Book Reviews

One Indulgence (Indulgence 1) by Lydia Gastrell

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 12-May-2021

Book Blurb

When Henry Cortland, the Earl of Brenleigh, comes to London to fulfill his duty and take a wife, he also decides to first fulfill his most secret and suppressed desires. He wants to spend just one night with a man. A sultry encounter with a handsome stranger surpasses all his hopes, leaving him certain that he will live off the memories for the rest of his life.

Lord Richard Avery has grown tired of his endless string of casual relationships, yet an argument with his lover sends him right into the arms of a total stranger. But Henry is not like any lover he has ever had, and the attraction between them is more than physical. Richard wants more, but can their mutual attraction overcome Henry's family obligations and sense of duty? Can Richard convince him to follow his heart rather than the demands of family and title?



First edition published by Loose Id, September 2014.


Book Review

Regency romances are not easy to come by in the male/male romance genre and I was delighted to enter the world of the ton, courtesy of this splendid slice-of-life story about a young earl who is intent on capitulating to his secret desire before committing to his impending nuptials. The premise of this book is quite marvelous and the author’s luscious play-by-play style made for a fascinating, escape-to-another-world read.  Impressive!

Blue-eyed male ingénue Earl Henry Courtland discreetly enters a mollyhouse to experience forbidden passion for his first and only time and hooks up with a seasoned veteran of the hidden desire game. Lord Richard Avery’s quarrel with his steady lover has him entering said mollyhouse to assuage his upset and lust with a talented professional. When his favorite pro is otherwise occupied, Richard allows himself to be coaxed to the bedroom of a secretive novice and is intrigued by the charming virgin that is Henry Cortland.
The subsequent 252 pages read like an episodic PBS drama plied with all of the best of both the male/male romance and regency romance genres, namely great romance, a swell plot, and hot sex. Exceptional and entertaining, this character-driven story is made richer by the inclusion of a wonderful cast of supporting characters and the author’s skillful hand at the language and attributes of the class-conscious world of British aristocracy. Terrific dialogue and captivating scenes of the ton at leisure are beautifully woven throughout the trials and tribulations of Richard and Henry’s escalating romance, and the overall tale plays out equal parts hot, humorous, and exceedingly clever.

Smart and handsome, Richard and Henry are easy to love and their interactions with each other and the supporting cast had me devouring the pages trying to guess at how they could make their relationship work. An abundance of intriguing obstacles, devious schemes, and calamitous misunderstandings enliven their romance and gave the supporting cast opportunity to shine. And shine they did; I am happy to say that this book is the first in a series for I should love to read more about Julian and Samuel Shaw in particular.

Lush scene changes and smart world building added to the captivating, step-out-of-time quality of the story. Gambling dens, society balls, and spectacular gardens complete with nook-filled mazes were second only to the air of gossip and scandal that lent credence to the colorful descriptions of carriage rides, horsemanship, and the overall sporting life of the fashion-conscious gentry. A tremendous story that is sure to please lovers of traditional and gay romance alike. I think the phrase “guilty pleasure” applies because I’m reaching for the next in the series right now and I should be working.
Thank you, Lydia Gastrell, for this exciting entry to the world of romance.

“Dashing, Daring, and simply Delightful!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 295 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-October-2018
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link