Flashback Friday, Giveaways

Flashback Friday and Giveaway – Whereof What’s Past Is Prologue…

Flashback Friday

Hi, everyone, welcome back to another edition of Flashback Friday! This week’s feature takes us back in time as we pay tribute to the Historical Romance genre. Once again, it wasn’t easy to settle on just one book. In fact, part of my problem this week was picking just one book from one of the best historical romance authors in the genre, when I really could have just said, “All of them.” So, once again, I imagine we’ll see this category pop up again in the future. :-D

And, speaking of the future, Flashback Friday will be going on hiatus for the next two weeks—we’re taking off for GayRomLit and then my family vacation to Disney World (woot!), following that. :) But we’ll be back with another installment on Friday, October 30th. So stay tuned…we may have some rather spooktastic recs for you just in time for Halloween. :)

Also, the winner of last week’s Young Adult/New Adult giveaway was Julie Smalls, who chose Hayden Thorne’s The Twilight Gods as her prize. Congratulations, Julie!

So, without further ado, here are this week’s Historical Faves. As always, be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win one of the titles.

Good luck!

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TNA_Signature_CarrieWhen I am thinking about buying a historical, I tend to gravitate to the regency period, which is one of the reasons this book really stood out for me. I love these authors and I was entranced by this book, The Lion of Kent by Aleksandr Voinov and Kate Cotoner. Squire William Raven is bold. He’s gunning for his spurs to become a knight and will let nothing stand in his way. When his lord, Sir Robert de Cantilou, returns from the Holy Land, he sees his chance. The historical accuracy of this book takes you straight back to medieval times and makes the book a treat to read. What more could bring a prideful squire to his knees than the love of his lord? The settings and story arc are believable for the times, and the characters are exceptionally well drawn for a novella. This is a story of true romance in an incredibly masculine setting. Sir Robert “sees” William – he sees past the bastard child with the chip on his shoulder to the friend underneath, and William is not intimidated by the returning warrior but is in love with the man.

I loved these characters and found myself wanting more and was ecstatic to find William, now known as the Lion of Kent, in another short novel, Deliverance. I highly recommend both books!

The lion of KentBlurb: Squire William Raven has only one goal–to finally receive his spurs and become a knight. When his lord, Sir Robert de Cantilou, returns from a five-year crusade in the Holy Land, William wants nothing more than to impress him.

After Sir Robert’s return, noble guests arrive from France, bringing intrigue to the castle. William is oblivious to the politics, as he’s distracted by nightly visits from a faceless lover–a man who pleasures him in the dark and then leaves–a man he soon discovers is none other than his master, Sir Robert.

But William can’t ignore the scheming around him when he overhears a plot to murder Robert. He becomes intent on saving his lord and lover from those who would see him killed…

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TNA_Signature_JenniferI love historical fiction so much, especially those set in the Victorian period. It’s such a fascinating time to read about because of how different everything was. This still holds true for m/m fiction. I know some people don’t like it because it’s not relatable, due to the laws at the time, but I’ve always found forbidden love to be the sweetest, and what could be more forbidden than two men during this time?

Thief by Ava March is one of my favorites. The first in the Brook Street trilogy, the book centers on Lord Benjamin and Cavin, a thief. Benjamin prefers men and he decides he wants to experience being with a man at least once. There he meets Cavin, and their fates are sealed.

What made this book even better for me was the class differences. Cavin may be a thief, but it’s by circumstance. He’s the underdog trying to get by, and even though some might disagree with how he gets by, I found him sympathetic. He’s warm and cares for a young boy whom he looks after as a brother. And Benjamin, once he gets a taste of men, embraces his sexuality.

The author does a fantastic job of transporting readers to 1800s London. I was there with the men as they travelled through gambling hells to rough parts of the city and beyond. Ava March writes this time period incredibly well, and readers of historical fiction will enjoy spending time with her characters.

ThiefBlurb: London, 1822 … It was only supposed to be one night. One night to determine once and for all if he truly preferred men. But the last thing Lord Benjamin Parker expected to find in a questionable gambling hell is a gorgeous young man who steals his heart.

It was only supposed to be a job. Cavin Fox has done it many times — select a prime mark, distract him with lust, and leave his pockets empty. Yet when Cavin slips away under the cover of darkness, the only part of Benjamin he leaves untouched is his pockets.

With a taste of his fantasies fulfilled, Benjamin wants more than one night with Cavin. But convincing the elusive young man to give them a chance proves difficult. Living with a band of thieves in the worst area of London, Cavin knows there’s no place for him in a gentleman’s life. Yet Benjamin isn’t about to let Cavin—and love—continue to slip away from him.

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaIf you haven’t read anything by Kaje Harper yet, I just have one question. Why not?

I was introduced to the author with one of the M/M Goodreads Group’s free story events in the summer of 2011, when she first participated with a beautiful story called Like the Taste of Summer. I loved that story – gave it 5 stars, in fact, and realized this was an author to watch. She has since become an auto-buy for me.

The next summer she wrote another, much longer story for the same event. In fact, it ended up being novel length. That is the story I want to recommend to lovers of Historical Fiction. It’s called Into Deep Waters, and it tells the story of Daniel and Jacob, who meet on ship during WWII.

What starts out as a shipboard friendship becomes a one true love. This story covers so much history – not just Jacob and Daniel’s history but the history of those couples who were forced to live in the shadows because their love was not accepted. We get to watch Daniel and Jacob negotiate a changing world and live through a life both beautiful and scary. I’d like to share some of my original Goodreads review for this story.

Their first furtive kiss, their first night together on shore leave, their worry about each other as they are out at sea in battles – all lift their love right off the pages. When they are separated after their ship sinks and Jacob is too injured to return to the Navy, Daniel’s letters remind us of the horrors of war, while Jacob waits and worries. Their reunion, their trying to make their way as a couple hidden from everyone else in their lives reminds us how much things have changed. And yet, the acceptance by Jacob’s sister and her husband and their children also remind us that there have been straight allies too.

