Book Reviews

The Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon at Duet Publishing

Genre Gay / Historical / 20th Century / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 02-January-2018

Book Blurb

A holiday fling forges the bond of a lifetime.

In Paris on business, Londoner Nigel is the target of a practical joke by French colleagues. He’s embarrassed to discover the night spot they sent him to is a drag cabaret. But when a sultry performer seems to be singing right to him, awakening his hidden desires, he can’t bring himself to leave.

Chanteuse Jay often brings home new friends after a night at the club, but he’s never had one quite like Nigel. The buttoned up banker hides a poetic and passionate nature. These opposites spend one unforgettable night on a rooftop under starry skies and part of the following day at the ground breaking 1901 Paris Exposition. But all holidays must end.

Each man relives those precious moments until one day Jay surprises Nigel by visiting him in England. Can the exotic songbird survive a caged existence, or will Nigel be brave enough to shed his respectability and fly away with his beloved? 

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, 2015.

Book Review

“We're heading for something, somewhere I've never been. Sometimes I am frightened, but I'm ready to learn of the power of love.” ~ Celine Dion

Until his fateful Parisian business trip, Nigel Warren lived a quiet, orderly life. He goes to work, works late, then comes home to go to bed and do it all over again. There is seldom any variation in his routine. When he's tricked into visiting an establishment which features a venue of drag queens, he's at first embarrassed and then, when he spies one singer in particular, Jean Michel, his eyes are opened in more ways than one.

At the Cabaret, Nigel finds a side of life that he had only dared to imagine in his dreams. Here he is, in the city of lights, surrounded by the possibility of making his fantasies come true. Nigel is torn between his practical side, which tells him he doesn't belong there, and his insane side, as Nigel refers to it, which yearns to stay. When the singer, Jean Michel (Jay) comes onstage, Nigel has his answer. No matter the consequences, he can't afford to turn down this extraordinary slice of life. After spending the night with Jay, he knows there's no going back to the stodgy accountant who always follows the rules. He tries to force himself back into his routine, but he misses Jay. When Jay comes to stay with him in London, they try to recapture the magic they had before, but it's not the same. Nigel attempts to make Jay happy by going to slightly nefarious places, but when his boss gets wind of it, he lectures Nigel about keeping up a good image for their firm and tells him that if he is to keep his job, he needs to give up his association with Jay. Nigel's life is in chaos. He loves Jay and wants to keep him, but the reality of being unemployed, especially leaving without a good reference, scares him to death. Nigel frantically tries to find a compromise, but the best he can do puts Jay in the position of being a 'kept man.' Sadly, it's a part Jay is unwilling to play. Jay goes back to Paris, sad but resigned, and Nigel is left empty and brokenhearted.

Jay is bemused by the proper English gentleman who is obviously attracted to him, but who doesn't have a clue what to do. Jay quickly surmises that Nigel, while having the desire, lacks experience and decides to take him home and 'enlighten' him. It surprises Jay, who is far more worldly, even to the point of being jaded, at how much care he takes with his willing, virginal student. Jay lets Nigel set the pace. It seems his pussycat of a gentleman is actually a tiger inside. Afterward, neither of them know quite how to proceed, but again, Nigel takes the prerogative and leaves before Jay wakes up; thinking there's no way their encounter is anything but a one-night stand. Jay is confused by the effect this stranger has on him. It's obvious that they have nothing in common, yet there is definitely something strong between them. After some time, Jay makes the decision to go to London to be with Nigel. He makes all the necessary arrangements for a long-term visit, not knowing exactly how to work out the details once he's there. At first, it's a happy reunion full of lovemaking, parties, and fun. Then reality sets in. After the threat of being fired, Jay and Nigel have to stay home to continue their affair. Jay becomes restless and seeks out endeavors of his own. He comes upon a theatre company, somewhere familiar to him; a way he can express at least some of his talent, but he misses being Jean Michel and the freedom he found in Paris. When staying home with Nigel isn't enough, Jay saves Nigel from the conflict by making a decision and goes back to Paris.

This historical romance captures the very essence of Paris in the early 1900s, its beauty, charm, freedom, and the many expressions of love and lust in the city. The city fits Jay to a tee, but Nigel just wasn't ready to take the leap of faith necessary to give up what he knew for the unknown. My heart was so heavy for them, but as the song from 'The Lion King' says: “Like dark turning into day, somehow we'll come through. Now that I've found you, love will find a way.” I recommend this story to those who enjoy historical romance, Paris, two seemingly mismatched men who complete each other, and, of course, a happy ending. Thanks, Bonnie and Summer, you've made my heart happy again.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 202 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-March-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link