Brook Street: Thief

Title: Brook Street: Thief (book one of Brook Street trilogy)
Author: Ava March
Cover Artist: n/a
Publisher: Carina Press
Buy Link Amazon:
Genre: Regency/M/M Erotic Romance
Length: 40000 words
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: A wonderful historical novella about the meeting between Lord and Thief, and what came out of that meeting.

Blurb:

London, 1822

It was only supposed to be one night. One night to determine once and for all if he truly preferred men. But the last thing Lord Benjamin Parker expected to find in a questionable gambling hall in Cheapside is a gorgeous young man who steals his heart.

It was only supposed to be a job. Cavin Fox has done it many times-select a prime mark, distract him with lust, and leave his pockets empty. Yet when Cavin slips away under the cover of darkness, the only part of Benjamin he leaves untouched is his pockets.

With a taste of his fantasies fulfilled, Benjamin wants more than one night with Cavin. But convincing the elusive young man to give them a chance proves difficult. Cavin lives with a band of thieves in the worst area of London, and he knows there’s no place for him in a gentleman’s life. Yet Benjamin isn’t about to let Cavin-and love-continue to slip away from him.

Review:

For those of you who like this author, you probably know that Regency romances are her “brand” so to speak, or at least this is my impression based on three or four books by her that I have read so far. I think that this novella is another one of her well-written Regencies with extremely hot sex, but in my opinion sex in her stories is one of the main ways for her characters to communicate and to express the changes in the relationship and one of the reasons why I usually really enjoy their love making. It is passionate, it is beautiful, and it is smoking hot.

I really loved how Benjamin and Cavin met, mostly because, as the blurb tells us, Ben takes such a refreshing approach to the question of whether he prefers men in his bed or not. He decides to go find himself a man and find out and just accept whatever answer he will get. While I have no problem with the angst, especially in historical romances, I could also see and believe how practical Benjamin would decide that problem just needs to be solved and the answer would be accepted.

Yes, they are both instantly attracted to each other, something I don’t particularly care for, but here it was just so beautifully done that I was inclined to be a little bit more forgiving especially since the novella is on the shorter side and the author probably did not have much page space to develop slow attraction. As an aside, may I just say how relieved I was that considering my recent state of annoyance with how some writers describe the guys’ looks in flowery terms, that this writer did not go that road at all. Here is how Cavin is described when we see him through Ben’s eyes:

“He glanced right and meet deep blue eyes. Good God. The man more than matched that gorgeous voice. Dark blond hair with a trace of wave curled over his ears. Full lips tipped in the beginnings of a friendly smile. A slightly crooked nose that somehow fit his handsome face. A face that still held a bit of boyish beauty”.

I loved that description so very much, not the least because for me it does not have a slightest hint of purple prose in it.

I think what helped me be even more tolerant of the fast attraction between the guys is that despite that attraction, there are obstacles for them to overcome before they can be together. These obstacles are very believable and more internal than external and, as the blurb tells us, mostly arise because of Cavin’s life situation and him fighting his attraction to Benjamin, although it was all woven so nicely together. The writer wrote the story with a very light touch, but she managed to deal with couple of serious issues in connection with Cavin’s situation and simply write about those issues as relevant to the story and still make the story appear a light read.

As I said above, the sex was smoking hot and there was a lot of it, but there was no BDSM at all, which I was expecting since I have read her BDSM historical series. Although at the very end one of the guys promises to tie another to the bed, which is met with great enthusiasm, so who knows, maybe they will decide to explore it eventually…

Lastly, I thought that the happy ending was completely believable and for me it is always a challenge, especially in historical, to make happy ending appear not too stretched.

Brook Street: Thief is available from the publisher’s website and Amazon on March 19.

10 comments

  • Thanks for telling me, this series sounds pretty good.

    About what I said of the similarities with The Gentleman and the Rogue, please allow me to clarify that, because I’m sure the books have different plots. It’s just this memory of mine which is a curse. And the similarities is what makes it interesting, at least for me. In order for you believe me, I must confess that I loved to read Barbara Cartland when I was a child.

    After only reading the blur of Brook Street: Thief, I made my comment based on the hypothesis that, if we were talking formulas, I could say, for example, I’m writing a romance set in London, during the Regency, between two men unlikely to be a couple, one is a gentleman and the other (please take a deep breath) a deceitful, unreliable, scoundrel, pleasantly mischievous person. So, if the title wouldn’t have been taken, it might be pertinent to both books.

    Interesting thing, the next book in the series is called Brook Street: Rogues.

    Which is okay, because for me it’s already a must-buy-and-read. I simply can’t wait to read it.

    Now, about what you said of one character being a thief. Yes, the rogue of the title of the other book, is a male prostitute, but the next thing he does after sleeping with the gentleman is to steal from him. He gets caught and the story unfolds. And his criminals friends follow him to this new life.

    That was what made me write that comment.

    Sure, I’ll be back to tell you, but being Ava March one of my favorite authors, and with those elements, I’m already bias. I know I’ll like it.

    Reply
    • Hi Naaju oh I think I hear what you are saying – yes, a lot of Regencies follow the same general plot formulas and what they built on the bones of such plot is what distinguishes one story from one another, is that what you are saying? I think these two writers built pretty different “fat” on those bones to continue with the analogy. Of course JMO, and let me know what you thought.

      Shhh, I have read Barbara Cartland myself in russian translation that is 🙂

      Reply
  • Thanks, Sirius, for reporting on this, because I love her books, and haven’t heard of this one.

    I must confess I lost interest in following them when her last series became a repeat of the same. I don’t like books that follow the same characters, but the same world, yes, I would take that. Judging for the title, this will be a series, hopefully with new characters in each installment. So I’m preordering Thief.

    While this is available, if you guys haven’t read it, I highly recommend His Client. That was the book for which I fell in love with Ava March’s writing. I like her voice so much that I got the M/F books she publishes as Evangeline Collins. I rather read those than the Bound books. A personal choice of course.

    BTW, Thief’s blur reminds me of another awesome book, which I also love, The Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon.

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting Naaju. From what I understand and I can be wrong, because I only make this speculation based on the blurbs for two other books of the trilogy, the series are loosely connected by the main characters being friends, in the same social circles, but the main couples will be different in every book.

      I love The gentleman and the rogue too, but no, I did not find those books to be similar at all, besides one character being a thief. Thanks for commenting and please consider coming back and letting us know whether you enjoyed the book.

      Reply
    • You are welcome, sfrizell. I hope you will enjoy this one, please let me know whether you did or not? Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  • Thanks, Sirius. I’ve just started reading Ava March’s older books and am enjoying them, so I think I’ll pick this one up next week, too 🙂

    Reply
    • Leslie, if you like her other stories, I think you will enjoy this one, her style is pretty similar in the ones I have read so far IMO.(I do not mean that she writes the same characters or same stories, but that her writing is quite distinct and easily recognisable IMO)

      Reply
      • Hey Sirius, I just finished reading Thief and I really enjoyed it. You’re right, the author does have a very recognisable style – it’s one that I find ‘soothing’ in a way… it’s comfortable to read and I trust the author if you know what I mean!

        Reply
        • Hi Leslie S, I am so glad that the book did not disappoint. I am looking forward to reviewing next two books in these series 🙂

          Reply

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