Lord Oliver Marsden has a secret. He’s been in love with his childhood friend for years, to have one night with Lord Vincent he masquerades as a whore at Vincent’s favoured brothel. When Oliver arrives at the bedchamber, he’s in for another surprise. Restraints and a leather bullwhip? Apparently Vincent isn’t as conservative as he appears.
How will Oliver reveal himself to his friend without losing his respect?
Review by Erastes
Rather more a longish short story than a novella, despite it being about 80 pages long, this is definitely an erotic story, so those looking for a very VERY hot ride will like this a lot. It certainly made me warm in places that make me happy!
As the blurb suggests, Lord Oliver uses a ruse to get his friend Lord Vincent (more on the lords later) to shag him, and relies on the Lois Lane Blindspot™ which involves a dodgy accent, a dimly lit room and the removal of his spectacles to get Lord Vincent not to recognise him. The sex that ensues is BDSM but not so much to make you squirm uncomfortably, (my threshold for BDSM is pretty low, and I enjoyed it) and is excellently written, if a little predictable, and hot as hell.
The remainder of the story deals with how Oliver and Vincent act immediately afterwards, how they feel about those feelings and what they do to resolve the situation.
I have to say that I would have liked something a bit more meaty, plot-wise. There was a lot of possibility, father issues, gambling addictions, one of the characters was living on his uppers, the other was rolling in money–there was plenty that could have made a full sized novel, or at the very least a 40 or 50K word novella, so I was a little disappointed with the substance of the thing which was little more than sex-a little characterisation-sex. That being said, however, I’ve read many books which are all sex and linked thinly by a balsa-light plot, and this–for some reason–seems heads and shoulders about that. I think it’s the power of the characterisation, the POVs are deep and convincing, both in the bedroom and out of it and I found myself liking both main characters for different reasons and wished them well.
There were a few anachronisms here and there, such as “drawers” “precum” and “fluffy towels” and other small things. I know that 90 percent of readers aren’t going to know or care about this sort of thing (what lunatic is going to know the history of towels after all, apart from another writer who has been there done that) but it’s likely to throw some readers off stride. The trouble is, of course, is that smaller publishers don’t have specialist editors–so there’s no real cure to this, but I would stress that American authors should move heaven and earth to get a Brit Picker. Meat is hung. A man is hanged!
But as I say, it’s a small nitpick, and I was impressed both by the writing, and the research that the writer had obviously done. It’s evident when an author has tried hard, as in this case, and when they’ve done the bare minimum or simply haven’t bothered at all.
Lovers of hot erotica will enjoy this a lot, and I’ll be watching eagerly for Ms March’s next work.