1) The main character, Rath, was suddenly on the line for his father's debts from the biggest crime boss, the Friar. His normal jobs would never pay him enough in time to cancel the debt. Urged to join the Tournament of Losers, or it's proper name, The Tournament of Charlet, he decides he will get to the part where he gets the stipend to help pay for expenses while in the competition, then lose, dropout, and go back to a life on the docks and the whorehouses. Ms. Derr's easy writing style made this for a delightful read. I was with her characters the whole time as well as the time and place; they were believable and plausible. The richness of the descriptions and the real dialog pulled me through until I realized, when I finished, it was nearly two in the morning. While there is no descriptive sex in the book; this was a romance, and there were ways to show affection other than the standard tab A into slot B writing. I found I did not miss it. How Rath felt the next day while trying to go about his work was sufficient, and was a great way to move the story forward. Thank you for allowing me to read this novel.
2) I absolutely adored everything about this story, from characters to the premise of the plot.
3) The author has written a perfect romantic fantasy story. The world was immediately real, well described, and all the elements seemed believable to me. There was just enough angst to keep the plot moving, but never too much you were overwhelmed with a need for tissues. The characters are perfect; the romance between Rath and Teric is slow-burn and with a gorgeous ending. I wanted them to get together, even though at times it felt they never would. The author's style is easy to read but surprisingly profound, and I would gladly read anything else she cares to share with us.
Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Less Than Three Press (November 22, 2015)
Amazon: Tournament of Losers
Amazon Kindle: Tournament of Losers
All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father's latest debt, Rath doesn't know what to do. There's no way to come up with so much money in so little time. Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father's debt. All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it's back to trying to live a quiet life...
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