I started this book expecting the worse. What I found instead, was a very well written historical love story that drew me in from page one. My first impression of Rhys was that he was an arrogant toad with more bravado than good sense. It didn't take long to figure out that he was doing what he had to do to survive a extremely dysfunctional family. And Accolon isn't much better. He's pulled out of his sacred space kicking and screaming.
Accolon has been taught to suppress his sexuality. It broke my heart to watch him struggle with embracing the fact that he was a sexual being; worthy and deserving of love and passion. Rhys, however was an excellent teacher. On the other hand, Rhys has learned that sex is just another weapon, a tool to be used for his pleasure and advancement. Kissing Accolon shakes him on a soul level as he learns there can be more to sex then just sweat and release. The sex between these two is beyond hot. There is lots of it, but it is sprinkled into the plot in all the right places.
What I liked most about these characters is that they were realistic. Neither man suddenly became a hero. Rhys doesn't suddenly become a saint and Accolon doesn't suddenly become a man worthy to be king. I loved the intrigue that was woven throughout the entire story. There were plenty of plot twists and turns to keep me up well pass my bedtime. I really enjoy knowing the identity of the bad guy (or girl), and anticipating how they are going to get busted in the end.
I don't know why The Consort hasn't gotten the attention that it deserves. Ms. Malone is definitely fresh voice within the historical genre and I will definitely look out for her next offering. I highly recommend this book.