Wendy reviews ‘The Innocent Auction’ (Innocents Book 1) by Victoria Sue. Second edition self published May 31, 2017. Originally published December 27, 2015, 278 pages.
Their love was a death sentence.
Deacon, Viscount Carlisle, was aware of the slums and gin-lanes of London. Just as he was aware of the underground traffic that furnished the brothels and bath houses with human innocents. He was also aware that the so-called justice system would hang the accused without much of an attempt at a defense, unless the unfortunate had deep pockets to pay for it.
He just hadn’t expected to be directly involved in any of it.
It started with a plea for help and ended with forbidden love, the love between a Viscount and a stable-boy. An impossible love and a guarantee of the hangman’s noose.
Will Deacon fight for Tom? Will he risk the death sentence and take that fight from the stately halls of his English mansion to the horrors of Newgate Prison and the slums of London?
Or will he realize that if he doesn’t, death will be a welcome end to the loneliness of the sentence he is already living?
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Why I read this book: This week our theme is promoting self published authors. I’ve had this book and was just now able to get to it. This was the perfect opportunity to review this story.
I had no idea that there were auctions to sell young innocents before I read this book. I was surprised at first, then after giving it some thought… not so much. What continues to surprise me is the lengths people will go to in order to acquire what they want and how little care they give to how it happens and at who’s expense. How they have always done and continue to do terrible things. This book to me, was a perfect representation of human depravity, yet it was also so much more. It was a representation of the times and what gay men had to do to hide themselves. It was a representation of what money and power can buy and it was on top of all that, what it was mostly… the story of two men and their love for each other.
Deacon, viscount Carlisle, was an incredible character. I’m not sure just how Victoria Sue can write someone from another time and be able to capture all the little nuances that make the reader feel like you’re either right with them or in their heads, but she does. My heart broke for him several times. I could feel his determination to save his estate, not for himself, but for the many people who depended on him. I could feel the love he felt for his cousin/best friend and understood why he would go to such trouble to help him. I could feel the hurt and resignation at being the son of a man who was a horrible person and father yet at the same time he was so grateful and proud of his grandfather and all he accomplished. And the love he felt for Tom… oh man! EPIC!
So, yeah, Tom. While Deacon is all that is moneyed and titled, Tom is the exact opposite. He was from the slums of London and it was really a horrific place to grow up in during those times. But just like Deacon was a good man, so was Tom. He was grateful for the life Deacon rescued him from and for the life he was able to live because he was given a chance. He might have been a bit simpler as a person, but was such a good person and loves with his whole heart.
Now, other than watching these two men fight for their HEA, there is also a mystery that needed to be solved and suspense and intrigue at every turn. Such a well written book! One where you can taste the tastes that the author describes and smell the smells. One where you can feel the energy from a mob of people as they attend a hanging for example, like it’s the weeks entertainment instead of the end of someone’s life. One where you can almost touch the love because it was a different time and it seemed to mean so much more. This story touched me and I know it will stay with me for a long time.
Victoria Sue… Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves! Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida—unfortunately, she spends more time chained to her computer than on a beach. Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on Facebook.