All in with the Duke by Ava March (Gambling on Love #1)
Released: November 11, 2013
M/M Historical Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a new Ava March book in my hands. I really enjoy this author’s voice and this one is definitely not only one of her longer books but one of her stronger ones as well. It pairs a duke with a prostitute. Have we swooned off our chairs yet?
About ten months ago, Max, the Duke of Pelham broke up with his long-time lover. He has been quite grumpy ever since. At the prodding of his good friend, Max ends up at a brothel, and requests the services of a man, hoping to just take the edge off his sexual drought. The man that comes in to service him is named Tristan. He has longer hair and more delicate features. Max is surprised to be so initially attracted to him. Tristan ran into some gambling problems a year ago, and turned to the brothel for help. For his service, the owner of the brothel agreed to pay off his debt.
Tristan is surprised to find how giving Max is that night, as usually he gives out pleasure and since that is what he is hired for, he doesn’t get it in return. But Max takes care of his needs and Tristan is happy to see Max again the next night. When Max discovers Tristan is being treated poorly by another client, he pulls him out of the brothel and takes him to his country estate. Max agrees to pay Tristan a monthly sum to stay with him and keep him company at night. But then they start to fall in love and it’s all so romantic.
Ava March likes to play around with two heroes from different social circles and that adds to the excitement of their relationship, since they have to keep it such a secret in the 1800’s London. Max is only twenty-three but acts much older. He has a lot of responsibility and feels a huge weight to keep the estate running after his father’s death. He is serious and intense and likes to tie up his lovers and give a good ole’ spanking. And lucky for him, Tristan loves to submit.
Ava March always writes such emotional love scenes. They convey passion and pleasure between the two heroes but she also gets you so deep into their thoughts. You know their fears, their hesitations, when they are feeling wicked or naughty. She doesn’t let you forget that Max is a duke and Tristan is not. I liked that. And I liked that this book was long enough to let their relationship build slowly.
At times I felt I understood Max’s romantic interest in Tristan more than Tristan felt in Max. I felt like Tristan loved Max, but he could have loved another had another come and whisked him out of the brothel.
But overall this is a lovely, romantic book. Can’t wait for another one.
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