Winter Bees by E.E. Ottoman ~ Book Review by Beverley

Winter Bees is third in E.E.Ottoman’s ‘Mechanical Universe’, although they can all be read as standalone stories. This is my first book by this author…

Winter Bees Title: Winter Bees

Author: E.E. Ottoman

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Cover Artist: Aisha Akeju

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars


Lord Marcel de la Mont de Anges, the Marquis de Montespan is a brilliant mathematician, member of the mechanical animation movement and all around dandy. He’s been in love with shy, quiet entomologist and youngest member of the royal family, Prince Gilbert André XVI, since they were children. The Emperor’s plans to arrange a marriage between Marcel and Gilbert should have been the answer to all his secret fantasies.

But Gilbert is still reeling from a nasty breakup, and he cannot picture the man he regards as a brother becoming his lover. The order to marry has thrown their relationship into disorder, and if they cannot sort out the changes there may not even be a friendship left for them to save…

Beverley’s View:

The first thing I will note is that Winter Bees is a true ‘old school’ romance, and although set in a ‘steampunk’ universe that plays little part in this novella, as the themes are timeless. The covers in this series are likewise ‘old school’ romance and perfect for the world E.E. Ottoman has created.

In a world where same sex marriage is just ‘marriage’, two boyhood friends are chosen by their parents to marry each other. Arranged marriage is not a cultural part of this world, but this concerns a Marquis, Marcel and younger son of the Emperor, Gilbert. This is a joining of powerful families and royalty…

The essence of this story is that Marcel has loved Gilbert, in the romantic sense,  since their young teens, whilst Gilbert loves Marcel, as a brother. Their arranged marriage brings this situation out in the open between the men, and the story’s internal conflict arises from this.

I loved that sexuality, is a non issue. I loved that both protagonists were, perceived, as flawed physically in some way. I loved it’s gentility and the descriptions of rooms and scenery, which mirror moods. I loved the sensual build up and sexual tension between the two men.

I would love a longer novel version, so the characters could have been fleshed out a little bit with some external conflict maybe.

I didn’t like the ‘misunderstanding’ / ‘misinterpreting’ of each other’s motives or thoughts.  This trope is overused generally, and not this reader’s favourite

The writing is wonderfully descriptive, the kind a reader can lose themselves in, and I already have the previous two novellas in this series on my kindle to read.

I will finish with a note to the publisher…the proof reading did not do justice to this work.

Buy Links

Less Than Three Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA[/gravityforms]
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “Winter Bees by E.E. Ottoman ~ Book Review by Beverley

  1. Great review, BJ. I love the lyrical language EE uses, too. I’ve read one of theirs so far, and this and another are on my list. 😀

  2. Great review 🙂 I liked the first two books even more… I hope you enjoy them, too.

    They are better proof-read, too. I really wanted to slap the proof-reader for this shitty performance.

    My favourite of EE’s books is Like Fire through Bone, by the way.

    • I’m looking forward to the first two novellas in this series and I shall add Like Fire Through Bone to my TBR list, Mel

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