In the previous gay historical romance by M.J. Pearson, she used the well-known plot of having the wealthy aristocrat falling in love for the poor, and naïve, middle-class man; usually this imply the aristocrat is also a scoundrel and he will take advantage of the poor innocent guy. Here instead Dean, earl of Carwick, is just a step above the naïve level; he is not exactly “dumb”, but he has not even had to fight for anything in his life; not really wealthy, more comfortable, he spent all his life between school and parties, and now is approaching his old age with a bit of lassitude; if not for an unforeseeable event, I don’t think he would have chosen to marry, but when he has to, he finds a suitable wife, Minerva. Only that someone apparently doesn’t want for him to marry the girl and they put Rob on his path. A male prostitute, Rob is for sure an enough big scandal that Minerva’s father has to break their engagement.
Despite Rob’s profession, the novel is far from being erotic. First of all, all Rob’s meetings with his customers are conducted in private rooms, where the reader is not invited; so you don’t know what Rob actually is doing, even if you can imagine. While instead he is with Dean, aside for being always by night, they are also more romantic than erotic, letting the reader again more imagining that reading what is happening between the two of them. I actually had the feeling that the sex was really not important for the author, she was more focused on the journey Rob and Dean are taking towards Bath and on all the people and landmarks they will meet along the path; it was so vivid a tale that I actually went and checked if some of those places really exist and if I could visit them myself (and yes, more or less all of them are real).
To whom is wondering if the historical details were accurate, for what I can say they were, maybe since the author didn’t overwhelm you with them; I’m not sure if it was real, but she suggested that Rob was finding some of his patrons through the Times, in the announce section, usually one advertisement starting with “discreet young gentleman required…”; if it’s not true, nevertheless it was a nice idea and it served perfectly the plot.
Amazon: Discreet Young Gentleman
Amazon Kindle: Discreet Young Gentleman
Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications; First Print edition (October 31, 2006)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott