Title: The God’s Eye (Lancaster’s Luck Book III)
Author: Anna Butler
Series: Lancaster’s Luck
Necessary to read previous 2 books? Best read in sequence
Category: Steampunk adventure | M/M romance.
eBook Publication Date: 21 January 2020
Publisher: Glass Hat Press © 2020
Editors: Desi Chapman (Blue Ink Editing)
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Internal Art: Margaret Warner
Universal link to digital stores: https://books2read.com/LL3TheGodsEye
Individual Store Links (if you prefer them):
About The Book
Rafe Lancaster is reluctantly settling into his role as the First Heir of House Stravaigor. Trapped by his father’s illness and his new responsibilities, Rafe can’t go with lover Ned Winter to Aegypt for the 1902/03 archaeological digging season. Rafe’s unease at being left behind intensifies when Ned’s fascination with the strange Antikythera mechanism and its intriguing link to the Aegyptian god Thoth has Ned heading south to the remote, unexplored highlands of Abyssinia and the course of the Blue Nile.
Searching for Thoth’s deadly secrets, Ned is out of contact and far from help. When he doesn’t return at Christmas as he promised, everything points to trouble. Rafe is left with a stark choice – abandon his dying father, or risk never seeing Ned again.
About The Series
The Lancaster’s Luck series – which is best read in sequence – charts the adventures of Rafe Lancaster, ex-aeronaut and pilot in Her Britannic Majesty’s Aero Corps. After being shot down and injured in action during the Boer War in 1899, Rafe’s unable to continue as a fighter pilot.
The Gilded Scarab
Returning to London, hard up and looking for a new career, Rafe buys a coffeehouse close to the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury where he meets love of his life, archaeologist and First Heir House Gallowglass, Ned Winter.
The Gilded Scarab was a finalist in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Awards and nominated for the Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2015.
The Jackal’s House
Ned’s excavation at Abydos, Aegypt, faces disruptive tricks and pranks that develop into a real threat to their lives, all seeming orchestrated by the god Anubis. When the life of Ned’s young son is on the line, Rafe carries out a daring rescue attempt and learns the shocking truth about his own heritage.
The Jackal’s House won joint first place for Best Gay Historical Romance in the 2018/19 Rainbow Awards, and joint third place for Best Gay Book.
It was late, and most people in Cairo were sleeping. Not all of them. Outside in the street, a voice said something light and amused as its owner walked past, fading into laughter, and a cart rumbled by with the slow plod of hooves echoing against the midnight quiet.
We weren’t sleeping, either. Not yet even in bed.
Ned slid his hands through my hair and along my jaw, the touch light and caressing. Loving.
The curtains blew apart to let in the moonlight, stirred by a breeze bringing the scent of roses from the Ezbekiah Gardens with a faint underlay of the city’s prevailing tang of camel dung.
Ned’s mouth met mine.
And the world outside our hotel window, the warm, fervid Aegyptian night, vanished away. Its sounds muted into a stillness in which my heart beat a wild tattoo in my chest. The whole universe sharpened to the nucleus that was Ned, and Ned’s hands, and Ned’s kisses.
When Ned drew back and the kisses became the gentle brush of lips against lips, he unbuttoned my evening jacket. He was a most efficient valet. He worked swiftly, slipping the coat from my shoulders while I wrenched away my cravat myself, tossing it over a nearby chair before tugging the hem of my shirt free of my trousers. I smiled at him as I raised my arms, letting him pull the shirt up over them. It joined the jacket on the chair. Hugh would tut-tut in the morning over how creased it was. Not that I cared.
Ned stopped to look at me. His eyes were eclipsed, the greeny-golden hazel a mere corona around his dark, widened pupils, and his breathing was harsher than normal. He licked his lips, his tongue flickering out to pass over their fullness. I bit back the moan the wicked, lascivious sight drew from me. The pure wantonness of it.
Ned gave me a sly little smile and ran his tongue over his lips again. I might have whimpered. I am as affected by beauty as much as the next man.
