Second, even if it's an historical romance, it's also an erotic romance, so you will find a lot of sex scenes, often in graphic details, but you must be aware of it cause the novel is sold as "erotic historical". So, if you think that your historical romance must be a little bit more chaste than the normal romance, you can find that this one not suit your taste. But if you have no problem with graphic sex, and take the chance to read this one, you will read a quite "classical" historical romance. I want to underline the use of the romance term: historical romance can be very detailed, but they are not "pure" historical novel. The main aspect must be the romance between the heroes (or the hero and the heroine in the old classic) and not the historical details. This doesn't mean that the author is allowed to make mistake in her use of the historical details, sometimes is better not use them other than use them in an improper way. But in The Mercenary's Tale I haven't found apparently mistake, and my taste as old historical romance reader is satisfied.
Drake (who actually is not the name of the character, but his title...) is a renegade son of a duke who makes his life as mercenary. He is on his way to sold his talents to a lord in distress and he meets Ansel, who is following the same path. Ansel is a lot younger than Drake, and eager to learn as much as possible from the older mercenary. Travelling together gives them the chance to deepen their companionship to a upper level: they become lovers, I believe a first time for both of them, even if maybe Drake has felt something for men even before. The relationship with Ansel is a matter of discovery and taken as much pleasure as they can. The night in which Drake can admit he feels something more for Ansel is also the last night they spend together, cause Andel dies in the battlefield.
Even if Drake wants only to loose himself in a drunken stupor and searches the death in battle, he is forced to honor a friendship debt, and to accept the position of Master of Amrs for Logan, a young duke. From the first time he sees the young duke, widow with a son, Drake is again kept by love: Ansel's ghost, who has haunt him for the last years begins to fade, and he can again think to a relationship with a man. Where Ansel was young and eager to rely to the older Drake, Logan is an equal match for Drake.
As I said, there is a lot of sex: not only between the main characters, but also involving some whores here and there, and also other characters (I will not give details to not spoilt the book). Everyone seems taken by Drake, who describes himself like a big man with little to draw other people and with a huge scar on his face. So maybe, what I found strange, is that everyone wants to go to bed with him, women and men alike... It's also true that this is an erotic romance, and that all the people involved in the sex charade are usually people that, in that period, take sex as a way to lessen the stress (fighters) or to gain money (whores).
All in all there are some deeply involving moments and, given that it's a romance, I like the story. Strange to me to say, but maybe I'd have liked it even if there had been less sex.
Amazon: The Mercenary's Tale
Cover Art by Christine M. Griffin