COVER CHANGE: The Bound Series, by Ava March

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS, GUYS! STOP EVERYTHING! My queen, the one and only Ava March, has spoken. She recently changed the covers for the ebooks of The Bound series and OMG. I’m speechless. But we’ll get there! Let me re-introduce you all to each book and its shiny new covers with my personal analysis of each!

Now let’s talk about them, shall we? 😉

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Object of His Desire, from Ava March (Sommerville Park #1)

Hi, there! Good Saturday to you and welcome to another Ava March book review! I decided to re-read one of my favorites from her on Thursday and, once again, I was breathless ❤ Of course that I’m talking about Object of His Desire, the first book in the Sommerville series *–*

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

One week of pure torture.

That was all that Henry Shaw could say about his time on Sommerville Park, the propriety of marquis Arsen Grey. So much for a secret crush. Arsen was wicked, debauched and off all limits to Henry. And still, he had agreed to the marquis’ invitation to the blasted party. It was time to be over and done with his silly infatuation with Arsen. No use to love someone that would never love him back.

But can Henry so easily give up on such a gorgeous and impressive man?

One week of pure torture.

That was all that Arsen Grey, the marquis of Sommerville, could say about his party on his country house. So much for putting up a show for society. Especially when his eyes won’t leave one single person: Henry Shaw. The perfect man. Arsen was afraid that Henry would deny such invitation to his country house, but there he was, the only guest that hadn’t seen any kind of sheets action. It was time to be over and done with the wait. Henry Shaw would be Arsen’s. No use to keep waiting.

But can Arsen convince Henry that they can have a future together?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

As Dante would have said: “thy that here enters, leave behind all the hopes for a mature and impartial review”. He never said that. Not like that anyway. MOVING ON. My first book by Ava March was Bound by Deception and I read The Bound Series [review here!] in a rush after that, so my second series from her was Sommerville Park. For a long time, Henry and Arsen were my favorite couple from Ava, as they are just so sweet and caring and PERFECT ❤ (Okay, sorry, I’m fangirling like crazy again *takes a deep breath*). As I said several times before, it’s easy and hard to analyze a book that you’ve read so many times, as you already had so much time to overthink about it. Ava makes a point to show her reader how communication is important between a couple for them to work out and it was no different this time. In order to live their love, Henry and Arsen had to talk. And oh  dear, how did they talk… Without further ado, I declare that Object of His Desire is a five stars novella and that I really love it to the core ❤

The narrative follows March usual style: third person with switching points of view between Henry and Arsen. Ava works well into both characters personalities and he reader is left at a loss, as we need to tell Arsen how Henry feels and then we need to tell Henry how Arsen feels. Pride and fear are strong reflexes of the Regency society in which they live in, so the need of discretion on both parts breaks the reader’s heart. As a control freak, I prefer third person narratives, so I can always know what’s happening on both sides, haha!

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everybody has a bit of a Sheldon side, right?

The plot was simple, as most of March’s books. Regency era boy likes another boy, doesn’t know if loved boy likes boys too and decides to take a shoot. Also, all March’s books have a happy ending, which I really love, so there is no mystery there. All the focus goes to the couple, how they can work together and what they have to avoid to not break apart.

And the characters… I love both Henry and Arsen. Always did, haha! They are so different and yet so alike. Both are quiet people that long for love. There was no insta love in any parts, as their relationship had been growing for months prior the beginning of the book. It’s rewarding to see the moment when it finally blossoms and how they arrived there.

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Also, Henry is a darling. A really tall and big guy that likes to be the wallflower of the party and has an almost teen crush on the beautiful older guy. Of course he made it to My Bookish Boyfriend list ❤ I imagine him like one of those swimming guys from the Olympic season, you know? All size and gentleness *–*

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And I imagine Arsen as being more refined and bored-looking, but slaying beautiful. He also made to my list, but I’m team Henry ❤ He lacks the honesty that Henry has – I’m fine with it, as he never lied to Henry, but you know what I mean. He’s… Jaded. Henry had his heart broken even more than Arsen and survived the experience without this eerie feel. So, yeah, team Henry, haha!

And then there are the sex scenes.

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March never ever disappoints and she makes a point to show that is perfectly okay for the couple to switch bed roles as they see fit. Also, as in all her works, there is so much love and desire involved on the love-making that the reader keeps sighing in pure satisfaction as the pages go. But I guess I’m too suspicious to say anything, haha! I love Ava too much, just as I love reading gay historical romances, oops!

Overall, if you like a really romantic couple, hot sex scenes, real and down-to-earth characters and Regency books, YOU JUST NEED AVA MARCH IN YOUR LIFE!

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Understood? Thank you.

5star

That’s it, thanks for reading! How do you feel about gay historical romances?

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Ps: here’s a list of my reviewed titles from Ava March so far 🙂

MARCH, AvaAll In With The Duke, Gambling on Love #1 (review here!)

*MARCH, AvaViscount’s Wager, Gambling on Love #3 (review here!)

MARCH, AvaThe Bond Series (review here!)

MARCH, AvaConvincing Arthur, London Legal #1 (review here!)

MARCH, AvaConvincing Leopold, London Legal #2 (review here!)

*MARCH, AvaConvincing the Secretary, London Legal #3 (review here!)

BOOK TOUR + INTERVIEW: Convincing the Secretary, from Ava March!

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Hi, there! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?! I’m part of an Ava March Book Tour!! *happily dancing around the room*

Fangirlings aside, welcome to my stop on the Convincing the Secretary Book Tour 😀

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Convincing the Secretary

London Legal series #3

Ava March

ISBN13: 9781619222526

Length: 34,600 words (novella)

Genre: GLBT: Historical, Red Hot: Historical

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Business and pleasure is a mix no gentleman should consider.

Lord Grayson Holloway goes after what he wants—be it in the law office on his clients’ behalf or in the bedchamber. His new position as partner puts him closer to achieving his goal of becoming the most successful solicitor in London. There’s just one problem—his new secretary. Broad of shoulder yet mild of manner, Edward tempts Gray like no other. Yet the young man barely notices him.

Edward Fenton tries to be a good secretary, but being in Lord Grayson’s hard, commanding presence rouses Edward’s most forbidden desires. Wicked, naughty desires no gentleman should consider giving in to, let alone with his new employer.

