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Lord Heliodor's Retirement

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Daily Dose collection Never Too Late.

Unlikely hero Lord Adem Heliodor saved his queen’s life during the Screaming, a magical attack on his city, but his broken nerves have forced him into an unwanted early retirement to his country estate. Adem thinks his life is over, but retirement holds some surprises. First, there’s his new libr
...more
ebook, 52 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 31st 2015)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
First of all, I'm SOOOO happy to finally read a story with MCs in their 50s that isn't an established couple story! You go, Amy Rae Durreson! I really liked that we got to see some more mature guys get their HEA.

I'm not a huge fantasy reader nor am I a fan of romantic suspense, but I was intrigued by the premise of this story. I'm not super brave when it comes to stepping outside my comfort zone, but I'm glad I tried this one. The story was quick, sweet, and steam-free (that last part... not my
...more
Julio Genao
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
agreeable novella featuring an interesting and charming couple in the over-50 demographic. good fun :-)
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
4.5 Youbetchursweetbippy stars on Prism Book Alliance®

Amy Rae Durreson knows how to plop me down right in the middle of whatever place her characters find themselves. Her descriptions of physical surroundings are imbued with emotion and attitude. Beyond dialogue, beyond thought, the way the characters interact with their surroundings tells me just as much about them as anything else. This is no easy task.

The valley was too low and damp for vineyards, but hops grew here by the row, and the air s
...more
Ije the Devourer of Books
Lord Heliodor

This was really good.

A short story with excellent storytelling. Lord Heliodor is sent off into retirement only to encounter his lost love and to find himself embroiled in a conspiracy which he thought had ended.

It is great to have a fantasy adventure which is told so succinctly without losing anything and which doesn't feel rushed. It is also fab to have a story about an older couple. I would love to read a longer story about this world.

Lovely storytelling.
Amy Durreson
Jul 26, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: own-work
When Dreamspinner put out a call for short stories with older couples, I leapt at it. I'd had a piece in their previous anthology on the same theme, Snow on the Roof, which I'd loved writing. I wanted to write something with a very different setting from that piece, which is a gentle contemporary. My first instinct was to try and write a historical, a Regency about a soldier trying to adjust to civilian life. It didn't work out, so I decided to switch focus to fantasy. I kept the idea of someone ...more
Lilia Ford
3.5

Everything of Durreson's is well worth reading. This story had solid fantasy world-building and engaging leads, with the added plus of depicting the love of older folks not in their teens or twenties, which this middle-aged reader really appreciated. The story is very short, and though Durreson does a lot with the scant number of pages, I couldn't help feeling like it would have benefited from a longer treatment--the ending especially felt more rushed and artificial than it might have. I gath
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Skye Kilaen
Fantasy M/M romance with older characters, one of my comfort re-reads (despite some scary bits). After a long, successful career in public service, Lord Adem Heliodor is asked to retire when it becomes clear to everyone that trauma from a terrifying magical attack is making it impossible for him to work. Since he was a hero during the attack, it seems terribly unfair to Adem, but what can you do when the Queen sends you away? Go back to your country estate and expect boredom, that's what. Luckil ...more
B
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read, short but oh so satisfying.
Tess
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*3.5 stars*
Another book with older MCs! Adem (Lord Heliodor) and Corun are in their mid-fifties, reconnecting for the first time in 37 years. Adem has been forced to retire to his country estate where he finds Corun working in his library. They pick up where they left off when they were young lovers, but not all is what it seems and there is evil approaching. Although I liked parts of this, the romance fell a bit flat to me -- there wasn't much tension at all between the two MCs.
Shira Glassman
This is romance between older men (yum), in a fantasy/costume-drama setting, with a speculative adventure plot woven seamlessly into the relationship. A government official is sent home to his country estate when his PTSD from saving the queen from an undead horror (his close friends all turned into zombies and he had to kill them) starts to give him an erratic temper. Turns out the horror isn't quite finished, and he and his childhood sweetheart, who he's recently back together with, are right ...more
Serena Yates
Sometimes it is those who seem least likely to be heroes who end up saving the day. But since they are not used to being brave, they often find it difficult to deal with the fallout. Lord Adem Heliodor is a man who showed unexpected courage in the face of a horrible threat – and if this were a contemporary story, the doctors would tell him he suffers from PTSD. This is a fantasy though, so the terms are different, but the facts are the same. Adem will need to redefine his life, and it isn’t an e ...more
Joyfully Jay
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sue
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars


Lord Heliodor’s Retirement is a fast-paced read with its fair share of angst and a truly horrifying magical curse. The author does a good job of giving background to the story with a decent sense of place. Worldham isn’t given any extraordinary characteristics, but as a reader I felt I understood it and the hold it had over Heliodor. The author’s writing style has an easy flow that suits the pacing and overall structure.

Adem and Corun are a sweet couple and, while
...more
Crystal Marie
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is another one of those books where I was caught between a 3 and a 4 rating. If I had rated it up until the last 10% of the book, I would have given it a 3, but the ending was satisfying enough to end up a 4. I’ll admit, I’m not sure I would classify it as a ‘romance’ though. Historical suspense sorta kinda. The romance between Adem and Cory was an aside to the actual storyline, in my opinion, which ended up working out.

Adem saved his queen from the Screaming, a strange plague that once tou
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Alison
I must admit that I really enjoy Ms Durreson's stories, and this one was no exception.

