Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Two men, one woman - no breaks for the guys who want to get it on!
This novel takes after Pride and Prejudice as it is set in Regency London with Cavendish De Courcy, a single man from a family who are in want of funds, and need to marry him off to the nearest heiress in order to save them from their fate. Cavendish is not happy to help them in their search for wealth - but he knows he has to make sure he gives them what they want. The fact is, Cavendish has already found a life mate, and one he doesn't want to be taken away from, and it is a secret he knows his parents must never know of. He met him at around about the same time he is to be married, and that in itself creates a problem.
Nathaniel could be the answer to his non existent gay sex life, and being married off to some over pampered puss can only send shivers down his spine. He has to go through with it even if he doesn't want to as everyone knows that in Regency London being gay was an offence in those days. Even so, it doesn't mean that Nathaniel need leave his side; it just makes it more difficult for him to conduct his gay affair while trying to keep his new wife happy.
Nathaniel is the son of the local pastor of the district, and he is studying music to while away his hours. This both amuses and amazes Cavendish who never knew he had such a religious background.
His father has chosen Arabella, his wife for him, and considers her excellent childbearing stock, but as usual; doesn't take his feelings into account. Cavendish thinks he might have to tell Nathaniel to leave his side, but doesn't want to have to make that decision, and instead has to weigh up his happiness over that of his family.
I find that cover art is well worth taking into consideration when wanting to read novels - even though they aren't always indicative of a good book. This novel's cover model is a handsome chap with full lips readers will want to kiss more times than Cavendish will. As a cover it will make it a best seller.
At the beginning, Cavendish's encounter with the life model in an artist's studio gives him pause for thought as he is to be married off to a girl, a girl he has no interest in - he likes men, young men who fuel his sexual fire, and make him as wanton as he needs to be.
There are some excellent moments in this novel, and even at 72 pages it manages to cram in some beautiful sensual scenes where the two of them enjoy their brief moments together out of the sight of Cavendish’s new wife:
Cavendish lay as motionless as a sleeping lion; he suppressed the groan of longing which rumbled in his throat. He couldn’t possibly betray the hunger that seared his body, the need to be touched still further, the desire to have not just a damp flannel, but Nathaniel’s delicate fingers probe his tingling flesh.
When Cavendish brings Nathaniel into their home, he tries not to cause all kinds of problems, and instead has him produce artworks for the family as a cover for their affair He gets the impression that while Nathaniel is there, his wife is aware of the feeling he has for him, and makes it hard for the two of them to be together when she is around:
For over two weeks, Nathaniel played the part of the dutiful artist producing delightful sketches and studies for the commissioned works. Cavendish itched to be alone with him, but Arabella guarded her husband jealously as if she could sense the bond that existed between the two men and was determined not to allow it, or Nathaniel to replace her in Cavendish’s affections. Maddening frustration began to build in her husband. He could not perform his marital duties to her, and he could get no relief from Nathaniel for Arabella stuck to him like a newly born foal sticks to its parent.
Kitti knows how to pen a full bodied book like a fine wine, and in this case, she has managed it. Regency Nights is just that, it fills the senses with its excellent prose, sensual, and highly erotic sexual scenes between Cavendish and Nathaniel. Nathaniel serves to be the one who tries to take his mind off of his duty to his new wife, and all the other duties for her he has yet to do, like having her bear his children.
Readers will notice all too soon that he is more interested in Nathaniel than a woman. He finds he can be the man he wanted to be around him. There is no pressure to be the man his father desired - he can be his own man and not feel as though he is being so wanton and immoral about it. What he does with Nathaniel can only be described as wanton and immoral by others who find out about their tryst. It doesn't matter what others think of them. Cavendish is in love, and with him all his desires are fulfilled.
I enjoyed that there is a solution to Cavendish and Nathaniel’s problem, and it is one that many would not have thought of, but which will make the reader smile.