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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lessons in Desire by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Desire by Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (150 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cactus

Perfect love casts out fear. If you let it.

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 2

Jersey, 1906

St. Bride’s English don Jonty Stewart is in desperate need of a break from university life. A holiday on the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey seems ideal, especially if he can coax his lover Orlando to step outside the college’s walls to come along.

Orlando Coppersmith is scared. Within the safe confines of the school it’s easy to hide the fact that they are not just friends, but lovers. In an unknown place, in full view of everyone, how will they keep their illegal affair private—much less dare to make love, even in the security of their suite?

A brutal murder at their hotel forces their personal problems into the background—at first. The race to catch the killer gets complicated when the prime suspect finds Orlando irresistible. Suddenly keeping their affair clandestine isn’t only a matter of legality. It’s a matter of life and death…

This book has been previously published and has been revised and expanded from its original release.

Warning: Contains sensual m/m lovemaking and handsome young men in (and out of) Edwardian bathing costumes.

When Jonty and Orlando head off on their first vacation, unexpected tragedy seems to follow in the form of a murdered guest. Together the couple tries to solve the mystery while deepening their relationship and working through some problems of their own. Jonty is hoping to further their intimacy away from St. Bride’s while Orlando fears anything even resembling change. The added pressure of an unsolved murder may cause more strain when the prime suspect develops a crush on one of the men.

The second book in the Cambridge Fellows series is another wonderfully lyrical story that engages the reader with the slow pace of life in the early 1900s. This beautiful writing, clever mystery, touches of humor, and engaging characters create an interesting story that never sacrifices the pace and time for quick action or sex scenes. Although the pace may drag in some places, this is very likely to be reader specific. Be sure to pick up this story when you want an easy, languid journey filled with gentle laughter, love, and a touch of very English mystery. The lovely prose and delightful characters carry the book when the action is light.

The characters of Jonty and Orlando are once again beautifully drawn and fully realized. The established nature of their relationship is a wonderful addition as their ease with each other layers more texture to the story. Their depth and interaction make the tale come alive from the good-natured teasing to gentle fits. Their conversation is filled with humor amid staid English properness. Even their arguments are easy and without great drama, but the emotion is clearly present. Their love and even unhappiness is deeply felt and expressed in the smaller details and sighs than exaggerated action and statements. This is a story filled with subtle detail and the sum of those details produce a loving relationship with its ups and downs without great drama.

Overall, this is another excellent edition of the series and the slower pace may please readers more than it did me. The side mystery this time didn’t entice me as much as the previous mystery but the writing is incredibly well done. Although I greatly enjoyed reading it, those who enjoy an easy, meandering pace and glee over the details of the time period will be more riveted. Also, the gentle romance and so very English setting was fun to read. I’m very curious about future books in the series as the men are often paranoid about discovery yet still have much to learn and grow within their relationship. If you’re a fan of the series, this is a definite must.

1 comment:

Charlie Cochrane said...

Thank you for such a lovely review.