From (part of) the blurb:
Jay Starre offers up a raunchy, non-stop feast of lusty medieval adventures in his new book EROTIC TALES OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR. A prolific wizard of the gay erotic short story, Starre has written twenty tales of nasty Knights in the middle ages as they battle and debauch their way through the Latin Kingdom of the thirteenth century Holy Land. Every page sizzles with unabashed hot gay eroticism. The erotic tales are intertwined with a back story of bondage, respect, discipline and servitude.
Review by Erastes
And that sort of sums it up I’m afraid. It’s hard for me to review this as a book within the genre because as a gay book it passes – there is more than enough gay sex here to please a regiment of gay men – but as a work of historical fiction it means almost nothing at all.
I’m informed by research and by more knowledgable friends that it’s perfectly possible that homosexual behaviour occurred in the Order – always the way when large groups of men are kept in together in “celibate conditions” – but there were strict rules against it within the Order (and of course in law of the the land). In fact I’m told that even showing yourself naked in the dormitory was against Order law. As my Templar expert says “…allegedly so they would be militarily prepared, but the source I read figured it was also to prevent the occasion of sin). You don’t make rules if there’s no behavior to legislate against.”
Having sex with a woman caused a Brother to have his worldly good (habit, weapons and horse) confiscated – but sodomy was punishable by expulsion.
The book itself is twenty short stories, loosely linked by character and plot – all porn filled. The stories are progressive in their porn too, and they don’t start soft – you’d expect the first story to perhaps have a blow-job, move up to anal in the second and so on – but here we start with fisting in the first, and they get gradually harder from there on in. BDSM features prominently in a lot of the stories, gang “dubious consent”, and a great deal of ye anciente objecte insertione. Hot they are. Historical? Perhaps. A new category, perhaps – rather than wallpaper historical, this is wallpaper historical porn. Frankly I can’t see the point of them wearing surplices or armour in the first place as they aren’t in them long enough to worry which century they are stripping off in.
The language has a tendancy to be giggleworthy rather than erotic though at times, because there are phrases such as “take it like a Templar” which caused me to nearly choke with laughter. As my Templar expert says: What does that mean? At prayer eight times a day? On a horse?
So really, it’s a big shame because of the lack of novels in this genre, and also because STARbooks have made a specific call for gay historical fiction – and they point this particular book out for prospective readers to use as an example of the sort of thing they are looking for.
It’s perfectly possible for gay historical novels to be erotic whilst still holding on to the period and having a strong plot and there have been many books that have ably illustrated this. But I’m afraid that this, other than being a quite effective wank book, didn’t give me any insight into the Order, the Crusades, or the era at all. But – for those who want to dream of a lusty Templar rogering you with a Saracen dildo, this is the book for you. For me, all I could think of as an alternative title was. Shagalot.
Shagalot by T J Pennington
A law was made a distant moon ago here
Medieval tales must always be quite hot
And not a single person says, “Go slow, dear
Vanilla is forbidden–it’s too boring
The readers much prefer kinks (and a lot)
Forget the plot–the characters are scoring
Each serf wears but the skimpiest of tunics
each Arab has a dildo, crystal clear
In short, there’s simply not; A more orgasmic spot
For harlots, knights and eunuchs than here