The writing in this story is nothing short of brilliant. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m happy to tell you that Kaje Harper is going to be releasing this story in Audiobook format sometime later this month – maybe as early as next week! Do yourself a favor and pick up this wonderful story in whatever format you prefer – you won’t be disappointed!

Into Deep WatersBlurb: For Jacob and Daniel, two young gay men aboard a Navy ship in WWII, the risks were high. Not just the risks of injury and death from Japanese planes and submarines, but the risk of discovery, of discharge, imprisonment or worse. Only a special kind of love was worth taking that chance. But from the moment Daniel met Jacob’s eyes across a battle-scarred deck, he knew he had to try.

Being together required figuring out what it meant to be gay and in love with another man, in an era when they could be jailed or committed for admitting the desires of their hearts. On a ship at war, their relationship was measured in stolen moments and rare days of precious leave, with no guarantees there would be a tomorrow. And if they survived the war, they would need even more luck to keep their love alive through all the years to come.

This Novel Can Be Downloaded for FREE on Smashwords

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TNA_Signature_LisaAs I said up ^^^ there, there’s an author who is outstanding in the Historical Romance category. This author isn’t perhaps as prolific as many of her peers in the M/M genre, but her writing is second to none. The fact that reading her books isn’t necessarily a history lesson but that you end up learning a little as a residual effect of falling in love with her characters and settings and the myriad things that happen, or have happened, to them are all just a bonus to her brilliant wordsmithing.

The author I’m speaking of is Tamara Allen, and while I could have gone with any one of her books this week, I’m settling on her post-World War I novel, Whistling in the Dark, a book I discovered back in June of 2011.

The story takes place in New York City, in 1919, on the cusp of Prohibition and the era when the American gangster began finding fame. Or infamy, I suppose. It follows not only “the war to end all wars” but also follows one of the deadliest outbreaks of influenza this country has ever known. The 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic wiped out more Americans than US servicemen and civilians killed in the war. Some of these young men and women returned home from foreign soil only to discover their families had been decimated by the flu while they’d been off fighting.

This is the case for Jack Bailey and Sutton Albright, two veterans who each have their fair share of external and internal scars, and two men who deal with their pain in their own ways. They’re making their way the best they know how—which isn’t at all well since they meet in prison. Not an unusual occurrence for Jack, but for Sutton it’s all a bit overwhelming. Finding himself on the wrong end of a proposition has landed this Kansas native in the Big Apple in jail for indecent behavior.

To steal a little snippet from the review I wrote for the book:

Surrounded by a small group of friends, Jack and Sutton find that strength comes in the numbers of those who love and support them unconditionally. Even in the face of his family’s potential rejection, Sutton finds the mere prospect of happily-ever-after a far more compelling force than returning to a life that could not possibly fulfill him. Jack’s love for Sutton is “a promise that, even when the world was falling down around him, would stay kept. But without saying a word, he knew that there would be comfort when he couldn’t sleep tonight. And tomorrow and the day after, there would be a home to go to, even if it was no more than a pair of arms around him and a head tucked close to his in the darkness.”

Through the power of music and the fledgling medium of radio broadcasting, Jack and Sutton each find the will and the hope to fulfill their dreams, while at the same time forming a bond that will prove to be the best medicine for the battle scars that afflict them both. The two men discover that though the war has ended, their fight is far from over, a fight for healing, for redemption, and for the right to love.

Whistling in the Dark is an absolute treasure for fans of historical fiction. Or, to borrow an adjective from Jack’s own colorful repertoire—it’s crackerjack.

whistling in the darkBlurb: New York, 1919. His career as a concert pianist ended by a war injury, Sutton Albright returns to college, only to be expelled after an affair with a teacher. Unable to face his family, he heads to New York with no plans and little money—only a desire to call his life his own.

Jack Bailey’s life has changed as well. After losing his parents in the influenza epidemic, he hopes to save their beloved novelty shop—now his—by advertising on the radio, barely more than a novelty, itself.

Sutton lands work in Jack’s corner of the city and the two conclude they couldn’t be less suited for friendship. But when Sutton loses his job, Jack gives him a place to stay. Sutton returns to the piano to play for Jack and finds the intervening months have healed him. The program promises to rescue Jack’s business and Sutton’s career…but success brings its own risks for two men falling in love.

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*All comments must be relevant to the prompts to be eligible
*Void where prohibited by law

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4 Stars, Ava March, Carina Press, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Lisa

Release Day Review: Viscount’s Wager by Ava March

Title: Viscount’s Wager

Author: Ava March

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 275 Pages

At a Glance: Another sexy and romantic and emotionally satisfying read from Ava March.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: London, 1822

You never forget your first love, but is a second chance worth the gamble?

Anthony, Viscount Rawling, knows exactly what he wants in life and he isn’t above having a look about London for it. When he spots recently widowed Gabriel Tilden at a ton function, he thinks he might have found love…again.

Gabriel is as gorgeous and reserved as he was when he broke Anthony’s heart seven years ago. But they were only adolescents then…surely Anthony won’t hold the incident against him. And especially not when the attraction between them is stronger than ever.

Gabriel came to London in search of distraction, and a teasing Anthony is impossible to resist. As Anthony introduces Gabriel to the pleasures that can be found in the city—and in his bedchamber—their bond deepens into something more. Yet both men are hiding secrets that could pull them apart forever…

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Review: Author Ava March writes lust and romance so well, and stays true to her own special brand of Regency Era erotica in Viscount’s Wager, book three in the Gambling on Love series. While it’s not strictly necessary to read the first two books in the series before reading this one, I loved both All in with the Duke and Sharp Love (especially Sharp Love) enough to recommend them, if for nothing else than to catch up on the characters who make their appearances in Anthony and Gabriel’s story.