Gray is more than willing to mix business with pleasure. But convincing Edward to take a chance on a future with him? That might be the most challenging case Gray has ever taken on.

Warning: Includes buttoned-up gentlemen who become undone, improper use of a desk, spankings, and a big bad lord who has a soft spot for his virgin secretary.

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Where to find Convincing the Secretary

Samhain Publishing | Amazon | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | ARe

As the dutiful fan that I am, I already have reviews for all three books! Just click on their covers bellow to access their reviews 😀

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Also, being the brilliant and lovely human being that Ava is, she agreed to a quick interview!

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  1. First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on the latest releases and thank you for stopping by on The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange! The first question is about the hottest release in town, Convincing the Secretary, third book in the London Legal series. I couldn’t help but notice that Edward and Gray were your first couple that didn’t find “the missing piece of their souls” on their relationship. I mean, comparing them to Arthur and Leopold and several other couples, they were more independent from each other. Why this sudden change of modus operandi on your character’s personalities? Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, I’m just nosy, haha!

Thanks for the congratulations, and thanks for having me on your blog, Annelise! As for Edward and Gray, I wanted to do something a bit different with the guys. I wanted them to figure out how to better themselves on their own, and I think this is why their relationship dynamic feels different than other couples from my books. Their self-improvement is intertwined with their developing relationship, but it’s also independent in a way. Their character growth then set them up to be able to resolve conflict and have a healthy relationship together.

 

  1. The next question takes us back to Leopold and Arthur. On both Convincing Arthur and Convincing Leopold, it is clear that Leopold suffers with a certain mental condition. As mental illness was one of society’s taboos, Leopold isn’t able to give us more details on his condition and us readers are left in the dark. Would his suffering be due a primitive and genetically predisposed form of depression?

I don’t believe Leopold inherited a predisposition toward depression. About 50% of people who develop depression have someone in their family tree with depression, and Leopold would fall into the other 50%. His father had no experience dealing with someone with depression, given he went from calling doctors for an adolescent Leopold to giving Leopold whatever he desired in an effort to make him happy. So I’d say no one his father knew besides Leopold had dealt with it, which would include Leopold’s mother. Losing his mother early in life likely put him more at risk than the average person to develop depression.

 

  1. Can we expect more books in the London Legal series?

I would say 99% chance of no more books in that series. I’m not planning a 4th book and I don’t currently have any ideas for a 4th book. But one never knows when/if the muse will strike.

 

  1. What can you tell us about To Kiss a Thief, your next programed release?

To Kiss a Thief features Sam, who is Cavin’s younger brother from Brook Street: Thief. It takes place 6 years after Thief, when Sam is 19 years old. The book will have a bit of a new adult feel, as both Sam and his hero are ‘college age’ (though neither are at university) and both navigating their first real relationship together. Sam’s character intrigued me in Thief – a smart, perceptive, loyal kid who earned his living as a thief until Cavin got him an honest job at Lord Benjamin’s town house. I wanted to see what he’d be like when he got older. As might be inferred from the book’s title, Sam hasn’t completely put his thieving ways behind him and they get him into a spot of trouble with a curious American. Their relationship is sweet, hot and includes quite a few inappropriate questions 🙂 The novella will be available as part of a duology with Cooper Davis, and we are currently targeting a fall 2016 release.

 

  1. You have two paperback published books besides the vast collection of digital books, The Bound Series and All In With The Duke, the first one in the Gambling on Love series (and a secret autographed copy of Sharp Love just waiting for the next online giveaway to put my name on it, haha!). Can we expect more paperback versions of your books to decorate our shelves? Any plans to do to Brook Street series or London Legal series the same thing that was done to The Bound Series? (Ava reunited the trilogy plus two short stories with the series characters and published one book for them all.)

My publishers hold the print rights for the Brook Street and London Legal series, so ultimately it is up to the publishers on if a print version is made available. If the print rights ever revert to me, I would release print versions like I did with the Bound series. I like having books available in as many formats as possible, to give readers options.

[Dear publishers, please release her books in paperback. Thanks]

  1. From all your works, only From Afar is a paranormal romance, and one with a great potential for a sequel, if you don’t mind me saying. Do you think of writing another paranormal story in your signature Regency London setting?

I’ve thought about it. When I wrote From Afar, I found the paranormal elements very refreshing. I could make my own rules versus strictly following the rules of the Regency period. I have a concept for a sequel to From Afar, which would be set in Rome. But in the years following From Afar’s release, I was busy with other contracted books and didn’t have time to write a sequel. I also have a werewolf story outlined that’s been sitting in my book concepts folder for some time. So maybe one of these days I’ll try my hand at a paranormal again.

 

How I love this woman.

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me with Ava

Anyway, thanks again for bearing with me for the interview, Ava! And bellow, you can learn more about this amazing writer that currently holds my heart but you already knew that if you’re here for a while:

Ava March is a bestselling author of sexy, emotionally intense M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors. With over fifteen works to her credit, her books have been finalists in the Rainbow Awards and More Than Magic contest, and deemed ‘must-haves’ for Historical M/M romance by RT Book Reviews readers. Visit her website at www.AvaMarch.com to find out more about her books or to sign-up for her newsletter.

Ava’s blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

If you’re into historical gay romances, you just HAVE TO read Ava’s books ❤

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That’s it, thank you so much for reading and bearing with my fangirlings 😀

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Convincing Leopold, from Ava March (London Legal #2)

Hi, there! Good afternoon to you 🙂 I’d like to start this post apologizing to Ava. Convincing Leopold was re-released today, so I had promised my review for Feb. 8th and failed miserably. I’m so so sorry 😦 But better a bit later than never 😉

As said once or twice, Ava is re-releasing the London Legal series and adding up a third book to it on 2016. Reviews for book one and book three are already available ❤ Both 5 stars, btw!

And yes, another Ava March book review, sorry not sorry, haha!

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

Arthur couldn’t be happier with his lover, Leopold. Without the threat of coming home to an empty and cold apartment, Arthur is refreshed and working even harder than usual. Except that Leopold seems to be restless of late and just won’t let Arthur rest at all during the night… And not in a pleasant way.

Leopold couldn’t be happier with his lover, Arthur. Without the threat of losing him again to some other more respectable gentleman, Leopold is refreshed and sober as he never has been. Except that Arthur’s hours at the office seem to only increase and Arthur just hired a new secretary… And a beautiful man, nevertheless.

Will Arthur and Leopold work out their differences or prove that they weren’t ever suited at all?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I like Convincing Leopold even better than Convincing Arthur. As I mentioned on the review for book one, Leopold is one of my favorite Ava March’s males. He is so exotic, beautiful and adorable, ugh! I wanna hug him.

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Ahem.

This book was a re-read and I lost count of times that I did so since buying it, so it’s another case of over analyzing something that I’m deeply familiarized with. Not a bad thing, just means that you’ll have to bear with me for a while longer, haha! This book was more dramatic than the last and left me with my heart in tiny pieces on my bedroom floor. I cried hard on the first read and, sometimes, I still do. I just can’t stand what Arthur did to Leopold. But we’ll get there. Important thing is that this book is an excellent sequel and a five stars book 🙂

The narrative in all March’s books so far is third person styled with switching points of view between the couple (a.k.a. my favorite kind), so once again we are able to see what goes on with Arthur and Leopold. And that only makes the reader’s heart more broken when they start to fall apart. You know how much they love each other and you can’t do anything to help them or assure them how perfect for each other than they are.

Honestly, you have no idea how I felt when I couldn’t show this line to Leopold:

Yet being with Thorn felt right. More than right, in fact. Thorn felt like home.

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Okay, I’m okay. I think.

The plot was simple and straightforward: a couple having adjusting problems on their relationship thanks to lack of proper communication. The innovations? Arthur and Leopold are a gay couple on the Regency era, a time were you could be hanged for sodomy. And just like that, a simple plot becomes something exciting, haha! Oh, and of course that no matter the complexity of the plot if it isn’t well executed. March is my queen in plot executions ❤ (I have to say that Jacqueline E. Smith is hard competition. Maybe if Luke and Chase started a romance in Lost Souls…).

Now, let’s talk about my sweet darling Leopold. Yes, I know, there is Arthur and Jones, but they can wait, hunf. I usually like top guys best in gay couples, but Leopold just caught me hard. His subtle arrogance and insecurity did the trick, I guess. A quick quote from Arthur for you to catch my meaning:

“You do realize you are the very embodiment of temptation?”

Thorn arched a knowing brow.

Yes, of course he knew.

And Leopold is so right. #justsaying

Also, he has a condition that made me relate a lot with him. I already experienced similar crisis and there is nothing you can do besides waiting for it to pass. He said himself that two days in bed weren’t that bad and he was right. Last year, I had a break down and was abed for two weeks. I barely looked up on internet, wouldn’t personally talk to my parents or do much besides stay tucked in my bed. For two weeks, I couldn’t attend my college classes or get out of my bedroom at all. Add this to the knowledge that Arthur was a freaking selfish bastard that couldn’t bother to just be honest with Leopold and then you have all my reasons to like Leopold better, haha!

However, of course, I have to give Arthur credit. In the moment he realized how big of a mess he had made, he chased after Leopold like a blind hellhound. That was really cute. And creepy.

Once again, I was captured by March’s beautiful way of building and portraying of a relationship trying to work. Convincing Leopold is all about how communication is vital for a health commitment. And all about how perfect Leopold and Arthur are for each other ❤

To close the characters’ section, I’d like to acknowledge Jones, Leopold’s butler. His devotion and loyalty to Leopold were touching, especially on a time were employees were almost slaves on the hands of the royal and the wealth. I wanted to hug him too, haha!

As always, I can’t treat March’s sex scenes as a bonus point, as they are present on ever book that she writes please never change and they are always smoking hot. I will say this on every single review: March knows her business. I still get impressed with the overflow of feeling during her character’s most intimate moments. They may be mad at each other or just not care at all for each other, but when it comes to the bed, you feel that there is nothing outside in the world besides them and their play. This is magical. I think it’s fair enough to say that all March’s characters make love ❤

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Of course, I also need to express how much I loved the new cover! I have the old edition and trust me, this one is way better ❤

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Overall, this book made me laugh, made me cry and made me love Leopold even more ❤ This is one of the best sequels that I have read and I don’t think I’ll even stop re-reading this book.

5star

That’s it, thank you for bearing with me! The best part is that you can read an excerpt of Convincing Leopold here and find the ebook on the usual places:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Samhain

iBooks

All Romance Ebooks

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Convincing Arthur, from Ava March (London Legal #1)

Hi, again! Welcome to a very fangirl review ❤ Yes, I’m talking about an Ava March book, haha!

As I already mentioned once or twice, Ava is re-releasing her books in the London Legal series with new hot covers and adding a third book to the series. Convincing Arthur, the star of this particular review and first book in the series, was re-released on January 12th and Convincing Leopold, second book in the series, will be re-released on February 9th. As for the third and new book, Convincing the Secretary, despite being released only on March, its review is already available here 😀

To celebrate this re-releases, I decided to re-read and properly review the series. Ava deserves my time and you deserve to know about the best books in the world ❤ My picture was taken with the new cover, to help promoting the book around, but I actually own the old edition 🙂

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

Arthur Barrington knew exactly what awaited for him when he accepted Leopold’s invitation for a short holiday at his friend’s country house in Yorkshire: pleasure beyond anything he knew and total chances of forgetting about his shattered heart. Recently out of a 10-years-long relationship, Arthur just needs to have a good time before search for another discreet gentleman, one willing to be committed, loyal and in love with him.

Leopold Thornton knew exactly what awaited him when he invited Arthur for a short holiday at his country house in Yorkshire: a chance to finally prove himself worthy of the man he has been in love with for the past ten years. Leopold knew he had to take it slow and that his ill and well-built reputation as the biggest whore in London would be held against him, but Leopold couldn’t stand to witness Arthur’s heartache any longer. Or to bear his own either.

Arthur and Leopold’s chemistry is undeniable and soon enough all it takes for both gentlemen to disrupt themselves in feverish desire is to be on each other’s company. Arthur is having the time of his life in Leopold’s bed and Leopold is on the fight with everything he has to win Arthur’s heart.

