Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He's ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at the Lawman's side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her
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Mistakes are the decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time. But years later they come back to haunt like a breath that never reached the afterland. Which is how I was destined to end up when I diedwandering aimlessly, forever denied the Lords' grace because I didn't have a trade.
Whores don't get trade papers from any of the ten Lords. No Union wants us. It doesn't bother me most days. The Arcane Lord I was born to serve refused me entrance to His Union, so now I use my magic to serve myself; or rather, whoever is throwing down the coin. It's better than thieving and I have a comfortable life, if not an honest or entirely pleasant one.
I buttoned up my dark purple coat, which I'd bought with my tongue firmly in cheek since it was almost black, the color of the Arcane Lord. Around the cuff and collar was a pale pink band that gradually faded into the purple. It had been fashionable two years ago. Still, it didn't seem right to wear my favorite red silk coat to the Decihall before noon. Usually I didn't bother going; I'm not allowed in because of my occupation.
If I'd been a thief I'd have been in the same situationno trade, no Lord, no entrance to the Decihall. Between the two choices, whoring had seemed like the better option; a little magic and they thought they were getting a good time while I pocketed their coin.
I combed my hair and tied it backit was too long to be fashionable for a man but I didn't carethen ran my hand along my jaw. There was a day's worth of stubble. I might shave tonight before the clients arrived, as most preferred a smoother cheek. After a final glance at my reflection I put on my hat and went downstairs, looking like any dapper gentleman with too much coin to spend.
"You can't stay away, can you, Haidyn?" Korene looked up from the books that tallied our takings and spendings. She had a mind for numbers, and the truth, that we kept quiet from the Arcane Union. We kept each other's secrets well.
A smile curved my lips. "He can't stay away from me either. I just want a peek at his new bride." And to offer a prayer for her, even though the Lords wouldn't listen to the likes of me.
"Let's hope she's luckier than the last one," she said with a knowing nod.
Revulsion slithered over my skin like greasy pot water. I knew too well what went on in the Lawman's mind. I saw the places he thought well hidden, and they were not pretty.
I was used to seeing people's fantasies and fetishes. Generally folk fall within a range, but a few tip the scales into places I'd rather not venture. Brixen Saw, the Lawman, was one of them and unfortunately he came to see me once a ten-night. If he'd been anyone else I'd have barred him from visiting, but refusing the Lawman would be like knotting my own noose.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Too ashamed to return home from a failed attempt to join the powerful Arcane Guild, Haidyn tries to rebuild his life far from those he loves, including Anisa, the girl her left behind. Becoming a prostitute by using his magical abilities, he has amassed a sizable fortune, opened a successful brothel for those with eclectic tastes, and making a name for himself, but upon hearing that Anisa has married one of his most depraved clients, his heart tells him to save her from the mistake she has made, before it’s too late. Why should she trust him? Why should she believe him? What are her feelings towards him after he deserted her all those years ago? Will their romance be rekindled? What if she discovers what he has become? Dark Secrets by Shona Husk feels like an alternate world kind of read, steampunkish, with a touch of historical western romance. Her writing is tense, taut and brings forth a world where the talents and lives of her characters become completely viable and believable. If Shona Husk creates a villain, there is no doubt about it-that character is bad, through and through.
I have read and enjoyed other books by Shona Husk, but this one...not so much. I gave this book only 3 stars because of the imaginative world the author has brought to life, however, as far as this being a romance novel...it is not. The book is only about 250 pages and by around 230+ pages the main character Haidyn has only spent a few minutes with his lady love Anisa. However, he does have two sexual encounters with her husband "the Lawman" (there is NEVER a sex scene with Anisa). Heck, they didn't even kiss but a couple times. So if you are looking for something steamy and sensual, this is not what you are wanting. If you are looking to read 250+ pages of a man describing how much he needs to rescue his lady love while doing her husband over in his mind a couple times then I say go for it. I am not adverse to a m/m sex scene but I would have liked it better had there been some interaction with the female character, even if all they did was kiss. This is definitely not my idea of romantic fiction....
Can be read as a stand-alone. In this fantastic world created by Ms. Husk we meet Haidyn Mast. Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed six years earlier to make his way in the world. He was off to the big city to join the Arcane (magic) guild. Unfortunately they felt he didn’t have enough magic to be of use. Too ashamed to go home he ends up on the street until he finds a use for his gift and becomes a prostitute or at least he appears to be. His gift allows him to give his clients the fantasy and release by making them think they’ve had the experience. This has allowed him to become the owner of one of the more successful brothels in the city. When he sees his former lady love Anisa come to town to marry the Lawman (one of his more depraved clients) he has to know if she still loves him as much as he still loves her. Will true love conquer all? I really enjoyed this book. This is a well-built world with recognizable intrigue. The love story was a little reminiscent of Princess Bride but that isn’t a bad thing.