Author: Hollis Shiloh
Length: Novella (103pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (22nd May 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥2 Hearts
Blurb: One night at a masquerade party, rakish Adrian Knowles kisses the wrong man by mistake and meets Oliver Windham. Feisty yet wary and broken, Ollie desperately needs a friend. Almost against his will, Adrian finds himself playing the hero… and falling in love.
Adrian hires Ollie to set his library to rights—after having his servants put all the books out of order. He promises himself he’ll treat Ollie only as a friend, but Ollie quickly becomes the only man he wants.
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
Review: Adrian mistakes a young man catching some air for his secret rendezvous. After kissing the man and apologizing he listens to his tale of woe and decides he has to do something to help the appealing young man. Oliver finds himself in an untenable position when his uncle turns him out and he falls into the hands of a procurer. With no one to turn to and no way of finding employment, Oliver has to accept his fate. until Adrian comes to his rescue and offers him the job of librarian. But, Oliver is still wary, after all why would someone of Adrian’s station help a man like him?
This is a very gentle paced Regency romance, of a young man who is struggling to survive and a well-to-do gentleman who takes him under his wing. Adrian falls under the innocent charms of a younger man when he mistakenly kisses him. Taking him into his home as a librarian, Adrian can’t help but wish for more. Oliver is wary of his new employer, the man kissed him! Oliver has been bruised in the past and it led to him being homeless. Now Oliver has to trust his instincts and he blooms under his new employer’s roof. When Oliver discovers his feelings for Adrian are romantic in nature, he has to convince Adrian it is something he really wants.
Oliver and Adrian made a decent couple, but it is a very tentative friendship at first with Oliver’s fear and wariness shining through and Adrian’s suppressed longings and yearnings. The relationship is slow-paced, with Oliver learning to trust Adrian and when they do begin to explore the relationship deeper it is still drawn out slowly. The storyline is quite good with a wealthy gentleman coming to the rescue of a man fallen on hard times. A man who has been misused in the past and needs protecting. the wealthy gentleman falls in love, but doesn’t think his affections will be returned.
I found this story to be a little bit too much at times, Oliver crying and Adrian’s yearnings just drove me mad. I really felt at times that it was getting Mill’s and Boon’s sappy and a really early Mill’s and Boon at that. The attitudes were completely wrong for the timeline as well, men crying!! Offering comfort!! Not in Regency England they didn’t. I really did want to enjoy this story more, but it just didn’t sit right. Because it felt like Adrian was treating Oliver like a female with delicate sensibilities, rather than as another man.
I will recommend this to those who love young man in distress, a dashing gentleman rushing to the rescue, falling in love in harsh times, gentle love and a very happy ending.