The only problem is that their life roles are switched. Can Leopold cure Arthur’s heartache without acquiring one of his own?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as reader 🙂

To be honest, I lost track of how many times I have read this book. Despite being normally a hardcore fan of Ava’s work, Leopold also happens to be one of my Top Males from her. Yup, a lot of re-reads through the years since I’m 17 🙂 Just like my 16-year-old face, my favoritism still is the same as back then.

Convincing Arthur has almost all the elements that I most adore in a book: a gay couple, a historical setting in 19th century England, hot non-vulgar sex scenes, deep and developed characters, a happy ending and third person styled narrator with switching points of view and Ava March’s flawless writing style. It would be ridiculous if I gave it any less than five stars.

As we’ll be talking about a literary piece of art and perfection, all impartiality will be left behind.

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As my spoilerish summary indicated, the narrative style is third person and we get to be inside both Leopold and Arthur’s heads. This is my favorite style, as it gives the reader a full picture of what is happening. It works very well for March, as there is not a mystery element to the book. The whole feeling of the book leads the reader to guess the outcome of the romance, but not on a bothersome level. Just like a regular sugared historical romance, we wonder how the couple will manage to stay together. The details are the delight, haha!

As this is the first volume in a series, I think it doesn’t make sense to talk about lose ends 🙂

The plot is very simple with minor twists, but very well executed. Regency boy reconnects with wealthier regency boy, they have sex and now must decide whether both parts are happy in continuing the relationship or if it was indeed a one-time deal. The key is how the couple will communicated and this is the turning point on their relationship, what measures their success or failure. It is so real that my heart clenches: if there is no communication, there is no relationship.

One of the things that I like the most about March’s works is that I notice something different each time that I read her books. There is always something new that I need to add on my mental database about the portrayed couple. A line of thinking, a shed word, body responses to one another. It is just magical, haha!

Then, there are the characters.

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My heart is Leopold’s and I will stand by him until the end of the days, but Arthur is also an incredible character. They are two men trying to make a completely forbidden relationship to work when all odds are against them. Besides being really romantic, it is sensible and beautiful. Their struggles are daily just like mine or yours and the reader is involved on their consciousness in such a way that we just want to help them to understand each other. We want to tell them what they think of themselves and we want to force them to talk, to clear things up.

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Leopold’s feelings…
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… and Arthur’s.

Leopold is beautiful, rich, funny, smart, loyal and skillful ~ if you catch my drift ~, but he bares several insecurities and a particular condition that will be more apparent and discussed on the second book. Arthur is the boy next door, dutiful and hardworking, but he dreads the idea of being utterly alone in the world, having the need of sharing his life with someone – actually, anyone that will have him on his terms, as we soon learn in the begging of the book. They are perfect on both qualities and flaws. Both were lacking individuals before the holiday in Yorkishire. Together, they help each other to become better people. Isn’t this beautiful?

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Honestly, I can’t with myself. It’s too much love for only one person, haha!

A strong and ever present element in March’s books are the sex scenes. They are hot, explicit and dashing. You see, March has this gift that allows her to portray desire in a way that leads her readers into believing that the involved couple are in heaven while having sex. The sexual need of the partners is strong and restless and there’s nothing they’d rather do than be there, on that second, sharing their bodies with each other. This bound ensures high quality and well written scenes and vulgarity-free desire. All sex scenes are justified and helpful into building the relationship. They’re not there for mere appreciation of the moment, to put I mildly 😉 And I love March for being capable of this.

Bonus point: 19th century London on March’s hands. You feel like you are walking London’s streets along Leopold and Arthur, as if you know all the directions they need to take to move around and reach their destinations. It’s not just a whatever scenario, it is alive and pulsing behind all the drama and romance ❤

Oh, and then there is this brand new shiny cover.

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I really loved those *–* The minimal that every book deserves is a beautiful cover and London Legal series was in desperate need for prettier covers 🙂

Overall, I don’t care if it is a homosexual romance, I think everybody should read Ava March’s books because she is that awesome. #justsaying

5star

Thank you for indulging my fangirling and congrats for finishing this review! 😀 There is still so much to be done and posted today that I’m getting some Britney vibes…

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Wish me luck! Oh, and the review for Convincing Leopold will be posted on February 8th 🙂

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Convincing the Secretary, from Ava March (London Legal #3)

Good night! I know, the blog is on fire, haha! And it is about to burn all the way up because the reviewed book of the evening is HOT HOT HOT!

Ahem, do you remember when I did this mega post talking about the release of Convincing the Secretary, third book in the London Legal series, from Ava March? So, Ava sent me a copy two days ago as an early Christmas gift and allowed me to open and read it on the spot! 😀 ❤ Thanks so so so much, again!

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from my Instagram!

 

I finished the book on the same day, but Ava plays so hard with my emotions that I needed to breathe before posting this review, haha!

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Ok, I’m in control again. Without any more giber jabber, let’s do this and THANKS AGAIN, I LOVE YOU, AVA! ❤

The Story

Edward Fenton has always fantasized about a lasting relationship with someone that he truly loved and that felt the same way towards him. At first, his boss Arthur Barrington sounded like the perfect choice for his dream to come true. Except that the man is already way taken by his lover, Leopold Thornton. One can’t win them all.

With the arrival of a new solicitor in Barrington’s office, Edward is relocated as his secretary. Lord Grayson is the perfect definition of tall, black and handsome and sends Edward’s imagination to depths that he never knew himself capable of. But can a relationship with such a powerful man work out the way Edward dreams of?

Gray, in the other hand, knows he found the perfect match in the moment he understands Edward’s interests on him, but how to convince the young man that he is Mr. Perfect?

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

Ava always catches my heart unguarded. I was completely okay with life, minding my own business, when I opened my e-mail and saw her gift. As the book isn’t going to be published until March of 2016, I was trying to lead a mental healthy life without being too much of a goner and counting the minutes for the pre-ordering to start on Amazon. But the heart attack was so worthy! This book was awesome! It is a short book (my copy had 100 pages), but the romance is so intense that you are breathless for the whole time! (Or maybe I was, because it was a gift from my favorite author and a book that I already knew about for quite a while.)

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I’ll try to be professional now, but I won’t promise that I’ll be impartial, because that’s impossible when working with perfect books. #justsaying

I really love March’s narrative style. Third person, alternating points of views between the couple present in the book ❤ Both Edward and Gray had their own minds and you could see who was doing the thinking very clearly. Once again, March showed how important is communication in a relationship, as words unspoken do the damage in both men’s feelings.

