My absolute favorite in the series so far. I grinned so much and so long while reading this that my face hurt for hours afterward. The pace of this book seems to pick up and it moves like a train on a track from one interesting event/circumstance to the next. I loved that as I read, I got more and more wrapped up, and that as we approached the climax of this book, I was so anxious and eager simultaneously that I felt a little light-headed. Henry and Martin just get to me. They get under my skin and make me so happy. Henry is a dork in the best way and Martin is his most perfect support. I love their adolescent EMOSHUNS and the sense that they are probably not entirely unique in their situation but are too dumb/scared to find out. The continued presence of Henry’s Uncle Reggie in this book gives us a breath of fresh air and hope, just like it does for Henry. I loved everything about this book and will read it again when I’m having a down day. It’s going to be the comfort-read of the series, I can tell that much! It just makes me so damn happy!
“Can a master belong to a slave?
It’s a season for celebration, and Martin is falling in love. Henry has always been adamant he won’t share Martin with any other master, but when Henry accepts an invitation to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, Martin wonders if Henry has changed his mind. Certain that this will turn out to be one of the masters’ notorious swapping parties, Martin resolves to do whatever Henry asks of him, with whoever Henry chooses, without question. But faced with the idea of Henry being intimate with any other slave, Martin despairs, wanting Henry all to himself. A good slave would never ask for a master’s fidelity, but that’s just what Martin wants to do.
This story is told from Martin’s point of view and runs parallel to events that take place in the final scenes of A Proper Lover, the second book in the Ganymede Quartet.
PLEASE NOTE: It is my intention to offer this story for free, but some retailers don’t allow authors to set a price of zero. If you want to pay $0.99 for this story, I won’t stop you, but I do encourage you to let Amazon know it’s available elsewhere for FREE. If they get enough requests, they should eventually match that price.”
What does it mean to belong to someone?
Henry Blackwell is the happiest he’s ever been, and it’s all because of his companion slave Martin. Every experience, whether it be mundane or spectacular, is improved by having Martin at his side. The better Henry gets to know his slave, the deeper his feelings grow. Though the physical attraction between them is undeniable, Henry’s sure there’s more to their relationship than just sex. He can’t be certain, as it’s never happened before, but he believes he might be falling in love.
Henry’s friends are ready and willing to put their own slaves aside in favor of female companionship, and they’re beginning to wonder why Henry isn’t interested in girls. Henry only wants to be with Martin and doesn’t know how much longer he can use “late bloomer” as an excuse. The holiday season approaches, along with the promise of parties with friends and family. Henry doesn’t want to share Martin with his friends, but he doesn’t like being left out. Will he stand up for himself—and Martin—when it counts?
This is the second of four installments in the Ganymede Quartet, continuing Henry & Martin’s story from A Most Personal Property (Ganymede Quartet Book 1).
A Proper Lover by Darrah Glass begins where Book One, A Most Personal Property, left off. The book begins to ask and explore the question of love between a slave and his owner. Can either man be a proper lover when one owns the other? This is a question to be fully explored later in the series but begins to be touched on in this book when Henry begins to investigate his deeper emotions for his slave Martin against a backdrop of other boys who want girls and a society where being queer just isn’t ever acceptable.
This alternate universe of 1900 New York City is so thorough and accurate to the time-period, including the style of the time, and so well-drawn that many times while reading I forget that this isn’t an actual historical book.
The Ganymede Quartet books are some of my desert island reads. They are so incredibly thorough and wonderfully long that I would want them with me to roll around in for ages and ages while I waste away on my desert isle. 🙂 I’d scribble fanfiction for them in the sand! I’d write an AU piece about Henry and Martin on a desert island! 😀 I eagerly await the next installment!
and soon to come at Barnes & Noble.
1. The books of Ganymede Quartet are unlike any I’ve read before, containing elements of non-magical fantasy, gay romance, and historical fiction. Tell us about the books, especially A Superior Slave and A Most Personal Property, your two upcoming releases, and what they’re like.
The Ganymede Quartet series is set in New York in 1900, and it’s a recognizable version of turn-of-the-century New York except that a system of slavery that resembles an intensification of Britain’s servant classes is part of the culture. The books tell the story of a relationship between a young master and slave.
A Superior Slave is a prequel written from the point of view of the slave. It introduces the character, but also introduces the slavery scenario for the universe. Slavery is based on economics, not race. It isn’t like American historical slavery, and it’s also not a BDSM version of slavery. The reader gets to know the slave and his world right before he’s auctioned off to a master. He’s a smart, capable person who’s quite ambitious in his own way.
A Most Personal Property is written from the point of view of the master, as are the other three installments in the quartet. The book details the master’s struggle to reconcile his far-ranging desires with what is allowed and considered proper behavior. The master is a young man, not entirely sure of himself, and quite concerned with other’s opinions and judgments. He doesn’t feel he can simply fall in love with whomever he pleases, so there’s a bit of an internal struggle!
2. You’ve said that the idea for the book came from a popular television show. What show was it and how did that influence these books?
The initial impulse to write this story came when I saw the first season of Downton Abbey sometime in early 2011. I was extremely taken with the setting and the costumes, of course, but I was also intrigued by the way the servants deferred to their masters and the degree of devotion and near-reverence they showed. Even Thomas and O’Brien, with all of their scheming, only schemed against other servants. The psychology of servitude and the way the servants seemed to buy wholeheartedly into the class system brought up so many questions for me.
