A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan
This is a second chances, healing love, beat the odds kind of story.
Lord George Albert Westin has a stammer that hampers his ability to communicate, it is so bad his family considered putting him in an asylum, thinking that it was a mental illness. He also has a social phobia. These conditions have made him an introverted and reclusive man. The only way that he will even venture out is when he takes large doses of opiates.
Michael Vallant is a professional sodomite (and damn that's an awful thing to call a person, but it's a historical, soooo let's roll with) he likes his work. He is independent and establishes his own rules. He only takes the clients he wants. and has protection at the bordello he works for. Which is important to him since he was brutalized as a young boy, and since then has fought to be someone that uses says for HIS benefit, and no one else's.
One night at a society party these two men run into each other. While Wes is trying to sneak around to find a rare orchid (rare plants being his only passion) he is pleasantly assaulted by Michael. Despite Wes communication issues, they manage to GET IT ON.
From that night, Michael's trauma comes back with a vengeance. He can't work, he goes into hysterics when any man gets close to him sexually. He thinks Wes might the man to cure him, since he cannot stop thinking about him since their encounter.
Wes and Michael are tragically connected. Michael is scared of telling Wes exactly how. But they start a relationship, and the more it progresses the worse things get with Michael's trauma and with Wes' dependence on opium.
There were a lot of things that were nice about this book, some however just did not work for me. I liked Michael's character, his love of books was cute. Wes was alright, but he could be annoying. I'm usually very sympathetic to people struggling with substance abuse, but he just IRRITATED me. The secondary characters were also a bit weird for me, to damn meddlesome.
One thing that happened a lot with this story, was that it alternated progressing very slowly, to chaotic, five things happening at once. From out of nowhere Wes's addiction kind of took over the book and Michael's PTSD which was BIG part of the story kind of fixed itself. I think even Michael was surprised that he was cured, and the deus ex machina at the end was SO confusing I had to read it three times. Wes and Michael were cute together, but I never was that invested in them. I felt like had so much drama going on, even they were having trouble focusing on falling in love.
So, yeah this was just okay for me, overall it's a good historical, not the best, but alright. Not my favorite book by this author.
Bring him Gold by T.A. Chase
This was a very sweet Valentine's Day short following the couple from Embrace My Reflection, Ronnie and Lucius.
They have been together for a year, and Lucius decides he wants to let Ronnie and the world know that he is with Ronnie for good. Very very sweet.