15th century europe — To foster good relations with its southern territories, the Holy Roman Empire has been sending one of its princes on yearly visits to the Kingdom of Italy.

Tomas is the son of a powerful Sienese family who have the privilege of hosting the royal visits. He’s been spending his summers with prince Emil at a remote family estate in Civita.

But Emil is an ostentatious, spoiled brat, and Tomas couldn’t care less for such “honor.” The only thing that makes the whole situation bearable is another boy in prince’s retinue. Matthias is everything Emil is not: kind, easy going, and makes for good company; nicknamed “St. Matthias” for his God given ability to ease the effects of prince’s grating personality.

Having to play nice with royalty is a pain, but Tomas’ true worry is a private one — he’s unfulfilled in his romantic life. Relationships seem so complicated. Pessimistic about anything long term, he’s equally unenthusiastic about the casual life of a bachelor. But…what else is there?

Contemplation leads him stumbling into unexpected feelings for Matthias, his childhood friend. Consumed by this newly discovered attraction, and eager to forget his woes, Tomas dreams of a fun, uncomplicated summer romance.

But what awaits him is anything but simple. The young men who return to Italy the following summer are not the Matthias and Emil that Tomas once knew. Both have changed in unexpected ways, and more importantly, both are hiding something. Tomas soon finds himself drawn into a mystery spanning two years and three hearts — one of which is his own.

 


 

The Sun Prince, The Saint and the Changeling is a story about a simple summer romance that doesn’t go according to anyone’s plan. Love, mystery & close-kept secrets of the past and the future — in the heart of Renaissance Italy.

m/m historical romance ✦ rated 18+ for erotic content

 


 

Dramatis Personæ

 

Tomas is the youngest child of the Tantucci family. Good natured if a little restless, he loves horses, architecture, and likes to sketch or hang out at the Stonemasons Guild in his spare time. Life is good.

Life would be great, but Tomas’ father is the current magistrate of Siena, freely elected by its people. This position comes with many responsibilities, including maintaining good relations with the Holy Roman Empire. And father seems to think the best way to foster said relations is to arrange for royal prince Emil to visit Italy for a yearly retreat to take in the scenic country views. But it’s Tomas and his twin sister Speranza who’ve been saddled with the duty of entertaining the royal highness.

No no, let’s call it what it is—babysitting. Emil has the social graces of a spoiled brat. He’s whiny and clingy, and thinks that being a Habsburg gives him the right to do whatever he wants. Every summer he shows up in Civita and acts like he owns the place! And then he has the balls to lecture Tomas on proper manners?!

The only reason Tomas hasn’t started some kind of international incident by now is thanks to St. Matthias. (“Saint,” because of his divine patience when it comes to Emil.) What good luck that there turned out to be at least one decent guy in the royal retinue. Even though he was raised at Court, Matthias isn’t obsessed with titles and power trips. Unlike some people Matthias is chill and relaxed; it’s always fun to hang out with him. And you should hear him play the lute! The guy is gonna be a true maestro someday.

And maybe some day these royal visits will come to an end. Tomas will have his summers back, and with the prince out of his life, all of his troubles will be over!

 

 

Heir to the house of Isenburg, Matthias has been fostered at the Imperial Court since a young age. He enjoys playing the lute, and is often praised by others as having a true musical gift. Matthias considers himself blessed—music comes easy, and he loves that it brings others so much joy.

He has accompanied prince Emil on every one of his visits to Italy, to the unending surprise of those who know the royal heir. True, Matthias doesn’t mind Emil’s ostentatious attitude, but his enthusiasm for their summers in Civita has more to do with their totally hot reluctant Italian host.

Aw, who is he kidding. Tomas is beautiful, and Matthias has been nursing a major crush for years. But despite his frequent and oh so numerous hints, Tomas doesn’t seem interested. At. All.

Is he being too subtle about it? Is his timing off? Maybe Matthias just isn’t Tomas’ type… Well, there’s always next summer. Maybe his luck will turn around!

 

 

A prince of the house of Habsburg. Son of Frederick the Third, the first Emperor of the house of Habsburg—crowned by the Bishop of Rome himself—and the rightful ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and all its territories.

It’s unfathomable to Emil that the Kingdom of Italy needs to be reminded of this fact. But all the same, this is why the Emperor has arranged for Emil’s yearly visits to Civita. Leaving the splendor of Court to spend his summers in the middle of nowhere is, frankly, awful. But Emil is proud that his father entrusted him with this important task.

And the need is obvious. Tomas is the perfect embodiment of Italy’s attitude. He’s unruly. Opinionated. Willful. Borderline disrespectful! So hard-headed he can’t even see how obvious Matthias is about him.

Emil would have said something a long time ago, but he gave his royal word to Matthias that he would keep his secret-that-is-not-a-secret. As his father the Emperor says, royals must always be true to their word. Even if it means holding his tongue when Tomas is being completely exasperating. Well, for some unfathomable reason he makes Matthias happy, so Emil endures. Matthias is so lucky to have a noble friend like Emil!

What he is not so lucky in is his taste in men. Why can’t Tomas be more like Matthias? His courtier knows his place; he always maintains grace and decorum despite his misplaced feelings. As to be expected from someone brought up at Court.

Dear God in heaven, how Emil dreads these summers away from home! If it were up to him, he’d never set foot in Italy ever again!

 

 


 

Updates

 

The Sun Prince is a graphic novel in eight parts. Each part is released as soon as I complete it, but there is no set schedule. The easiest way to stay up to date is to join my mailing list. Have the news delivered right to your inbox!

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