A Gentleman Revealed
Lords of Avenleigh, Book #1
By Cooper Davis
Author’s website: cooperdavisbooks(.)com
From New York Times bestselling author Deidre Knight, writing as Cooper Davis, comes a thrilling new romance series, set in an alternative Victorian world, where gentlemen may openly court and marry fellow noblemen….
Alistair Finley has spent years concealing the truth of his illegitimacy. The bastard son of the late king and half-brother to the man who now occupies the throne, Alistair fears ruination. He has never allowed himself love or companionship. Until he meets the handsome young Lord Marcus Avenleigh.
Marcus has spent two years attempting to gain the notice of the king’s shy secretary. Tempting Alistair out of the shadows and into his bed, however, proves a daunting task. The self-proclaimed spinster has made a profession of decorating the wings of every social gala, denying Marcus and every other eligible bachelor a formal introduction.
When Lady Elsevier’s annual ball presents a daring moment, Marcus invites Alistair to waltz. What Marcus can’t know is that his would-be paramour has chosen drink and the life of a lonely bachelor above ever risking his heart, or his king’s own reputation. He’s bound in lies and secrecy, and the past must never, ever be revealed…
A Gentleman Revealed starts at the annual ball of Lady Elsevier where is known to be the place where couples of the same sex are more free to persuade their love interest. It’s rumored that new couples that are from during the ball are destined to get married, and everyone attributes it to Lady Elsevier’s matchmaking skills. Here, the young (twenty-nine-year-old) Lord, Marcus Avenleigh decides to make his move and finally talk to Alistair Finley, whom he has been looking from afar for the past two years. Alistair Finley has notice the looks and stares from Lord Avenleigh for the past two years, but even though he might be interested in the young Lord, given his position as the King’s secretary and his old age (Thirty-eight years old) he knows that there is no change for a future with the young Lord.
As the night grows old, Lord Marcus arms himself with courage and a couple of drinks and make his advance to Lord Alistair. At first, his advances are not understood and believe to be caused only by the alcohol in him, but he stands his ground and makes his feelings know to Alistair. Even though Alistair leaves and doesn’t fully accept his advances, this doesn’t stop Marcus. The next day, during a cold wind, he arrives at the downtown Royal office to see Alistair and manages to make him accepted to have lunch with him.
The lunch is a success and Alistair accepts Marcus’ feelings. He decides to let himself be persuaded by the young Lord and to see where their relationship might go. But Alistair has secrets, family secrets that don’t let him be happy and torment his daily life, while also having unhealthy vices that clash during the wrong moments.
As the two lovers make their way to a happy ending, there are those who will love to see them happy together, but at the same time, there are those who would like to see them miserable and apart. Their future has many challenges ahead of them, most of them personal, but if their love is true they might be able to conquer them with the help of one another, and those who love them.
The character I liked the best was Marcus. His personality and ideas were fun to read, while his determination to get Alistair to accept his feeling and help him the best he can, were his greatest character qualities. Another thing that I loved from Marcus was his family. The Avenliegh brothers had the funniest and heartwarming scenes in the story. Their love and acceptance for Marcus are one of the types of representations of support that we not always see in LGTB stories but are the type that the community wants the most.
I would have like to know more about King Arend and his husband Jules, but upon some research after finishing the book, I found that they have their own story and their own sort of problems before the events of A Gentleman Revealed. I will definitely try to read their story and try to find out more about the King’s son that was mention in this book.
Over the course of the story, we find out that Alistair has a reason for his shyness and not wanting to accept Marcus at first. His past and real parentage play a great deal in his suffering, but also the vices that seem to keep him down. The story had what a thought to be a good representation of alcoholism and the consequence of oneself and the relationships around them. I like how Alistair work to conquer it at the end and the help that he got from.
Given that the series has now Arend and Alistair’s stories, it will be great if we could read Marcus brothers stories or at least Ethan as Alistair learns about a hidden friendship of Ethan’s.
I liked the type of story and characters that A Gentleman Revealed had, but there were somethings that I didn’t like. One of those things was the narrative and storytelling. There were times when the way the author wrote a scene of a dialog made it hard to follow the narrative and sometimes hard to understand what the characters were trying to say. Maybe it was for narrative purposes, but nobody proposes to Alistair to drink something else like tea or water, they just let him continue to drink until his downfall. Also, the constant reminder of their age difference was another thing that I found a little tiring, they are both grown man that can make their own decision, is not like one of them just became an adult.
Even with those things that I didn’t like, I still like A Gentleman Revealed as a whole story.
If you are a fan of Cooper Davis or the Noble Pleasures series, then I recommend A Gentleman Revealed. This is the first story of the Lords of Avenleigh series, here we find a man that is head over heels for another man and finds the courage to finally propose himself and take the necessary step to be happy, while we meet the other man whose life and past is consuming his mind to the breaking point of losing this new man that might be his only saving.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*