Men of the Cross

Battle Scars Book I

by Charlene Newcomb

Men of the Cross - Charlene Newcomb
Part of the Battle Scars series:
Editions:Kindle: $ 3.99 USD
Pages: 355
ISBN: 0692205942
Pages: 355

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.

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
Reviews:Christopher Monk on Amazon 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.

Meredith on Diverse Reader wrote:

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.

About the Author

Char lives in Kansas and spends most of her time at the library. She wishes she was there strictly to pursue research for her fiction, but alas, the library is her day job. Char's writing roots are in science fiction. Since the mid 1990s, she has published numerous short stories in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, including "A Certain Point of View," in Star Wars: Tales from the Empire. She published her first novel in 2012, and recently finished a historical fiction series filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart in the late 12th century. Men of the Cross, For King and Country, and Swords of the King (Battle Scars I - III) are B.R.A.G. Medallion honorees. King is an HNS Editor's Choice, a finalist in the 2016 Chaucer Awards for pre-1750 Historical Fiction, (Swords was shortlisted for the award in 2018), and King received an honorable mention in the Writer's Digest Self-Published Ebooks Awards. Char is a blog editor for English Historical Fiction Authors and researching/plotting a medieval novel set at the end of King John's reign (featuring characters from Battle Scars). She is currently revising the 2nd draft of Echoes of the Storm, a sci fi/space opera she plans to publish in 2020.

1 thought on “Men of the Cross”

  1. Charlene,
    You don’t know me from Adam, but I’m a fellow author who, for the first time, was entering details of a couple of his books on this site tonight. As I was previewing the results, I looked to the right and there was the cover of your book “Men of the Cross”.
    i was curious, someone else had written a novel about Crusaders,probably gay Crusaders. Now more curious, I read the blurb – the Third Crusade, two English knights who fall in love and fight for Richard the Lionheart. I’m reading the excerpt.
    I have a novel with the same theme and two similar young men – “Red Knight Rising”. I haven’t entered the details on here yet, but I am intrigued by the similarities and wanted to send you a note. Now I’ll have to get a copy.

    Alex Ironrod [no, it isn’t my legal last name] –


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