March 9, 2016 by kitmoss
THE BOHEMIAN AND THE BANKER
A night lost in Paris finds two hearts changed—forever. Sent to Paris on business, Nigel Warren doesn’t quite understand why his colleagues’ eyes twinkle as they tell him to meet them at a local night spot. When he discovers it’s a drag cabaret and his acquaintances aren’t there, he realizes he’s the butt of a joke. Yet he finds himself quite undone by a singer dressed in an elegant gown, crooning a spellbinding ballad.
It’s not unusual for Jay, a former Londoner, to bring a new “friend” home from the cabaret, but he’s never had a guest quite like Nigel, whose straitlaced manner hides an unexpected passionate streak. One romantic night on a rooftop under starry skies, followed by an afternoon enjoying the excitement of the 1901 Paris Exposition, bonds these opposites in a way neither can forget—even after they part. Their spark reignites when Jay comes to London, but he’s not sure he can go back to hiding his true self, not even for the sake of love… unless Nigel is willing to shed his cloak of staid respectability and take a leap of faith.
Warning: Contains a virgin who doesn’t speak French but is fluent in numbers, and a drag performer who is trilingual in English, French, and Love. Not responsible for extra pounds brought on by the urge to dine on croissants au deux.
REVIEW by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
This just might be my favorite of the Dee and Devon pairings, partly because it takes place outside England and partly because the gender identity boundary is crossed. The banker, Nigel, has a trick played on him by his client’s workers, sending him to a drag cabaret unbeknownst. But Nigel is so taken by the elegant and talented Jay, a man in drag, that nothing will keep him away—not his stuffy persona, nor the fact that his employers would not like what he is doing. For his part Jay is charmed by the straightlaced man and immediately takes him, well, not to his bed but to the roof of his dilapidated apartment building.
Unhappily the banker must return to London, but in no time he finds Jay more or less on his doorstep. It seems Jay was originally from London, though his memories of the city are not so lovely, being an unkind and unwelcoming place for the extravagant singer. Still, Nigel and he make the effort to live and love. Jay discovers that Nigel, however, wants him to give up everything he had in Paris, and Jay had to go back. Thankfully Nigel comes to his senses and realizes that Paris is the right place for men who partake of the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.
Jay is admirable in his conviction that he must stay true to himself and his art, and Nigel surprises one by being able to bend and even to enjoy the half man/half woman he found while in the Cavity of Lights.
I recently read Edward Rutherfurd’s PARIS, and this book takes place at the very same time, so the chance to experience the opening of the Eiffel Tower was a real treat.
Proofread by One Love Editing.