ARC from Carina Press on NetGalley2.5 stars
This was OK, but not great. The writing style was good, and I was immediately intrigued by Conrad and Tom. The tension between them was built right off the bat and I couldn't wait to see how things would finally come to a head. Unfortunately, after that, I felt like it lacked some depth. Once they finally got down to it, I didn't feel as much of a connection as I wanted to. That first sex scene was just sort of meh. And although, given Conrad's concerns about Hell (indicating he had never been with a man before), neither him nor Tom seemed at all unsure or hesitant and just got right down to it. At that point the story did take some twists that I didn't expect, and I appreciated the unexpected plot twists. Unfortunately, I ended up skimming through most of it so that I could find out what happened to the characters without trudging through some of the flowery descriptions of landscapes, etc. I did like the overall message of the story, and appreciated that it was (for the most part, and as much as can be expected) historically accurate. And in the end, it left me with a smile on my face.