The plot was simple, but not obvious, not for me. I mean, okay, boy meets boy in the 19th century, boy is not sure if other boy likes boys as well, both give the relationship a try and things go wrong. To explain why I wasn’t very sure of the outcome of this particular work of March, I’ll have to talk about the characters, so hold that thought. Back to the plot, we get to see Arthur and Leopold again, which was awesomely cool (I always like to see my boys again; those two are the heroes of the first books in the series, Convincing Arthur and Convincing Leopold, respectively). There were no loose ends; it would have been nice to know a little more about Edward’s and Gray’s past, but no information was lacking inside of the proposition of the book.

The characters are the best part. You see, in a regular March novel, you’d have two individuals that really need to find true love, that feel incomplete and don’t know what they need until they meet their soul mates, for say. On this book, it was different. Both Edward and Gray are pinning for a happily ever after, but not necessarily with each other. Gray realizes faster that he needs Edward, that Edward is the one, but Edward was more down on the earth. He felt the need of having Gray around, but could (cof and did cof) survive a break up with him without dying the emotional death of break-ups, you know? Honestly, Edward impressed me. He made a cameo appearance previously in the series and I never paid much attention to him, he was so… Bleak? Haha! But being inside of his head, it all made sense and oh boy, he grows up SO MUCH! He is officially one of my favorite males from March now ❤

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I always like her males, for God’s sake…

And, dealing with a book written by March, I can’t treat sex scenes as a bonus point, because they are always there and she never EVER disappoint her readers. Did I mention that NEVER happens? Okay, haha! Since the beggining, the bed roles between Edward and Gray are pretty clear and I was waiting for them to have a kind of Oliver and Vincent relationship behind closed doors. Once again, I was wrong! =O I mean, none of them gets to really submit and I thought that AWESOME. Neither was the “fragile” part, always so equal even inside of the bedchamber. AVA, YOU ROCKED HARD!

Bonus point: oh, this cover. Do I need to say more?

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also from my Instagram! 😀

Overall, I knew I would love this book since Ava told me she was beginning to write it and I did, a lot. Ava, Thanks again for sending me this, it was the best Christmas present EVER! 😀

5star

That’s it! Thanks for reading and humoring me as I once again talked about Ava March’s work 😉 I bet you all can’t wait until next year, when I’ll do a big re-reading and reviewing of ALL OF HER BOOKS, MWAHAHA MWAHAHA.

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Ps: don’t worry, there will be Harry Potter and The Vampire Diaries reviews too, haha!

The Bound Series, from Ava March

Hi, there! I’m sorry, I seem to be talking a lot about Ava March those last weeks, but what can I do? I love this woman, haha! Anyway, the book of the day is The Bound Series, an edition from Ava that contains three books and two short stories from the homonymous series. I thought about reviewing them separately, but it felt weird, I don’t know.

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve read this series, but the first time was back in 2012. Bound By Deception, the first in The Bound Series, was my first book by Ava and I became a hardcore fan on the spot. I remember to this day our first conversation: you see, I was 17 when I met her work and all of it is rated 18+ because of the hot sex scenes, so I asked her permission to enter her giveaway (I don’t need to tell you that she kindly denied it, right? Haha!). She was a doll and consoled me by saying that I was almost 18 and other giveaways were going to come. Boy, she was so right! But tell that to a freaked out teen, haha!

Anyway, this time I’m reviewing this book not as a fan, but as book blogger, so let’s go! (Or trying to…)

The Story

The Bound Series tells us the story of Lord Oliver Marsden and Lord Vincent Prescott, both very respectable gentlemen until the bedroom doors are closed.

In the first episode of the series, Bound By Deception, Oliver discovers that his childhood friend, Vincent, goes to a brothel once per month to request the services of a gentleman and their games are everything but usual. In love with Vincent since their school times, Oliver takes a chance and arranges to take the whore’s place in Vincent’s bed. Oliver just didn’t expect Vincent to fall for him – or, as Vincent sees, for Jake, the new guy in the brothel.

On the following episode, Bound To Him, Oliver and Vincent have established a very comfortable routine: Vincent visiting Oliver’s bachelor apartments, dinning and bed playing and Vincent leaving right after it is over. Or so thought Vincent, as Oliver is not happy at all with such arrangements. When Vincent’s father informs him that marriage is coming on his way, Oliver loses his temper and breaks up with him. Will Vincent be able to get his lover back?

The next episode is a short story, Deliberately Unbound. On the first episode, Vincent suggested a very wicked game to Oliver, but only now Vincent has everything ready for it. Is Oliver going to be able to play it until the end?

Fourth episode is another full book, Bound Forever (the title is such a spoiler that makes me laugh, haha! Sorry, going back to the serious blog mode now). Oliver and Vincent are in heaven. Now enjoying more often than not the advantages of a country home, both lovers are in complete peace with each other… Except that Oliver haven’t broke the last wall that separates him and Vincent: Vincent’s virginity. While Oliver works on accomplishing that, Vincent gets carried away after hearing the sad case of a young widow that lost her husband to an accident. What if the same thing happened to him? How Oliver would fare? Vincent couldn’t rest until he ensured Oliver would be protected and making sure Oliver wouldn’t cause trouble over that would be his worse headache until now.

The last but not least episode is a kind of epilogue to the series. In Deliberately Bound, the second short story, after a huge purchase for his bookshop, Oliver finds himself in the mood to make a game of his own with Vincent.

The Analysis

Oh dear, that was a long way to tell everything, haha! I’m sorry to spoil you a bit, but this is a general happy ending series and Ava told you so in the third book title anyway 🙂 I really liked Oliver and Vincent’s adventures, they always are a good pastime for me. However, my overall review for the series is four stars and I can say that of all the books and short stories. The Bound Series, as the name suggests, has a BDSM catch and I’m not really mad about it – sometimes is hot, other times, I just can’t understand how the people involved are feeling any pleasure at all. Also, I have some issues with Oliver to this day, but all in due time. For what I love, besides the fact that is a work from Ava (haha): Vincent, the feelings, the passion, the intensity. Have I mentioned Vincent? Because he is hot as hell. I always picture him as a mix of Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer (my favorite actors). If those two could merge, Vincent would be born #justsaying.