Our last real night together. The next day I would take them to Hermopolis, and the day after I’d be returning to Cairo alone. The following five months’ worth of nights would be Ned-less, blank and empty. That night in Cairo was to treasure and savour, to be my bulwark against loneliness.
He skimmed his fingers over the skin under my trouser waistband, round from the small of my back and over my hip bone, making me jump and laugh, until he reached the button fly and worked it open. It was good to step out of them, and it was the work of a few seconds to shimmy out of the cotton drawers I wore beneath. Ned watched me, raking his wide, lust-blown gaze up and down.
I licked my lips. “Either I’m underdressed for the occasion or you need to hurry to catch up.”
Ned laughed. He splayed his hand over my chest, fingertips over my thumping heart. “You’re beautiful. And I am overdressed.”
For a man who’d had a valet all his life, Ned was handy at getting out of his clothing in a trice. It was sheer pleasure to watch the swift unveiling of those long limbs and the pale skin which glowed in the soft light of the aether lamps on the table beside the bed. The scar from the accident that killed his wife, jagged and frosty-white, arced around his chest. The sight of it always hurt. Ned could have died that day, and I’d have lived without knowing him. The thought always left me feeling my heart was plummeting through the bottom of my chest. As I often did, I leaned forward to gentle the scar with my mouth and hands. The faint ridges of the damaged skin reassured me. Ned was alive. Loved.
I read the first two books in the series a little over 2 years ago and they were amazing, so I had high expectations for this instalment and I wasn’t disappointed. That said, you need to be aware that the books are better read in order for maximum enjoyment. Still, if you read them a while ago like I did, Ms. Butler was really good about inserting little flashbacks here and there that will trigger your memory.
Rafe is coming into his own as the First Heir of House Stravaigor and dealing with his father’s illness, and fretting over his father’s impending death and what it will mean for him, on top of not being able to join Ned on his latest archaeological expedition to Aegypt. When Ned suddenly disappears, his father contacts Rafe to help find him.
It was great catching up with Ned and Rafe! They’re so well-matched for one another and I love seeing them together. While this is a Steampunk Adventure, it’s still set in Victorian England and everything that entails, which includes that men aren’t supposed to be in a romantic relationship, so while some of their close friends/family/bodyguards know or suspect that they might be together, they still need to hide from everyone. This makes their encounters, the looks they share, even a simple graze of fingers feel more intense and meaningful.
Growing up, I was enamored of Egypt and Archaeology, so getting to experience these adventures with Rafe and Ned has been a delight. This book and the previous ones are so well-written, fast-paced and detailed and full of exciting adventures and enough romance to keep me engaged and captivated until the last page and while I’m not sure if there are going to be more books after this one, I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Rafe and Ned. Highly recommendable!
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
And I’ll just copy/paste my reviews for the first two books in the series here, in case anyone is interested:
Rafe Lancaster is the best pilot in Her Majesty’s Imperial Aero Corps, but after an accident, he’s discharged from service and has to find a new job. He’s part of one of the minor Houses, the Straivagor, but refuses to just play into the House dynamics and ask them for help. Still, he’s forced to ask them for monetary aid when he gets the chance of buying a coffee house he’s been frequenting.
He meets Edward Fairfax at the most elegant molly house in Londonium and the two spend the most wonderful night together. However, Edward is leaving to spend several months on an expedition in Aegypt. When Edward returns, it turns out he’s Ned Winter, the First Heir to Gallowglass, the most powerful house in the Imperium.
I adored Rafe! He’s such a lovable character and the narrator of the series, his voice is just amazing, sarcastic and arrogant (rightly so, too), but charming as all hell. He always seems to land on his feet, even when at first it wouldn’t appear so. I really liked Ned, too, he was really sweet and loyal. And together Rafe and Ned were amazing, complementing each other perfectly, in and out of the bedroom. I adored that despite the unconventional beginning of their relationship, once they met again, Ned insisted on taking things slow and they invested time into getting to know each other and becoming great friends.
This book has a very intricate plot and while not all things were resolved here, there’s another book in which they do. I suggest, if possible, to read them back to back, even if I was left with a huge hangover, it was so worth it.
Anna lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.
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