Book Reviews

Poison Marked (2017 Advent Calendar - Stocking Stuffers) by TJ Nichols at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Royalty/Nobility / Assassins/Mercenaries / Romance / Holiday / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-December-2017

Book Blurb

Kill his lover or disobey his king and instigate civil war?


As the feared court poison master, Nikko is sworn to do as his king bids. As the lover of the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas, Nikko must hide his affection or risk being labeled a traitor and punished. A former thief who clawed his way into the palace from the filthy streets, Nikko longs to be deserving of Rodas’s love.


A respected war hero, Rodas is in a delicate political situation. He is not the kingdom’s natural heir, though many support his claim over the wastrel, Prince Fortin. The last thing Rodas wants is war. His highest ambition is for Nikko to openly wear the jewels he’s bestowed on him as a public declaration of their love.


Neither man is prepared for the king to order Nikko to poison Rodas during the solstice feast or for the deadly intrigue they’re plunged into, which exposes their affair and rocks the foundations of the kingdom.



A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."

Book Review

“I know of only one duty, and that is to love.” ~ Albert Camus

Nikkos, of 'Poison Marked' by TJ Nichols, is in a precarious position of epic proportions. He loves, Rodas, the king's nephew, more than life. They long to be together publicly, but they have had to keep their love a secret for three years because of their positions in the king's court. Hiding their love is torture but, somehow, they manage.

Prince Fortin is jealous of Rodas's popularity, but gambles and carouses, and gorges himself on food rather doing anything that could earn the respect of the people like Rodas has. Leadership under Fortin would be disastrous, and when he orders Nikkos to kill Rodas during the Winter Solstice, Nikkos is shocked and alarmed. This order boggles his mind, but he knows that refusing the king's orders, even showing reluctance, means certain death for him and his lover.

Nikkos wracks his brain to think of a solution that will both poison him and save his lover's life at the same time difficult, even for a poison master. Nikkos has a vast knowledge of concoctions that, depending on the desired results, can heal or kill. His challenge is to find one that will do both.

This is a unique and intriguing holiday story; it is filled with action, political intrigue, forbidden love, and loyalty. Rodas is an awesome character, and so is Nikkos. Prince Fortin is as deliciously detestable as Nikkos and Rodas are honorable. Thanks, TJ, for the different, exciting Solstice adventure.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 56 pages/18183 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link