Lord Vincent Prescot’s life couldn’t be better. Thriving investments, well-respected by his peers, and mind blowing sex with a man who submits to his every desire — what more could he want?
Lord Oliver Marsden should be more than happy with his life. He’s been in love with Vincent for over a decade and six months ago the impossible happened and they became lovers. But since then, nothing has changed. More specifically, Vincent hasn’t changed. Oliver has tried to be patient — it took a lot for Vincent to accept the fact he preferred men. But what felt like a tiny distance between them six months ago now feels like an ever-widening chasm. Why can’t Vincent stay the night? Is it too much to ask for Vincent to call him Oliver and not Marsden? He knows Vincent cares for him, but does Vincent love him?
Then Vincent’s father asks him for a favor — one that involves marriage. If Vincent agrees, he’ll have the respect he’s craved from his father his entire life but he could lose Oliver. Nor does Oliver make the decision easy. To keep Oliver, he’ll have to do more than deny his father. He’ll have to give Oliver his heart.
Review by Aleksandr Voinov
Lord Vincent Prescott has everything he could possibly want – he’s young, rich, handsome, intelligent and he has a friend, Oliver Marsden, who is his enthusiastic and loving sub and bottom in bed. The two men have a great sex life, but it’s all behind closed doors, because we’re in the Regency, where sodomy could be a hanging offence. While all that is mostly fine and dandy with Oliver, he does resent that he’s not getting as much back as he’s giving, and friction enters their relationship, which is made much worse when Lord Vincent agrees to his father’s demand to marry.
This is a captivating little novella which I enjoyed and kept reading well past bedtime (so much for ‘first five pages’). The characters are well-drawn and the writing is fully engrossing. The text has just the right amount of period detail that shows that the author knows her period, and watching a great writer spin their yarn is always enjoyable, regardless of the plot or the time period. I’m not well-versed in the Regency, but I found the setting believable as presented. The characters are interesting and layered – while Oliver is a sub and a bottom, he isn’t the mewling weepy doormat a lesser writer would have turned him into, and quite clearly has a pair (and uses it). And while Vincent is a kinky dominant and top, what drives him in the story are the desire to please, the need to fit in, and some serious abandonment issues.
There is a lot of explicit sex in the short (102 pages) story, and it’s well done and hot. Here, the sex reveals the characters, and especially the last scene serves as the pivotal moment when the relationship changes and develops beyond what it was.
Both men have to hide what they like and who they do it with, but that doesn’t make them coy about it at all. If there’s one issue I have, it’s that one. They behave like Regency men outside the bedroom, while inside, they speak and act like modern-day porn stars with the full repertoire of practices and the kind of dialogue that is pretty much to be expected. Of course that is a fine line – how to satisfy the demand for ‘hot explicit sex’ with a cast that has different sexual morals and habits, but then, I haven’t witnessed Regency-era gay sex, so whatever I’d assume about it is conjecture anyway and anybody’s guess is probably as good as mine.
Overall, I really liked this novella because of the strong writing, the well-drawn characters and the amount of period detail that all fuses together seamlessly and in that effortless way that betrays a great writer at work. Well done!
Note: This is a follow-up piece for Bound by Deception, reviewed by SIN here: