The Fortune Hunter

Reviewed for @BMBR

3.75 Stars

Ever have one of those magical lazy days? Where it goes by so peacefully slow and the only requirement is pajamas? Yeah, me neither. But I can imagine they would be a lot like most of this book with its slow pacing, lazy country days, simmering attractions, and budding friendships.

I recommend reading the synopsis because it does a great job of setting the stage. As the book starts, Hal is meeting Margaret’s (his fiancé) family at their country estate. Clearly, Margaret didn’t fully prepare her family and all were surprised-especially Julian, her cousin. He is taken right away with Julian’s looks but must keep his eyes on the prize. Hal was an orphan and has always craved security in a life that lacked control, funds, food, love, and shelter. He truly cares for Margaret in the way you would a dear friend. Unfortunately, Hal didn’t account for Julian.

Julian is a self righteous arse that falls in line with the high society gentleman in London. He swoops in on his high horse and stays there for the first part of the book. He sees past Hal’s gentleman appearance and distrusts him immediately. Rightfully so, but it seems he’s most angry about his attraction to someone he can’t have. Margaret decides they need to extend their stay due to family obligations and Julian is all too eager to stay as well and find the truth about Hal.

But… on those lazy country days and against Julian’s better judgement, the men form a connection. Each know they are hiding something and find it impossible to resist the strolls, talks, and discussions on books and history. Their chaste interactions become thick with desire. The desperation they felt in a simple holding of hands made my heart ache. They were so different yet the same in their wish to be understood and loved in a world where their “proclivity” wasn’t tolerated. Although Julian and Hal unknowingly gave their hearts, the dark cloud of deception wasn’t ever far from sight. Julian has to reconcile the Hal he grew to know with the actual Hal. Or are they one in the same?

Hal is painted in negative light from the beginning and yet I understood and maybe even accepted his reasons. While his intent was deception, it wasn’t malicious. He wants a family to visit at Holiday, a place to hang his hat, children, and a companion.

The beginning of this book dragged a bit for me. Not much happened beyond talks, strolls, and riding. I did enjoy the progression of Julian and Hal’s relationship and the challenges they faced to get their HEA. The pacing picked up around 45% and it wasn’t long before I became fully invested in the characters, Margaret included. The way Hal and Margaret’s engagement/relationship was handled the second half was refreshing.

The second half of this historical drew me in and I was able to overlook *most* of my feelings about the sleepy start. I fell for the characters and even embraced the deception with heart eyes for Hal. Recommended for fans of historical romance.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

 

The Valet

Warning…This book contains LOTS of sex. Could it be deemed gratuitous? Yep. Did I mind? Not at all. For some reason, this historical porny-land didn’t grate on my brain like a book driven by sex typically would. So yep, lots of sex. You’ve been warned.

4 Stars

Reviewed for @BMBR

Well well well, this one took me completely by surprise. How is this S.J. Foxx’s debut novel? Bravo S.J. Foxx, Bravo! I know this isn’t a surprise anymore but I LOVE historical M/M romance. Regency era is my preferred but I dig 1920s and older. I say all that because I’m a picky bitch about them and I really enjoyed this. It was engaging, well written, entertaining, endearing, and hot AF. Two words… feather. duster. I’ll let that sink in while I give you the run down.

Hugo is a spoiled rich kid at 20 years old that was found in bed with another man’s wife (Don’t worry, he’s a big fan of the peen). After bringing shame to the family name, he gets shipped off to his dear ol’ Aunt and Uncle in England. If he doesn’t straighten up his act over the next year, he’ll lose his inheritance and be cut off. Hugo is whiny and self-destructive when given any opportunity. After arriving at Finchley Hall, he meets Sebastian, who soon becomes his valet. Hugo notices right away the mischievous smiles and wicked gleam in Sebastian’s eyes after every encounter and quickly becomes enamored. After Sebastian finds evidence of Hugo’s preferences, he wastes no time in providing creative ways to pass the hours.

sex.gif

Yes, Let’s.

Sebastian was fucking awesome. He was cheeky, rebellious, assertive, dominant, sexually creative, and could reduce Hugo to a whimpering puddle of needy submissive goo with single look or tone of voice.

“Whilst we’re still sleeping together, you have to know that you don’t own me. I work for you, but you answer to me. Is that understood?”

pants.gif

He had class elitist Hugo role-playing as a valet and getting off on it all the same. Sebastian had him making beds, getting him dressed, cleaning and shining dishes and Hugo was hard as a rock every time and begging for more. Sebastian was a forward thinker and fucked Hugo with the feather duster shaft after making him dust the room.

mind blown.gif

Two birds. One stone and all that…

There was also humiliation kink, some spanking, and public sex which didn’t disappoint. There’s a lot of heat between these two and naturally that leads to some sex. A lot of smexy times are to be had by all.

Due to his station, Sebastian was deemed lower class which made the power exchange in the relationship all the more enjoyable and special. Along with all the heat, there were sweet and caring moments that provided depth to their relationship. It wasn’t all rainbow and snowflakes though. Hugo could be an arse when he was in one of his bratty moods. As I mentioned before, he’s self-destructive and for the first half lashed out at Sebastian for his own shortfalls. Hugo does realize the err of his ways and feels contrite about his treatment of Sebastian. They get their HEA in the end but it takes some work between them and also overcoming the other obstacles life throws their way.

Trigger warnings: There is drug use and an attempted sexual assault.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers that like an entree of historical romance with a big giant overflowing scoop of sex on the side.