Review: Golden by RL Mosswood

Reviewed by Ronelle

Elin is golden in a land of tan skin and brown eyes and hair. As such, his life as a harem boy in service to The Dragon was set from a very early age and he’s never known anything else. The only problem is, he’s never seen any appeal to intimacy or sexual acts. Nevertheless, he’s content enough with his life of uncomplicated, if restrictive, luxury… until an unremarkable chore becomes a case of love at first sight.

Mysterious newcomer Hathar, a roguish “merchant adventurer” from far-off lands, ignites an exploration of Elin’s first taste of physical desire, as well as a desire to experience life beyond the palace. Now, they must find a way to escape before Hathar’s ship departs, stranding them forever in The Dragon’s harem.

***

After my first (awkward and uncomfortable and squicky) foray into M/M romance, I swore I’d never read another…and then Golden came through my inbox. With some “I volunteer you as tribute” style encouragement from the other RHB ladies, I decided to give it a try. After all, it only ran about 35k words, so it would be over soon if it was painful.

You guys, I ADORED THIS STORY! I adored it, and I’ll read it again.

I mean it, this will be on my 2017 faves list for sure! It was everything it promised to be and more. Ms. Mosswood presented a world that managed to be beautiful, luxurious, and confining all at once. She focused on the development of Elin and Hathar while allowing those around them to simply be accentuating background noise. The Dragon was both alluring and sinister at the same time and though she didn’t get much page time, her presence enhanced the tension, mystery, and even added a little bit of fear. The idea of a harem full of men for one woman was unique and the reason she collected them was a fun twist on the usual dragon-hoarding thing.

Ms. Mosswood clearly had a good idea of what this story should be and what it shouldn’t. There was enough plot behind the budding romance between Elin and Hathar to keep us hoping for the best without an overabundance of story elements. The contrasts between the sheltered Elin and the world-wise Hathar were stark, but they were sweet together. This was very much a coming-of-age for Elin and while it was uncomfortable for him at times and he was uncertain, I enjoyed watching him come to life and discover himself, his likes, and his dreams. Hathar had a touch of sarcastic wit that had me smiling and rolling my eyes in turn, but he was never over-the-top or cheesy. I loved both these characters and I rooted for them from the first.

I encountered a few missing words, but no pervasive or distracting typos. I tip my proverbial hat to whomever edited this, as they did a superb job.

Bottom line: Golden was simple, sweet, and well written. It never tried to be too many things at once (something that seems to be more and more common in romances) and the pace was spot-on. I highly recommend this and will be eagerly awaiting more by RL Mosswood.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Golden
by RL Mosswood
Release Date: September 27, 2017

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