The White Swan Affair
By Elyse Mady
Expected release May 21st, Carina Press
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay-but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister.
With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he can't get the plain-spoken and desirable Hester out of his mind, even though she's never tried to secure his attentions as other women do.
Everything changes the night Hester's brother is arrested during a raid on a gay brothel, the infamous White Swan. With no one else to turn to, and terrified Robert will hang for his crime, Hester accepts Thomas's offer to bear the cost of the defense. A true gentleman, Thomas expects nothing in return-but Hester can no longer deny her own desires...
She may offer her body eagerly, but can she protect her heart?
FYI>>> This review contains a quote of an erotic nature. ;)
This historical romance is a work of fiction revolving around the real events that happened at the White Swan on Vere Street in London in 1810. The White Swan was a molly house (gay club) that was raided by the police and a bunch of men were arrested and tried... This book does have some homosexual situations but it is not the main focus. The primary character in this story is Hester Aspinall.
We meet Hester as she is looking for her brother Robert who did not return home from going out the previous night. She is searching frantically for him deciding to go look at his place of business, a tailor shop he runs with two apprentices. Low and behold he is not there but while she’s there, she runs into the landlord, Thomas Ramsay. Thomas decides it’s in his best interest to help her find Robert. Soon it is revealed that he was thrown in jail after being arrested for his activities at the White Swan. Though we still have homophobia today, back then the general masses were outraged and those “guilty”, ostracised.
Hester has a very hard time trying to help Robert out. She has no family to turn to but finds help and understanding from Thomas. They grow closer together and have some sizzling moments.
“I would see you, silk caressing your skin, your breasts bare to my mouth, whilst you ride me. I would serve as your beast of burden, Hester. I would not complain if you flayed me with your nails or if you punished me by striking me. I would simply be content to serve, letting you take your pleasure again and again. I would watch as you rode me, and I would touch you until you screamed and broke apart and called my name with every stroke.”
Mostly this book revolves around Hester and Thomas but we do get a glimpse of what is happening with Robert.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a heartfelt story that deals with a subject that was taboo at the time. The main romance was wonderful. What I didn’t expect but was pleasantly surprised by was the secondary romance.
A great read for those of you who don’t mind a homoerotic edge. Some of us rather enjoy that!
Thanks Netgalley for the ARC!
I leave you with this...
“You have my heart. The rest doesn’t matter.”