Henry Shaw is a country man; third son of an above the average but not wealthy family, he sought his own fortune in London. And then London was also the place where he can satisfy his secret "dark" desire easier than at home. Henry prefers the company of men, and he met a man, Markus, who not only was willing to teach him a thing or two about loving a man, but also introduced Henry to the most exclusive inner circle of London's best society. The relationship with Markus was doomed, but not since it was a man on man relationship, but since Markus was not an honorable man, and Henry puts honor among everything else. And this is the reason why Henry took notice of Arsen Grey, Marquis of Somerville. All right, Arsen was also an handsome man, but above all Henry was drawn by his behavior. Pity that Arsen was without doubt out of his league and also straight. So it was quite a surprise when Henry receives the invite to the one week country party holds by Arsen in his estate; oh, Henry knows that this one is not the classical meeting, but more a way for Arsen to choose his new mistress among all the ladies, of easy virtue, that will attend. And the other men will have the chance to amuse themself with whom will be not chosen by Arsen. But Henry is not interested in women, he has an unrequited love only for Arsen.
By the classical standard, Object of His Desire is a pure savage romance: the dashing lord, wealthy and handsome, a notorious rake but also a man of honor; the blushing country "virgin" (well, not exactly virgin in this case...) who has nothing if not his good look and his virtue; the unspeakable offer to be the kept mistress that obviously the virtuous country mouse will honorable reject... or not? well is this or not a savage romance? and our two hero are they or not both willing men? Once the boundaries of society are overcome by the convenient set of an orgy in a country house, and also by the wealth of the lord, what prevents them to enjoy the carnal pleasure? And so free rein to an erotic night that rivals with the best historical erotic scene I read (gay and not).
I like as the author manage to blend the rules for historical romance with the erotic elements, all mixed up with the gay romance. I like as all seems realistic, and how both men don't loose their role of men: true, they are in love, or lust, with another man, but neither of them is the "female". Arsen maybe is a bit more selfish, Henry maybe is a bit more respectful, aware of the difference in class between Arsen and him, but both of them are aware of their valor, and of what they can bring to their relationship. Pity that this is only a novella, since I wouldn't mind to read something more than one night in their life.