The Camelot Trilogy by Sierra Simone
The Complete Series is AVAILABLE NOW!
It is truth time. I wasn’t going to ever read this series. American Queen is a book I originally passed on because of the polyamorous relationship, but not because of ethics or morals but because I don’t think three people in love in romance books ever seems genuine or authentic. Inevitably, a coupling occurs, one person is left out, and heartbreak ensues. But then I won a copy of American Queen, and from the time I opened this book I was enraptured by these people and their love for one another. It is unique? Yes. It is abnormal by society’s standards? Yes. Does it matter? Heck, no. This relationship works for them, and Sierra Simone has succeeded in making a relationship with multiple people real and authentic and one for which people yearn for (the passion, the devotion, and the unwavering love). Throughout all of American King, never once will the reader feel like Ash loves Greer or Embry more or vice versa. Their love is tied up together. They work much better as a threesome than a twosome, and there is never any doubt that these three belong together.
In addition to being able to exhibit how three people could all be in love and in a relationship together, she somehow intertwines this unconventional, by society’s standards, relationship with religious components. In this series, Ash in particular, is a very religious man, and yet his devout faith does not contradict his love for his husband and wife but emboldens his actions and ideas, making their relationship more solid. Sierra Simone has somehow intertwined two seemingly opposing viewpoints, and shows how his religious beliefs make him a better man and husband, ultimately strengthening the love between all three. As a reader and a Catholic, I can honestly say that this aspect of her novels (particularly where Priest is concerned) had concerned me and made me wary of diving into her novels, but after reading this series, I now know that there is nothing to fear. She blends sexuality and religion so seamlessly and beautifully that it only serves to enhance the message of love that often appears in novels and as well as in religious doctrine.
Sierra Simone is one of those authors that proves that romance can have a place in the literary world. She has taken the legend of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot, and she has remade it in the contemporary world, bringing to light topics of sexuality and love that are relatable to everyone. Sierra Simone has, with this series, done justice to the legend while also giving readers what they want from a romance. Even more than all of this, though, are the beautiful words that come from her amazing mind. Each sentence is poetic, and each idea presented through the characters is profound, making readers not only enjoy a steamy, kink-filled romance but also contemplate and grapple with ideas that may or may not be outside of their comfort zone. Her ability to do both, tell a story of a great romance and address issues that plague our own world, makes her one of the greatest romance writers out there.
I would, without any reservation, recommend anyone and everyone to read this book. It is art. It is a beautiful retelling of one of the greatest stories in existence. It is absolutely a smart romance. So throw any kind of reservations out of the window and spend your Christmas with America’s newest royals, Greer, Embry, and Ash. You will not regret immersing yourself in the words and world of Sierra Simone.
Continue reading for the Q&A with Sierria Simone, my review for the full series, and to one-click the must read series.
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Question & Answer with Sierra Simone
1. Do you have any plans to do another myth/legend based series? If so, what are you top three choices~ Timitra Cozier-Bobb
I do! I really want to write some stories that are twists on Old Testament tales—Esther and the King is one I’ve already started, and I’d love to do David/Jonathan or David/Bathsheba/Uriah. Maybe Ruth/Boaz. I’d also really love to do a Persephone/Hades story, but I’m worried that’s been too overdone for me to find a fresh Sierra take on it…we’ll see.
2. What was the most interesting part of researching for this series? Everything came together so seamlessly and it has to be due to the work done before/during wrting. ~Leigh Kramer
In a way, I’ve been ‘researching’ New Camelot since I was a girl and I first read The Once and Future King! So much of my research came in the form of just reading everything I could about the subject for fifteen plus years because I’m genuinely fascinated with it! But I did have to do some specific research for New Camelot, and I think the trickiest by far was the details around the Carpathian War. I needed to find a place to set a massive, long-term large scale war that could mimic some of King Arthur’s battles and heroism, yet that would still make sense to a modern mind, and I wanted to stay away from real war zones, like those in Afghanistan, to avoid ethnic and religious overtones within the book’s conflicts. The Carpathian region worked really well for this—historically, it’s definitely a troubled place, and it also gave me space to create a villain and battles that wouldn’t raise difficult racial/religious/post-colonial concerns for most readers.
3. What was your favorite scene to write in the entire trilogy? Why? ~ Christina Yates
UGH THIS IS SUCH A HARD QUESTION! I love so many scenes, and there are some scenes that were absolute hell to write that I love now, and also ones that I loved writing that (in retrospect) aren’t all that special. But I think the most fun and rewarding scene to write was the one at the very end, in the epilogue. It’s just a silly, happy scene with a kitten and some snow, but by the end of the trilogy, the characters (and the author) deserve some silly happiness, I think!
4. Ash or Father Bell? You get one night with one of them. Who do you pick and why? ~ Tiffany Johnson
This is also an impossible question! But for me, it will always be Ash. King Arthur was my first book boyfriend, and Ash just has all the things I think make a perfect man. But after my night with Ash, I’d definitely need to go get shriven by Father Bell.
5. What was the hardest part of the story to write? Why? ~Gaby Navarro
ALL OF IT! Lol! Emotionally the hardest chapters were the “goodbye” chapters in American King. Even though there’s plenty of torment and pain elsewhere in the trilogy, those scenes just reminded me so much of what I find heroic and noble about King Arthur. There’s a combination of selflessness and vulnerability that is both beautiful and painful to contemplate. On a more practical level, I will say that I always struggle with the plot-heavy elements of story, and so the chapters I often beat my head against the keyboard the most were the ones that had a lot of moving plot parts.
6. What was your favorite book growing up? Why? ~Lori Mitchell
Jane Eyre, because Jane is the perfect woman and Edward Rochester is the perfectly imperfect man. And because at different points in my childhood, I got different things from the story—as a 10-year-old, it was the spooky Thornfield and its mysterious laughter that hypnotized me, as a 13-year-old, it was the charisma of the brooding Rochester, at 15, it was Jane’s independence and determination to make her own way, at 17, it was the thrumming chemistry between two equal souls. Even now, as an adult, I find new things to love every time I read it and things to appreciate more deeply. The gothic sensibility, the proto-feminism, the sheer depth and intensity of Rochester, the intelligence and practicality of Jane herself.
7. Who is your greatest influence as a writer? How have they influenced your writing? ~ Clarissa Kwan
This is such a hard question! Over time, I think I’ve been influenced by the Brontes, Daphne Du Maurier, JK Rowling, Stephen King and Neil Gaiman—those were the authors I just soaked up like a sponge in my childhood/teenage years. I’ve always been drawn to tales of the gothic, or stories where magic bleed into real life. In more recent years and in the romance world, my heroes are CD Reiss, Tiffany Reisz, Cara McKenna, and Alexis Hall. Whenever I read their books, I’m just taking note after note—all of them are so delicate and layered with their characterization and emotion. And all them write the intersection of what it means to be a human and what it means to experience sex with such intelligence and insight.
8. Was it hard to get your books published? ~Anita LaFranchi
Back in my young adult days, it was fairly difficult! For a traditional book deal, you first need a literary agent, and it can be hard to find one willing to take you and your book on. Then you have to find an editor willing to buy your book—and most people who have agents still aren’t able to finish this step. I was lucky, but it was still hard! All of my Sierra stuff is self-published, however, and that’s as easy as hitting ‘publish’ 😉 The best thing about being self-published is that no one can tell me if my ideas are too ‘out there’ or wacky. I’m sure if I’d pitched a kinky King Arthur retelling to a publisher, they would have thought I was nuts!
9. Who is your favorite character you have ever created? Why? ~Sara Decampo
Well, Ash, I think. Because he’s King Arthur and therefore the perfect man. But aside from Ash, I really, really loved writing Logan O’Toole from Porn Star. There’s something about him that was just so much fun. He wrote himself, really.
10. If you could be best friends with one of your characters, who would it be? What advice would you give him/her and what would you tell him/her to do differently? ~Natalie Boulton
I think I’d want to be best friends with Greer, because we are a lot alike. Maybe too much alike! But I would have told her to LIVE A LITTLE post-losing her virginity. Five years is a long time in a cold bed!
11. Are we going to get more Father Bell? Greer, Ash, and Embry? ~Clare Fuentes
You will for sure see some Father Bell in Sinner, which is the book I’m writing now about his brother Sean and a young nun! As for our favorite royal trio, I think there’s a chance I’ll write stories or even a novella about them, but they probably won’t get a whole full-length novel again, simply because I think their main story is finished. (But it would be fun to write just some stories about them as they are now!) There are some secondary characters in the Camelot world that might eventually get their own books—Mark and Isolde, Lyr, and Merlin are all stories that I’ve been slowly turning over in my mind…
Quick either or questions:
Coffee or Tea?
Adventurous or cautious?
Cautious, unless it’s about trying a new scotch
Cake or pie?
Spotify or Pandora?
Spotify (follow me here: http://sierrasim.one/spotify)
Crushed ice or cubed ice?
Dancing or singing?
Dancing. It’s illegal for Sierra to sing in most states.
Dress up or dress down?
Do sweatpants count as dressing up?
Laptop or desktop?
Night or morning?
Night for sure!
Winter, summer, fall, or spring?
That’s a close one, because I love the atmosphere of fall, but I think summer is my favorite. Big prairie thunderstorms, the smell of cut grass, the whirr of cicadas…all of it.
Get my full reviews and one-click these must reads and my top picks of 2017!
They say that every tragic hero has a fatal flaw, a secret sin, a tiny stitch sewn into his future since birth. And here I am. My sins are no longer secret. My flaws have never been more fatal. And I’ve never been closer to tragedy than I am now.
I am a man who loves, a man whose love demands much in return. I am a king, a king who was foolish enough to build a kingdom on the bones of the past. I am a husband and a lover and a soldier and a father and a president.
And I will survive this.
Long live the king.
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I’ve been many things.
I’ve been a son and a stepbrother. An Army captain and a Vice President.
But only with Him am I a prince. His little prince.
Only with Maxen and Greer does my world make sense, only between them can I find peace from the demons that haunt me. But men like me aren’t made to be happy. We don’t deserve it. And I should have known a love as sharp as ours could cut both ways.
My name is Embry Moore and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States…for now.
This is the story of an American Prince.
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It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.
My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
This is the story of an American Queen.
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About the Author:
Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
Connect with Sierra:
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SierraSimonesLambs/