This book tells the story of Gideon Drake, a male prostitute who is forced into this lifestyle by the very powerful, but petite Lady Lavender, the own..Show More »er of the upscale male brothel called Lavendar Hills. Gideon has been forced into this servitude for over a decade. Gideon tends to be rougher with clients and is the type who takes total control in the bedroom. For his “skills” he is a much desired commodity among the ladies of London who frequent the brothel. Gideon had been planning an escape for years, with no success. However, when Lady Elizabeth Ashton visits the brothel, little does Gideon know that his freedom has arrived……
THINGS I FOUND HARD TO PROCESS: I suppose I had a hard time with the thought of forced prostitution, especially for a man like Gideon Drake. There is an underlying sorrow that a strong, independent man, with Scottish heritage, could be kept in servitude against his will. I suppose I don’t like the thought of anyone being enslaved and forced to perform on command. The good news is that he escapes!
GREAT & UNIQUE LOVE STORY: From the very opening of the novel, you just know it’s going to be a gritty & provoking read. Elizabeth is in a carriage on her way to the brothel when she spots the carcass of a rabbit being ripped apart by vultures. She identifies and feels that if she does not play her cards right, she could also represent that carcass on the side of the road being picked apart by her enemies.
The aspect I found so intriguing about the relationship between Elizabeth and Gideon is the shift of control that flips as a fish out of water, from side to side, between the two. After Elizabeth slyly manages to take Gideon away from the brothel, it is made clear to readers that she must seduce him (which should be pretty easy), make him fall in love with her, and eventually marry the man.
Elizabeth has promised her late husband, that she will remarry Gideon, the notorious and handsome rogue. So, as a reader you feel this strong need to rehabilitate Gideon and position him to be the proprietor of the vast expanse of wealth and properties of the family. This mystery about his connection to the Ashton family is so interesting and you just eat up every little clue or detail that gets you closer to finding out the truth behind Gideon’s background. Gideon, himself, is sharp, strong, but very emotionally numb. He comes across as a tiger out of a cage who is devising how to proceed with his newfound freedom. Gideon must heal from past traumas that still haunt him. I thought Elizabeth, the sweet and courageous heroine, was the key to this romance. She is an epic heroine. She is beautiful, she is kind-hearted, the woman has great business sense, but most of all, she is wise. I can’t say enough about her. She is the most trusting, self-sacrificing character in the book. She lays it all on the line: her life, the life of the children in her care, and puts all of her eggs in one basket as she gives her life without restraint to Gideon Drake.
This is a great read. The villains are lurking and there is much suspense about who is behind the murder attempts on Elizabeth’s life. One by one, both Elizabeth and Gideon defeat their enemies. Perhaps the greatest conquest is their defeat of fear, which could have crippled their love. Both the H/h are gloriously successful in their quest for a love that is liberating. At the end, Gideon said that he felt like he cheated life (in reference to the miserable trajectory his life was on before Elizabeth), as he told his friend, “we could have it all and don’t have to live in the shadow of our past.”
I really liked the narrator, Fiona Underwood, I think she did a great job! I have to say that even though I liked this book, I'm not in a hurry to read the remaining books. I think it's hard to wrap my head about the forced bondage....I think I will have to be in the right mood to continue with the series....