elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Muffled Drum by Erastes

Knowing (and having read) the previous works by Erastes, I was a little “scared” to start this one: a story about two lovers in the Prussian army during the 1866 war… I was expecting good setting, dark passion and a lot of drama for these two men, and well, the happy end was not a sure thing. But I was wrong. Maybe the author tamed a little her inclination for realistic drama due to the guidelines of the publisher (Carina Press is indeed a romance publisher, and the happy end is one of the sacred rule of the romance), and the result is the same love for a good setting, the same researched and detailed plot but with a little more of happily ever after.

The little different trend is clear from the beginning, when Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann are planning to elope together after one last battle. They are lovers since the day they met in a tavern and even if Mathias wonders how a man of an high social status like Rudolph is willing to share his life with a simple middle class man like him, they are both clearly in love. But the fate decides to make it a little difficult for them and Rudolph suffers from amnesia due to a blow he received in that last battle. He has forgotten the last two years, and so his relationship with Mathias, but he has not forgotten his previous male lover, Ernst, in Berlin. Rudolph is planning to go back to Berlin and to Ernst, and Mathias decides to stay near him, to see if he will regain his memory and with that, their love.

As I said, this novel is way more “light” than expected, and in some point, it sounded almost like a comedy more than drama; Rudolph was not at all a romance hero, on the contrary, sometime he was very much ordinary man, with the related faults: he was easily deceived by a pretty face like Ernst, and even when he realizes that he was manipulated by his same servants, his reaction is “soft”. I had the feeling that Rudolph was a good representative of the aristocracy of the time, maybe a little too used to obtain what he wanted without fighting too much for it. On this regard, Mathias is a little more “active”, and he seems to fight more for their relationship. I have the feeling both of them believed in their love, but I also think there was a good chance for them to not succeed in their common happily ever after due to really stupid obstacles.

I enjoyed Muffled Drum, above all I loved the unexpected “sweet” romance I found.


Amazon Kindle: Muffled Drum
Publisher: Carina Press (July 4, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: erastes, genre: historical, length: novel, review, theme: breeches rippers, theme: cinderfella

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