I don’t really know why my brain made the leap to thinking, “Huh. What if those were slaves instead of servants?” but once I started thinking that, I couldn’t stop. I imagined slavish devotion amplified to an interdependent extreme. I imagined a slave who was well-trained, proud, and eager to prove himself, and then a master who was bashful and nervous and afraid to make full use of the slave. Obviously, the story veered pretty far afield of Downton Abbey right away!
3. Your book does not depict American historical slavery. How is slavery set up in your universe?
Slavery in this universe is not based on race. While there are black slaves in this series, there are also black masters. The two main characters in the Ganymede Quartet stories happen to be white. The slaves readers will meet in these books were bred and trained by slaving Houses; they know no other life, and for the most part are eager and willing to serve. This is not a story about slaves railing against their bonds!
4. What research did you do on the historical elements of the book, and how did you make your fantasy world fit in with the actual history?
I did a lot of research into Gilded Age New York, the history of sexuality, late-Victorian/Edwardian men’s clothing, the history of restaurants and fine dining, Coney Island, turn-of-the-century baseball, boys’ adventure stories, robber barons’ mansions, and virtually everything to do with daily life circa 1900. Even though this is a fantasy series, I wanted everything that wasn’t related to the slavery fantasy to be as realistic as possible, to give a real sense of the era.
It was surprisingly easy to fit slaves into the landscape. The people who own slaves in these stories are the sort who would have had grand houses full of servants in reality. Giving them an additional, very personal servant who was a combination social secretary, valet and bed partner wasn’t really such a stretch.
The FREE prequel to the main four books in the series!
Martin of House Ganymede, trained as a companion slave, is eager for a master of his own. Everything he’s done in his short life has been to prepare him for auction day, and now all that waits is to be chosen. In being sold, he’ll be separated from the boys he’s lived and trained with his entire life, and it’s possible he won’t see them ever again. Goodbyes are hurried and emotions are raw as the slaves go on display for prospective masters. Martin has ideas about what he’d like in a master, though of course he’ll have no say in who will buy him. When he meets tall, handsome Henry Blackwell, he’s found the one he wants, but does this shy master want him?
A Superior Slave is a prequel introducing the books of the Ganymede Quartet, a fantasy of Gilded Age New York in which young men from the richest families form intense bonds with the slaves who serve them.
ORDER Book One in The Ganymede Quartet Series.
In the heat of August 1900, Henry Blackwell—rich, handsome, and painfully shy—anticipates the purchase of his companion slave, that most personal of properties, with equal parts excitement and dread. There are limits to what a gentleman might do with his slave and still remain a gentleman, and what Henry craves goes far beyond what’s allowed.
Martin, a slave from House Ganymede, is the most beautiful young man Henry’s ever seen, and he’s ready and willing to do as Henry commands, but Henry’s afraid to ask him for what he really needs. A master needn’t care what a slave thinks or how he feels, but Henry can’t help wanting Martin to like him anyway. If Henry could be certain Martin wanted the same things he does, he might be bold enough to reveal his secrets.
Unfolding against a backdrop of progress, privilege and turn-of-the-century amusements, the four installments of the Ganymede Quartet present an erotic coming-of-age fantasy of Gilded Age New York in which young men from the richest families form intense bonds with the slaves who serve them.
Soon to be available at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, and more!
“I’m pleased to share the first story in the Ganymede Quartet, a gay coming-of-age historical fantasy. The fantasy aspect involves a version of Gilded Age New York City that is quite recognizable except that slavery exists in a form that differs in significant ways from historical slavery.
There are four books in the main series thus Quartet and there will be several side stories in addition to this one. While this is not required reading to enjoy the series, it’s FREE, and it offers an in-depth introduction to one of the main characters.”
I beta read the books in the series and absolutely loved them! The entire series is one of my all-time favorite reading experiences. I adore Darrah’s writing style and her characters! The depth of emotion that I felt in just reading this short, the loss, the excitement and anticipation, the anxiety for the outcome were overwhelming. It was intense and delightful. In this free short book, you get to meet Martin, the slave who goes forward into the rest of the four main books. It’s available for FREE on Smashwords and for .99 on Amazon. (Hopefully it will be free on Amazon before long too, too. But unfortunately Amazon hasn’t price-matched yet.) Coming soon to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more.
So, basically, Darrah Glass has written an amazing book series, and recently, after some discussion, decided to write a short, free story to introduce the world of the series. This short book is called A Superior Slave and should be available very soon, definitely by the end of the month at the very latest. And, again, it will be FREE. But, in the meantime, Darrah has posted a small snippet that should give you some idea of what to expect. Gah, I love this series so much. You will too!
This is from A SUPERIOR SLAVE, a prequel I wrote as an introduction to the universe of the GANYMEDE QUARTET. The prequel and the first book are to be released imminently. Anyway, this is 6 lines from page 24:
Martin thought the things his friends hoped for were very reasonable, very modest. He did not want to share his hopes because they were not reasonable at all. He wanted a handsome master, kind and affectionate, who’d touch him like a lover and treat him like a friend, and these wishes were desperately, unrealistically romantic. He’d been taught as much at Ganymede and it had been made very clear: his master would be an ordinary boy with an extraordinary bank account, and he would be under no obligation to think of his slave as a person.
SOURCE: Darrah’s Facebook
I tried to find some nice, old, Victorian photos to go with this post, since Darrah’s books reflect a fantasy, sexy, slave-y alternate history at the dawn of the Gilded Age. These all came from mydaguerrotypeboyfriend.