Battle Scars Book I
They embarked on the Crusades as strangers.
They battled through as more than brothers-in-arms.
March 1190. Brimming with the spirit of youth, the idealistic Henry de Grey joins King Richard’s army ready to fight for God’s glory on the battlefield. But after he bloodies his sword and witnesses the slaughter of innocents, he struggles to justify the violent acts he’s committed. Through months of brutal marches and political bickering, Henry finds comfort in the fearless resolve of a brash veteran. But when his feelings of friendship grow into something more, he must put his old convictions through the gauntlet.
Stephan I’Aigle would follow the king anywhere, even into the heart of enemy territory. He takes Henry under his wing, but fears his growing attachment and burning passion could make him lose his fighting edge. Will opening up his heart destroy the knights’ friendship, or leave them both completely defenseless in the heat of battle?
Men of the Cross is medieval historical fiction with elements of an m/m romance. If you like journeys of self-discovery, vivid historical details, and slow-burn chemistry, then you’ll love this tale of the knights who served the Lionheart. Man against man. Man against the elements. Man against his own heart. Survival will depend on more than a strong sword arm.
- 3 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Forbidden Love, Friends to Lovers
Word Count: 99000
Setting: Holy Land; Europe; England
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Meredith on Diverse Reader wrote:
Trauma and passion in a battle of bodies and souls, September 15, 2015
By Christopher Monk
If you want realism and romance, great story and history, then this is a book to enjoy. I admire the skill of Newcomb in creating a believable world of the bloody crusades: she captures brilliantly the twisted ideology of those religious wars whilst also narrating the personal traumas and passions of her main characters. Furthermore, Newcomb is to be congratulated for picking up on a little known detail from the history of sexuality (evidence for formal same-sex unions in medieval Europe), and running with it to create a storyline that is both sensual and sensitive. This is an excellent novel. It certainly kept me sane on a tortuous series of delayed flights back home across the Atlantic to England. I will make sure I have the sequel on my Kindle app on my next trip.
Men of the Cross is book one in Charlene Newcomb's Battle Scars series. Men of the Cross is every historical fan's dream! It's a truly epic adventure. It's war, love, blood, sweat, tears, triumphs, and failures.
This is told in the POV's of Stephan l'Aigle and Sir Henry de Grey, Knights in King Richard the Lionheart's army. They develop a friendship; which in war, so close to so much tragedy, is normal.
Stephan and Henry's love affair isn't an easy one to fold into. Stephan falls hard for Henry. Stephan being gay and Henry being religiously bound; presented moral questions and a tangle of situations.
We deal with so many political and religious battles in this book.. Written within a time when same sex relationships were forbidden. Where such relationships were a fatal crime. That always pulls at my heart. To have love be denied but it being so strong that the lovers involved would rather die than be forced apart *sigh*
When you take Stephan and Henry's personal and professional situations and meld them together, you get a very intense, rich, intoxicating story.
Charlene Newcomb's writing is exemplary. Her grasp on history is breathtaking; add in the fact she created a love story within history... I must applaud her.
This book, in no way, could have been easy to write, even though it's flawless. It was breath-stealing at times to read.
This is a book for everyone. One I highly recommend for those who love literature.