Review: Gideon (Order of the Black Knights, #1) by Ashe Barker

Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.

Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.

As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.

I liked this. Gideon was a pretty interesting character, and the story, while simple was fun and definitely a unique concept.

I like immoral characters and Gideon definitely starts off as one! He enjoys killing and has no need for friends or silly sentiments such as regret or sympathy.

He loved the sense of power he derived from holding a life in his hands, quite literally, and deciding whether it was to continue or be extinguished. His choice. His call. He used poison, asphyxiation, withholding food or water.

His development throughout the book would have been set at a good pace, but because of Gideon’s character in the prologue, it seemed rushed. He was one evil bastard in the prologue and the change in his character throughout the rest of the book (even though he remained a bastard) seemed like a saint in comparison. It wasn't such a drastic change that people will be put off, I think it's just personal preference.

I think most of the aspects I didn't like, or found average about this book were personal preference and not based on anything objective or substantial within the plot or writing. The other ‘personal preference’ qualm I had was with the connection between the MCs. I understood the insta-lust but I didn't really see why they started to feel more for each other. There was just something missing for me to fully understand their love for each other.

I liked the sex though, it was very rough which was pretty hot.

His entry wasn’t gentle. There was nothing slow and easy in Gideon’s approach to fucking. He was hard, decisive, brutal, and, to Michael’s way of thinking, utterly sublime. His lubricated cock slammed deep into Michael’s ass and speared him against the bed. Michael grunted in pain and then gasped his pleasure. He loved it, hated it, and loved it more as he began to writhe and gyrate, and ground himself against Gideon.

Unfortunately there wasn't really any sexual tension because they get it on so quickly after meeting. There wasn't even any real anger/hate-fucking which is what I suspected there would be. They were already a bit too smitten for it to be fully hate… it was more like mildly distasteful fucking?

The mystery side of the story was a little simple, but I rather like that and it did kept opening up different aspects to the ‘who/how’ which I wasn't expecting. The whole supernatural concept behind Gideon was also quite interesting and I liked that concept.

Ok I feel like I've slammed this a bit harder than I intended to. This was good and I liked it, but maybe for me, it was one of those books that for everything I liked there was something I didn't quite connect with… on a purely personal level. It'll be different for everyone who reads it, just like any book really.

Dreamspinner Press

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