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Lovers' Knot: An M/M Romance [Kindle Edition]

Donald Hardy
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jonathan Williams has inherited Trevaglan Farm from a distant relative. With his best friend, Alayne, in tow, Jonathan returns to the estate to take possession, meet the current staff, and generally learn what it’s like to live as the landed gentry now. He’d only been there once before, fourteen years earlier. But that was a different time, he’s a different person now, determined to put that experience out of his mind and his heart….

The locals agree that Jonathan is indeed different from the lost young man he was that long ago summer, when he arrived at the farm for a stay after his mother died. Back then the hot summer days were filled with sunshine, the nearby ocean, and a new friend, Nat. Jonathan and the farmhand had quickly grown close, Jonathan needing comfort in the wake of his grief, and Nat basking in the peace and love he didn’t have at home.

But that was also a summer of rumors and strange happenings in the surrounding countryside, romantic triangles and wronged lovers. Tempers would flare like a summer lightning storm, and ebb just as quickly. By the summer’s end, one young man was dead, and another haunted for life.

Now Jonathan is determined to start anew. Until he starts seeing the ghost of his former friend everywhere he looks. Until mementos of that summer idyll reappear. Until Alayne’s life is in danger. Until the town’s resident witch tells Jonathan that ghosts are real. And this one is tied to Jonathan unto death…

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald L. Hardy - Cube wrangler by day, rogue author and actor by night - lives in the San Francisco Bay Area aboard a sailboat, with too many books and a conversational Schnauzer named Schultzie. When not on stage or writing, he can be found at many of the Renaissance Faires in the area. Lovers' Knot is his first published novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 502 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0762436859
  • Publisher: Running Press (December 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00355ERPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,437 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! December 31, 2009
I thought this book was wonderful! It's set in a small Cornish village, and there's a gripping plot that involves ghosts and revenge and the return of a demon lover from our hero's past to bedevil him just as he's beginning to nerve himself up to confess his true love to the sunny young gentleman who is his guest at his newly acquired Cornish farmstead. A lovely meaty plot and a lush, evocative setting - banter and obvious ease between the two heroes, and a dangerous sensuality and threat from the lover of the past who is not as dead and gone as everyone might have hoped... It's a real classic of the genre in a similar vein to The Phoenix by Ruth Sims - a serious, literary book, but a delight to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An auspicious debut January 16, 2010
This easily one of the best M/M romances I have read. The plot was inventive, the characters multidimensional, and the writing was extremely engaging. I particularly appreciated that it avoided many of the tiresome cliches of romance novels-- the purple prose, the generic sex scenes, the obvious villain-- as well as most of the tiresome cliches particular to the M/M genre-- the "Seme/Uke" or worldly/naive or buff/frail pairing, the character who thinks he is damaged but can be redeemed by the power of Twu Wuv, the blackmail angle, etc. I was particularly pleased to find characters who felt their fear and pain and needs deeply, but in a masculine, understated fashion. They felt very real to me, and that's a nice change from many of the stock characters readers get stuck with in this genre (and in all genre fiction. which, I suppose, is why they call it genre fiction.)

That said, I had a couple of quibbles that kept me from giving this a 5-star rating, one of which is specific to this book, and one of which is a more general frustration with the M/M genre universally-- so perhaps it's not entirely fair to isolate Mr. Hardy in this.


1) As much as I like supernatural stories, I had a hard time reconciling the supernatural element in this particular story. It was a wonderful historical novel, and so very realistic to me that the ghostly element didn't quite jibe with me. It never felt seamless to me, and I had a difficult time sustaining my disbelief as a result. I would have loved for this to either have had more supernatural elements from the start-- leading, perhaps, to a moodier, more atmospheric piece-- or a straightforward period piece. Mr. Hardy clearly has the talent to do both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching love story January 8, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

I do apologize but I really could not come up with how not to mention it, especially since the blurb about the book mentions the ghost anyway, so maybe it is not a spoiler after all :)

This novel has all that I am looking for in m/m romance - sympathetic and likeable characters, interesting and rather complicated plot and a **love story**.
I was so so pleased that I found this gem. The setting is lovely, the language seems to be authentic to the period (not an expert here, but I love that it does not sound the way we talk today, even if it is not hundred percent true to the era).

I admit that while I did not have it in me to give four stars, because then I would have to give zero starts to so many books, my grade is probably 4.75 stars, because when I read this story for the first time, there was a point in this story when I felt that I was pulled out of the story, I felt that realistic setting and ghost did not really mesh together. I would have much preferred that "reality" of the ghost would have left more to reader's imagination, that maybe he was just part of the character's imagination if that makes sense. But honestly and truly that did not really influenced my enjoyment of the story overall, so maybe it was more my problem than writer's.

