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Muffled Drum

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  226 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Bohemia, 1866

They met in a port-side tavern, their lust-filled moments stolen from days of marching and madness. After eighteen months, Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann have decided to run away from everything they hold dear. Resigning their commissions is social suicide, but there's no other choice. Someone will eventually see Rudolph's pa
ebook, 187 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Carina Press
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Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
I never quite connected with this book. Nothing in this book surprised me, except one scene and that was more of a WTF? surprise than a good thing. I liked Matthias, Rudolph was meh, I liked the setting in Germany/Poland, but everything got solved so smoothly that the story just didn't grip me. And then it got stupid.

I was pretty much done with it when (view spoiler)
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, historicals, romance
I'm not sure what it is about Erastes' writing which resonates with me as a reader. Maybe it's the spare, clean prose which manages to get across a wealth of emotion without the fussiness that you sometimes get with historical romance. Maybe it's that her historical settings are seeped into the bones of the story without any need for unnecessary information because the characters are just there, in that moment of time. Maybe it's that character and setting are so interlinked, so ingrained that I ...more
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This book was like a cross between The Patriot and The Vow, in a good way.

I'm finding myself really liking historical romance with the way the author portray the characters in her books. They're still masculine but sensitive; Has a sense of humor without going overboard; Erotic but intimate. And even though the plot may be predictable, the chemistry between the characters Rudolph and Mathias was a pleasure to read. There's just something about men falling in love during the medieval times and th
Elisa Rolle
Knowing (and having read) the previous works by Erastes, I was a little “scared” to start this one: a story about two lovers in the Prussian army during the 1866 war… I was expecting good setting, dark passion and a lot of drama for these two men, and well, the happy end was not a sure thing. But I was wrong. Maybe the author tamed a little her inclination for realistic drama due to the guidelines of the publisher (Carina Press is indeed a romance publisher, and the happy end is one of the sacre ...more
Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked Up

When I choose to read a book by this author I know that I will have a very good time. And even more interesting, the action takes place in Bohemia where my father's roots are ...

What can I say, she has a way with words when it comes to description. It is unique, you can feel the cold of the battlefield, you can smell the mixture of sweat of both men and horses, you can hear the hooves and the shouts all around, you're nearly a part of the action! Touch after t
This is the heartbreaking story of Rudolph and Mathias who are secret lovers in the Prussian army. To be together they decide to resign their posts and leave everything behind. Unfortunately on their final battle Rudolph suffers from memory loss and does not recognise Mathias any more. Already having resigned his post Mathias makes the decision to travel with Rudolph, who is on his way home to Berlin, in the hope that something will trigger his memory. Mathias has been advised not to force Rudol ...more
Miz Love
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow. What an utterly exquisite book. I knew, having read Mere Mortals, that when I picked up Muffled Drum I would get a tale steeped in history and deep, heart-wrenching writing that would keep me spellbound. I wasn’t disappointed.

First, I’d like to address the writing. It pulls you in, a voice so rich in perfect word choices that I couldn’t fail to fall in love with it. Erastes has a way of it, where one hundred authors may use the same one word, she chooses another, and it’s beautifully don
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Muffled Drum is an absorbing page turning historical story. In fact I didn’t want to put this down as the setting and characters sucked me in from the beginning. The story is poignant and often bittersweet but with a solid HEA ending that should definitely please fans. The writing is very strong with a rich, descriptive setting and lots of contrasting interests. The characters are intriguing with flaws and nuanced depth. My only slight issue is with the predictable “villain” character thrown in ...more
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stars: 4.5/5

This is a well-written novel that I emotionally struggled to finish, not because of the writing or the 'heavy' content, but because the character's suffering spoke true to me. Although it's not an overly intense in any one way, it is the story of two lovers, one of whom has forgotten the past two years during which the lovers came together. While in the end I was rewarded, I had a hard time making myself read when I knew the characters were in emotional pain. However, if you s
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Well, it wasn't that bad. Rushed, plain and predictable but not downright bad, I guess. The writing was average at best, nothing quote worthy. Second half of the book felt trite and unrealistic. Couldn't stop myself thinking that I've read fanfiction with better plots and character development than this... and those were free to read. I guess my quest for a good historical gay romance must go on.
Lena Grey
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Life often throws us into circumstances which seem unreasonable. 'Muffled Drum' by Erastes presents us with a vivid story of two men, hopelessly in love, ready and willing to leave everything behind to be together. With war and death all around them, Rudolph and Mathias choose love and life instead. When Rudolph falls off his horse he loses the last two years of his life, the ones which unfortunately include his relationship with Mathias. In different ways, they face the challenge of putting the ...more
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
I like historical romance very much and this story was deeply emotional.

Rudolph and Mathias have become lovers during the war. They don't want the army to find out they are lovers, so they decide to take part in their last battle and then resign their commission and run away together, even if this will probably be deemed disgraceful by their peers.

After resigning, Mathias goes to Rudolph's tent and discovers his lover was injured during the battle and lost two years of his memories. Suddenly Mat
Gerry Burnie
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Gerry B's Book Reviews -

Having written over ten successful novels to date, it seems author Erastes has decided to challenge herself with a devilishly complex theme, i.e. loss of memory, which is what Muffled Drum [Carina Press, July 4, 2011] centres around. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, she has also chosen an obscure but bloody war, The Austro-Prussian War— 14 June – 23 August, 1866.

