Two men imprisoned. One in body, the other in mind.
Caught in a passionate embrace with another man, scholar John Gilliam agrees to asylum treatment for perversion at the request of his worried parents. He hopes to convince his persecutors he's cured, then return to his normal life, but an attack on his person leads him down a darker path. He is denied any devices by which he might harm himself—even books and writing materials. Half crazed by isolation, John finds an unexpected friend in his caretaker, Sam Tully.
Tully feels sorry for the patient everyone calls “the professor,” but he must keep his head down and perform his duties. His family relies on his earnings. He refuses to acknowledge the stirring of excitement inside him every time he is in Gilliam’s presence. Thirst for the knowledge the scholar offers wars with the carnal hunger he must deny.
In John’s small cell, learning and mental freedom blossom as the two forge a friendship. Forbidden attraction evolves into physical action. But in the asylum there is more than curative treatment taking place. The pair uncover a terrible secret and must fight not only for their freedom but their very lives.
This is a previously released title and a Rainbow Awards winner.
|File size:||337 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Whether you're a fan of contemporary, paranormal, or historical romance, you'll find something to enjoy among my books. I'm interested in flawed, often damaged, people who find the fulfillment they seek in one another. To stay informed about new releases, please SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER. Help an author out by leaving a review and spreading the word about this book among your friends. You can join my street team at FB. Learn more about my backlist at http://bonniedee.com or find me on FB and Twitter @Bonnie_Dee.
We are Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon and we write books together!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
John's journey definitely broke my heart but when Sam Tully entered his room, heartwarming feels popped up all over the place. John and Sully wormed their way into my heart. I say it often because when I read a really good book, the characters, the story, the setting, everything really gets under my skin and in my heart. I invest all of me in it and The Gentleman's Madness is no different. Once again, Dee & Devon have showed their devotion to historical detail in this amazing story. I have to admit that the look in the eyes on the cover creeped me out a bit and because of it, Madness got pushed down on my TBR list a few notches but the farther into the story I got when I finally picked it up, the more it seemed perfectly fitting and now I can't imagine any other design.
This well-written story paints a realistic picture of a gentleman imprisoned in an asylum for "treatment" of his "perversion." John Gilliam is an academic. He is also a homosexual in Victorian England. His father discovers his deviance and John agrees to treatment to cure his unnatural desires. This is commensurate with the time period. (Though still an issue in some locales today!) In his second asylum (the first where he had been brutally attacked and nearly raped by staff) John experiences compassion from one of the attendants, a burly man named Sam Tully. In recognition of his kindness, John seeks to educate Tully--both in reading and numbers. Their acquaintance grows into a friendship and attachment, and more. During his 'treatment' small moments loom large. A gentle brush back of his hair, a reassuring pat on the shoulder, tiny stolen touches that pull John from despair into happiness. And for Tully, who strives to hide his own unnatural predilection, John is all he could hope for. The men become intimate, under the cover of darkness or during Tully's lessons. Unfortunately, the other attendants aren't so moral--or kind. Jenkins, a habitually drunk and derelict attendant, seeks to blackmail both John and Tully for pooftery. Though he has no direct proof of their interactions, an accusation will undoubtedly cost Tully his job and keep John a patient indefinitely. Recognizing that there is something fishy about Jenkins employment, John urges Tully to investigate. Learning the history of indiscretions that have occurred in the asylum, the possibility to get John out safely seems small. Tully and John each have their battles to gain John's freedom. And what then? Can a gentleman and a laborer find happiness with each other? Would the world accept their companionship? I loved this one. A steady build of tension throughout helped develop the clandestine love affair. The subject matter--human experimentation, institutional greed, homosexuality as a mental illness--were handled with due gravity. The love scenes were quiet, but poignant. Dual viewpoint really allowed the reader to experience both sides of the story. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a reader of many of Ms. Dee's books I've come to count on the intense emotions she generates amidst an intriguing and thought-provoking storyline. With the help of Ms. Devon, The Gentleman's Madness doesn't disappoint as it gives a compelling and haunting glimpse of asylums of the past, those they serve, and those who work there. Into this dangerous, and at times corrupt, world comes two men from very different classes who find a bit of peace and security under cover of night and against their better judgements. John's been sent to an asylum by his father in an attempt to cure his homosexuality. As a rich man's son John's unaccustomed to the degradations and bleakness of his new life and has no belief in, or need of, a cure. With each day of being trapped he's losing hope of ever regaining his place in the world until the day Sam Tully comes to work. John's immediately drawn to Tully and the strength and comfort he represents. Their relationship starts out merely as friends sharing opinions, but sexual tension is always bubbling below the surface until desperation leads to many late-night clandestine sexual encounters that leave both of them breathless. Sam's life couldn't be more different from John's as he's had very little schooling and knows nothing but labor. He longs for something more though and sees all sorts of possibilities when he sees John. Though he's tried to ignore his true desires John has him throwing caution to the wind to find a few moments of brightness in their dark world. Sam is a truly kindhearted man who wants only the best for his patients and after everything John's gone through he deserves Sam's compassion and protection. Surrounding their time together is a subtle mystery. It's a conspiracy that starts at the very top and is putting patient's lives in jeopardy. The scenes at the asylum are dark and gritty and show the worst of humanity. It's a compelling mystery though that gives John and Sam the opportunity of a future together far away from a judgmental society. Between the romance and mystery I found myself enthralled by the heartbreaking and ultimately heartwarming story that's another winner for Ms. Dee.