From the outset, the author goes right for the emotional connection between reader and characters, as we see two teenage boys tentatively explore the possibilities of a young and forbidden love with a first kiss, only to watch the risk they take become all for naught when Gabriel’s fear and insecurities lead him into the arms of a woman he doesn’t love and a marriage to the woman that neither of them wanted—a scenario that, sadly, was more likely to happen than not in the 19th century.

Years later this novel evolves from its bittersweet beginning to a story of second chances, when Gabriel (now a widower) and Anthony meet again in London. We see Anthony reflect upon the heartbreak he felt at being treated so callously, as that insight is observed through both distance and a more mature and sophisticated eye, knowing the reality that there often was no happy ending for gay men at this time. Circumstance affords the opportunity for the two men to rekindle their acquaintance and, eventually, for Gabriel to finally admit to and explore the attraction he’s harbored for Anthony, even over the long seven years of his marriage.

These two men don’t float easily along into their romance, though. They have obstacles to overcome brought on by secrets and lies, both outright lies and ones by omission, and they must confront a danger brought to their doorstep due to Gabriel’s own guilt and self-loathing. We watch Gabriel struggle with a push me-pull you yearning for Anthony—one that begins to present as his using Anthony solely for sex, and Anthony allowing it because he’s willing to take as much or as little as Gabriel is able to give. As always, however, there is a payoff to the emotional roller coaster we gladly ride, knowing that our persistence will be rewarded in the end when we see love win against the odds.

Ava March is a connoisseur of erotic historical romance. Her formula is laced with the restraint of the laws and social underpinnings of the time, and I’ve yet to find an instance where it hasn’t worked for me. She writes characters we root for with the knowledge that a happy ending befitting the time period won’t always be traditional but will be believable, and for Anthony and Gabriel it’s no different. They discover they have allies, people who become their inner circle of friends, they themselves sharing the same secret, which adds to the romance of her stories.

Viscount’s Wager ends as though it’s a wrap up to this series. We see all three of the couples settled and happy, and this alone makes Ava March, as always, a go-to author for me when I’m ready to escape into a sexy and romantic and emotionally satisfying read.

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You can buy Vicount’s Wager here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Ava March, Carina Press, Reviewed by Lisa

Two Friends Take A Gamble On Love In Ava March’s “Sharp Love”


“Love is hard to find, hard to keep, and hard to forget.” ― Alysha Speer


Title: Sharp Love (Gambling on Love #2)

Author: Ava March

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 199 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: London, 1822

William Drake has lived among thieves, bastards and beggars all his life, doing what’s necessary to survive. As a young orphan, that included looking after his best friend, Jack Morgan. But as they grew older, Jack took the honest path, leaving Will behind to fend for himself the only ways he knows how.
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Ava March, Carina Press

Ava March Goes “All In With the Duke” And All In With A Rafflecopter Giveaway!


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TNA: Hi, Ava, I’m so thrilled to welcome you to The Novel Approach. Why don’t we start off by having you tell readers a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things that make you, you?

AM: Thanks so much for having me! As for a little about myself…I have a fondness for cute shoes and boy Barbie dolls, love poptarts, and watch way too much HGTV, though I’m horrid at guessing which house people pick on House Hunters.

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance? If not, what drew you to the genre? If so, same question.

AM: I read nothing but M/F Regencies for years, so when I took the plunge and tried writing my own stories, I started there. Then I started reading M/M as well. While I was going through the agent query process with my first M/F book, I got an idea for a M/M erotic Regency. Then I got another idea, and another, and I started writing them. It may sound odd, but in a M/M Regency I have more freedom in a way. My heroes can hang-out together, visit each other at any time of day or night, even spend the night at each other’s house without raising an eyebrow. As long as they appear only as friends to Society, all’s well. And that’s the big constraint I place myself under with a M/M historical—such relationships were illegal. But if a relationship could thrive in the Regency, then it was a love meant to last.

TNA: What was your first published book?

AM: Bound by Deception was my first published book.

TNA: What draws you to historical romance, and more specifically, to the Regency Era?

AM: I love the excess and grandeur of the Regency Era coupled with the social restrictions of the time period. Plus, the gorgeous clothes. *happy sigh* Men wore suits all the time back then.

TNA: How much research do you do for your books?

AM: When I first started writing Regencies, I did a lot of research to get a feel for the time period. Now, my research is more narrow and based on the needs of whatever book I’m working on. For example, in All In with the Duke, the duke attends Parliament. Even though the reader doesn’t see him sitting through a session, chapter one is timed about a week before Parliament closes for the summer. So I still had to research the dates of the session in 1822, layout and location of Westminster, what time it started each day and which days of the week Parliament was in session.

TNA: Which relationships do you find most challenging to write, the ones between characters in the same social class, or the ones in which the characters must overcome the additional obstacle of their social differences?

AM: It really varies depending on the characters. May sound like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth. For some, differences in social class aren’t a huge obstacle. Instead, they have different obstacles to work through. Oliver and Vincent from The Bound Series are both second sons of lords, yet it took me three books to get Vincent where I needed him. For others, those differences in class are a major hurtle they need to figure out how to overcome. Sometimes it’s more internalized, such as with Brook Street: Thief. Ben had a simple solution, but Cavin struggled to accept that he was good enough for a man of Ben’s social standing. Other times it’s a very valid external concern, as is the case with All In with the Duke.

TNA: If you could travel back in time to the era in which your stories are set, first, would you do it, and second, is there anyone in particular you’d want to meet while you were there?

AM: I’m a twenty-first century gal. I love my cell phone, wireless internet connections, Pop Tarts and diet coke, and modern plumbing. And I adore being able to flip a switch and have a light come on. While I love to write romances set in the Regency Era, I wouldn’t much care to travel back in time to see the Era first-hand. Well…maybe for an hour or so. It would be cool to meet Jane Austen. But it would be a short visit.

TNA: If you had to choose, which book would you say has been your most challenging to write so far?

