Marc reviews ‘Lord of the Forest’ (The Greenwood 3) by Kay Berrisford. This book was published by Loose Id on April 9th, 2013 and is about 210 pages long. The Greenwood series can be read in any order.
I know we should never judge a book by its cover, but I would be lying if I said covers don’t make a difference to me. As a reviewer I see MANY books every day and they tend to blur together. If a cover looks really good, though, it stands apart. I’m a very visual person and when I was preparing for my very first con, the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet 2014 in Bristol, UK, I researched some of the authors I would meet there and hadn’t read yet. The cover of ‘Lord of the Forest’ stood out for me and because I loved it so much, I took the time to read the blurb. Ultimately, I decided to buy the paperback version of the book and got the author to sign it. The book still is one of the nicest looking ones in my collection and I really enjoyed the story as well.
England, 1217. Dark forces are rising.
Under the Greenwood trees, foul spirits grow powerful, and greedy barons plunder the lands.
Only one man dares fight back–Robin Hood.
Robin’s band of brothers is broken. Now a lone warrior, he denies his famous name and laments the friends and lovers he’s lost. When the fair folk capture Cal, a beautiful young forester descended from the Greenwood’s ancient protectors, Robin rescues him and forges a new alliance.
Despite a sizzling attraction, Robin senses Cal isn’t like his old comrades, and he’s right. Cal’s been raised as a royal spy. He plans to seduce and betray Robin, but can’t harm the man he’s falling hard for. Mistrust and arguments spill into passionate lovemaking, as Cal learns the meaning of loyalty, fighting beside Robin, the only friend he’s ever known. Even the enchanted forest seeks to bind Robin and the returned protector ever tighter.
Their connection will be tested by nature’s wildest forces, Robin’s past, Cal’s lies, and in a baron’s darkest dungeon. To survive, Robin and Cal must admit their love and embrace their true destinies. Only then can they save England and each other–and win their happiness ever after.
Although there is a BDSM and fetish warning on Lord of the Forest, Robin and Cal’s is not a traditional D/s BDSM relationship.
There is a small nod to this kind of D/s play in one scene, but that is all. The warning is there because of the kinky nature of the enchanted forest and the rituals and practices this entails, and because of some medieval dungeon scenes. Hope that clarifies everything without giving away too much 🙂
A note on the kink level in the story – Kay Berrisford
This is the first book of the series I’ve read. I don’t usually start in the middle of a series, but even though ‘Lord of the Forest’ is number 3 of the Greenwood books, the stories are independent. Given how much I loved the cover and how much I like Robin Hood, it seemed like a great fit for me. It’s the first book I read by this author, but I had heard of her work before and I’m always eager to discover a new fantasy world.
After I bought the print version of this book, I had the chance to get it signed by the author and to talk to her. She told me that she stayed away from all the well-known media representations of Robin Hood, so her own version of the man was not too influenced by others. She wanted to integrate him into the mythology of her own fantasy world and make him uniquely hers, while still staying true to the legend so many of us know and have grown up with. After reading the book I really think she was successful.
I love that this story begins after the usual Robin Hood stories. All of his friends AND LOVERS are now married and have settled down or are dead. It makes sense to me that among Robin’s brotherhood of thieves, some of the men might have fooled around with each other or Robin. They lived in the forest for long periods of time and were a close-knit team. Still, for most of them it was just friendship and convenience and after all this time with his friends, Robin Hood is alone now.
The story is beautifully written and the author’s prose pulled me right into the tale. Without his Merry Men, Robin felt lonely and sad. A legendary man, who after having seved his purpose in history, doesn’t know what to do with the rest of his life. He is a lost man, but he is still the Robin we know. He is a good man, smart and talented. The author made me feel his emotions and it didn’t take me long until I closed Robin into my heart and wanted him to find happiness and love.
When he tries to help a young man, Cal, there is an instant attraction between them. Robin is used to men he can trust though, and Cal might not have his best interest at heart. He might be good and eager at pleasing Robin sexually, but Cal’s heart is closed off and he is focused on his own survival. It takes longer to warm up to him than to our hero Robin, but the author shows us the perspective of both main characters and I could understand Cal as well and grew to like him.
There is definitely a lot of chemistry between the characters. The sex scenes are burning hot and they are both kind of lost and fit together well.
There are many obstacles in their way, though. Misunderstandings, lies, secrets, betrayal, and outside influences like old enemies, the forest and the fair folk that lives within, Herne, the Hinter and the Greenwood itself. The magic and creatures of the Greenwood are wild, mischievious and fascinating. Kay Berrisford has created a very unique world that is the perfect setting for this story.
Both characters have an important journey ahead of them, full of sex, romance and adventure. I loved that this book is not just about sex, but there is an interesting story, the characters are complex and the fantasy aspects are wild, unexpected and fun. The author builds onto Robin Hood’S mythology and integrates it into the magical, kinky, and gritty world of the Greenwood.
This story might not be for everyone. The magic might be too untamed and wild for some and there is an element of dub con/ non con. I was really surprised by how well the book was written and how much fun I had with it, though. It made me smile, drew me in, had me at the edge of my seat and made it impossible to put away the book.
I highly recommend this book. 🙂
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
My name’s Kay, and I write m/m romance, mainly fantasy and paranormal, with lots of hot sex and a sprinkling of BDSM. I am the author of the Greenwood series – Bound for the Forest, Bound to the Beast, and Lord of the Forest, all published by Loose Id.
These three standalone m/m romances are interlinked by my fantasy version of the English Greenwood, in which all are set. The world is inspired by forest lore, especially the myths and legends of the New Forest, which is near where I live in Hampshire, UK. The Greenwood is a dreamlike world rich with magic, fairies, mystery, sweet and evil spirits, action, fighting, and passionate lovers. I’ve had a lot of fun writing it and I hope you will enjoy exploring it too.
I live with my beloved “other half,” in a very small flat that blesses us on occasion with outbreaks of moths and mould. When we aren’t both madly working, we enjoy drinking wine, visiting castles and gorgeous countryside, and stalking cats and greenfinches. I love cats, but because our home is so small, I have to moggy-share with my parents. My cat, Siena (pictured) lives with them. We also travel a lot. My favorite cities are Melbourne, Venice, and Berlin — plus York and London (I went to uni in the last two.)
I was once okay at tennis and have forgotten how to play the violin and piano. I currently jog — but not very far — and enjoy reading all kinds of romance and long, rambling historical novels big enough to commit murder with.