"Lord Heliodor's Retirement" is a wonderful combination of emotion and intrigue. Lord Adem Heliodor saved his queen's life from an unknown spell that has gained the nickname 'The Screaming' a few months ago but since then has been experiencing PTSD symptoms (of course, being a fantasy they don't call it that, but it's obvious that's what it is). Unable to do the job he loves after being forcibly retired to his
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Seeilin
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-15
Way too short, yet captivating :D I would have loved to read an epilogue but maybe there will be more? One can hope, right? :)
Erica
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet, with good world-building and a lively adventure.
Beth
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mm
Novellas and short stories are hard to rate for me because I usually finish reading wanting more of the story. This one does a nice job of telling a complete story without feeling like it left questions unanswered. The mystery of the villain and the danger that arises didn't really enthrall me because I knew it would be resolved easily since there were only a few pages left. That said, I found the characters charming and I really liked that they were older. I haven't read many stories with chara ...more
Britney
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Freaking FINALLY! An accurate portrayal of what trauma does to the mind and body without making it cheap or having no bloody repercussions. There was a beautiful elegance to this book, focusing on the life of Adem after an event that traumatized him deeply and sent him into early retirement. The amount of story woven into those pages was surprising, feeling as if it was longer than the page count shows it to be and the romance was refreshingly realistic. I will definitely be reading this one aga ...more
Moose
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot! It was really refreshing to read about an older couple rekindling their romance, and I wasn't expecting the mystery/action plot at all but really enjoyed it. Fun short read with intriguing world building!
Sasha Ambroz
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: so-gay, fantasy, romance, own
I think this book would have been much better if it was longer. Both the magic system and the relationship are undeveloped and abrupt in this size.
Love Bytes Reviews
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 Heart Review by Dan

I wasn’t sure about this one when I picked it off the list of the 2015 Daily Dose stories. I wasn’t at all familiar with the author, but the blurb sounded like it might be good. As you can see from the blurb, it is a tale of an alternate world with magic and evildoers. It is also a world apparently with no discrimination against same sex relationships.

Wow, am I glad I made the decision to pick this one. I really enjoyed this short story and the author’s writing style. The ma
...more
Julie Hayes
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Lord Adem Heliodor has been sent into retirement, but it’s not exactly his choice, it’s the queen’s. But he can hardly argue with her. He knows he’s not the same man, ever since the Screaming. Still, it’s hard to accept being put out to pasture and not being a part of things any more. Which makes him a bit testy. Which explains why the new librarian accidentally dropping books on his head rubs him the wrong way.

Heliodor has been closed to love for many years, after his time with a certain handso
...more
Leigh
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adem and Corun had an affair when they were both young men. Then Corun went off to war and Adem found out later that Corun was dead. For next thirty something years Adem went on living and working for the crown. After a horrible attack, Adem is suffering what I would term PTSD. When he is forced to his country estate he learns that his lost love is not dead after all.

Adem and Corun have the chance to fall in love all over again. And it was sweet and really kind of adorable. Corun has lived a lif
...more
Shaheen
This is an interesting little tale - little being the operative word. There is a good story here, with great middle-aged protagonists (very rare in fantasy).The world-building is cryptic but enticing, and I would have liked to see more of the side characters. The problem is, it's too short. There was enough skeletal structure here for a really well fleshed out story, but certain elements, like Adem and Cory's rekindling relationship, or Adem's relations with the Queen and Obsidian, were skimped ...more
Ksenia
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was glad to read a love story that features characters over 50. It was quite refreshing after all the YA fiction full of ten age anguish. Both the characters and the romance was very stable, thoughtful and quite realistic. But no less sweet and heartening. I loved the reunion with presented to be dead lover plot. The political mystery was nice, even if it was predictable. It is a short romance after all. Another one I would have loved to be turned into Fantasy series. The only thing I disliked ...more
Ada
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
***UPDATED REVIEW***

I have no idea why I just posted that one sentence below.
description
The story was so much more. But after all this time I still really can't find the words to perfectly describe it. It's a you-love-or-you-don't kind of story I think.

***First review on 21 oct 2015***
I like reading about older people because I still assume my life will just end when I hit forty..
Heather
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though this is a tale of fantasy and magic, it's also a tale of recovery and second chances. Lord Heliodor is dealing with what we now call PTSD and when he is sent home from what he sees as disgrace, a second chance at a new beginning finds him. This is a great little read that combines fantasy with historical wrapped up together in a nice romantic bow. Lord Heliodor's Retirement may be a novella but it is jam packed with reading goodness.
Saskia
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm-fantasy
4.5 stars

This was great. I really liked the world building and the system with the curse stones. It's not something I've read before; it's always refreshing to see new magic systems and the setting wasn't the usual medieval fantasy where there are only swords and the like. Picture more of a Pirates of the Caribbean era with guns (also not something you usually get with fantasy).
I would have only loved it more if it had been typical high fantasy in length (ergo about 500 pages).
Katy Beth Mckee
Life has hit his Lordship pretty hard and he seems to be headed back to the country to lick his wounds. The first surprise is finding his first love who is supposed to be dead working at the estate. Thus starts a grand adventure and intrigue that proves that maybe retirement came a bit to early.
Yolande Kleinn
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This work is charming, suspenseful and beautifully written. I liked both main characters enormously; and even more importantly, I adored their chemistry and rekindling relationship. The magic of the world was understated but well constructed, and I enjoyed the world building. Well done all around, an excellent read.
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Dreamspinner Press: Lord Heliodor’s Retirement by Amy Rae Durreson 1 5 Jul 01, 2015 10:17PM  

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Amy Rae Durreson is a writer and romantic, who writes m/m romances. She likes to go wandering across the local hills with a camera, hunting for settings for her stories. She's got a degree in early English literature, which she blames for her somewhat medieval approach to spelling, and at various times has been fluent in Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek, and Old Icelandic, though please don't ask ...more