Although I have in my possession a sabre/bayonet from this very era, in
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, m-m
Erastes throws the readers deep into the nineteenth century, immersing us in both battles and society. She has us living, smelling, and lurching through this time, and suffering right along with Mathias and Rudolph. On the eve of abandoning their previous lives and much else in order to be together, a battle injury steals Rudolph's memories and Mathias' hope. Muffled Drum plays with every emotion possible in rebuilding their lives.

Everyone has their own opinion of what is best for Rudolph—where
Larry Benjamin
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
What would you do if one day your beloved, otherwise himself, ceased to recognize you? It’s an intriguing dilemma and one that is at the center of Erastes’ Muffled Drum.

A fall from a horse and the resulting concussion changes everything for Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann. Rudolf is left with no memory of the previous two years, two years during which he and Mathias fell in love. Mathias is left anxious and unbalanced, unsure what to do. Here Erastes raises and
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
Originally posted at Rarely Dusty Books

Genre & keywords:

M/M, Romance, Historical, Bohemia & Prussia, 1866, Soldiers, Battlefield, Aristocratic Berlin, Loss of Memory

Why I Recommend:

I absolutely loved the premise of this story and thought it was handled with care throughout the whole book. The amnesia Rudolph suffers from is such an agony for Mathias, especially since Rudolph only misses memories from the past two years. He believes he’s still with his ex-lover Ernst, which causes so
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
4 Stars ~ In a matter of moments, all of Mathias' hopes and dreams have been shattered. A knock on the head had stolen Rudolph's memory of the last two years and with it his devotion to his lover. Mathias is a stranger now. As much as he desires to tell Rudolph of their relationship, and that they had been about to embark on their own life together even though it was at great cost, Mathias is told by the field doctor that Rudolph should be allowed to remember naturally or the consequences could ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Muffled Drum, is a work of art that someone really needs to study and internalize. When you have gotten the concept of trying your best to make the one you love remember the times of passion and bliss that you shared, without trying to cause a uneasiness is heart wrenching. That is what this book is about, and had me flipping its pages eagerly. The characters and written smoothly, as well as the imagery and feel of the location that she places the characters to be. Combine imagery and emotion wi ...more
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A highly enagaing and page-turning historical romance, set in the Austro-Prussian war. As always, Erastes delivers the vivid historical details. Comparing to many other historical romance stories, I've always found Erastes' to be slightly more edgy, don't know if it's the right word, but even when she's writing a romance, there's gritty and uncompromising realism in it.

A loss of memory romance plot is always a risk, as the situation is usually helpless and it can easily frustrates readers. In t
Nan Hawthorne
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq
You might think amnesia could not be done in an original way, but Erastes manages it by omitting the recovery of memory. Officers Rudolph and Matthias are lovers just about to defy all convention and run off together in the middle of an active Prussian war. During the last battle Rudolph is thrown from his horse and loses two years of memory. Matthias is heartbroken and follows him back to Berlin hoping his memory will return. Instead Rudolph rekindles a bad relationship he has forgotten the end ...more
A rough story in the respect that Mathias gave up everything only to find that Rudolf had suffered an injury that derailed all their plans. I almost lost hope for them but circumstances worked to change things and Mathias returned to give their LANs a second chance. I think I'd like to have heard more a out how their future worked out for them. It may e I should just dream a little :). A good read and recommended to you history buffs :)
Blackravens Reviews
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Muffled Drum by Erastes is wonderfully written character driven novel with a unique and fascinating story line. Mathias and Rudolph are vibrant protagonists who are three dimensional and immensely appealing. To read this review in its entirety, please visit
For some reason, historics=comfort food for me right now.

I thought the ending ended kind of quickly. The resolution also wasn't quite what I expected, in that it wasn't necessarily the most ideal of possible outcomes to happen, and with a hint of HFN tinging the happiness. Still, I rather liked it. Erastes writes good historics.
Jenny T
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Erastes is one of the best authors of historical m/m romance I've come across -- rich in historical atmosphere, with likeable characters and plenty of pathos. Good stuff. My only complaint about this tasty story was the too-pat ending (including the (view spoiler)).
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-arc
An engaging, fast-paced historical gay romance that isn't bogged down by issues of sexual orientation but focuses instead on two lovers dealing with amnesia and finding a way back to each other. I loved the setting, the details, and how the conflicts were resolved. Both main characters were lovely too.
Jul 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not finished yet! So far so good :D

Super fight scenes, a sort of sympathetic villain and a HEA arrived at by rather convoluted means. Historical details appear to be spot on - I particularly liked the horses. Great fun with some tense moments.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Wish there were six stars. Authentic historical views and dialogue. Long buildup to the fun stuff, really creates tension. Plus that cover is beautiful enough to stare at for hours on end.
Karin Wollina
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, as I have all Erastes books. A very little Bit of nitpicking: the Reeperbahn is not in Berlin, but Hamburg...
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lovely as always. Some nice scenes particularly between Mathias and Augusta.
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Born in Essex, England in 1959, Erastes attended Southend High School for Girls.

Erastes is the penname of a female author who lives in Norfolk, UK. She drew her inspiration to write historical fiction from works such as Gaywyck by Vincent Virga and the novels of Mary Renault. Erastes was the Director of the Erotic Authors Association for two years and is an active member of the Historical Novel So
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