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When Henry Cortland, the Earl of Brenleigh, comes to London to fulfill his duty and take a wife, he also decides to first fulfill his most secret and suppressed desires. He wants to spend just one night with a man. A sultry encounter with a handsome stranger surpasses all his hopes, leaving him certain that he will live off the memories for the rest of his life.
Lord Richard Avery has grown tired of his endless string of casual relationships, yet an argument with his lover sends him right into the arms of a total stranger. But Henry is not like any lover he has ever had, and the attraction between them is more than physical. Richard wants more, but can their mutual attraction overcome Henry’s family obligations and sense of duty? Can Richard convince him to follow his heart rather than the demands of family and title?
I should have known this book would be one I would love. It’s Regency m/m and it was published on my wedding anniversary. Two very good signs if I do say so myself. And I do.
ACK! This was such a comfort read for me. Let me explain; historical romance, regency romance was where I began in the genre. It’s my safe place, my comfort zone and my welcome home if you will. I know the lay of the land, I know all about what goes on at White’s, the details of the Season and the drama of the ton. I know the why’s of Hyde Park and the daily ins and outs of those whose names come with titles and I adore it. Its splendor and it’s hedonism call to me. Oh yeah, it calls to me and this book was a siren.
You understand, my lord, that this is an unusual request.
The book begins with our dear Henry at a London brothel arranging to have one night, just one night of indulgence in what he wants most, a night with another man. But Henry doesn’t want a whore or someone paid to be with him, he wants a tall dark and handsome stranger to walk in the room and sweep him off his feet. Is Henry asking too much? Of course not, it’s his desire and thankfully, Richard is out there having it out with his lover and deciding he is done, he walks into said brothel and Henry’s life. Goodness. From the time these two set eyes on one another you felt the attraction and you know this is not going to be something light or fluffy. This one night would be intense and it would be sensual. It was in fact, hot. Yup. Regency virgin butt sex is hot. There I said it and I own it.
“I know nothing about you, Henry, except perhaps a little about your… experience.”
“Does that concern you? D-do you want to change your mind?”
“Not a chance.”
Ahh yeah… and so it began. Richard and Henry are so good together on this one night. Not only the sex but what comes after, the actual conversation. Yes, it’s possible for men to talk. Shocking, I know. I adored that even though both men knew this must be a one off, the attraction and connection was enough for them to let down their guard and be vulnerable for this one time. But would one time be enough? Sadly, it must be as Henry is due to wed soon via his late father’s arrangement and he has to sustain the family name in all respects. My poor, Henry.
So before I forget, each man has title to their name but at the brothel, they were simply just Henry and Richard. SO you know, once the invites to balls or comings out start to happen, they are bound to see one another again. You just don’t expect why and when it happens, my heart dropped and then I was anxious to see how it would all play out. You know Henry believes he has to marry but, ouch! That hurt. Poor love sick Richard, what ever will he do?
See, what I love and what ultimately breaks my heart about regency/historical m/m romance is the hiding. Yes, today men will still hide and keep their lives private but back then? I can’t imagine how they would go about being together but those stolen moments, the small touch of hands that no one sees, the looks and words with double meanings, those are what make me fall in love with these stories and believe that even in those times, men could find some way to be happy with another man. Have you met my hopeless romantic heart yet? Le Sigh.
I just want to be free… to feel free, even for a little while.
The chase of love, of the one thing you want was done very well. All very true to the time, or what I have encountered in my 20 some years of reading numerous titles of regency romance. It felt so real, and all the emotions were there for me to melt into and just enjoy these boys with their struggle toward one another. Yes, there are lies and misunderstanding of epic proportions but the angst it brought gave purpose and I soaked it up like a drought parched desert in a sporadic rain fall.
There are side characters in this whom do get their own POV. At first it was odd but it flowed with the story and I was hooked. SO hooked that I have a crush on one Sir Samuel Shaw and need his story. That man is one who I am sure I will swoon over and need to take to my room with a fit of the vapors once he falls in love. I have hopes of who that might be, of course, but I will keep that to myself for now.
But this book, the blurb gave me hope for a wonderful story and my gamble on a new author paid off. That title alone makes me groan with lust all the way to the end of that epilogue that gives me so much hope. This was such a fun read, such a romantic read and such a classic regency read, how could I not adore it?
One last little off the wall note: As I was on my run last night, this song came on via my playlist and though it’s guitar heavy and sung by a female of this century, the lyrics are so very fitting for this book. To me and my weird thoughts, anyway.