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REVIEW: Trench Warfare – Fiona Glass

Trench Warfare

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

“What happened, anyway?” “Simple. I fell in.”

County archaeologist Steve Saunders desperately wants his latest dig to be a success. Too many people think he’s too young for the job, and besides, the chance to track down the town’s missing priory is too good to miss.

But the dig seems to be jinxed. The weather’s awful, the clients want the land back to build an apartment block, and the clients’ representative tries every dodgy trick in the book. On top of that there’s a strange, unfriendly atmosphere about the place. Could that be why the priory disappeared so thoroughly? And what’s the link to the unusual stairs Steve’s assistant Jon finds in the cloister trench?

Throughout everything, Jon proves to be an invaluable support. But when he tries a trick of his own, he sets off a chain of events that lead to a result nobody, least of all Steve, expects.

This sweet, no-sex romance was inspired by my short story of the same name which originally appeared in Forbidden Fruit magazine.

The Review

Steve Saunders is the County Archaeologist for Historic England. There’s much controversy about his age, how he got the position and if he really has the fortitude to prove himself. 

Besides the controversies, the weather has also been a factor in his current dig. His clients are the Spragges brothers, Michael and Angelo. The Spragges own the land that the dig is taking place on, and Steve is getting lots of pressure from Paul Merchant, the Spragges hired Land and Acquisitions Director. Steve has a little crush on Paul, but under the law, Steve, as County Archaeologist, cannot rush through or falsify the artifact finds at the dig.

Steve also has a secret about his time in Malta, and a man named Sven.

Jonathan “Jon” Easton is an archaeological excavator.  He’s has worked side-by-side with Steve many times before, and they consider each other friends. Jon has often asked Steve to the local pub – Barley Mow. Even though Steve would like to go, he’s turned Jon down.

Jon wants so much for Steve, and he want’s this dig to be a success. He would do anything to help. One thing Jon knows for sure, though – he doesn’t like Paul Merchant. He has his reasons.   

Paul offers help to Steve, sending him two volunteers, Heather and Jerry. They raise suspicions.

And  Jon, in a thoughtless moment, comes up with a plan that backfires on him, and could end up destroying Steve.

The dig has uncovered artifacts of St. Lukes monastery which apparently disappeared during Henry VIII dissolution of the 1500’s. Steve is well aware of the eerie stories, and believes there’s a jinx surrounding St. Lukes and the land it occupied. As Jon makes a very eerie and amazing discovery, Steve and Jon make some amazing discoveries about each other.

Fiona Glass’s latest is a slow-burn, angsty, paranormal, archaeological mystery tale set in England. But “Trench Warfare” is not without suspense too, and some very eerie moments!

The writing has a strong British flare. I really liked the wording and phrases that she uses throughout the story to evoke the local scene. 

The the story is presented in two points of view – Steve and Jon – along with separate extracts from Jon’s personal journal. it’s a format that serves the story well.

The secondary characters are likable too: the Flowerpot men, Bill and Ben, who have a small part but are very stand up blokes; and June Southworth, who’s also a County Archaeologist, has a small important part in the mystery.  Of course, there are also several suspicious characters.

I highly recommend this entertaining read, with a touch of romance and the paranormal.  If this becomes a series, I can envision Steve and Jon getting into all types of situations. I’d read them all! 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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