Author: T. D. McKinney & Terry Wylis
Length: Extended Novel (per Amber Allure)
Publisher: Amber Allure (January 13th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts – OMG
Blurb: It was everything college graduate Joshua Huggins could have dreamed and more. A new job on a big Southern estate named Laure, a generous salary, and the perfect boss, Adrien Brette, a scion of deep-rooted Mobile society, older, stunningly handsome, and just a little mysterious. But the mystery may be darker than Joshua imagined. Something ominous is stalking Laure. Adrien lives in seclusion, and his sister hides under the care of a strange nurse. Even Adrien’s aunt and her boyfriend are strangely protective.
Despite all the barriers Adrien puts up, he’s still the most compelling man Joshua has ever met, and the younger man can’t help following his heart. Even though Adrien can’t return his love. Even though the truth of Adrien’s wife’s death could destroy everyone at Laure.
Now, Joshua must choose between sacrificing the honor and naïveté Adrien so adores, or losing everything he’s come to love. Among the Spanish moss and azalea blossoms of Laure, the past is never dead…
Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Laure.html
Review: McKinney and Wylis’s latest release, Laure, is a modern gothic contemporary. They twist the traditional gothic tidbits of naïve heroine, brooding hero and magnificent estate in their own unique fashion to craft a wonderfully contemporary gothic gay romance.
Our narrator, Joshua Huggins, begins the book an all but broke new college graduate seeking his first real job as a personal assistant. He’s overwhelmed not only by where the meeting is, but the man himself. Despite his nerves, or perhaps because of them, Joshua opens up to Adrien in ways that leave him wondering later if he blew his chance. Instead, he won the job and moves out to Adrien’s estate, a Greek Revival plantation house and its surviving grounds which is the Laure of the title. There he meets the expected cast of characters in the forbidding nurse, the slightly crazy sister, and the close-knit relatives. The story unfolds slowly as Joshua learns more about both the house and Adrian until you reach the inevitable nerve-wracking conclusion.
Because the story is told in first person by Joshua, it is difficult to go in-depth about my likes and dislikes with the story. It’s intense, there’s no other way to put it, and pulls you in completely. I wasted a whole day devouring this book because I just had to know how Joshua and Adrien’s story would conclude. Would love triumph over all or would it all crash and burn? Each character in this novel, no matter how minor, is unique. They linger in your mind long after the final page is read, but especially Joshua and Adrien. They’re enjoyment of Laure’s veranda will stay with me for a long time.
Laure is a book I cannot recommend enough. And, when you realize I hate first person stories with a passion, that’s really saying something indeed. If you love classic Gothic romances in the vein of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, than you’ll definitely love Laure.