AM: The answer will vary, depending on which book I’m currently working on. Right now, I’m finishing up Sharp Love, so that one’s my most challenging book to write. After I finish it and move onto Viscount’s Wager, I’m sure that one will take the top spot. Each new book has a new pair of characters who (hopefully) aren’t quite like others I’ve written, so they come with their own set of challenges.

TNA: In All In With the Duke, you’ve once again featured a prostitute as the love interest. What is it that intrigues you most about a romantic relationship growing from that scenario?

AM: The exchange of money for something as intimate as sex is wrought with all conflicts. Conflicts that make my angst-loving heart sigh in happiness. Plus, it’s the ultimate romantic fairytale – working boy meets that special client and they fall in love and live happily-ever-after.

TNA: You also explore dominance and submission within the relationship dynamic. Which is the easiest, and favorite, role to write?

AM: The dominant is the easier role for me to write, but I love my submissives and I love writing from their point of view.

TNA: Of all the characters you’ve created, do you have a favorite?

AM: Oliver Marsden from The Bound Series.

TNA: Who are your literary influences?

AM: Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas are my favorite M/F historical authors. I’ve read their books countless times, and while reading those books, ideas for my own stories started spinning in my head. Which lead to taking the plunge and putting pen to paper.

TNA: Do you have certain rituals or superstitions you adhere to when you set down to begin writing a book?

AM: I’m a total plotter. I have to have the plot set and an outline drafted before I can start chapter one.

TNA: Have you ever written a scene that’s made you cry? If so, do you remember which book it’s from?

AM: There’s a scene in All In with the Duke that got me downright teary-eyed, but I can’t tell you which scene for that would be a spoiler.

TNA: Do you currently have any works-in-progress? If so, would you consider sharing a little bit about them?

AM: I’m currently finishing up Sharp Love, the second book in the Gambling on Love series. It features Jack Morgan (Max, from All In with the Duke’s ever-useful carriage driver) and his old childhood friend, William Drake, who happens to be a card sharp. Jack is principled kind of guy who takes his job very seriously, and Will…not so much. They’ve been quite interesting to write.

TNA: Would you consider sharing an excerpt with us from All In with the Duke?

AM: Sure, I’d love to share an excerpt. The following is a snippet from chapter one, when Max first meets Tristan at the brothel.

Reaching behind him, the man shut the door. “Good evening, sir. I am Tristan.”

His voice didn’t match what Max would have expected either. There was no waifish lisp, like one of those macaronis with their affected airs and velvet frock coats. Instead, his voice held the distinct note of the country. Of great expanses of green grass and practical farm fields.

“Would you care for another glass of brandy? Or do you prefer whisky?” he asked, with a wave of his hand toward Max’s empty glass.

Max shook his head. He swept his gaze over the man again, searching for the source of the lust drumming through his veins, heating his skin. He wanted to bend Tristan over the arm of the couch, hear him beg for Max’s cock. Tease and torment him until he pleaded with Max to be allowed his release. Strip every piece of clothing from that lean, lithe body… His brow furrowed. “What is your age?”

“What age would you like me to be?” The reply flowed off his tongue, like one he had given countless times before.

“Don’t play games with me. I asked you a question. I expect an honest answer.”

Unruffled by the harsh tone, Tristan said, in that same easy way, “One-and-twenty.”

A growl rumbled Max’s throat. “Do not lie to me.”

Tristan bristled, his gorgeous mouth thinning, his eyes narrowing. “I am not lying. I was born on September twenty-third, 1800. I may not appear to be one-and-twenty, but it is the truth.”

Max kept his gaze pinned on Tristan, waiting for the young man to shift his weight, to break eye contact, to fidget in some manner, to reveal his words as false. As merely an attempt to say what a potential client wanted to hear.

After a long moment, Tristan nodded once, a perfunctory, businesslike bob of his head. “I understand. I don’t suit. Charles should be available soon. He’s the only other man in the house willing to take male clients, but he’s presently occupied. I can have a supper tray sent up if you’d prefer to wait.”

“What are you going on about? I never said you didn’t suit.” If anything, Tristan suited much too well. “I merely wanted to be certain I wasn’t buggering a boy.”

“I am not a boy.” Fire flashed in Tristan’s eyes, briefly darkening the green-gold depths.

“And you have convinced me of such.” With a nudge of his chin, he beckoned Tristan.

In the blink of an eye, all traces of irritation vanished from Tristan’s beautiful features. He crossed the room, his strides long and limber, full of natural grace. He settled next to Max on the couch, and as he turned his shoulders toward him, his knee pressed against Max’s thigh. Just that bit of contact was enough to make the lust spike. The jolt landed squarely in Max’s ballocks. His cock hardened, pressing against the placket of his trousers, eager for attention.

With an absent flick of his fingers, Tristan tucked the long strands of his hair behind one ear. He reached into his waistcoat pocket and produced a calling card.

Max took the proffered card. Written in neat black type was an amount. That was it. Nothing more. So he’d assumed wrong—it wasn’t a calling card. Rather, the man’s rate for the night. “We haven’t discussed specifics yet.”

Tristan lifted one shoulder in a shrug. “It matters not what we do. That’s the price for my time.”

“And how long do I have you?”

“No more than three hours.” Tristan arched a dark blond brow. “Do the terms meet with your satisfaction?”

The answer required no thought at all.

Excerpt from ALL IN WITH THE DUKE ©2013 by Ava March. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Ava March is an author of sexy, emotionally intense M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors. With over fifteen works to her credit, her books have been finalists in the Rainbow Awards and More Than Magic contest, and deemed ‘must-haves’ for Historical M/M romance by RT Book Reviews readers.

To find out more about Ava March, visit her at:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

About All In With The Duke:

Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man’s true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before.

Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men’s pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he’ll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max.

