What happens when an innocent, natural soul is thrown together with a highly attractive but morally corrupt young man?
STAG HEART tells the intertwined story of three men.
~A scholar-warrior seeking inner peace in an often brutal world.
~The bad boy son of a king who needs to learn to become a man.
~An innocent, a wilding whose soul stirs in rhythm with raw nature.
These three are forced by circumstance to live and learn and finally survive together on Ireland’s sacred Hill of Tara, where mischief and mayhem lie hidden by ancient stones.
An M/M historical romance fantasy-adventure set in The Iron Warrior novel universe.
- 3 To Be Read lists
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Adopted Child, Cultural Differences, Famous / Royalty in Disguise, Forbidden Love, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Second Chances, Villain to Hero
Word Count: 46328
Setting: Hill of Tara, ancient Ireland; warrior's circle, stone of destiny
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
From Chapter 7, "Tip of the Arrow"
“Reveal yourself or die.”
He spoke softly. “Fergus, it is Oisean.”
He heard a surprised intake of breath.
“Dub’s, ah, brother? Why are you here?”
“May I come closer?”
He could just see Fergus by the dim light of the oil lamp several paces away. He was sitting on the edge of his “bed,” his sleep-place, his eyes straining into the shadows, trying to see him.
“Close, yes. I want you to.”
So he stepped near, the space of two hands away.
“I… Sorry to upset you. Could not sleep. Wanted…to speak with you.”
“Sit here beside me.”
“As I…sit on bench? Floor is better.”
“If we are going to talk, my friend, let us be within touching distance at least.”
“Touch?” He was suddenly afraid. Not of being hurt. He was afraid his shaking thighs would betray his deep interest.READ MORE
“Only if we want to.”
He sat with great care, so close he could smell the warmth of the man’s breath. In the uncertain light, Fergus’ eyes seemed to dance and play, pebbles in a stream bed.
“My language…not good.”
“Your language is music.”
The words washed over him, fresh and light, welcome as pure, clean water.
“Today, in the circle of warriors, you talk with your eyes. You make me lose the fight.”
Fergus laughed, a sound to make his heart feel too large for his tunic.
“You heard what I said in my thoughts? That I want to lie with you?”
“What is lie with you?”
Again the stranger laughed. “It means you make my whole body come alive. I want to fuck you. Have you ever fucked another man?”
“I do not know this word fuck.”
“May I touch your face while we talk?”
He hesitated. What could be wrong with being touched there?
Fergus put one finger on his mouth and let it follow the shape of his lips, very slow.
“Your mouth is meant to be kissed.”
And then he slid the finger inside.
“My tongue could be right here. Would you like that?”
“I like what you are doing. But—”
Fergus stopped his words with his soft lips. It was a very fast touch before he pulled his face back into the shadows, but it sent fire straight to his groin.
“Did you like that?”
“I feel it…everywhere.”
The laughter came again. “Even in your toes?”
“What did you want to tell me, Oisean, that we could not say in front of other people?”
“To tell you… Happy. You make me happy. But you are sad. Why?”
“Your brother and I are not on the same path, darling man.”
“He wants to change me, make me something I am not. He wants me to stay away from you. I am a…how can I say it…a man of peace. Not a warrior. I like my wine, my pleasures. Most assuredly, handsome one, I am not a man who feels at ease with another bata. I already carry one between my legs.”
Fergus took his hand and placed it on his crotch. It was flint-hard. Confused, Oisean withdrew his hand very fast.
“Now you understand. You make me hard. And yet weak as a baby.”
He stood up before this bold man could seize his own bod, long and hard as his knife.
“Will you visit me again?”
“Not…sure. Dub says—”
“He says we are warriors, not lovers. But can we not also love each other? Where is the harm in that?”
“I…think about it, Fergus. Thank you for…for teach me something very good.” He turned and fled from the chamber,COLLAPSE
"Bo"" on Goodreads wrote:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not To Be Missed
April 15, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a tale of raw beauty, capturing 5th century Ireland at its best--and its worst. It tells the tale of three very different men who depend on each other through trial and test on the Hill Of Tara.
I'm not one for giving details of things I read, but this book is one of Ms. O'Quinn's best, and that in itself speaks volumes. This book will hold you from beginning to end in the web of beautiful language that she weaves here. The imagery is fantastic.
One important detail--you should read the short forward. This will help with the pronunciation of names.
Superb in Every Sense
The book promo will tell you a lot, but there is something missing, and that's a fourth character, Dub's 14-year-old son Duane who rounds out a family of three superbly drawn characters whose lives change dramatically when an interloper named Fergus shows up.
The lanky ginger haired Fergus is a young man-loving rogue son of King Leary (to whom Dub is counselor) who catalyzes a tale that's an intricately--but delicately--woven exposition of scholarship and military training punctuated by a romance so sweetly developed that this whole fantasy seems as real as if it were happening today.
We have met Oisean (the Stag Heart on the cover) before, in the brilliantly devised Iron Warrior series. Now we know who he is, why he left Tara and why he's back, and how he and Dub bond as brothers (in-law), and how he and Fergus fall in lust, and eventually in love.
What is exceptional in this book is that as sometimes violent and wildly sexual each of the other Iron Warrior books were, this one is almost peaceful (but not without treachery) and deeply spiritual in its carnal development until late in the book. That is as it should be in a novel which is historical, intellectual, and deeply passionate in scope.
Erin O'Quinn's works are not to be rushed through, even if most of them are just beyond what might be called novella length. That's because her language is so rich, and her intent to enwrap the reader in the arms of her strong--and at the same time gentle--men, is so overwhelming that you savor the words and imagine how it would be like if you were around them then.
Wish I'd been.
Please note that this novel is a continuation of The Iron Warrior series, the sequel to Warrior, Come Again.
Other tropes important to the story: nature boy, martial arts, mentor, conspiracy of killers