A Private Gentleman
To seal their bond, they must break the ties that bind. Painfully introverted and rendered nearly mute by a heavy stammer, Lord George Albert Westin rarely ventures any farther than the club or his beloved gardens. When he hears rumors of an exotic new orchid sighted at a local hobbyist's house, though, he girds himself with opiates and determination to attend a house party, hoping to sneak a peek. He finds the orchid, yes?but he finds something else even more rare and exquisite: Michael Vallant. Professional sodomite. Michael climbed out of an adolescent hell as a courtesan's bastard to become successful and independent-minded, seeing men on his own terms, protected by a powerful friend. He is master of his own world--until Wes. Not only because, for once, the sex is for pleasure and not for profit. They are joined by tendrils of a shameful, unspoken history. The closer his shy, poppy-addicted lover lures him to the light of love, the harder his past works to drag him back into the dark. There's only one way out of this tangle. Help Wes face the fears that cripple him--right after Michael finds the courage to reveal the devastating truth that binds them. Warning: Contains wounded heroes, bibliophilic tendencies, orchid obsessions, a right bastard of a marquis, and gay men who get happily-ever-afters.