Book Reviews

One Glimpse (Indulgence 2) by Lydia Gastrell

Genre Gay / Historical / Regency / Royalty/Nobility / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 12-May-2021

Book Blurb

For years Sir Samuel Shaw has secretly lusted after the handsome and popular Lord John Darnish, a man known for his good humor, expert riding prowess, and very female mistress. Certain that John is an unattainable fantasy, Sam is shaken when an accidental discovery reveals John might not be as unattainable as he once thought. But what is possible is not always likely, and Sam finds himself trapped between keeping a friend and risking everything for the unlikely hope of something more. 

John is terror struck when his drunken mistake threatens to shatter the double life he has worked so hard to maintain. His terror soon turns to hope when he finds himself drawn to Sam, who he has always been sure does not share his interest in men. But subtle things cause him to second guess, and fear that his hopes are making him see what he wants to see.

Sam's risks and John's hopes turn futile, however, when blights from Sam's past resurface to threaten them and Sam's family. Can Sam choose between the love he has always wanted and the security of his family, or will forces outside his control hurt all the people he holds most dear?

First edition published by Loose Id, October 2015.

Book Review

The sequel to the sublime ‘One Indulgence’ does not disappoint and I found much to love in this longer tale of Baronet Samuel Shaw who struggles to exorcise his childhood demons and takes a chance on love.

Samuel Shaw has built a crusty, aloof exterior to protect his innate good nature and tender heart. Gentlemen of the ton are cruel to anyone they perceive as weak and Sam has experienced their harshness first-hand. A moment of weakness with a fellow classmate left him ridiculed by all of his peers during his school years and he has neither forgotten nor forgiven any of the culprits of that long-past incident. Nor has he forgiven himself for baring his heart to his childhood friend only to have it crushed. Now that boy has become Sir Henry Courtland, lover of Lord Richard Avery.

Seeing his former friend’s happiness reignites Sam’s ire, and his anger and resentment threaten to consume him. A trip to the mollyhouse to release some steam has him running into Lord John Danish, a highly respected, above reproach gentleman whom Sam has secretly admired for years. John runs with the fast set and barely knows Sam, but he panics when Sam catches him embracing a near-naked male prostitute. Devastated that he has been found out, John seeks out Sam hoping he will be reasonable with his blackmail demands.

This second captivating tale of the Regency ton blends characters from the previous book with new characters for the tantalizing tale of Sam and John’s charming but calamity-ridden courtship. Wit, cleverness, and heat combine to marvelous effect in a story that delves deeper into the psyche of the-mouse-that-roared, Samuel Shaw. The whimsical juxtaposition of Sam’s point of view, which reveals his rampant self-criticism and his dogged attempts to fit in without standing out, versus John’s point of view, which highlights his gradual awareness that the gentry’s perception of Sam as a gruff, hard, and tough is not the truth of the man, were delightful and splendidly entertaining.

The author again gifted me with exquisite details of the fashions, scenery, and atmosphere of the haute ton of Regency-period England. I especially loved the inclusion of the secluded hideaways, small edge of nowhere cottages that afforded Sam and John and others of their ilk trysting spots where they were free from the constraints of their societal obligations. These secluded lovemaking scenes were reminiscent of the effervescent film “Maurice” and added a melancholic overtone of genuineness that only enriched the story. Sam and John conduct themselves admirably when facing a multitude of scandals. John saves Sam from disgrace only to have Sam’s sister in danger of scandal, which leads to both Sam and John facing ruin. Quite a few nasty characters prove villainous and rescue comes from, perhaps not an unlikely source, but certainly a triumphant one with a surprising twist.

All in all there is a lot of entertainment to be had from this stimulating addition of the series, which contains cliffhanger-style hints that another book is pending. What can possibly be troubling the exquisite fashionista fop Julian? I want to know, so I’ll be waiting for the next book. ‘One Glimpse’ can be read as a stand-alone, but I feel the experience will be richer if the two books are read in order. I highly recommend both, especially for lovers of traditional and gay romance.

Thank you, Lydia Gastrell, for another enchanting trip to the land of cravats, waistcoats, and high hats…tangled and discarded at the end of a bedpost.

“Wanting, Wooing, Waiting…Wondrous!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 396 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-October-2018
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link