Jimothy Redwing is a wandering minstrel, he walks from town to town gaining his foods with music and songs and delivering letters, both written than spoken. It's quite an idea this one of a minstrel that, other than memorizing songs, memorizes also the letters of who is unable to write... there is some historical expert among my friends who can tell me if this is a fictional detail or is actually a true thing? I have never found it in any other historical romance I read, but it seems to me quite a good idea and it sounds so real.
Anyway Jimothy is travelling from one city to another to bring some important letters, one in particular to the lanmere of the city (something similar to a mistress of the land). During the journey he meets Ricky, a man who, on the contrary of him, travels by horse and who is so kind to offer him a pass. And since Ricky is rather comfortable around the land, they manage to spend the night in a waycabin, one of a series of cabins that the late landmere built all around the country to host wandering travellers (another quite good idea...).
Alone in the cabin Jimothy finds that Ricky and him have something in common, they both prefer the company of men, and they spend a lovely night together; Ricky actually is a very friendly and sexy man, with an easy smile and an easy "behaviour"... I don't want to say that he is a bit of a "butterfly", but yes, he is not shy in matter of sex; our poor minstrel could do very little to go away with his intact virtue, if he even wanted it.
But when the day after they arrive to the city, Jimothy finds that Ricky is not exactly who he told him to be, and an unknown enemy is not so glad to see Ricky gangs up with a common and simple wandering minstrel. Ricky discovers also that he is unable to move on Jimothy like he had with his other passing flings, Jimothy becomes more and more important every day they spend together. But Jimothy is a wandering minstrel, and what would happen to the wandering part of his work if he chooses to stop and love a man?
The suspence part of the story, the unknown enemy, is not very mysterious, and for me it's not the main interest of the story. I like a lot the fiction world the author created, with all the details and the supporting characters. It's a joy to read every single aspect, carefully carved till the single shop sign on the street. Also the two characters are nice, probably I prefer Ricky, I always prefer the bratty ones.
The story is long but not boring. The love is sexy and joyful, there is a lot of sex but it's not too much, probably since the book is long and so it seems not like the two are only and ever in bed. Also the ending is of the right mood of all the story, not quite so granted as you can expected. This is for me a very good start for an author who tried her hands on a new genre.
Amazon Kindle: The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing
Amazon: The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing
Cover Art by Anne Cain