Monday, November 14, 2011

Deception by Lyndi Lamont

London 1895, where men who love other men flaunt convention and risk imprisonment for "the love that dare not speak its name." Until Oscar Wilde goes on trial for gross indecency...

An anonymous and intriguing invitation leads struggling artist, Leander Frampton, into a private world of sensuality with a stranger in an elaborate black and gold costume. When the masks come off, Leander rediscovers the lover he's dreamed of for the last two months. The man who abruptly left him in the middle of the night. Now Rupert Austin has returned, inspiring Leander's art and filling him with desire. Thinking he has found both muse and patron, Leander gives all he has: his heart, his body, his talent. But Rupert is as elusive and evasive as ever, appearing and disappearing in Leander's life, with little explanation.

Forbidden passions lure Rupert Austin, an outwardly staid art importer, into a secret life where he is free to pursue his love of handsome young men. Past loss makes him shy away from involvement, but he is unable to resist Leander's talent, youthful beauty and enthusiasm. Rupert arranges for a private showing of Leander's work, but that doesn't mean he trusts Leander with all of his secrets, especially after risky public sex that could have landed them in jail.

Two very different men—one, a businessman, with a great deal to lose and a taste for secret liaisons with beautiful men, and the other a young, gifted artist who will give his all to the right man. Will deception destroy any possibility for a once-in-a-lifetime passion for these passionate lovers?

Reviewer: BlackTulip
London, 1895, the year Oscar Wild went on trial for gross indecency and was convicted. It was a very dangerous time for men who loved men.

This book tells a beautiful love story between two men. One is ready to surrender everything he has and everything he is, the other feels he has too much to lose and is not ready to throw away his deceptive mask. Their reactions will be completely different when confronted with choices to make.

Leander Frampton is a character you simply cannot resist falling in love with. He is a young and beautiful artist who seemed rather delicate at first, innocent in many ways but very determined and resilient in others. Like every artist at the time, he struggles to make ends meet and has to work as a waiter in a restaurant to support himself. He is not afraid to do what it takes to reach his goal in life but only if it doesn’t mean compromising his independence or integrity, doing something that doesn't agree with him.

He is honest and trusting but can be very impulsive. From a young age he understood he was different and had to keep a tight rein on his youthful emotions in order to stay away from trouble.

Leander, being who he is, will give himself body and soul to Rupert without reservations and will be hurt deeply by all the things left unsaid.

Rupert is much more difficult to like. He is not a bad man and certainly a generous one - it is much easier for him to open his wallet than his heart, costs him less that way. He is used to wearing two masks, depending on the situation.

In Liverpool he lives a life of a respectable art dealer and family man. In London he is able to give free rein to his attraction to young artists. He was in love once but this person died long ago and he’s been guarding his heart ever since, mindful of all the things he could lose, status and family included, in case he gave his trust to the wrong people. Better not to trust at all.

We can see that he struggles with himself when he realizes that what he feels for Leander is much more than passing fancy but even then he cannot let go. Old habits die hard.

In the end, Rupert almost makes a decision that nearly keeps them apart forever. Frankly, I thought that he was too selfish sometimes, not giving pause to consider Leander's pain but always thinking about himself and his guilt ... Maybe he even didn't deserve Leander.

This was a well written and emotionally deep novella, no doubt about that. I give 4/5.


Megan said...

Sounds like a book I would love! Thanks for sharing!

Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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