Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Living on the streets of 1920s Los Angeles and pleasuring men in dark alleys for his survival is not how Francesco had thought his life would turn out. But he’s filled with hope that someday—if he learns how to be a respectable fellow—he can make a home for himself and maybe even find a man he really cares for who also cares for him. In the meantime, he hustles to get by and looks for the good where he can find it.
Theo’s existence is safe and predictable. He indulges in his perverse nature at his friend Saul’s sadomasochism club on Hampton Road and negotiates contracts for the Hollywood players and studios. When an enticing little grifter crosses his path one day, the encounter unnerves him. Not because he gets conned, but because the refreshingly open and unaffected young man holds a mirror up to Theo’s own dreary existence. Theo might have plenty of material wealth, but his wealth of spirit can’t compare to the delightful Francesco’s.
Theo rescues Francesco from a dire situation and brings him home. If nothing else, he can at least find the desperate young man some decent employment. Instead, they both find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. But until Theo introduces Francesco to what being a submissive means, he doesn’t dare give his heart away. Francesco has yet to discover the secrets that are hidden behind the walls of the Hampton Road Club.
Publisher’s Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of the Hampton Road Club series. This instalment is a prequel to book one and can be read first.
Review: “Finding Sanctuary” ticked a lot of boxes for me: It’s set during the prohibition, it has BDSM and a homeless character. So I expected great things, which the book couldn’t quite deliver.
First of all, this is the first book of the series I’ve read and it definitely works without the other parts, as this is some sort of prequel to book one. So you can definitely start your journey with “Finding Sanctuary”.
My biggest issue with this book was Francesco. He was just way too sweet and innocent. He’s been living on the streets for several years and has been through a lot even before then. It just seemed extremely unrealistic for him to be so very nice after all that’s happened to him. He was extremely trusting and naive and it got a bit annoying after a while. I didn’t particularly like him.
Other than that, the story was nice. There was no huge conflict and the few troubles that did pop up got resolved without much fanfare. I’d hoped for a more historical feeling to the overall setting, but I didn’t get much of that. The love story wasn’t very spectacular either. It was pretty much love at first sight and a relatively smooth road from then on.
Overall, “Finding Sanctuary” was just too fluffy and cute for me. There wasn’t much depth to the whole plot and I didn’t particularly like Francesco. It just wasn’t what I expected and felt kind of toothless. I’ve had similar issues with other books by the author, so I guess we just don’t click. Her books aren’t bad by any means, they’re just not for me.
If you’re looking for a sweet, light read, then you’ll probably enjoy this book. The BDSM elements weren’t too intense, so you don’t need to worry about that either.
The cover by Posh Gosh looks nice, though the naked cover model definitely doesn’t fit the description of Francesco. He’s way too muscular for that.
Book details: ebook, 135 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Pride Publishing