Monday, May 20, 2013

The Jouster’s Lance

Author: A.J. Marcus
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781623804770
Genre: {M/M}, Contemporary, Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Dale O’Toole makes his living working as a jouster in the Renaissance Faire circuit.  He loves his job and has put a lot of effort into creating his alter ego Diederik, the Demon Duke of Denmark.  When he goes to Colorado to fill in for an injured jouster, Dale does not realize that, while the area is a little more liberal in some ways, it is even more stringent in others.  While he’s willing to compromise a little regarding his character’s name, he’s not willing to give up the budding relationship he seems to have with another faire worker, Austin.

The Jouster’s Lance is the first book in author A.J. Marcus’ new series, A Ren Faire Romance, set at Renaissance Festivals.  The main characters, Dale and Austin, each work at the festival in Colorado but while Dale is a jouster, Austin is lower on the totem pole, working at one of the many shops.  While their jobs at the festival separate them, there is also the fact that Austin is out while Dale is still in the closet.  All this falls by the wayside when these two meet.  Theirs is a relationship that builds slowly even though the attraction between them is hot.  Then there are the outside interferences that both men have to put up with.  While events involving Austin’s ex are more or less predictable, those surrounding one of Dale’s co-workers is surprising. 

Readers will be able to see the author’s knowledge of these festivals, as his vivid descriptions and inner workings of the faires help bring the story alive. The vast variety of characters in The Jouster’s Lance will help keep the reader entertained and left me wondering just how true to life they were. 

This was a fun read and I am curious to see what the author has planned for book two.

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