So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms—days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the “business arrangement” begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max’s life—or in Max’s guarded heart…

Buy links:

Kindle
Kindle UK
Nook
Carina

Giveaway details:

Ava is giving away a tour wide prize of a $50 Amazon gift card.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

November 11-
Joyfully Jay

November 12-
Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance

November 13-
Fiction Vixen

November 14-
The Novel Approach

November 15-
Ecletic Passions

November 17-
Ramblings From This Chick

November 18-
The Book Pushers

November 20-
Book Jems

November 22-
Smexy Books

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Sneak Peek

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Greetings, everyone, I hope you’ve had an outstanding weekend.

We’ve got lots to talk about in the week ahead, more reviews, more interviews, more guest articles, and, of course, lots of great giveaways! So, here’s what you can look forward to in the week ahead.

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MondayS.A. McAuley will be here to talk a little bit about how keeping herself from killing someone turned out to be a good thing. And she’s offering a great giveaway!

TuesdayCate Ashwood is here to talk about Brokenhearted the first book in her new series, and will be offering one lucky reader the chance to win the book

WednesdayJosephine Myles pops down our chimney on her Merry Gentlemen blog tour, and she comes bearing a gift for one lucky reader

And, of course, A.J. Corza will be here with her Cover Art Critique of the Week

Thursday – Ava March goes All in With the Duke and the chance to enter a great giveaway at RaffleCopter

FridayJohn Goode had a great idea for a story once, and he’s here today to talk about where to go with it in the next article in his writing series

Charley Descoteaux – is also here to introduce us to her unconventional sex club and her upcoming release Curious Sustenance

SaturdayT.T. Kove arrives on the Yesterday’s Tears Blog Tour and the chance to win an E-copy of the book

SundayPosy Roberts drops in on her Fusion Blog Tour with an interview and a giveaway of Spark, the first book in the series.

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And that does it for the coming week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Ava March, Carina Press

Going “All In With the Duke” Is A Pretty Good Bet



“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.” ― Steven Pressfield


When it comes to Regency Era M/M Erotica with a side of romantic complications brought about by duty, obligation, and societal expectation, Ava March is my number-one-go-to author. That was oddly specific yet totally true. And she had me at rentboy.
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All Romance Ebooks, Ava March

The Bound Series by Ava March

Seduce my mind and you can have my body. Find my soul and I’m yours forever. – Unknown




It’s official. I’ve discovered my favorite Ava March series. I guess I should qualify that with “so far”, though, since I haven’t had the chance to read everything she’s written. Yet.

Bound by Deception, Bound to Him, and Bound Forever are joined by two FREE erotic vignettes, Deliberately Unbound and Deliberately Bound, in telling the complete and perfect story of two men, friends since childhood, who eventually find a way to claim each other in spite of being bound by the reality that their love is against the law and that one of them, Lord Vincent Prescot, has some preconceived notions to overcome before he can be free to belong to Oliver.

Lord Oliver Marsden is the object of Vincent’s desire, though Vincent doesn’t realize he wants Oliver at all until he believes Oliver is a submissive whore called Jake, because Oliver has manipulated Vincent’s perceptions to make it so. What follows is the seamlessly told story of the redefinition of a relationship. It is the story of a man who must face, albeit rather reluctantly, the knowledge that not only does he prefer men but that he prefers his best friend above all others, which is not a simple task when the possibility exists that he may be obligated to marry and produce an heir to the Saye and Sele marquisate.

Their story is a delicate balance of necessary public discretion and uninhibited lust behind closed doors. It’s a balance of understanding that sexual submission does not equal a complete surrender of control in all things. It’s the story of two men falling completely and irrevocably in love and discovering that the depth of their love has also bred a terrible fear that it could be taken away at a moment’s notice, and in the effort to protect what it is they’ve found, it is a fear that nearly tears them apart.

I love historical romance, and one of the things I think Ava March does so well is romanticizing the Regency Era. Maybe there should be something a little unsatisfying about watching a couple fall in love yet not be able to live openly together and acknowledge that love freely, but there isn’t, at least not for me. Maybe it has a something to do with that love being personal and private, not sharing it with the world but holding it close and protecting it with everything you are in order for it to thrive and survive. It’s a different sort of romantic love and it challenges my contemporary notions of happily-ever-after. Whatever it is, Ms. March hooks me every time, with her skilled storytelling, strong characters, and sizzling love scenes.

If you don’t mind a little BDSM in your historical erotica, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series.

Find these and more of Ava March’s work here:

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All Romance Ebooks, Ava March

Convincing Arthur and Convincing Leopold by Ava March

When we are in love we often doubt that which we most believe. ~ François de la Rochefoucauld






Did you pick up these two books when Ava March was offering them for $.99 apiece at Amazon? If not, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been at all upset if I’d paid full price for them. Of course, I’m always happy to pad my reading list with a little historical erotica, and this is most definitely both historical and erotica, so score!

Convincing Arthur and Convincing Leopold are companion books and should definitely be read in order. Together they tell the story of two men who’d begun a friendship ten years prior, but because of fear and inaction on Leopold Thornton’s part, that friendship ended before it’d had the opportunity to become anything more.

For ten years, Arthur Barrington found himself as one half of what he thought was a whole relationship with a man. Unfortunately, Randolph Amherst wasn’t in what he thought of as a relationship as much as it was an arrangement that included sex. When Randolph announced he was engaged to be married, with the expectation that he and Arthur would continue their forbidden liaison, Arthur finally understood the truth that not only didn’t Randolph love him, but he also didn’t care when Arthur put an end to their affair.

Ten years of carousing and sleeping with any man who was ready, willing, and able, earned Leopold a reputation, a reputation that Arthur is all too familiar with, and one that Leopold is going to have a difficult time overcoming if he’s to convince Arthur he’s waited ten long and lonely years for the chance to be faithful to him and only him. Leopold has the will; now he must find the way. But first he must also work to convince himself he’s worthy of Arthur’s attention and affection.

Convincing Arthur is the book that builds up to the relationship; Convincing Leopold is the book in which they work to hang on to the new and fragile connection they’re attempting to build. And frankly, they’re making more than their fair share of mistakes along the way. Is their connection based solely on sex, or is it something that goes much deeper than their physical compatibility? Does Arthur love Leopold even a little, or has he found himself in something much like the arrangement Randolph had once had with him?

