Author: Ruby Moone
Publisher: JMS Books
Sam Holloway is a desperate man. Trapped in Dante’s, the high-class London brothel catering to men who love men, his only hope is to find a rich protector. Then he meets the young aristocrat with sad eyes.
Tristan Barrington, sixth earl of Chiltern, waited until the death of his father before acting on his unnatural desires. Dante’s has a reputation for quality and absolute discretion. He never expected to find in its sordid depths a glorious man who could master not only his body but his heart, as well.
In Tristan, Sam sees an opportunity to flee a life he hates, and he sets his sights on seducing the earl. Tristan vows to help him escape, but in the process not only uncovers the vile corruption at the heart of Dante’s but also suspects that Sam’s declaration of love was nothing but a lie.
Then Sam is gravely injured, and Tristan faces a tough decision — leave Sam to his fate, or help him once again?
Note: Companion to The Wrong Kind of Angel
Sam Holloway is a whore working off a gambling debt to Dante, a strict, and (we later learn) cruel task-master, with an even more evil henchman named Bill Mosley. Not long after he begins servicing the shy man who presents himself as Henri, and later reveals his name as Tristan, he realizes that Tristan seems to really care about him and he decides to see if Tristan will help him escape his hellish existence by paying off his debts to Dante.
What he finds out is that not only is Tristan willing to do that, he’s also willing to fund an apartment, his own cook and valet, and give him spending money as well. Sam doesn’t want all that, and is happy with just one room, and he soon realizes that being a kept man does more to destroy his self-respect than working for Dante. But when he speaks to Tristan about it, he begins a chain of misunderstandings that drive a wedge between the two.
Tristan is disconsolate until his cousin, Alfie, reveals that he too is a man who loves men and helps Tristan not only learn how to cope, but also aids him when they learn that Sam is in deep trouble with Dante and Mosley.
This is a nice adventure with a very sweet Tristan as our hero. Sam is okay, but honestly, I didn’t warm up to him as much. I enjoyed Alfie and really liked Sam’s friend Gareth, a fellow whore who sets his sights on Alfie.
I did like the story and the complex and convoluted adventure that unfolds as the lords and their men become involved in even more of an adventure than they bargained for when they learn that Dante is also dealing in children. It’s not noted as a trigger or warning, but I know some readers who would be upset by this plot twist, so avoid the book if you are triggered by pedophilia.
There were, unfortunately, a lot of little details that didn’t make sense to me as I read the story, and there were quite a few errors, other than grammar or spelling, that should have been picked up in one of the early edits, and then there was a somewhat smooth, but rather unbelievable, solution to everyone’s problems that resulted in the couple’s HEA.
Also, I did not know that this was a “companion to The Wrong Kind of Angel, though now that I do, it makes sense. To be honest, though, they should be labeled as a series since the MCs from the first story play a supportive role toward the end of this book, and it would have been nice to know they were so heavily linked. Because of that, although this is listed as a standalone, I’d lean toward recommending reading the other book first—something I would have done had I realized just how tied together the stories were.
So, overall, I’m giving it a 3. I liked it, though I didn’t find it outstanding. If you like historical pieces, especially with timid gay lords who finally find what they’ve wanted all their lives, you should like this one.