From left to right: Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer. Merge them and you have Vincent on my head ;)
From left to right: Ian Somerhalder and Matt Bomer. Merge them and you have Vincent on my head 😉

Getting over my fangirl obsessions (maybe not much, sorry), let’s go to the narrative. I love March’s style, as she mixes conscious thoughts with the events perfectly and switches third narrator’s points of view between the lovers, so we can get the picture as whole as possible – I’m putting this in such a way because there are no mysteries beyond Oliver and Vincent’s relationship problems. In other books from March such as Sharp Love (I own you this review, sorry! Maybe on January?), the lovers face a mystery beyond their relationship, so what we readers know is what both lovers know separately, you know? Honestly, I think her narrative skills are flawless. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a deep historical fiction, you will be reading the wrong book. March writes in a perfectly believable England all time, on all her books (yeah, I am that kind of fangirl), but historical happenings are not important: the relationship development and its handling are. Particularly, I see nothing wrong with this, as my loved sugared historical romances do the exact same thing. Relationships are timeless and seeing their handling in other times and cultures is highly interesting for me. And, on this particular series, we can also see how BDSM plays could be made 😉

The Bound Series has a very simple plot, overall. Both characters lived their lifes, a problem appears, something changes, they have to handle it and their lives get their harmony back. There is no mystery to the endings, the magic relies on details, on how it was done. I like that about this series, as it is a light option with hot sex scenes (I’ll get there), real characters and a happy ending, which I value a lot. The fact that The Bound Series was constructed on “episodes” reminds me again of Frank Herbert’s quote: “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story”. The books and short stories can’t be read as standalones, as they are very connected, but March could release a new volume tomorrow with a new plot and it wouldn’t be weird to the existent books. Those stories share the routine of two male lovers in the 19th century and this construction, besides showing that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship, also deliveries a very open closed ending (did I even make sense there?). The end has no holes, but can be continued, that’s what I meant, haha!

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My relationship with Ava March’s work

So, the characters. Oh, the characters. Oliver is a spoiled brat on the most peculiar things, it is amusing. I mean, Vincent is ridiculously wealthier than Oliver, but the spoiled one is Oliver. He is always complaining and suffering over stupid things, it gets on my nerves. Sometimes he is right, but I don’t like how he handles his problems with Vincent. He is too radical, too all or nothing: Oliver takes too long to realize that Vincent has his own time in accepting themselves as a couple, but not in a bad way. Vincent always suppressed his desires for other men and had a scheduled day to exercise them on the brothel, but after Oliver happened on his amorous and sex life, Vincent gets lost. He doesn’t understand how some of his actions can be rude or hurtful and Oliver never explains either, so things just blow up. But I miss my point again… Darn, it’s so hard to review a book series that you love and have been analyzing in silence for three years. Anyway, Oliver is a very strong man on his way and I admire his courage and humbleness. He knows his limits and this is so important in life; amusingly, this is a trait that Vincent doesn’t posses. He accepts nothing lower than perfection from himself and those who are under his watch (cof except Oliver cof), so of course he is a control freak. He also is very romantic and possessive, cute traits on a man on my opinion, and he would marry Oliver in the spot if Oliver only would accept to be called his wife (#truestory). Moreover, both men are real people. I have a friend that is just like Vincent with her relationships and I have another friend just like Oliver is. The capacity that March has to make her readers to connect with her heroes is astonishing and one of her strongest points.

Oliver reminds me of an Italian type, one that would rub well with my Bomerhalder image of Vincent. Hot.

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Oh, and do you want to know another VERY strong point in March’s books? Sex. So much sex and hot at that. Usually, sex scenes don’t make my blood boil while I’m reading. The problem is me again, I can’t take vulgarity and people usually think that sex is vulgar. Spoiler alert for your life: sex is SO NOT vulgar! People make it so and, on the same way, they can change sex into a beautiful and magical moment. That’s what March does. Even if her characters aren’t in love, you feel in your skin that they are enjoying each other’s company, that there is not any place on Earth that they rather be at the moment and that their desire is real. With or without BDSM involved, it is steaming hot. With Oliver and Vincent, that’s not different ❤

Overall, this series is awesome, Ava is amazing and life is beautiful.

4star

That’s it, I’m so sorry for the really long and fangirling review, but sometimes is IMPOSSIBLE to behave, haha!

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what’s wrong with being fangirling? LOL

Thanks for reading!

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3 days

NEW BOOK ALERT: Convincing the Secretary, by Ava March!

Hi, there! If you follow the blog for a while, you may have notice that I love Ava March (by the way, you can see here all my posts related to her). This last week, Ava posted on her blog that Convincing the Secretary (London Legal, #3), already has a hot cover, a blurb, a profile at Goodreads AND A RELEASE DATE: March 8th, 2016 ❤

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from Ava’s blog. THIS IS SO HOT!

 

And here’s Ava’s blurb:

Business and pleasure is a mix no gentleman should consider.

Lord Grayson Holloway goes after what he wants—be it in the law office on his clients’ behalf or in the bedchamber. His new position as partner puts him closer to achieving his goal of becoming the most successful solicitor in London. There’s just one problem—his new secretary. Broad of shoulder yet mild of manner, Edward tempts Gray like no other. Yet the young man barely notices him.

Edward Fenton tries to be a good secretary, but being in Lord Grayson’s hard, commanding presence rouses Edward’s most forbidden desires. Wicked, naughty desires no gentleman should consider giving in to, let alone with his new employer.
Gray is more than willing to mix business with pleasure. But convincing Edward to take a chance on a future with him? That might be the most challenging case Gray has ever taken on.
Warning: Includes buttoned-up gentlemen who become undone, improper use of a desk, spankings, and a big bad lord who has a soft spot for his virgin secretary.
I’M DYING, I NEED THIS BOOK NOW! And, on this post, you can see which other books you can expect from Ava in 2016!
That’s it! Thanks for reading! Are you excited about Convincing the Secretary?
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Happy Author Birthday to Ava March!

So, as any bookworm, I have my favorite authors and if you follow me for a while, you already know that Ava March is my favorite author ever, haha! And, as it is, I follow her updates very closely – almost to the point of stalking her social media channels. I have it bad, haha!

