Book Reviews

Lost and Won by Sarah Ann Watts at Silver Publishing

Genre Gay / Historical / 17th Century / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 17-August-2013

Book Blurb

1651: the Battle of Worcester is lost and won. Charles Stuart is a fugitive with a price on his head and Cromwell has the 'crowning mercy' of victory. Philip, a sober, respectable young man, fought bravely for the parliamentary cause and is looking forward to peace at his own hearth.

Francis, his lover and childhood friend, returns to make peace with his dying father and to give back Philip's heart.

Soon Philip finds himself reluctantly sheltering a royalist spy and protecting the witch in his family.

Philip's duty is clear and Francis staked his life on his honour. All he has to do is let Francis go. But how can Francis ask Philip to deliver him to justice?


Book Review

In any war, there are losses—life, property, family, and so much more. Politics often demand choosing between love and honor, often without mercy. This is especially true in a civil war when brothers and friends are divided by loyalty, fight against one another, often severing ties forever. Philip and Francis, childhood friends and lovers, end up on opposite sides and have totally different war-time experiences. Now that the last battle is over, Philip both longs for Francis to come home and fears that he will at the same time. Either outcome carries difficult consequences. So much has happened; could love still survive after such detachment? When Francis does appear, Philip is thrown into a whirlwind of conflicting feelings. Which will prevail? Will it be his love for Francis, or his allegiance to the crown?

When Philip comes back from the war, he is tired in body, mind, and spirit. All he wants is some peace. He thinks about what he's been through, trying to make some sense of it and finding none. He's relieved to be home, but the house which was once the family home, full of activity and life, is now quiet and still. Philip realizes how lonely he is and his thoughts turns to Francis, the love of his life and his greatest disappointment. He's bitter and resentful, but, at the same time, can't seem to stop memories of the good times they had together before the war.  A deep longing fills his soul as he tortures himself with what ifs, but there's no point in that now. He can see only despair and betrayal.

Francis knows he's putting himself and Philip in danger when he decides to stop at his house, especially when he has no idea what Philip's reaction will be. He immediately surrenders to him and asks that Philip turn him in to the authorities. Even though Philip is furious, Francis is humble and contrite, enduring his rants and deferring to his judgment. Francis also wants to be sure Philip is all right. He had to see him once more, for old times' sake. I sometimes wondered what Francis saw in Philip because he seemed so stern and reserved, whereas Francis was so gracious and accessible, but love often overlooks such differences.

This is a bittersweet tale of love hard earned, taking us through hours of longing, angst, and loneliness, but never leaves us without the glimmer of hope. The story is well-written, in the lyrical style of the period giving it more of a feeling of authenticity. I appreciated the impressive historical accuracy which Sarah obviously spent hours of research on in order to obtain the necessary background knowledge. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books about history, war, soldiers, duty, and redeeming love. Thanks, Sarah, for such a moving story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Silver Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 76 pages/16494 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-July-2012
Buy Link