To seal their bond, they must break the ties that bind. Painfully introverted and rendered nearly mute by a heavy stammer, Lord George Albert Westin rarely ventures any farther than the club or his beloved gardens. When he hears rumors of an exotic new orchid sighted at a local hobbyist’s house, though, he girds himself with opiates and determination to attend a house party, hoping to sneak a peek. He finds the orchid, yes…but he finds something else even more rare and exquisite: Michael Vallant. Professional sodomite. Michael climbed out of an adolescent hell as a courtesan’s bastard to become successful and independent-minded, seeing men on his own terms, protected by a powerful friend. He is master of his own world—until Wes. Not only because, for once, the sex is for pleasure and not for profit. They are joined by tendrils of a shameful, unspoken history. The closer his shy, poppy-addicted lover lures him to the light of love, the harder his past works to drag him back into the dark. There’s only one way out of this tangle. Help Wes face the fears that cripple him—right after Michael finds the courage to reveal the devastating truth that binds them.
I have to say that Heidi Cullinan is a virtuoso when it comes to playing with your emotions. She definitely knows how to touch the right chord. You won't have a break with this story and you'll find yourself more than once with a torn heart. I was hooked from beginning to end!
The author has written here an exceptional, very unusual and poignant tale about two very damaged souls, who only meet by the merest chance. Fortunately they have found each other, but unluckily, they both will have to hit bottom first and go through terrible moments of weakness and desperation before finding the necessary strength and courage to finally decide to move forward. Their love will be more of a hindrance at first and it'll only make things worse before finally it gets better.
Lord George Albert Westin is the second son of a marquess; he is intelligent and a brilliant botanist but he is terribly shy due to a debilitating stammer. On top of that he has become addicted to opium which was first prescribed to help him fight very high anxiety. Michael Vallant is a beautiful high class whore who is nearly as blind as a bat. He's only able to see blurry silhouettes when he doesn't wear glasses. He was brutally raped when he was only twelve years old.
Wes and Michael meet quite by accident while both attending a "ton" party. One is looking for a rare orchid and the other is looking for a very different specimen! This leads them to a charming and special conversation which ends in a very exciting and unforgettable sexual encounter. For Michael, this very moment is a trigger and the beginning of a slow and painful descent into hell.
A whole string of interesting and colorful characters gives this wonderful and haunting novel its very original and undeniable quality. In this book, you'll find goodness and hope but also evil and hell.
I'll make one criticism: I found the characters of Wes' brother and his son Edwin not developed enough. I would have liked to learn more about them both. But this being said, it does not diminish in any way the book's very high quality. An absolute must-read! I give 4.5/5
Publisher: Samhain Publishing