Reviewed by Chris
AUTHOR: C.B. Lewis
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 78 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 21, 2017
Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.
Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.
But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.
Incredibly nervous that his reading of the Iliad–in its original language–before a group of wealthy and well-respected men, will be a disaster, Theodore Wentworth places a shilling before the statue of Hermes and asks a rather ridiculous prayer that he will not totally ruin his chances at gaining a patron for his studies. A man who has devoted his life to learning, he does not think Hermes–or any other god, for that matter–will answer…but what could it hurt? When his prayer is answered, though, and his luck seems to turn to gold, he begins to question if perhaps his offering was much more than it seemed. And if he was to ask the god again for his favor, could he possibly gain the eye–and time–of the mysterious Alexander who had begun to confound him in every way possible.
I only have two complaints about this story. The first is that it is not 300 pages longer, and thereby giving me several hours more of this wonderful storytelling. And secondly that it ends one scene too short, depriving me of what I’m sure would have been one of the hottest make-out scenes I’ve ever read. Other than those two things, though, this short story was bloody brilliant.
Coming in at just under 80 pages, this is not a long story, nor one that is overly complicated. But it was a thrilling ride from start to finish. I can not explain how intense the chemistry between these two characters is. They barely even touch for the majority of this story, and yet when they are in the same room…ye gads. I’m surprised things don’t start spontaneously combusting. The scene where they are at the theater and Theodore places his hand on Alexander’s thigh–and only just his thigh–is by far some of the best sexual tension in a story I’ve experienced in the last month. Up to and including books with full-on sex scenes.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and totally recommend it. It may not be long, but it packs one hell of a punch.