Thanksgiving 2010 will be remembered as special in more than one way for me, thanks to a pair of reviewers at Diana's Forbidden Bookshelf.... http://www.theforbiddenbookshelf.com/
Eostre's Hare is one of the most original erotic romances I've read this year. It's a historical menage story based on the origin of the Easter Bunny. Set in early 7th century Britain during a time of conflict between paganism and Christianity, the story begins as Gareth, a young man studying to become a monk, rescues a 15-year old abused orphan called Gwas. Gwas, which means servant, was raised in seclusion by a group of women who despised him because his birth was the result of a rape of one of their sisters.
Gwas is immediately drawn to his beautiful rescuer. Gareth renames him Harey and takes him to live in his brother's kingdom where they intend to make him a sacrifice to the goddess of spring, Eostre (from where we get the word "Easter".) Harey lives with Gareth's lover Maura, and he becomes her protector when Gareth is away at the monastery. Gareth is torn between a life as a monk of the new religion or embracing the old ways. Both Maura and Harey love Gareth, and as time passes they long for the day he will return to them. When religious turmoil brings tragedy upon them, they suddenly see clearly what is most important in their lives.
When I started reading this book, I simply did not know what to expect from a historical erotic romance inspired by the origin of colored eggs and bunnies in springtime. It took me a few chapters to get into, but overall it was an enjoyable, unique and sensual story. Throughout the story, homoerotic overtones are prevalent as the relationship builds between Gareth and Harey, though they never truly act on their passion without Maura present. The characters were well written, and it was obvious the three of them cared deeply for each other. And the grand finale menage scene was very hot! What I loved most was the author's take on how and why the first Easter baskets filled with eggs were hidden in the spring. It's something I've not thought much about, but now I'm curious to learn more!
When I started writing Harey's story, I didn't know what to expect either. My first historic romance,first M/M/F, and yippee, my second review for EH was as sweet as the first.