Title: Less Than All
Author: Lee Brazil
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Self Published
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Historical M/M Romance
Length: 125 pages/25017 words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: A new to me author and I’m impressed. The characters were great, their confrontations drew me in and the sex scenes were smoking hot.
Blurb: Nicholas Danville doesn’t trust his lover, certain Victor cannot share the depth of his attraction. With him only for now, Victor must marry to fulfill his duty to his family. Surely that will mean the end of their liaison?
A youthful indiscretion leads to a humiliating encounter between Nicholas Danville and Lord Victor Ware. Nicholas returns home in disgrace, and Victor continues life in the Ton. Years later, Nicholas’s reproving parents send him to town to attain a degree of polish before he prepares for life as a member of the clergy.
A chance encounter with an old friend leads to a new confrontation between Nicholas and Victor. This time, the attraction between them burns brighter, Nicholas is old enough to know his own mind, and Victor is done with self-denial.
From ballrooms to gardens and opera houses, Victor sets about proving that a passionate liaison between two men is possible even under the narrow gaze of the Ton.
The book begins with a flashback to when Lord Victor Ware hosted his younger brother, Peter, and his friend Nicholas during a school holiday. Victor caught his brother and Nicholas in a compromising situation up in the stable loft. Afterward, Victor called Nicholas into his study and explained why such acts were not only unacceptable but also quite dangerous and suggested Nicholas cut his visit short and leave immediately. Nicholas left in disgrace after being reprimanded by the man he had been infatuated with for years. I realized by the end of the flashback that I loved the writing style. I try not to get too excited about a book when I first start because that usually leaves me feeling disappointed later, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. Within just a few pages I was pulled into the conflict and torment both Victor and Nicholas were feeling.
The story moves into current events which take place a couple years later. Victor has been unable to forget about Nicholas. His dreams of the beautiful young man continue to torment him until he’s surprised one evening to come home and find Nicholas, Peter and some friends crashing at his house after a night of drinking. Victor prepares to once again give a stern lecture and send the men on their way duly chastised but Nicholas, in a drunken moment of inspiration, decides he’s going to make a pass at Victor before departing. Victor confronts Nicholas the following day and lets him know he has every intention of continuing what was started the previous night. This creates a new dilemma for Nicholas. He’s being offered exactly what he has always wanted but it has a very steep price. Nicholas knows he is in love with Victor but because of Victor’s position in society they have to be extremely discrete. Nicholas is left wondering if the occasional stolen moments are worth it when a long term relationship is not possible. Can Victor convince Nicholas it’s possible for them to be together under the watchful eyes of society? Is the happiness he can have now worth the pain he’ll have when Victor must eventually marry and have a family?
Like I said earlier, I knew immediately that I was going to like this book. I’m always looking for the next book that’s going to grab me and not let go until I turn the last page. I’m so happy to have found another one with Less Than All. I love it when I quickly connect with characters and their story draws me in. Not only was I feeling that connection with them individually, but I was feeling the pull from them as a couple too. I’m sure a big part of my enjoyment were the sex scenes, oh my freaking god were they hot! I loved the stolen moments when they slipped out of social events to meet in secluded sections of the garden and I loved the longer, private encounters even more. As much as I was enjoying the passionate affair they were having, there was also the underlying struggle Nicholas was dealing with at the same time. His fears for the future and the certain pain of losing Victor to a wife and children were tearing him up and I was sitting there taking it all in and loving every minute of it. This was the first I have read of Lee Brazil’s work and it was great, I’ll definitely be seeking out his other books after reading this one.