important to the development of this book. If you prefer substance in your reading and are not a fan of light fluffy reading, this book is a must read. I look forward to many more books from Anthony Stevens, and may I say congratulations to Lyrical Press, Renee and company are well on their way to becoming a success!
Reviewed for PNR, by Stephanie Q. McGrath