Lucius is a Roman sailor, or he was before his ship crashed and he found himself ‘rescued’ by Green pirates. Now, he’s nothing more than a slave to be sold. While trying to spare himself the indignity of being a brothel slave or galley slave, Lucius boldly asserts his skills: he speaks Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Phoenician, and Babylonian. He can read and write, do math, and chart the stars. Instead of earning a higher price as secretary or slave of value, Lucius is jeered at and the only two men interested in bidding on him are more the sort to want to break him than make use of him.
Until, suddenly, a one-eyed man tosses a purse of a thousand coins at the slave master’s feet in exchange for Lucius. In that moment, everything changes. No more a slave to the whims of mortal men and their cruelty, Lucius is now in service to the gods, Castor and Pollux. And what is a mortal man to do when he starts falling in love with not one master, but two?
As with The Forest God’s Favor, the first book in the Of Gods and Men series, this story is light, sweet, smutty, and filled with historical tidbits. Castor and Pollux were twins, one born of a mortal father and one of a god, who lived during the days of Heracles, Paris, and, of course, their sister, Helen, also known as Helen of Troy. They fought in battles, journeyed on quests, and when Castor died, Pollux, unwilling to be parted with him, tried to give away his godhood to his brother. Instead, Zeus, their father, split the divine spark between them. Now, they live in the Underworld, semi-divine, yet always apart.
It’s Castor who has the clever idea to bring Lucius into their house, to give his brother a lover, someone who can be with him when Castor can’t, for all that he, too, has feelings for Lucius. Lucius can’t help the love he feels for the bright and charming Pollux, or the feelings he has for the dark and brash Castor, but having made his choice for one twin, he refuses to cheat with the other, which leads to a frank conversation about love, fidelity, devotion, and polyamory. These are Roman demi-gods (for simplicity’s sake) and their feelings on these subjects are not the same as those of many present day mortals. That doesn’t, however, make their love any less heartfelt, or their relationship with Lucius any less romantic.
The historical details and mythological trivia scattered in are so smoothly and so nicely done, the pacing is lightning fast, and the writing is on point. If you enjoyed the first book — which I did — or steamy scenes between very energetic, mythological men, then give this book a try. I have hopes that this series continues because I am really enjoying A.T. Landers’ style and approach to storytelling.