(Make sure you read to the end to see some questions answered by the author!)
A few years ago, I stumbled across a book with a blood red cover and an LGBT+ sticker on it. Back then the book was only on wattpad, one of my favorite serial sites to read on. It kept popping up in my newsfeed (back when wattpad still had a newsfeed). People I followed kept voting and commenting and adding it to reading lists. The cover was pretty and I love a short, cryptic title.
I gave the book a click. The description pulled me in right away. I love medieval books. Anything set in a castle is a total win.
The main character Meya drew me in right away. Due to tragic events, she is taken from the only life she has ever known and finds herself serving a mysterious lord in a creepy, gothic castle. There are all kinds of murmurs and rumors about Lord Deminas.
I binged this book so quickly and even went back to reread it. Now that the book has been published by Gurt Dog Press, I have a beautiful red paperback on my romance bookshelf. It is so soo good. I know I’m a little late with my Pride Month recommendation, but it is this book. Especially if you love gothic romance.
This book was confusing in the best way. Almost the entire time I was reading it, I was like “Is this a horror or a romance?” Shimaira blends the two genres so seamlessly. Despite the dark themes in the book (cannibalism, murder, and vampires, just to name a few), the romance is quite touching. There’s no non-con. You know I wouldn’t be praising a book with non-con. There is, however, a lot of consensual smut. There are some steamy bath scenes that come to mind.
I loved reading about Meya’s relationships with Lord Deminas and Nina. This was the first polyamorous romance I’ve ever read, and as someone who is monogamous, I was a little confused at first by the love triangle that suddenly…wasn’t a love triangle. It was interesting to read about a relationship dynamic that I haven’t experienced myself. Plus the two different love interests each had their own energy and vibe with Meya. Nina was this sweet confidante while Lord Deminas was stoic, imposing, and masculine. Nina and Meya had more of a friendship that blossomed into romance, while with Lord Deminas, it’s clear the fear is part of the titillation for Meya. She’s intimidated by him and this adds to the sexual tension.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers, because this is such an awesome read and I want people to experience it for themselves. I’ll just briefly mention some of my favorite parts of the book:
-Meya cooking and tasting human flesh
-The dead girl on the rocks below Lord Deminas’ window that Meya dumbs dirty water on when she’s done cleaning
-The sexy bath scenes with Lord Deminas
-Meya cleaning Lord Deminas’ room naked while he watches
-That first kiss scene with Nina
There’s so much more I could get into. I’ll just leave it off with this, if you like polyamorous romance, gothic romance, vampires, and smut, you’ll love this book.
This remains one of my most-loved 5 star reads, even years after reading it.
You can check out ‘My Lord’ here!
Emily Hurricane and I teamed up to write our reviews concurrently and we asked Shimaira a couple of questions.
Your publisher specializes in LGBT+ authors. Since it’s Pride Month, can you shout out some other Gurt Dog Press LGBTQ+ authors and tell us a little about their stories?
Anna Kirchner’s LITTLE BLACK BIRD is YA urban fantasy set in Poland featuring Polish folklore, amazing friendships, and has ace/questioning rep. I’m seeing it making quite the rounds on bookstagram
April-Jane Rowan’s BENEATH A BETHEL is a queer horror fantasy novella, set in a frigid fantasy land with non-humans (they got fur & tails). Upon coming of age, their teeth are pulled & they get magical dentures instead. The story is very graphic & has amazing worldbuilding (like tea that makes you feel emotions). Also, April’s writing style is just beautiful ♡♡
Claire Olivia Golden’s UNRAVELED is a sapphic urban fantasy with fae and a cursed crochet shawl. It has OCD and mental illness rep — own voices — and it’s just so good ♡ as a bonus, it also features the crochet pattern at the back so you can make your own (not) cursed shawl
A.L. Haringrey’s A CURE FOR HUMANITY is another queer urban fantasy, where some humans have evolved into vampires and werewolves, but the humans are suppressing them with (gruesome) tech. It’s a very inventive take and features some really nice worldbuilding (like candied bloodclots for the vamps). Also fun fact: this story used to be on wattpad too
D.B McKenzie’s BLOOD WORTH is… a queer mystery urban fantasy… horror? It’s hard to put this one in a genre box. I had expected there to be vampires but NOPE, this book is a lot more unique and just so good. Another great mental illness rep and what I also loved: no romance! Just an awesome friendship
Alexandra Beaumont’s TESTAMENT OF THE STARS is a sapphic dark fantasy featuring celestial “magic” (they (ab)use fallen stars) and delicious worldbuilding. It deals with political/civil war and it’s a real rollercoaster ♡ I still want to live in one of the cities of that book
Nem Rowan’s THE RUINER is Gurt Dog’s latest release. It’s a queer thriller romance about a trans MC who gets stalked… and it’s so well done ♡ the setting is kinky with a BDSM club, it’s own voices, I shipped the achillean romance so hard it hurt, and the stalker was truly horrific & terrifying.
Emily and I also asked Shimaira, “Can you tell us a little about the LGBTQ+ representation in My Lord?”
But to read that answer, you’ll have to check out the companion post on Emily’s blog! Link here