Their sexual connection and the desire they have for each other is real. But is it enough? Or is there more? They nearly miss the answers to those questions because Arthur and Leopold are afraid of both the questions and the answers.

I haven’t been disappointed by an Ava March book yet, and that streak of good luck continues with Arthur and Leopold. I must have a thing for Regency Era sex and conflict because that’s what this author seems to do best, and it’s why I’m thoroughly convinced I’ll keep coming back for more.

Find these Ava March titles and more here:

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Alexa Snow, Ava March, Elyan Smith, Jane Davitt, Joey W. Hill, Katie Porter, Kim Dare, L.A. Witt, Riptide Publishing

O Come All Ye Kinky Edited by Sarah Frantz

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Let’s be naughty and save Santa a trip. – Gary Allan

Well, happy hot, hot holidays, everyone. Seems ‘tis the season to be bound and gagged and spanked and sexed up to the nines, when gifts aren’t tied up in ribbons and bows as much as folks are tied up in leather and ropes and are begging for the gifts of pain and pleasure, and all that glitters is duct tape, and everyone is giving the gifts of dominance and submission, those gifts that just keep on giving all year long.

O Come All Ye Kinky is a collection of eight BDSM themed stories:

Tree Topper by Jane Davitt
’Twas the Night by Ava March
Fireworks by Katie Porter
Candy Caning by L.A. Witt
Submissive Angel by Joey W. Hill
Open Return by Elyan Smith
Ring Out the Old and In the New by Alexa Snow
His Very Last Chance by Kim Dare

And each individual story in this anthology makes reading them all more than worth it. From a couple trying to figure out their roles in a relationship; to a woman struggling so hard to believe that she could ever come first in anyone’s life; to a transgendered man who’s coming home after a fifteen year absence, unsure of whether he still has a place there; to a man trying desperately to recover from the aftereffects of a violent crime, these stories all seem to have one underlying similarity, regardless of the author—they each center around a couple (or a threesome) who find that love is the one gift you can give away and will be more than glad when it’s returned.

Honestly, O Come All Ye Kinky has a little bit of something for everyone. Before I picked it up, I was one-hundred percent certain that four of the eight authors were going to deliver because I was already a fan of their work. After reading it, now I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that I count myself a budding fan of those new-to-me authors as well.

Whether you’re looking for historical erotica, something with an ethereal magic to it, something that will tug at your heartstrings, or something that’s just flat-out dead sexy, you’ll find it in this well written and complementary collection of short fiction. I can guarantee you there are more than noses being nipped at here, so go ahead and be naughty; add a little fetish to your holidays. You may never look at candy canes and wrapping paper and Christmas lights quite the same way again.

Buy O Come All Ye Kinky here: https://i0.wp.com/riptidepublishing.com/sites/all/themes/riptide/logo.png

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Ava March, Loose Id

More Goodies To Share That Just Might Fit Into Your Book Buying Budget

Hi All!

I just ran across an announcement on Twitter from author Ava March and thought I’d share it with anyone who might’ve missed it, or for those of you who don’t Tweet.

Ms. March has six (::pfft:: I just accidentally typed “sex” and had to correct myself. OY!)… Yes, that’s six titles on sale at Amazon for just $.99! Of the six, the only one I’ve read is His Cient, which I loved (the Brook Street Series is great too!), and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to snatch up the other five titles, because when it comes to historical fiction, Ms. March has rapidly become one of my “go to” authors.

So, if you have a Kindle, why not snatch these up? But hurry, I’m not sure how long this sale will last! Just click on the cover images to go directly to the page for each book. :)


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Ava March, Loose Id

His Client by Ava March

“It’s hard to pretend you love someone when you don’t, but it’s even harder to pretend you don’t love someone when you do.” – Unknown

Jasper Reed knows a little bit about what it feels like to be Nathaniel Travers. No, Jasper and Nate don’t travel in the same social and economic circles—Nate’s uncle is a viscount, and Jasper…well, Jasper’s a whore and is the bastard son of a gin-whore mother, so, no, these two men couldn’t come from more vastly different life experiences. But Jasper knows what it feels like to be Nate because Jasper understands what it feels like to watch the person you love, love someone else. He also understands that there’s no greater pain in the world than loving someone you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, you will never have. Jasper knows this because he loves Nate the way Nate loves his dearest friend, Peter Edmonton, the man who’s set to marry Miss Catherine Harper, the woman Peter loves and very much wants to spend the rest of his life with.

How much does Jasper love Nate? Enough that Jasper could’ve quit selling his body well before the fifth year of their association, but the idea of retiring and never seeing Nate again was far too high a price to pay to bear considering it. It’s not as though Jasper and Nate could be seen together in London, after all. Nate has not been Jasper’s only client over the course of his decade at Madame Delacroix’ brothel, and it would certainly not do to sully Nate’s reputation to associate publicly with Jasper, nor would it do to put Nate on a fast track to the gallows should his sexual preferences ever be discovered. So allowing Nathaniel to continue to pay for his services is the only way Jasper is able to gain any amount of time with the one man who has, from the very start, done the one thing no one else ever has—treated him with kindness, with respect; treated him like a human being rather than a whore whose only value is measured by what he can do on his back, on his knees, or bent over in whatever position he’s being paid to assume.

For five years, Jasper has been the one Nate has turned to and trusted with the pain of his unrequited love for Peter. For five years, Jasper has been the one Nate has turned to and trusted with the secret of his sexual proclivities. For five years, Jasper has been Nate’s beck-and-call boy, but now, after five long and heartbreaking years of knowing that the only reason Nate keeps Jasper’s company is because Nate pays for the pleasure of having his physical needs satisfied, Jasper understands that it’s time to end the pretense of their friendship and start over new, to begin again somewhere that no one knows who he is or how he made his living.

