by Heather Boyd
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Published by: LLD Press on June 9, 2014
Genres: LGBT, Regency Romance
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3.5 Stars
NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
On the surface, Raphael has everything he needs: good friends, a title, and membership to the decadent Hunt Club where forbidden pleasure can be had at a moments notice. Pretending is not what he wants. Expectations by family and friends keep his feelings for Lord Claymore at bay. When his best friend returns to London in a black mood, Rafe sets out to cheer him up and make Claymore’s upcoming birthday an event to remember.
Shaken and uneasy of his growing attraction to men, James has reached an uncomfortable crossroads in his well-ordered, respectable life. Plans to end his torment on his birthday are mere days away. However, his intention to explore forbidden passion just once comes unstuck. Can James follow through with his well-reasoned, sensible decision when a man who knows what he wants, needs him too?
I love Regency and romance, and this was an interesting read. I've never read an LGBT version and I liked what I read. Rafe and "Jimmy" have been best friends forever, neither knowing that the other was gay nor that the other was interested in them as more than friends. This book follows their discovery into genuine love and the problem of hiding their "forbidden" love from society.
Rafe has frequented the Hunt Club for years, a place where he can safely be with men. James has harbored those feelings, but did not know of a way or place he could go and really be himself. As Rafe helps James discover the pleasures of men with men, James finds himself happier than ever, something he didn't think possible at the beginning of the book.
My major problem with the book is that at the end, James is invited to join the Hunt Club, but expresses feelings of apprehension at other members knowing his secret. Instead of delving into what happens when James goes to the club, the book abruptly ends. I felt like I needed more of the story to feel satisfied. I also would have liked to see how Caitlin and Ian's romance played out.