Perrin deVesey knows pain. As a member of Crimson Rose, a secret club for men who love men, he’s taken the vow “to stand and shield.” Standing together during these perilous times is the only thing keeping their necks from the guillotine. Now their leader is using the club to rescue wrongly accused traitors. After losing a past lover to an unjust execution, the decision to support this treasonous cause is easy…until a devastatingly handsome Committee Officer complicates Perrin’s whole world.
Officer Henri Chevalier hates aristocrats. But the man he finds while investigating Crimson Rose is more than just wealthy and fancily clothed. He’s a rogue that could take him to the heart of the uprising and stop it before it starts. His plan to get close to Perrin and steal his secrets backfires, though, when Henri finds himself falling for the damned aristo and his dangerous smile. His heart is even more conflicted as he learns the truth behind their cause…and the truth his own people have been hiding.
Together they must make the choice—to stand and shield at any cost—and their love might be the deadliest weapon in all of France.
Publication date 24/8
My Review ….
If I read M/M it’s usually shifter based. So reading a Regency M/M romance it’s a little out of my usual genre. But I’ll give it a go…..
Perrin is a fop, he gives the impression he’s a bored rich aristocrat, in fact he’s helping to free rich people (aristocrats) like him. The French Revolution may have ended, but the rich are still being persecuted. Julian and Perrin met in a club for men who love other men, but it’s forbidden. And after losing the love of his life, he didn’t really care for much, but he swore to his beloved he would help wherever he could. So on the anniversary of Julien’s death, he’s back at the club they use to frequent with old friends to raise a glass. And to see if they can help the Scarlet Crest! And who is the scarlet crest? No one knows. But many people want to find out, Perrin must be careful. His life and the lives of his friends are at stake!
Henri is an officer in the French Revolutionary army. His job is to capture spies, he enjoys his work. Freeing the poor from the reign of the aristocracy. He hates the rich, they ruined his life, and the lives of his family, so he won’t stop until everyone in France is an equal. Getting a password to the Scarlet Crest meeting place, Henri hopes to find information on where and when the next rendezvous is and how to stop them from fleeing the country.
Perrin and Henri meet by accident, Henri saves Perrin from being trampled. Both have a lustful thought at being so close to a stranger. But reality comes crashing in even Henri realises the man he saved is an aristocrat!! Perrin is mortified that he feels anything, he should still be mourning for his beloved Julien, not lusting after someone else! They meet again at the Scarlet Crest meeting place. It’s still hostile between them, but so is the strange attraction!
Does Henri believe Perrin is helping the rich to flee? He doesn’t want to, but why would he be here? And can Perrin trust Henri, when he knows how much he hates the rich?
I liked the characters, I liked the premise, but I have to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy the book. I’m not sure what spoilt it for me. But something was missing. I know gay relationships were frowned upon in those days. And I know it’s a crime to have those feelings. But I didn’t get that feeling from the book, it didn’t feel cloak and dagger. I got the intrigue, I got a little suspense. It just fell a little short. I just didn’t believe the feelings. To me there didn’t seem the passion, the fire, the urgency. The characters of Henri and Perrin were good, they were solid and well thought out. Loved Quill (Perrin’s friend) he was fun. As I said, lots of great ideas, just not quite there with the execution.
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