Today is Ava’s birthday as an author – Bound by Deception, her first published book, was out of the oven exactly seven years ago. Coincidentally – or maybe not, fate is really funny sometimes – this morning I was re-reading this very same book during a free class and felt that I owned her a special post when I learned about the date – which was only an hour or two ago, haha!

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

As a faithtful fan, I’ve read all Ava’s available works to this date and I love them. Some more than others, but my first book from her was Bound by Deception, first read in 2012 (I was 17 then and had just found out about m/m historical romances), so today is a very special day for me too. And I’ve never stopped. I’ve read book after book, yearning for more, as I’ve never found a genre and a writer who understood my tastes so well. Each couple of Ava’s works is unique in their own ways and I fell for each one of them. I have my favorite couple and book, of couse, that would be All In With The Duke (review here!) and its couple, Max and Tristan, but I pin for every one of them and always get bubbly when they make cameo appearances on her other works – sometimes, it happens!

Moreover, I wanted to apologize to Ava, as I’ve been bothering her with tons of e-mails since I found her on Goodreads and she was always so sweet and understanding. I own her much of my profissionalism as a book reviewer now as well. When I told her I had started blogging, she was all cheers and tips and I can’t describe how happy I was and still am. I’ll never forget how hard I screamed when I learned that she was releasing a paperback version for The Bound Series (the series that contains Bond by Deception) and, again, when the book arrived at my home. I was so bold as to send her a picture of me holding the book. And again, when I purchased All In With The Duke, another paperback edition. Ava must have laughed hard at my happy-oh-so-psicotic-face in both pictures, haha! *blushes*

The nicest thing is that Ava is holding a giveaway to celebrate this birthday! You can win a copy of a book of hers of your choice, ebook or paperback editions! Of course I already signed in, haha! (You must be wondering why, since I have all her ebooks and books, right? Elementary, my dear reader. I still don’t have Sharp Love’s paperback edition, as the dollar is crazy in my country in the last few months and I’m cheering my ass off to win it on this giveaway, haha!). The giveaway is international and you can enter until septtember 30th, as the winners will be chosen on oct. 2nd ❤ For full information on how to enter, please visit Ava’s blog here.

But hold your horses, that’s not all! Ava has been working a lot and gave many good news to her readers this week!

Sharp Love, second volume in the Gambling on Love series, is now available as well in audiobook format and I will spoiler you and tell that the narrator’s voice is very sexy, haha! You can take a look and hear a piece of it here.

my digital copy of Sharp Love <3
my digital copy of Sharp Love ❤

In the coming soon department, there are tons of news!

The London Legal series is going to be re-released on January of 2016 with new covers and some minor edits and Ava has already revealed just how yummy the new covers are!

Convincing Arthur (London Legal, #1)

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Convincing Leopold (London Legal, #2)

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Much better, right?! I have the old versions and Ava said that the edits are minimal, so unfortunately I don’t have a good excuse to buy them again :/ I’m still hoping for a paperback edition with those hot covers, haha!

As I’m on the re-releasing news, earlier this year, Ava also re-released His Client, one of my favorite books of hers. As in the London Legal series, the edits were minimal and I also didn’t buy the new sexy cover edition… Don’t get me wrong, I like the old cover, but I loved the new one, haha!

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And there’s more! Ava is working on two new books right now and they will be here in 2016ll! They are:

There’s no much info in their official pages just yet, but I can tell you that both couples seem awesome from my e-mail exchanges with Ava ❤

See? I told you Ava was working hard, haha! And, to make things even better, Ava shared in her latest newsletter a deleted scene from Viscount’s Wager (review here!), third book in the Gambling On Love series! As there’s another deleted scene coming soon to her blog in October, I’ll make one post for both when the time arrives, okay? 🙂 I assure you the waiting is worth, though! The first scene was delicious and I can’t wait to see the second one!

Wow, that was a big post, haha! Anyway, I hope you got as excited as I am with so many good news, haha!

I’m working on a decent review for Bound by Deception, with my new journalist insight of things, so be prepared to see more posts about Ava over here, haha!

That’s it for now, thanks for reading and Happy Author Birthday again, Ava! ❤

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Viscount’s Wager, from Ava March (Gambling on Love #3)

Some days ago, I’ve received an early 21º birthday present from one of my favorite authors ever: Ava March. Her new book, Viscount’s Wager, will be out on August 10th (two days before my birthday), but Ava sent me a copy practically a month earlier ❤ Thank you again, Ava! Best gift ever ❤ As a loyal fan, I cheated on my book jar-box and already read it, haha!

Warning: this book is about a male homosexual romance in the 19th century. If you don’t like this gender, you should stop here 🙂

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From my Instagram account 🙂

Viscount’s Wager is the third and last volume on Gambling on Love series and is set on Regency London, in 1822. Anthony Hawkins, Viscount Rawling, was already introduced in the first book, All In With The Duke (by the way, you can check its review here! :D) and Gabriel Tilden, his pair, was introduced in the second book of the series, Sharp Love.

Anthony is a noble who doesn’t pay much attention to his duties as a viscount, as he has a huge secret to keep – something way bigger than his social status. Since he inherited the title, at the age of twenty-one, Anthony tries very hard to be a good son to his mother, as his father’s loss was very hard for her. The couple was a love-match, something very rare in London Society at the time, and this marriage so full of happiness and love inspired Anthony since he was a little boy; his dream was to find true love and be able to share the small things of life with this person until the end of their days.

Gabriel is the middle child of a good family, but not a noble one. Being two years older than Anthony, he ended up marring a woman when he was only 18 and lost her six months before the real start of the book – just clarifying, his marriage was not a love-match, so he feels very guilty for being a free man again.

Anthony and Gabriel had a small and brief affair when they were teens, at a house party held by Gabriel’s family, but they lost contact shortly after Gabriel’s engagement. After his wife’s death, Gabriel comes to London and sees Anthony again in a soirée. Their desire was immediate and mutual, so Anthony didn’t let the chance of offering to be Gabriel’s city guide pass.

