Silver Publishing [link to buy]
Rating: 3 out of 5 Paddles
It’s Christmas Eve in late-Victorian London. Dorian was once a gentleman of means, but now he’s alone and will soon have to sell his house in Chelsea. An unrequited crush on his houseboy landed him in jail. He managed to bribe his way out of prison, but he’s been disowned by his family and abandoned by all his friends. Dorian is strolling the streets of Whitechapel, looking for company despite the risk of the Ripper, when Benedict steps forward to offer his services.
Benedict is a young male prostitute, a “Mary Ann” in the language of the time, and Dorian is quite taken with him. Despite the risk, Dorian decides to take Benedict home, rather than just getting off in some darkened doorway. Back in Chelsea, Dorian takes Benedict twice in the drawing room, and it’s obvious Benedict is not “gay for pay” to use the modern expression. He genuinely prefers the company of men, and likes nothing more than having another man deep inside him. Dorian is so enthralled he asks Benedict to stay the night, and the following Christmas Day. Benedict readily agrees and they retire to the bedroom.
The kink in Solace is pretty mild, just some light bondage and a little spanking, but then this is a really short novella. In print it’s just around 40 pages. I’m generally not a big fan of these shorts, which are all the rage now that ebooks rule. All too often it seems like the author or publisher has taken a good idea and pushed it out too soon, leaving the characters one-dimensional and the plot full of holes. But Solace is complete, with a proper beginning, middle and end. It’s short, but it is what it is, which is why I’ve given it a solid 3 out of 5.