I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Historicals are usually the type of books I put off reading until I get a little push to read them. It's nothing personal since I do love the blurbs and I always end up liking them, I just never have that desire to read them once I own them. Don't ask me why because I have no idea why.
Anyway, I was quite surprised how easy it was to read this one. The tone of the book was light enough that I was zipping through pages, anticipating what was going to happen next and even stayed up late to finish it when I didn't have to.
The story starts with William's brother asking him of a favor. In doing this favor, William has to use the resources he learned when he was younger, resources he thought he never had to fall back on again. Still, he does it because Horace is his brother. This favor, however, brings William into contact with Stephen, the kept man of another gentleman. William quickly becomes enthralled with Stephen's looks and his blazing anger. From then on, he does what he can to make Stephen his. 'Winning' Stephen for a time and seducing Stephen to the point of love. Unfortunately, Stephen doesn't make it easy for a future together forcing William to do whatever he can to prove to Stephen it can work.
I liked William a lot because of how he was the 'Black Sheep' of his family and of the rest of society, in more ways than one. His background, or what was hinted at, was more interesting than the simple life he lives now as a respected gentleman. Stephen at first comes off arrogant, rude and a sure spitfire. It takes William some serious patience to get past Stephan's walls to what lies beneath and even after that, Stephen is still mysterious, keeping secrets from William. Throughout the whole book, though, Stephen's main attraction is his fiery personality and while I found it hilarious, William's description of Stephen as a 'hedgehog with spikes' was spot on and every time it was mentioned I couldn't help but smile.
The story is very entertaining. Just seeing William do what he can to seduce Stephen was very amusing to me. There was a bit too much sex for my liking but there is a bit of rough and sweet sex which wasn't so bad. The story was going strong for a majority of the book but towards the end, it started to lose the spark it had in the beginning. There was this whole mysterious element around not just Stephen but other people as well like Graves, Stephen's benefactor and Horace, William's brother. Unfortunately, in the end, I felt a bit disappointed over what Stephen's 'secrets' were. I just couldn't understand why they were such a secret in the first place; they seemed a bit inconsequential in relation to how adamant Stephen was of not being able to say anything. Then there's how obsessed Graves was of Stephen. I couldn't quite understand why he was so obsessed. With Horace, I felt like there was something leading up to a problem with him but that line fell flat and he just drifted to the background. There's actually a few things that were left unanswered. Like, who the men following William were actually hired by and why? William assumed they were hired by Graves but nothing is ever confirmed so for all we know, Horace hired them to kill his brother. *shrugs* There's a few other things I had a problem with as well like how it ended, while it was sweet, I was looking for a bit more to happen and was a little disappointed when it all came together nicely without any conflict. :-/
With all that said, I really did enjoy this story. I was invested in what happened to these characters and even with the things I had a problem with, I loved the story. I loved the characters and I loved the plot. Overall, a pleasant read, one which I'd recommend.