Author ~ Ashe Barker
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 5th October 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Erotic Romance, Mystery/Suspense
Order of the Black Knights
Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
Gideon is another of a long line of excellent books to be released this month.
The story starts with a prologue, set in the trenches of the First World War. There is a poignant reminder that the enemy is human, when at Christmas, they unite to sing Silent Night. Upon instructions from people way above his pay grade, Gideon is charged with keeping both sides apart and apportioning punishment if necessary. He pays the price for following those orders. With death upon him, he remembers his initiation into the order of the Black Knights.
The story then Jumps to 2014 where Gideon is a merchant banker and through the death of his older brother inherits the family title. He becomes, (in the immortal words from Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge) – The Duke. Michael sees the announcement on TV and is immediately suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Richard’s passing. Michael knew Richard at school, and has personal experience of Gideon’s reputation, when at college, Gideon stole the love of his life. A love who died.
As far as reputation goes; Gideon is a solitary being, who incites speculation from others. Words that surround him are - cold, ruthless, cruel bastard. Gideon didn’t dispute those words. He had a talent for death. Thus, at her Majesties convenience, became an assassin. But where did that talent originate?
In an attempt to expose Gideon, Michael becomes his chauffeur. He knew he’d eventually be discovered, but Michael cared little for the prospect as long as he took Gideon down.
What starts as revenge, becomes a challenge in more ways than one. There are periods of cat and mouse, cocky mutual admiration and in the middle of it all, a web of lies exposing a more pressing mystery. Assassination isn’t restricted to one person able to end a life. The question is who would survive and who would die?
At first looks, it seems that Gideon is not a likeable character, with no redeeming features, but stick with him. Gideon is a multi-layered story with hot explicit scenes, handsome men in dress suits with ties and collars undone (lovely imagery that), and a healthy dose of intrigue. I found the first couple of chapters hard going, but after that, the story settled and drew me in. Oh, and it’s the first time that I’ve read the term, rosette of muscle, for the sphincter. I think it goes to the top of the list for alternatives.