Thank you Mr.Hardy and I will certainly be buying your books in the future if you decide to write them.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Getting Better December 18, 2009
By Domus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr.Hardy is a breath of fresh air. I do not do plots, but I do praise them, as well as writing, character development, and command of language. This book deserves a wide-readership among m/m readers. There is so much poor writing, poor plotting, etc. besides sloppy porno out there, that to find some good stories and good writing is wonderful. I wish I could give a 10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dare to be True September 5, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Donald Hardy's debut novel, "Lover's Knot," is a big story, probably big enough for two novels in two time periods. "Lover's Knot" is on one hand the story of Jonathan Williams' first love affair with a hired hand on a family farm in rural England. As an adolescent, Jonathan spends a summer on his cousin's farm where the servants, including Nat, the hired hand, all try to entertain him. As the days wear on, Jonathan begins to experience strange feelings for Nat that ultimately lead to his falling in love and disaster. Fourteen years later, Jonathan, a student, is pictured sharing a London Flat with Alayne Langsford-Knight. In this instance, both roommates experience the illicit feelings that neither knows how to admit or confess to the other.

The pivotal point in this book comes when Jonathan inherits the farm and plans a vacation there and takes along his roommate for company. On the farm, at close quarters and in unfamiliar territory, i.e., rural farming village vs. cosmopolitan London, the odd "feelings" for one another intensify. Neither one can admit the source, but each recognizes the shameful and overwhelming desires that plague them.

An added torture for Jonathan is the farm's -- now HIS farm -- reviving the nightmare of his love for Nat fourteen years previously.

Author Hardy's skill at ever-so-slowly leaking the consciousness of each man's guilty feelings creates a suspense about how they will finally resolve their hidden secrets that are tearing them apart.

In tandem with the current story of the protagonist, Jonathan, is the story of his love for Nat on his first visit to the farm. Engtangled in that, too, is hidden tragedy, suicide, nightmares, and haunting ghosts who follow him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 3 months ago by Richard Suesz
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book of the year!
I feel that I just need to put my emotions to words after having read this one of a kind story. Of course, without addressing the details of the story, it seems impossible to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific.
Donald Hardy's book breaks out of the pack of period M/M stories with a plot that is engaging and surprising. Read more
Published 13 months ago by B Toan
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
What a great book (with a terrible cover). The story was interesting, the characters were vivid, and the writing was really good. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Winship75
5.0 out of 5 stars Untying Secrets
OUR BEDS ARE CROWDED. Our relationships are complex living organs, laden with scar tissue from times past, often relationships past. Read more
Published on July 9, 2011 by Michael DiSchiavi
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
I seldom get excited enough to give ANYTHING 5 stars, but after finishing this most satisfying novel, I really had to. Read more
Published on June 12, 2011 by Savant
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome historical romance with a touch of magic
I won't be able to do this book justice.

A warning: I'm an emotional mess in this period, so I think I was a fertile soil for the visceral feelings this book stirred in... Read more
Published on May 23, 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Writing A+.....Plot...C
I have to say, Mr. Hardy is a terrific writer. Here is someone who KNOWS how to write beautiful prose with believable language and great characters. Read more
Published on April 26, 2011 by SpirituallySpeaking
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I loved this book. I haven't the time to write lengthy reviews but I highly recommend it. I'm looking forward to other works by this author as it is hard to find good reading... Read more
Published on February 28, 2011 by gardeningmae
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I can sum this one up easily enough, with the word excellent. Despite a few gothic trappings and a hint of the supernatural, I'd classify this one as a historical rather than a... Read more
Published on February 13, 2011 by octobercountry
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More About the Author

A San Francisco Bay Area resident for the past eleven years, Donald Hardy lives on an elderly but adorable sailboat with a very conversational Schnauzer named Schultz. He moved from the east coast, where he had lived since childhood, while trapped in the grip of a midlife crisis of Biblical proportions. He is currently considering embarking upon pirate raids on uninhabited islands in the Bay in his free time.

He began writing after moving west and dumping his television, and has gradually expanded his output. He edited Time Space Magic, by Taylor Ellwood, for Immanion Press, and was published in Paws And Reflect by Alyson Press. His first published novel, Lovers' Knot, is being released this fall by Running Press, and he is currently working on a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (with no zombies, thank you very much).

When he isn't writing -- or catering to the demands of Schultz -- he can be found onstage or in rehearsal at the Butterfield 8 theater company in Concord, CA, usually performing in Shakespeare with a twist. On certain weekends, he's an avid Renaissance (Faire) Man -- proving that even when he's offstage, he's onstage.

He has discovered, in the writing of this biography, that speaking of himself in the third person is strangely appealing, and is struggling with his desire to break into the royal first person plural. He fears he may fail, and so will end, lest he offend even more.

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