Once beloved by London’s fashionable elite, Hartley Sedgwick has become a recluse after a spate of salacious gossip exposed his most-private secrets. Rarely venturing from the house whose inheritance is a daily reminder of his downfall, he’s captivated by the exceedingly handsome man who seeks to rob him.
Since retiring from the boxing ring, Sam Fox has made his pub, The Bell, into a haven for those in his Free Black community. But when his best friend Kate implores him to find and destroy a scandalously revealing painting of her, he agrees. Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.
This is my second M/M historical romance and the first book I have read by this author. I really liked how the author made sure to be historically accurate with the dangers that homosexual couples faced in 1817 England as well as the societal stigmas faced by black citizens. The fact that this couple is very diverse is something I found very intriguing. Witnessing Hartley find himself and overcome his past was both inspiring and heart -warming. I am very glad that the author did not use Hartley’s troubled history as a means to explain his attraction to men and that in spite of his trauma related quarks he was able to find acceptance and love. I would love to read more of this author’s work and hope I get that opportunity soon as this was such a great read!