Rival Poet

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
1587. A young Will Shaksper arrives in London, hoping to publish his poems. But rejection hits him hard, and he wants to give up – until he meets Kit. Dazzled and drawn in, Will is shocked to find their friendship escalate into something else – something dark and dangerous in a country where sodomy is a capital offence. When Kit finally tries to seduce him, will he be able to resist? More

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About Ingela Bohm

Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 12 000 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

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Review by: Gabriella West on July 31, 2016 :
I enjoyed this fresh fictional look at the intertwining lives of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. It never lost my interest. I was prepared to believe the love affair and I enjoyed the scenes of the two wordsmiths slowly falling into intimacy and passion against the backdrop of ragged and tawdry Elizabethan London.

There were some flaws in the story too: I felt that there were too many minor characters. Some of them were actors and they never came alive for me, even though their names were constantly mentioned. I also found it hard to believe that Shakespeare would have written many of his subsequent works for Marlowe, after Marlowe's death, since I know the plays well and I don't see or sense Marlowe in them. But I'm willing to at least entertain the idea.

The final plot twist was extremely difficult for me to believe, sadly.

Also, there was a sprinkling of anachronistic language: the "huh"'s and "okay"s were jarring. But since Bohm is an excellent writer and captures the time period well, it wasn't as painful as it could have been :)

Enjoyable look at a forbidden relationship, with some intense gay love scenes. I also liked Bohm's take on Shakespeare's troubled marriage and conflicted sexuality—it seems pretty right on.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
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