Reviewed by Vicki
TITLE: Delaney and the Autumn Masque
SERIES: Victoria Holiday Hearts #4
AUTHOR: Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee
PUBLISHER: Duet Publishing
LENGTH: 75 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 3rd, 2016
A spicy harvest treat from Devon and Dee.
Delaney, former pickpocket and now a member of the Andrews theater clan, performs magic tricks as Billbo the Magnificent. Hired to entertain at a fancy dress ball, the magician is struck by the lurking, dramatic figure of the Grim Reaper. He follows Death to a quiet room for a glorious, lustful encounter.
With his identity hidden, impoverished gentleman Bartholomew Bancroft dares to indulge in an out-of-character moment to quench his forbidden yearning for another man’s touch. But in the light of day, he can’t dismiss his memories of the mysterious magician or a craving to see him again.
Bartholomew enlists the dexterous conjurer to teach him to pick pockets. His plan: to retrieve his hand-crafted jewelry taken by a vengeful ex-lover. During the lessons, Bartholomew and Delaney yield to desire, certain their affair will last only until they retrieve Bartholomew’s stolen work.
At another costume ball, the gentleman and the magician work together to foil the thief, but when all masks are abandoned at last, can lasting love remain?
Oh yes! I do like a historical romance… Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon do know how to write an engaging story!
This sweet little book is the story of Bartholomew Bancroft, who is not very well to do any longer, and William Delaney Andrews, magician and pick-pocket. They meet at an autumn masque, Delaney there as entertainment, Bartholomew there stalking a former lover. The two have a very brief encounter in a quiet room, and go their separate ways. Only to reunite when Bartholomew seeks the help of Delaney, as part of his scheme to steal back some gems and jewelry the former lover stole. Bartholomew is drawn in to the life of Delaney and his odd assortment of adopted family, all centered around a theater, as the two work together to sort out Bartholomew’s issues.
I liked this story quite a lot! It’s not very long, so it’s really a brief look at the beginning of a life for these two men, and we don’t get much back story on them. I have not read the other books in this series, I do wish I had read them before this one. Not because I felt like I was missing something critical to this particular story, but because I’m now curious about the other characters that were mentioned in this book. I like series like this, short stories of interacting characters, but each focusing on a couple. Quick and fun to read….
So this one was quick and fun, the plot is basic but kept my interest, and the sexy times were sweet and hot! These authors know this era, and provide a good look at life in that time. I could imagine the smell in the dressing room they described, I could imagine the costumes and lighting at the masque. I wanted to sit in the theater with the Andrews family, and have dinner in the pub at the end. I like it when I get drawn in to the physical descriptions of a book, and this one definitely did that. I liked the characters, Delaney is light a fun, while Bartholomew is the counter, being a little more serious and stoic. They make an oddly good pair! There isn’t a lot of on page sex, but what we do see is just perfect for the short length of the story. I liked the side characters as well, and I want to read the other books now. If you like this time period this book would be good to read. I enjoyed it, and I’ve already purchased the first three books so I can get caught up!