Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NOVELLA REVIEW: "All In With the Duke" by Ava March


All In with the Duke (Gambling on Love, #1)
All In With the Duke by Ava March
(Gambling on Love #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+ 
Male/Male Romance -- Historical
Carina Press -- November 11, 2013
Ebook, 182 pages
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Unconventional Hero, BDSM (Mild)

SUMMARY
Max Arrington, the Duke of Pelham, vows to never again let a handsome face blind him to a man's true intentions. But ten months of celibacy and lonely nights drive him to a decadent brothel, where a beautiful young man arouses his illicit passions as never before.

Tristan Walsh has grown tired of being used for men's pleasure. But his latest client is different: commanding yet generous, Max makes him feel cared for as well as wanted. Yet Tristan knows he'll never have the choice to leave the brothel and submit only to Max.

So when Max invites him to be his guest at his country estate, Tristan eagerly agrees to his terms--days to do as he pleases while Max tends to the dukedom, and nights spent together in wicked play. But when the "business arrangement" begins to deepen into something more, Tristan must face the fact that he has no true place in Max's life--or in Max's guarded heart...

FIRST LINE
"The carriage slowed to a stop."

MY THOUGHTS
I absolutely adore Ava March's male/male historical romances so I was pumped to get a ARC of her latest release.  The male/male historical genre is one that I have really gotten into lately.  I love historical romances already and the forbidden aspect of the male/male portion is just so intriguing.

Basically, All In With the Duke is the story of a lord who has major trust issues and a male prostitute whose only desire is to leave his profession for good.  Max Arrington is a duke who has recently experienced the difficult ending of a lengthy relationship.  He is very lonely and is desperate for someone to love him for more than just his money or his title.  Tristan Walsh is the son of a poor farmer who, through issues with gambling, found himself working at a brothel servicing male clients.  He has become tired of this life, but can't leave until he has repaid his debt to the owner.

I loved both of these guys who were damaged in very different ways.  Both of them have desires that they believe are out of reach for their particular lifestyle and it was a joy to watch them discover each other.  It does take time for them to admit their feelings go beyond the physical once Tristan leaves the brothel to stay with Max at his country estate.  At first, they spend their days separate, but their nights together.  Then they slowly begin to have moments where they learn more about each other and their personalities.  Trust is always a theme in Ava March's books and it is shown here wonderfully.  It would be difficult to have feelings for other men at this time in history and constantly beware of what others think.

Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable story with two likable heroes who are perfect for one another.  Everything that I have come to expect in an Ava March historical was here from the angst to the trust issues to the hot sex.  I am definitely looking forward to more in this series.   

I received a free copy of this book from Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


4 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTE
"You see me and not the duke.  You want me, not my fortune.  It's what I've always wanted, but I've never had that before you.  Hell, I'd given up hope it was even possible.  Believed I needed to accept there were some things I could not have.  But, I can have it.  I do have it with you.  Take pity on me.  I beg you.  Don't make me live without you."

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