“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” turns out to be less a cliché and more a canon for Nate Travers when Jasper tells him goodbye. Nate had spent years pining for a man he couldn’t have, or more so, pining for the idea of a man he couldn’t have, all the while being so utterly blind to what was right in front of him, just waiting to be claimed. It took five years to build their relationship, a mere moment to lose it, and then just a matter of weeks for Nate to finally wake up to the realization that he’d just let the best thing to ever happen to him slip away as if all they’d shared had never mattered.

Now the question is, is it too late for Nate to convince Jasper that missing him has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with a love he didn’t recognize until it was no longer within his reach? And how far will Nate go to prove it?

I’m tempted to huff just a little that it felt as though Nate stumbled upon his feelings for Jasper a bit too quickly, especially after he’d spent the past five years with Jasper, pining over Peter. But that’s most likely due to the fact that for the majority of the book, it felt as though Ava March was trying to break my heart—and was doing an excellent job of it. When Nathaniel finally comes to his senses, there was a heaping sense of what-took-you-so-long? with a small side of well-that-seemed-easy-enough. But maybe that’s the way love is when you finally recognize it and can put a name to it and then come to the realization that you must get out of your own way in order to claim it—you want it with a sense of urgency born in the shame and embarrassment of it having taken you so long to figure it all out.

Regardless, His Client is another tick in my success column for Ms. March. I am a fan of her writing style, her Regency era settings, her characters, and the love stories she spins around them.

Buy His Client HERE.

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Ava March, Carina Press

Rogues (Brook Street #3) by Ava March

“The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

Linus Radcliffe and Robert Anderson have been friends for eighteen years, have even, on occasion, been friends with benefits in spite of the fact that Rob is an aggressively straight man, as committed to finding his next widow or unhappily married woman to bed as Linus is devoted to homing in on the next willing man he can use to slake his lust.

Robert was Linus’ first—his first man, his first kiss, the first to touch Linus’ in all his most intimate places, but over the course of their friendship, Linus has willed himself to let go of any hope he’d once held that he and Robert would ever be anything more than just friends. Linus hasn’t given up on having Rob in his life but has come to accept that, in spite of the pain of surrendering a dream, there are simply some things that are not meant to be, and a future as Rob’s lover and partner is one of those things.

It seems, however, that regardless of Linus’ hard fought intentions to keep the status quo of their relationship intact, Robert has inexplicably become determined to redefine the parameters of whatever it is that’s been going on between the two of them over the course of nearly two decades. Robert’s serial philandering suddenly isn’t so appealing to him anymore, and being forced to watch Linus make his way through the men of the ton hurts in more ways than Robert can express verbally, so there’s little left for him to do but to let his actions speak for him, determining that it’s time to go on the offensive and storm the walls Linus has built to define their friendship and to protect his heart. Robert launches a full-frontal assault in declaring himself and his wants. What he doesn’t expect, however, is for Linus to go on the defensive and thwart the attack so effectively.

Linus understands that Robert tends to want what he can’t have, which makes Robert’s pushing of the boundaries that’ve been safe and comfortable, if not altogether pleasant, all the more painful, for Linus feels he has no choice but to repel his friend’s advances. The harder Robert pushes, the further Linus retreats with the fear that even the slightest change in the circumstances between them will cause an outcome that Linus absolutely could not bear. Not having a forever with Robert is difficult enough. Not having an anything with Robert is intolerable.

So, when there’s nothing left to do but to do something that feels a lot like surrender, it’s Robert who concedes. For Robert, the only course of action is his own inaction. In order to keep Linus in his life, in whatever capacity Linus is capable giving, Robert must let go and send up a silent prayer that whatever lies within Linus’ heart and whatever will come of it, that he, Robert, is worthy and will be enough.

It’s truly something when you can say a book isn’t your favorite in a series, yet are still able to say that you loved it, all the same. Brook Street: Rogues is that book for me. While there weren’t the challenges of the social inequities of Lord Benjamin and Cavin’s relationship, the sexuality conflicts of Sasha and Thomas’, or the betrayal of Oscar by Julian that delayed their happiness, there was a definite poignancy in this friends-to-lovers story: the fears of destroying a trusted bond, the acceptance that friendship is enough, and the sure knowledge that discretion is a fair price to pay for a forever love.

Buy Brook Street: Rogues HERE.

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Ava March, Carina Press

Fortune Hunter (Brook Street #2) by Ava March

“Love is a state in which a man sees things most decidedly as they are not.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Oscar Woodhaven may be the loneliest man in all of London in spite of the fact that he’s young, excessively wealthy, a member of the London ton, and has a small but loyal group of friends with whom he associates. One would assume that Oscar’s life was both filled and fulfilling but one would be wrong because despite the fact that Oscar’s social calendar is indeed full, he is still an incredibly lonely man who is rarely appreciated for who he is but for what he has.

The death of his parents saw Oscar taken in by an aunt and uncle who did little more than tolerate his presence and milk his insecurities because it bought them a comfortable life. They didn’t want Oscar himself but they certainly did want the inheritance and all the property and prestige that accompanied him when they claimed him. Yes, Oscar has trust issues because for most of his life, people have seen him not for the priceless gifts he can give of himself—kindness and loyalty and friendship—but for the material objects and status by association his wealth can provide.

Julian Parker, a black sheep by virtue of being born into the wrong flock of Lord Benjamin Parker’s family, returns to London from America, penniless, saddled with his father’s poor reputation, without social prospects, and in search of a wealthy woman to marry in order to secure his financial future. Marriages of convenience were more the rule than the exception in London society, after all, so not being at all attracted to, let alone in love with the woman he settles on isn’t much of an excuse for Julian not to blindly pursue his objective, and meeting Oscar proves to be a most fortunate advantage for this poorest of the Parker clan.

