A Valet’s Duty, H. Lewis-Foster
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Class Difference, Historical
Length: 41 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
At the turn of the twentieth century, Henry Simpkins is a valet at Taverslow, the Earl of Wayshaw’s Somerset home. When the Earl’s younger brother, Rafe, arrives from his villa in Italy, Henry is given the task of caring for his mischievous dogs, Pepe and Paolo. As part of his valet’s duties, he also goes to Rafe’s room each night to tidy away his clothes.
One night, Rafe tentatively asks Henry to go beyond his valet’s duty to relieve Rafe’s sexual tensions. Henry enjoys their increasingly intimate encounters, but he’s soon disturbed to find he feels more for Rafe than mere physical attraction. Henry faces a difficult decision, as he knows he cannot remain in the same house as Rafe if his affections are not returned.
Henry Simpkins likes life as a valet in London. He has friends nearby, there is quite a bit of nightlife and he has his own room away from the rest of the house and he can have sex there without prying ears or eyes. This is all pretty good, particularly given he likes men. But he has left London for Somerset to work at Taverslow. He has been there for two months when he is asked to be the valet of his lordship’s brother, Rafe. That in itself is okay, but it also entails looking after Rafe’s dogs –
Henry would be a valet to as many gentlemen as his job required, but waiting on their pets was a step too far.
Henry hated dogs. He’d been bitten by one when he was a lad and hadn’t forgotten the painful experience.
Henry is now thinking moving to Somerset may not have been the right move as he has two dogs to look after plus their master, who he doesn’t even know. But things are looking up when Henry meets Rafe who is quite the looker with a decent demeanour.
Henry has been Rafe’s valet for four nights and the first three are spent with Rafe talking of his villa in Italy and his life in general. Henry talks as much as he feels is suitable for the relationship they have, the lord and his valet, but he feels comfortable. He even dreams of Rafe’s life in Italy and Rafe himself –
The next few nights passed in a similar way, with Henry nodding, and sometimes laughing, when Rafe talked of his life in Umbria. Falling to sleep each night in his narrow bed, Henry found himself dreaming of orange trees and vineyards. Sometimes he even dreamt of Rafe wandering among them, in the Mediterranean sun, but on the fourth night when Henry went to Rafe’s room, something had changed.
Rafe is more edgy, pensive, and tentative towards Henry on the fourth night. Henry performs his duties as a valet as per usual but things change direction –
Henry started to leave, when Rafe spoke at last an unfamiliar tension in his voice. “Simpkins, could I ask you something?”
“Simpkins, are you…are you the same kind of man as Oscar Wilde?”
Henry isn’t sure how to answer, but in the end he is diplomatically truthful. He has done nothing to bring shame on Taverslow. He hasn’t engaged in any sexual activity. But Rafe would like him to be involved in some sexual activity with him. He would like to be relieved by hand, and he would like Henry to help, but only if he is of the …Oscar Wilde persuasion.
Henry enjoys his night time trysts with Rafe, even if he is not getting mutual relief, mind you, he is so turned on he comes getting Rafe off. Pretty soon, Henry decides to be more inventive in his participation with Rafe, blowjobs included. But there is more to it, he likes Rafe. A lot.
Henry didn’t know what he should do, but he couldn’t continue having nightly mishaps. Neither could he help his reaction to Rafe; Henry’s attraction had grown beyond merely physical. He loved feeling Rafe’s dick between his lips and hearing Rafe’s soft moans when he climaxed, but even more, he loved their increasingly cosy chats while Henry performed his conventional duties.
They get closer and more intimate, but Rafe is his lordship’s brother and Henry is simply a valet. Rafe also shuts him down after they are increasingly more sexually intimate, so Henry is upset.
This is a sweet short story from Helen Lewis-Foster. It is sexy and it does take into account the time period in the way Rafe treats Henry. But the heart knows no boundaries, and soon Rafe is forced into showing his hand.
I would have liked this more had it been longer. I would have loved more character development, but having said that, I still enjoyed it because I liked the mix of sweet and sexy. The characters are really nice. Initially I wasn’t sure of Rafe, but he was decent. Henry was sweet. This is my second read of the authors, and I have enjoyed both so I shall definitely be reading more by Helen Lewis-Foster. Recommended for those who like some historical gay romance with sweet MC’s and a definite British feel, plus a nice HEA.
Book supplied in return for an honest review.