This week’s theme for My Sexy Saturday is “One Sexy Night. Have you ever heard of a moment in time, day or night, that changes everything? That one sexy night can right all life’s wrongs, make the old new again and help our characters find the love of their lives. For this week’s theme, we are making that special moment happen during the night time.”
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?
In this snippet, the two men meet for the second time at a masquerade and leave together.
“Then come home with me.”
Rupert held his breath until Leander nodded his agreement. He’d wanted the handsome youth since the moment he’d first seen him in January. He’d fought the impulse to see him again, but images of the lad, so slim and handsome, with his fair hair and blue eyes, had haunted his dreams.
He turned and led the way out of the house, ignoring the merriment around him, pausing only to collect their coats at the door. Leander followed him out into the dark night. Rupert pulled off his hat and the full-face mask, glad to feel the cool air on his face. “That’s better.” The mask had been stifling inside, but necessary.
Leander removed his half-mask and pulled Rupert to where light spilled out of a downstairs window. His gaze searched Rupert’s face. “The man with the green carnation.”
Rupert let out a sigh. He’d been unsure of how the younger man would react to seeing him again. He was no longer a handsome youth, but a man of five-and-thirty, every one of those years limned on his visage. “Then you do remember me.”
Leander reached up to cup his face, flicking a thumb over Rupert’s lips. “I remember you, Rupert,” he said softly. Rupert grasped Leander’s wrist and turned his head to press a kiss into one palm. “Shall we go?”
They waited until a hansom cab had been summoned. After giving the address of his lodgings, Rupert climbed in, leaving room for the younger man beside him. Once inside, he held onto Leander’s hand in the dark.
This novella has one of my favorite covers–I think it’s just beautiful–but it didn’t sell well. What do you think of the cover? Would you have preferred something sexier? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to use the linky list to hop to more My Sexy Saturday excerpts.
Linda / Lyndi