Book Review: The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari by Sarah Black

The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari by Sarah BlackTitle: The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari
Series: The General and the Horse-Lord, Book 2
Author: Sarah Black
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: October 25, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Fresh out of the closet, General John Mitchel and Gabriel Sanchez are settling into their new life together when an old army colleague taps them for a rescue mission to Tunisia. Eli and Daniel, two former Rangers working security, have been arrested in Carthage, charged with blasphemy and thrown into prison.

With rampant unrest in the ancient city and an old enemy targeting them, John gathers a team to liberate the two captive men. When he discovers Eli’s boyhood obsession with Al-Jazari’s Elephant Clock, the rescue becomes complicated and strangely beautiful, and John and Gabriel have to risk what they love the most to bring their team home.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: It’s a rare romance I enjoy with no sex in it but these characters are so compelling and their emotional connection so strong that this book was one.

The Set Up: Retired General John Mitchel and his life-long lover Gabriel Sanchez are settling into life as a couple when they’re asked to lead a rescue mission in Tunisia. John and Gabriel agree to rescue the two kidnapped men but their mission gets more complicated when new team members arrive in Tunisia, along with an enemy from their military past.

Why I Read this Book: I really liked book one in this series (my review) and was so excited for this book.

What I Liked: John and Gabriel have a palpable emotional connection and it leaps off the page. They comfort each other and provide the emotional support for the other without being asked. They are emotionally wide open to each other and I love this as a romance reader. For instance, when Gabriel learns his teenage son was being recruited by a gang, John jumps to action getting Gabriel organized for a trip to see his son and becomes his port in the emotional storm while Gabriel’s guilt batters him. The men poetically tell each other how they feel about wanting a lifetime together and even go so far as to talk about how they want to die together. Might some readers feel this over the top? Maybe but I loved it!

What I Also Liked: Another beauty of book one that was carried over into this novel are the cast of characters that John and Gabriel nurture and help. John’s genius but quirky nephew, Kim, returns along with his boyfriend, Abdullah. Kim’s zest for life is infectious as he forces John to shop for new clothes and then helps concoct a plan to get out of Tunisia safely.  The young men held captive in Tunisia along with the soldiers who help John and Gabriel rescue them become a family in this novel. Even Jen, the daughter of another General and political activist, becomes part of the military team and by extension, family. I loved watching all these relationships unfold and develop. This also provides opportunity for John and Gabriel’s relationships with Kim and others to grow as they see the young people not as children to protect but contributing members of their team.

The plot of how the team gets out of Tunisia was interesting and had plenty of action too. I liked watching all these quirky and unique characters work together toward a common goal. I have no idea how accurate all the details are of Tunisia or the inventor Al-Jazari but I so enjoyed them.

What I Didn’t Like: As much as I loved these characters, John and Gabriel’s physical relationship is most definitely fade to black. They kiss and hug often enough but as to sex, all I get is they “make love”. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss sexy times but I could look past it and enjoy the novel anyway.

IMO: The General and the Elephant Clock of Al-Jazari has great characters and even better relationships, just don’t expect any sex and you won’t be disappointed.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

Add to Goodreads  |  Buy on Amazon

About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.