Chateau d’ Eternite
Title : Chateau d’ Eternite
Author : Ariel Tachna
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Historical
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : March 28, 2013
When Russ Peterson accepts an invitation to an all-expense-paid vacation at a castle in southern France, he doesn’t expect to learn he has the ability to travel through time. For a historian, it’s a dream come true, offering the chance to find answers to the mysteries of the past. But it’s not without risks—to Russ and to the world as he knows it.
After a few short supervised visits, Russ still hasn’t made up his mind about his newfound abilities. Then, on his first extended trip, he meets Quentus Maximus, second in command to the Legate of Nemausus. While learning firsthand about the realities of life in Roman Gaul, Russ is shocked by his reaction to Quentus’s dominant nature. After a week with Quentus, Russ’s vacation is up, and he realizes he wants a chance to see if their relationship can flourish.
Arranging a year-long sabbatical from work to give time to make the decision is easy. Figuring out if he can live with Quentus’s dominant nature long-term, and finding a way to establish a life for himself in Roman Gaul, is an entirely different matter.
Chateau d’Eternité was previously available as a short story, published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2012.
I found this to be a very engaging story of self-discovery and love, set in a journey back in time to the city of Nemausus in Roman Gaul. This story was expanded from an original short.
Russ lives in modern day Tucson and although he enjoys his career as a historian, he leads a fairly lackluster life. When he receives a letter of invitation to be a guest at a French castle, he accepts – and thus starts a journey he could never have foreseen.
When Russ arrives in France at the Chateau d’ Eternite, he meets the caretaker and his soon to be mentor, Bernard. He finds out that he apparently has a genetic mutation that allows for time travel – something that select few have had over the centuries – and that these people are tracked and brought to the Chateau to be told the news and to receive training if they wish to time travel. This design is never really expounded on in the story.
The whole scenario of Russ finding out about his genetic mutation and ability to time travel is handled very quickly, and is accepted with little fuss from Russ. Maybe because he embraces it so fully there is no need for him to thoroughly examine it or to be more afraid of it? The idea of actually seeing and experiencing the history that he has always found so fascinating is more than a little intriguing to him (this reader can relate to that!!). After a “test run” to the seventeenth century (with enlightening results), Russ decides to use a two week leave from his job to try going back to second century Gaul. Russ lands in a forest, literally in the path of a Roman Legatus, Quentus Maximus, who saves Russ from a wounded boar.
Very quickly, and I do mean very, Russ also lands in bed with Quentus, who very much wants to keep him there. There is a definite attraction going on deeper than the explosive sex that the two experience. Russ tells Quentus his name is Rastus, and that he was traveling to Nemausus to seek work, and a new start on life. Quentus does not press for details and they return to the city where Russ ends up being asked by Quentus to stay with him. It’s a no brainer for Russ, he’s falling in love already.
At its heart, this story is Russ’s self- discovery and his journey to a fulfilling life. As the end of the two weeks near, he decides to go back to Tucson for a few days to arrange a one year leave of absence. Russ feels that strongly about his feelings for Quentus, about pursuing life in that time period. He plans to use that year to find out if he has a future by Quentus’ side in Nemausus. Upon his return to Nemausus, Russ quickly finds an ease and a rightness at living there, with being in Quentus’ life, and with being in his bed. They are all things he never came close to achieving in his own time. He sets out to carve his own place in society and to determine just what place he holds in Quentus’ heart.
I really like how the author developed the relationship between Quentus and Russ. Even though they started quickly with sex, there was great care given in exploring the emotional depth and dynamics in the pairing. The on page sex always revealed something deeper about the character’s personas and their relationship. I also appreciate that the author did not fall prey to (what I consider) any stereotypical time travel plot devices. Such as: Will the time travel portal fail; Does the time traveler risk altering something important in the history of the world; Will someone from the past unwittingly transport to the future, etc. etc..
One element did take me out of the story a bit and that was the use of mostly modern English in the dialogue. I suppose it would make for too difficult of a read (or a project) to utilize what would be deemed as period correct speech…. Or maybe I just have recent Spartacus episodes on the brain!! 😀
Recommended, especially if you enjoy historical time settings and two people who are willing to make sacrifices, and work their way together to becoming one.
Rated 4 stars by Dianne