Reviewed by Becca
SERIES: Order of the Black Knights #1
AUTHOR: Ashe Barker
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2016
Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
This book wasn’t quite what I expected, but it’s only book 1, so I want to see where it goes. It wasn’t horrible but I just felt like it needed something. Still trying to think of what. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I guess what gets me is when you hate someone why would you have sex with them. No matter how hot you think they are. I think that is the main thing that bothers me with this book.
Gideon was a slave, a serf, when he was met by a ‘man’ who would change his life. He was hanging on by a thread, shackled and dressed in barely any clothes in freezing temps. The boss had just whipped him and rubbed stinging nettles all over his body. He didn’t expect to make it through the night. But a wizard came upon him and offered him a deal. Moriel would give Gideon his freedom for services rendered. He had to be a killer. Anytime he was needed he would kill. The only way out of the contract is if he chooses someone over it. Gideon doesn’t think that will happen so he has no problem with that. But then he meets Michael, who is supposed to be his driver. But he lusts over him immediately and tries to think of a way to get him under him quick. Michael has his own reasons for being there. He wants revenge for Gideon killing his boyfriend and lover. He makes an attempt to kill him but Gideon walks away unscathed. So he finds a way into his life to look into the mysterious deaths that happens when Gideon is around. Especially Gideon’s own brother. So as a guise, Michael drives for him and investigates. And what he’s finding is leaving him cold. Bodies are piling up and Gideon is looking more and more like the one who’s doing things. Til things come to a head. Secrets get found out, confessions made, and truces are formed in order to get to the real truth.
To lose a lover, partner, spouse, significant other, is heartbreaking and Michael is heartbroken over the loss of his lover Chris. He has learned to get over it and move on but he hates Gideon because Gideon is the reason he’s dead. Gideon took Chris away from Michael and Michael has never forgotten or forgiven him. So when Gideon appears in the news again, all the old feelings surface and Michael is determined to get revenge on the man who has ruined things for him. On the man who Michael knows is evil and cruel and don’t care who he steps on. As Gideon’s driver, he has gotten to see things about Gideon he didn’t quite expect. But he’s also had his suspicions confirmed. He just has to find out how to prove it. The sad part, they are so attracted to each other and the sex is phenomenal. So Michael is beginning to wonder how can you hate someone who you are beginning to love. Despite what he has done. Gideon has made some discoveries of his own. He is intrigued by this Michael. Normally after some of the comments and the secrets he knows Michael has, he would get rid of them. But something about Michael keeps him holding on. He is tired of the old life, and he is learning he wants to settle down. He wants Michael. He loves him. Michael has changed him. As they discover what is going on with all the murders, Gideon ends up shot and almost dying. And as he’s dying he’s transported back to the time when he was a serf and made the decision to become a Black Knight. He’s determined to set things right.
Sometimes in life we are at crossroads. We make the choice on which way to go. And if we decide to go for the way they gives instant gratification, it doesn’t always work out. Most often it doesn’t at all. And very rarely do you get a chance to go back and fix what you’ve done wrong. So when you can, make the amends. Make things right. It might hurt to do, but most often it works out better.