Who better than the wealthy and connected Oscar to help Julian gain entrance to the social circles he must infiltrate in order to accomplish his goals? And it’s with the best of intentions that Oscar opens his home and purse in friendship to Julian. But, of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the road to love is paved with broken hearts, and some of the most painful lies aren’t the ones you tell but the ones you purposefully omit. When Oscar quickly becomes so much more than a benefactor to Julian, it’s those lies by omission that prove to Oscar he has been seeing things most decidedly as they are not, which leaves Julian with nothing else to do but to prove to Oscar that love is not a deception and that the Julian who was is not the Julian who will be—a man in whom Oscar can place his trust and the man who will love Oscar for who he is and not for what he can buy.

Brook Street: Fortune Hunter is the story of the worth of a man and the weight of his integrity. It is the story of a man who gambles away love and friendship along with his self respect, and loses far more than he’s prepared to pay. Julian Parker must determine the value of his character, the cost of his convictions, and determine what he’s willing to forfeit in order to gain, not the least of which is his own honor and the respect of the man whose worth is immeasurable.

There’s a definite blueprint to each book in this blueblood series, a design I’ve been more than happy to follow to each happy ending that Ava March has constructed from the conflicts her characters navigate. Redemption and second chances are won only after the men suffer for the love of the other, each reward coming at a price but one each man is willing to pay in defiance of what society demands, for the sake of his own happiness.

Buy Brook Street: Fortune Hunter HERE.

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Ava March, Carina Press

My True Love Gave to Me (Brook Street, #0.5) by Ava March

“Love is a reciprocal torture” – Marcel Proust

From the start of this forbidden romance, it’s exceedingly clear that Thomas Bennett is not as invested in Alexander Norton as Alexander is invested in Thomas. Where Alexander thrives in the glow of the all-encompassing love he feels for Thomas, the polite and well mannered Thomas, a man who is strong and confident and so sure of himself in every other way, is knocked entirely off kilter by the way his body reacts to his Sasha.

From the tightening of his posture, to the instinctive flinch from even the most innocent of public physical contact, Sasha expects that one day those immediate reactions in Thomas will fade, as Thomas grows more comfortable with the love they feel for each other. What Sasha did not, could not expect, however, is that Thomas’s heart would be so little invested in their relationship that it would be Thomas himself who would fade from Sasha’s life, as though he’d never existed at all.

Running away from England, from Sasha, as well as from his own sexuality, Thomas disappears to New York City for four years, never offering even a single word of explanation to the man who had been willing to give of himself entirely in spite of the complications of their relationship, to the man Thomas cruelly abandoned just before the Christmas of 1817, after he’d raised Sasha’s hopes then destroyed them in a single decisive move. What Thomas does discover is that an entire ocean and the passage of time are not enough distance to diminish his feelings for the nineteen-year-old boy who’d awakened the man he was meant to become.

But the Sasha that Thomas returns to England for, the Sasha that Thomas hopes to win back, no longer exists. In his place is a cold and cynical man who was left devastated when Thomas rejected and abandoned him and the gift of his love. Now, it will take everything in Thomas’s power to prove himself worthy of forgiveness and to convince Sasha that the love they felt for each other is still there burning just beneath the surface, even if it means Thomas humbling himself and accepting cruel treatment when that’s all Sasha has to offer.

Though Ava March wrote My True Love Gave to Me as part of Carina Press’ Men Under the Mistletoe holiday collection, the Christmas theme shouldn’t keep you from reading this one now, especially if you’re a fan of well written Regency romance. This story can be read as a standalone even though it’s staged in the same setting of the author’s Brook Street series, a series that I’m discovering a huge passion for, beginning with the book Thief.

Ava March draws the reader into a well written world that transports you directly into the lives of the London ton and into the lives of these men who dare to love despite the danger and the odds against them. I, for one, can’t wait to make my way into the next two books, expecting they’ll be every bit as lovely as the first two.

Buy My True Love Gave to Me HERE.

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Ava March

Thief (Brook Street #1) by Ava March

Lord Benjamin Parker has been granted the serenity to accept the things he cannot change. He has been granted the courage to change the things he can. And he possesses the wisdom to know the difference.

Benjamin realizes that he has no passion for women, no desire to marry and provide an heir, but he must prove it to himself, once and for all, that what he feels is real. He’s tired of fighting his attraction to men, tired of worrying about the consequences of his desires, tired of going through the motions, and tired of the not-so-subtle hints from his siblings that it’s time for him to settle down. If he can engage in an encounter with another man, and finds that he enjoys that encounter, he will accept that he is an “unnatural” and will live the life he’s meant to live rather than subject a woman to a life of unrequited feelings.

There’s a medieval proverb that says, “a fox is not caught by gifts,” but Benjamin’s single and incendiary encounter with Cavin Fox nullifies that adage, because the gift that Benjamin gives the clever and elusive Fox snares him as surely as if he’d fallen into a steel trap.

Cavin Fox is a grifter and Benjamin was to be nothing more than his next mark for the evening. He was to seduce Benjamin and relieve the nabob of all his valuables, but instead, Benjamin stole Cavin’s heart when he entrusted the thief with his first sexual encounter with another man. It is more than Cavin’s conscience can bear and is enough to make the man begin to rethink his entire existence; it’s enough to make him wish he were someone different, to be a better man and to be a man who is worthy of Benjamin’s affection. ”The fox changes his fur but not his habits?” No, Cavin disproves that proverb as well; his transformation is complete when he falls in love with a man who is seemingly beyond his reach.

Brook Street: Thief is the story of two men from diametrically opposed social classes in Regency England and the way they find each other and connect in a time when the love they share dares not speak its name. Benjamin and Cavin overcome the obstacles that would otherwise keep them apart, believing that love will always find a way.

This is my first experience with Ava March’s work and I couldn’t be happier to have given this book a chance. The foundation has been laid for the next book, and while it’s not a continuation of Benjamin and Cavin’s romance, I do sincerely hope the two men make an appearance in Fortune Hunter because I liked them too well to let them move on just yet.

Buy Thief HERE.

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