Soon enough, their passion burns and they start a sort of relationship, but Gabriel insisted in something more casual and distant, as he didn’t thought himself worthy of Anthony’s heart after everything he had put his lover through. The first thing that Gabriel thought when he saw Anthony again was “I’m so sorry I hurt you”. And I think I waited more than Anthony to actually hear Gabriel saying those words, as Anthony didn’t know of Gabriel’s capacity to store guilty in his heart and mind, nor how many times Gabriel thought this single sentence during the book, haha!

All those repressed feelings end up driving Gabriel to a strong vice in gambling. In a determinate point of the book, he simply won’t leave the hells anymore and Anthony finds out about his problem through a favor from Max, the protagonist of AIWTD. Anthony tries to wait, to give a chance for Gabriel to tell him the truth by himself, but this never happens and they have a big fight as a result.

What Anthony didn’t know was that Gabriel had to leave town when he left his lover, as he had got loaned a very large sum with a moneylender to keep gambling and now he hadn’t any means to pay the man back before putting his propriety at Derbyshire in perfect order. Gabriel explains all of this to Anthony in a letter that he sends in the same day that he arrives home, but the viscount wouldn’t see it until three weeks had passed after their argument.

After resorting to Max’s help once again, Anthony finally was able to go to Derbyshire to set things right with Gabriel, but the two still have a long way before their “happily ever after”.

As I commented on the beginning of this review, I’m a great fan of Ava and her works, so I won’t promise an impartial review, haha! Now let’s go to the analysis 😉

Something that is very characteristic of March and that I like very much in her books is that her stories always end up connecting to one another. If she’s writing a series, the probability of meeting previous characters again is very high. I love this, because when a book ends, all that we know about that little world also ends. Even when it’s a book series, as soon as it is finished, it’s hard to learn something new about those characters, as it is a cycle with a beginning, a middle and an end. This may sounds a bit obvious, but I’m that kind of person that, sometimes, gets depresses to know that everything that I know about a story is all that I will ever know.

Anyway, March entwines her stories in such a way that we learn new things about past characters, those who already had their moment to shine and had their story on first frame. It’s also amazing how she illustrates the social circles of the ton – deep down, everybody is connected in some sort of way. It’s a highly interesting social phenomenon, proven by several historians, but that I have never seen put into light by any other romance author so far.

In Viscount’s Wager, we can see how are Alexander Norton and Thomas Bennet, from the opening book of Brook Street series (My True Love Gave To Me); Linus Radcliffe and Robert Anderson, from the third book of the same series (Rogues); Jack Morgan and William Drake, main characters of the second book in the Gambling on Love trilogy (Sharp Love); and, obviously, Max Arrington and Tristan Walsh, from AIWTD. It was very good to see them all again. I missed you, boys! Hahaha!

To be honest, I didn’t really like Gabriel until the book was close to its end. As I already was found of Anthony since the first book, I thought that Gabriel didn’t deserve him until writing that letter. After that, everything changed, haha! I still don’t consider him as one of my favorite characters, but we are in good terms now, haha! I have a serious issue with characters that are in “eternal” denial of themselves or of their tastes. Everybody has some sort of insecurity; this is natural of being human. But Gabriel didn’t know when to stop :/ I guess that him and Julian Parker, from the second book in Brook Street series (Fortune Hunter), were the main characters who frustrated me the most in March’s books to this day. I try to be very understanding when I’m familiar with both sides of the story, but these two are a lost cause, haha!

As we just met Anthony for good in this book, I was very surprised to see how he can be a very optimistic person in the hardest times. I don’t agree with several of his attitudes during the story, but he is that kind of character that we simply love no matter what, haha!

Besides, if you look into each one’s personality, you will find that Anthony and Gabriel have a natural balance, an harmony in their qualities and defects. Also a trace of March’s couples: they always complete each other, in a way that both men will be better people after the coupling.

In narrative terms, the book is great. March manages to balance in a brilliant way her characters consciousness with the events around them and the time passages. It’s a fluid and quick read, as March’s language is not tiresome or the type that asks for a pause. She involves and makes her characters become best friends with her reader. It’s just like when someone is telling you a story over audios at Whatsapp and the person never finishes: this is the longing and the craving that March incites. You need to know how everything will end and the only way to do so is keep reading like crazy.

Another strong point of March’s is the love. She doesn’t describe that water sugared love that makes you bored. The love between her characters is that real kind of love, of the simple things on life, that is hard, disappoints without abandoning, that lasts even after many probations and still can awake luxury in the end of the day. Anthony and Gabriel’s romance wasn’t any different: the feeling was involving, strong and vigorous until the last page, in each touch, each look. It’s that kind of love that touches my heart and makes me believe that the world can be a better place. However, aren’t they fictional characters? Yes, they are. Nevertheless, the feeling is real and that’s all that matters 🙂

I also need to bow to Anthony and Gabriel’s sex scenes. March is a very explicit author and she can leave anyone burning up after reading her couple’s plays. What really impresses me about her is how she manages to be explicit without being vulgar. Even when her characters do it without a strong affective bond, you feel on your skin that that’s what the couple wants to do, no matter the reasons why. The act has sentiment. The reader feels the desire, the willingness. This is an element very hard to find in explicit romances. It’s not the sex for the sex; it’s the sex for the company.

Something more personal of my reading was that was nice to be able to foresee some things in the story. I already read all March’s books at least twice (AIWTD I must have read at least a dozen times since its release in 2013), so I can recognize some patterns and know which will be the biggest problem of the couple in the book. The great thing is that, even guessing more or less where the story was going, I was still surprised with the turn of events. Honestly? This is priceless ❤ I cried in some parts, desperate for a way to see Anthony and Gabriel together and in piece and my tears weren’t in vain. As my mom would say, everything in life can be arranged, haha!

I confess I have a little negative critique to do, haha! If Anthony and Max are that close as the series makes us believe they are, how can they still have difficulties to discuss their relationships behind closed doors?! In the beginning, Max didn’t even want to say Tristan’s name to Anthony! I thought all this caution a bit too much, considering their friendship level. I mean, you both know a secret from the other that could have both hanged and you’re still reticent? Oh, please. Is Max the reserved type? A lot, but he also already made clear as crystal that he is comfortable enough to discuss serious things with Anthony and Anthony did the same.

That’s it! Thank you for reading, it was a long post, haha! But I’m not sorry ❤ Are you already familiar with Ava March’s work?

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