The Corrupt Comte by Edie Harris (Bourbon Boys #1)
Released: August 27, 2013
Erotic Historical Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
The Corrupt Comte is a really well done erotic historical. The passion in this book made me flail in happiness. Let me set it up.
Set in Paris 1820, Gaspard Toussaint is a spy for the crown. He didn’t start out his life wanting to be a spy. The seventh child of a blacksmith, he entered the army in hopes of just being fed. But his reality becomes very dark. He is raped repeatedly by his commanding officer for a very long time. The only way out is to accept a bribe by the officer’s friend to become a spy. This ‘friend’ named Francois offers him a title and property to come work for him. Desperately wanting out of the army, he accepts, knowing the property is a mess and riddled in debt. So he starts as a spy, and keeps the assumption that he is gay – gaining many secrets from those men that prefer his service. In present day, he is now sick of being a spy and wants out. But he needs money to be able to keep his title and pay off his debts.
Gaspard meets English heiress Claudia Pascale.at a rather lewd party. Noticing she is there, frightened and totally out of her element, he can’t stop looking at her. After getting her alone, he realizes several things – one, she has an extremely bad stutter. Two, she is terrified and also wants to be wed more than anything in the world. Three, she may be terrified but she is passionate and finally, he must have her. Oh! And she is very rich and would solve all his money troubles!
Gaspard and Claudia start a very passionate affair. I don’t want to give too many details of the mystery in this book. Gaspard wants out of the spy business but his boss isn’t too keen on letting him go. Their relationship is well done with some twists and turns of its own. I really enjoyed the build up with Francois. My one disappointment in this book is how things end with Francois. It felt so lukewarm compared to the build-up and high energy level of everything else in this book. Maybe we get another book with a continuing story? It felt unfinished to me.
Yet, I still think this book is really well done. Gaspard has been living as a homosexual for years. Whoring himself out to men to gain secrets.
He was a bad man with a fake title and a dung-heap castle, passably attractive, educated only insofar as his formative years had allowed, and he had never mastered the ingrained politeness those born into the peerage seemed to possess. he lied freely, evaded truthfulness in every situation, and his sense of honor and duty extended no further beyond the constraints of his own person.
He sounds like a winner, yes? Now, now…give him a chance.
While he has taken female whores to bed, the first time he kisses Claudia is the first time he has kissed a woman. It’s so romantic. He seduces her at first because he wants to marry her for her money, but he soon realizes he just plain wants her. Claudia grew up in a house where no one touched her and doesn’t want to marry a man her parents will choose for her – hence her need to marry someone she chooses. Gaspard is very….demanding in bed and teaches her all sorts of naughty things to do. And Claudia is oh so ready to learn them. This is a very erotic and explicit book with really well done romance scenes (get a peek here).
There are so many stand out moments in this book but two I have to mention. First, Claudia is so embarrassed by her stutter that it has drastically affected her life. But Gaspard could care less. He actually encourages her to speak:
The comte kept forcing her to speak, and she was beginning to think it was because he knew she had something worthwhile to say.
Further, Gaspard has the most romantic declaration of love towards the end of this book. He says it when another person is in the room, but still. It melted my heart. I don’t want to quote it because it’s better if you work your way up to it.
Highly recommend this one.
Also recommended by this author: Wild Burn (western historical)