For the last five years, Nathaniel Travers has been a regular client of Jasper Reed’s at Madame Delacroix’s. But he is more than just a client; Jasper is in love with Nate. But he knows that there can never be anything more between them. First off, Nate is hopelessly in love with his straight best friend, Peter. And second, there is no way a gentleman like Nate could ever even be seen in public with a man like Jasper, and certainly he would never want a relationship with him. Yet even though he has had the funds to retire to the country for a couple of years now, Jasper just can’t bring himself to leave, knowing that will be the end of things between them.
When Peter gets married and Jasper sees Nate’s continued depression, he realizes it is finally time to leave London. Just as he has advised Nate that he needs to accept the reality that Peter can never love him, Jasper needs to accept the same about Nate. A clean break is what he needs to move on with his life. But as it turns out, Nate may just return Jasper’s feelings after all.
I have mentioned before how much I adore Ava March’s writing and think she writes just fabulous, sexy historicals. I first read His Client when it was released back in 2011, before I started the blog. March is rereleasing it now as a self published book, so I jumped at the chance to pick it back and up and share it with you guys.
What I think March does really well here is take a simple plot and a book focused almost exclusively on the interaction between these two men, and still make it a rich and well developed story. We get to know Nate and Jasper so well, to really understand them. I love the fact that Nate comes to understand his feelings for Jasper very organically. He slowly realizes how much he misses him, how Jasper has been so important to him for so long and Nate just hasn’t recognized his own feelings. It is really such a lovely experience to watch this slow dawning realization and Nate’s determination not to lose Jasper to his own obliviousness. In many ways this book has the feel of a friends to lovers story. Clearly these men were actually lovers long before they were friends. But there is that same vibe of growing recognition and acceptance that this person who has been a part of your life for so long as a friend is actually the person who owns your heart.
Most of the book takes place at Delacroix’s where we see the men together and both their sexual and emotional connection. It is clear that there is a strong bond between them, one of more than sex. They trust each other and care for each other. Nate confides in Jasper in a way he does with virtually no one else. And of course we know from the start how much Jasper loves Nate. So they are never just client and prostitute. Right from the start we can feel the connection between them, and they are super sexy together.
I particularly love how Jasper doesn’t needs saving. Nate isn’t some fancy lord who swoops in to save him from his life of prostitution. Jasper recognizes he needs to protect his heart and to take care of himself, and he does that. And when Nate shows Jasper just how much he really loves him, it is all the more rewarding. So I really loved this story. It is sexy, romantic, and really well developed.