Northern Relations, H. Lewis-Foster
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tages: Historical, Regency Theme
Length: 71 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Edward, Lord Hadnall, leads a hedonistic life in Regency London, along with his friend and occasional lover, Charlie Brabinger. The only blot on Edward’s carefree horizon is the insistence of his female relations that he settle down and get married. He intends to ignore their pestering for as long as he can, and continue his decadent lifestyle of dances and debauchery. But then Edward meets Charlie’s cousin, Arthur Hathwaite, a kind and honorable country gentleman.
Edward accepts Arthur’s invitation to visit his Yorkshire home and is surprised to find life on the rural estate extremely agreeable. He enjoys Arthur’s company immensely and they become firm friends. But when Edward makes an unexpected discovery, he is left in a moral dilemma. Will Edward follow his usual indulgent urges or do the right thing for once in his life? Or might he be lucky enough to do both?
Edward has just been out for another night on the town fuelled by alcohol, filled with sex and waking up with Charlie Brabinger in his bed. Again. But now it is the morning after, and his mother has dropped in for an impromptu meeting with Edward. Hangover or no, Charlie reluctantly has to leave –
“And would you like to explain to her what you are doing naked in my bed at this time of the morning?”
“Only if I can tell her what I was doing naked in your bed all last night.” Charlie grinned as Edward uncovered the rest of his body. Then he grabbed Edward’s hand, guiding it toward his twitching dick. “Or we could give her a demonstration.”
“Will I see you later?”
“I fear that rather depends on Mother. When she arrives this time of the morning, it usually means she has something in mind.”
Yes, she does have something in mind. Aunt Camelia is in town and it appears that she expects Edward to marry. It’s important to the family that Aunt Camelia is appeased as she has a sizeable inheritance, which is pointed in Edward’s direction, Besides, it’s what’s expected. Aunt Camelia is no fool, she is a bit of a character and she knows that Edward likes men –
Aunt Camelia may know these things but she wants him married to carry on the family name. He can have a last fling or ten, get it out of his system, but be married by years end.
Edward’s good friend – and oftentimes lay – Charlie Brabinger seems to feel it is no drama. By all means get married, keep up appearances, but have your cock on the side. They have a very social group of friends and acquaintances in the upper class who like to party with each other and pretty boys. London is full of what you want if you know the right people and keep the right friends, which they all do.
Meanwhile, Charlie’s cousin, Arthur, is coming down from Yorkshire and Charlie is expected so see him and make all the right noises – Arthur is family, and a wealthy cousin at that, so Charlie must do familial duty. Charlie considers Arthur to be stodgy but he and Edward seem to get along well enough and Edward certainly thinks Arthur is not as stodgy as Charlie makes out. Arthur invites both his cousin ,Charlie, and Edward for some “fresh air” at his property, Fawleigh, in Yorkshire. They accept, but Charlie never has any intentions of going. He leaves Edward holding the bag as it were. Edward has a country estate in Wiltshire, he doesn’t go there, and he certainly knows nothing about running it. What in the dickens is he going to do at Fawleigh in boring Yorkshire? The answer ends up being Arthur.
And do Arthur he does. So much so, that he extends his stay from a week to over a month. The fly in the ointment is that Arthur is now to be betrothed as well. Just when he and Edward have found each other. I have to say that Arthur is a revelation in this book. He is kind, decent, caring, and just plain nice – everything that the polite society back in London lacks in grace and manners, Arthur makes up for. He is a simply a lovely character and I liked him more and more as the story progressed. He turned Edward into someone I also liked. I was wondering if I might dislike this book because I found both Edward and Charlie boorish and snobby. Don’t get me wrong, the dialogue between Edward and Charlie was witty and so period appropriate. They were absolutely bang-on for the times and their station in London society. H Lewis-Foster wrote them so well I didn’t like them terribly. But then Arthur came along and swept Edward of his snobby toes and turned him into a far better man. And I enjoyed the journey very much. And then I liked Edward nearly as much as I liked Arthur – it is so good reading a character develop from annoying into truly likeable.
First of all, I must say it is always good to read a beautifully edited book. This book was that. Stylistically, the writing flowed and was delightful and it suited the period and setting well. The characterisations were excellent, the sex quite detailed and saucy. The relationship that developed between Arthur and Edward was believable, and I could see how it could happen as it did albeit, I suppose, a bit optimistic for what probably would have happened. But, dammit, I wanted my happy ending. I didn’t want two men who love each other in loveless marriages, seeking men out on the side. Being sad. So H Lewis-Foster did a great job with the storytelling all around and the way she worked the ending. Absolutely recommended for those who like an erotic, romantic Regency gay novella. Had the book been longer I’m quite sure it would have been a 5 star read.
Edward longed to take Arthur’s cock in his mouth and feed on his flawlessness, but he wasn’t sure how Arthur would react to such an intimate act.
His voice was a whisper but Edward caught every word. “I want to feel you inside me.”
This book was supplied to me by the author in return for an honest review.