Thief by Ava March (Brook Street #1)
March 19, 2012
M/M Historical Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
Lord Benjamin Parker is pretty sure he is gay, but having never been with a man, he wants to test out his suspicion. Rumor has it that Clements gambling hell caters to his sort of persuasion. So he gets up the courage and visits there one night. When he walks in — even though gambling is going on — he can see men who touch each other more intimately and knows he is in the right place. When he sits down to play cards, a very handsome fellow comes to sit next to him. They brush knees under the table and Benjamin is positive he knows what he wants. But the man he brushes knees with is no gentleman.
Cavin Fox is from the bad streets of St. Giles. Having lived a poor life, he was brought in by a man named Hale at a young age. Having learned to steal and pickpocket, Cavin now leads a group of younger men who steal and return the goods to Hale and in return for food and shelter. Hale also made Cavin turn to prostitution until a couple of years ago, when Cavin demanded he stop.
But now Cavin is worried about a young boy named Sam, who he has taken in as a brother. Sam is almost to the age where he fears Hale might make him do the same thing, and Cavin won’t stand for it. Problem is they have nowhere else to go. When he meets Benjamin at the gambling hell, his plan is to have sex with him, then steal from him as he sleeps. But after an amazing time together, Cavin can’t bring himself to stoop low enough to steal. The next day Cavin realizes he wore Benjamin’s coat home by mistake, which gives him another chance to meet Benjamin, and a friendship and romance develops.
I love Ava March books and when I heard she was going to have a new trilogy with Carina Press, I was very excited. Thief is a sweet, pretty straight-forward story about two unlikely guys becoming attracted to each other. Benjamin is a virgin in the sense he has never been with another man, and when Cavin learns that Benjamin trusts him with something this important, it really touches him. Cavin has had a hard life, but he still has a warm heart. He never wants to take advantage of Benjamin and his good fortune in life. Likewise, Benjamin wants to help Cavin by any means necessary. They kind of push and pull each other back and forth until finally Cavin gives in and realizes he can’t escape his life without Benjamin’s help.
As always, Ava March gives us very emotional, sensual love scenes that really make her books romantic. I really enjoyed the dynamics of these two with one being a titled gentleman and the other a thief. I did expect Hale to be a bigger villain than he ended up being, but I also think the story wraps up nicely. Two more are coming out this spring, and I’m looking forward to them.
Note: This review first appeared at USA Today’s Happy Ever After.