Brook Street: Fortune Hunter

Ava March
Brook Street: Fortune Hunter
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Carina Press
Release Date
April 2012
Book 2 of The Brook St. Trilogy
Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, LGBTQ

London, 1822

Impoverished Julian Parker returns to London with one goal: marry an heiress. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means denying his desire for men. After all, with a fortune comes happiness and social acceptance--which have eluded Julian his entire life.

The only things a vast fortune has brought Oscar Woodhaven are greedy relatives and loneliness. At twenty-one years of age, he has everything a man could possibly want--except someone to love him. When he meets devastatingly handsome Julian Parker, he believes his luck has turned.

Between Oscar's lavish gifts and their searing-hot nights, Julian is caught between what he thinks he needs and what his heart truly desires. But when a betrayal threatens to tear them apart, Julian discovers he'll do whatever it takes to convince Oscar the greatest fortune of all is love.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jun 05, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
172 people found the following review helpful
Having heard rave reviews about Ava March's works, I had to give the new Brook Street series a try. I was thrilled to find that this is indeed a passionate, beautifully written story, but one that also featured such deep characters and profound emotion that I was hooked to the very end.

Jackson Parker's whole life has been spent in the shadow of his father's scandals. Now, impoverished and growing desperate, he has determined to re-enter the cutthroat world of the Ton in order to find himself a wealthy wife. The issue of love or compatibility is hardly an issue, since Jackson has always desired men. With his heart uninvolved, it's easy to play the part of the suave suitor, saying and doing what he must in order to gain a fortune.

At one of his first balls, however, Jackson meets Oscar Woodhaven, whose openhearted, sympathetic nature goes a long way toward drawing Jackson out of his shell. Their friendship is immediate and solid enough that Oscar is able to convince Jackson to move in with him to his vast Brook Street house where he has lived alone for years. It isn't long after that that both men give into their mutual attraction and begin a scorching affair that not only satisfies their deepest desires, but also gives both a haven from the loneliness they've felt for years.

In spite of Oscar's endless generosity, Jackson is determined to earn his own fortune through marriage, hardly realizing how his attempts at courtship are hurting his friend. Oscar is willing to overlook a great deal, both out of loneliness and love, but when a final act of selfishness drives him past patience, he realizes he has no choice but to order Jackson to leave. Will Jackson be able to realize all he has lost—and how much he has done to cause his and Oscar's mutual heartbreak? And if so, will he be able to find the strength to face his own demons and fight for the only man ever to touch his heart?

While the heat between these two was scorching from the beginning, I was genuinely surprised by the depth of character development that both Oscar and Jackson undergo over the course of a relatively short story. While Jackson seems an innocent victim of his family's past, he allows his past to alter his perceptions of the world, and of his relationships. Similarly, Oscar's own childhood was far from pleasant and his past relationships have been based almost exclusively on the size of his fortune. To have a man like Julian care for him is such a wonder that Oscar would do almost anything to keep Julian happy.

While the moment where both men realize how much they've come to care for each other, and how much they've allowed their relationship to founder is genuinely heartbreaking, Julian's moment of revelation—provided by the most unlikely of his acquaintances—came as a wonderfully pleasant surprise. The secondary characters in this story, who, happily, have cameos throughout the series, are all deeply empathetic and exquisitely well-drawn. The historic details, including the stress and fear of exposure for men like Oscar and Julian, are superb and very realistic, as well.

Ava March is a genius for mixing lust, passion and love in just the right amounts to make a story that satisfies on all levels. While I did find the plot slowed down for a bit, by the final scene, I was on tenterhooks to see if they could resolve their relationship and flipping pages with gleeful abandon.
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