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The Only Gold

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4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  857 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews

Jonah Woolner's life is as prudently regulated as the bank where he works. It's a satisfying life until he's passed over for promotion in favor of newcomer Reid Hylliard. Brash and enterprising, Reid beguiles everyone except Jonah, who's convinced Reid's progressive ideas will be the bank's ruin. When Jonah begins to discover there's more to Reid than meets the eye, he ris
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Kindle Edition, 2nd, 300 pages
Published April 1st 2012 (first published March 20th 2011)
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The Magpie Lord by K.J. CharlesWiddershins by Jordan L. HawkThe Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie DeeDowntime by Tamara AllenBound by Deception by Ava March
Best Gay Historical Romance
27th out of 554 books — 1,009 voters
Captive Prince by C.S. PacatCaptive Prince by C.S. PacatCut & Run by Madeleine UrbanZero at the Bone by Jane SevilleShattered Glass by Dani Alexander
Best M/M With An Actual Story
94th out of 635 books — 426 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,980)
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Vio
A wonderful slow paced beautiful love story with mystery and depth. Seriously this was just gorgeous, I loved it so much and the writing is fabulous completely captivating. Jonah and Reid were perfect as workmates and eventual lovers, the chemistry and banter between them was tense but also romantic. Reid's little digs at Jonah to shake him up (stuffed shirt type of guy) was amusing and delightful. One awesome historical romance and a must read.
Vanessa North
Never has a book which started so slowly won me over so completely.

We're introduced to Jonah, our main character, on the day he is passed over for promotion at the bank where he works. Jonah has spent nearly fourteen years utterly devoted to his employer. The bank's well being comes first. He works long hours, is well loved and trusted by the staff, and has done everything possible to earn that promotion. But instead, it went to the interloper, Reid.

Jonah is devastated. Here is where Ms. Allen'
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Leanne
6 stars.
OMG!Utterly beautiful writing. Swoonworthy romance. Perfect.
I am in love with this book and everything in it.... Jonah and Reid, New York in winter in 1888 (and the awesome blizzard that I've since found out actually happened - cool pictures here ),quirky boarding house occupants...even the bits about early banking were actually interesting! Awesomely drawn world, real and wonderful characters (so wonderful I was an hour late for work on Friday 'cause I just couldn't.let.go.) plus there
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K.J. Charles
Oct 02, 2014 K.J. Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, gay, historical
I enjoyed this so much. I do love a slow burn romance. This is *very* slow but it allowed us to really enjoy Jonah's reawakening to life, and I loved the community around him. Charming and with a terrific sense of place.
Natasha
2.5 star rating.

I'm in the minority, but I was bored of my tree quite frequently during this book.

I think Jonah's love for his job/love for the bank went crazy overboard, to the point where I think he might need to seek some help to get over his obsession. I get the time period, but he literally goes over and above all for the sake of the bank (not the people mind you, the actual institution--the clients--the finances).

While the writing is obviously excellent, and you can tell this author has a
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Susan
Feb 07, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

M/M Bingo
Round 8 - Week 3
"Best Gay Historical Romance"


********************

3.5 stars

For all intents and purposes, this should have been a SLAM DUNK. New York, historical, geeky bankers, and Tamara Allen (who I love). Well, maybe it was more like a bank shot off the glass that spins and spins around the hoop and finally…as the crowd holds their breath…falls in.

I had a really hard time…struggled even…with the first half of the book. It was SLOW – which can work for me as long as there’s some kind
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Kaje Harper
Apr 26, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, historical
This book begins slowly, but gradually carries the reader along with it as the pace picks up to an action-filled climax. It opens with the introduction of Jonah, a bank officer who has devoted himself to his job, at least partly because he is unwilling to let his personal desires have any place in his controlled and circumscribed life. He is faced with Reid, the man who comes in to take the promotion Jonah was expecting, and who proceeds to rearrange both Jonah's professional and his personal li ...more
ttg
WOW. This book was fantastic, which surprised me because I thought it was really slow at first, but by 20% I was invested in this story of Jonah, an assistant cashier at a New York City bank in 1888 who finds out that he lost the expected promotion to cashier to some out-of-towner who promises scary things like "change" and "innovation," two things that buttoned-up Jonah so fiercely thinks he AND the bank don't need.

Rivalry between late 19th century bankers sounds super boring to me, but boy, wa
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Em
I cannot give this book enough praise. It's a beautifully sweet slow burn romance with a nail biting story which gets a lot more intense towards the end. The story is well written, original and very realistic and the two main characters Jonah and Reid are extremely likeable. This is not to be missed for any historical romance fans.
Deeze
Jul 29, 2012 Deeze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deeze by: Vio
A brilliantly told story, that will keep you interested from page one. Don't be put off if like me you tend to stay away from storys set in the past. This is one you should try if you want a real romance with guys you will fall in love with and a story to keep you guessing.
Anyta Sunday
Oct 06, 2014 Anyta Sunday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a bunch of reviews for this book, and what strikes me as interesting is that many of them thought the beginning was slow but the second half picked up.

I had the complete opposite reaction to reading this book. I LOVED the slow, teasing, tense, frustrating first half. Give me more of that, please! Gah, boy did it work a nice burn.

As the second half commenced, I felt the story lose some of that tension. I was a wee bit disappointed at the lack of descriptive love scenes (especially the
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Kassa
Apr 14, 2011 Kassa rated it really liked it
In the world of too many books and too little time, the phrase “auto-buy” is tossed around with almost cavalier meaning. Although I have very few “auto-buy” authors where I buy everything they do no matter what, Tamara Allen has to be on my list. The Only Gold may not be as beloved as Whistling in the Dark, which if you haven’t read do so now immediately, but it showcases Allen’s meticulous attention to detail, flair for complex yet fascinating characters, and impeccable writing.

Set in 1888 New
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Heather C
I really, really enjoyed this. Tamara Allen's writing is so beautiful and non-explicitly sensual that it still gets me all hot and bothered. Love the slow build romance and quirky characters. And the setting. And the sweetness.

4.5 stars rounded to 4 because I struggled a little with the slow start of the story and I pretty much had the "mystery" figured out.
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Nina
4.5 stars
Wonderfully atmospheric, realistic and with amazing characters, both the MCs and the supporting ones.

A slow start and a couple of confusing moments made this just a little bit less than perfect.

ps: seriously, where can I find me a Reid? ;)
Hannah
This book was such a wonderful surprise. I first heard about it from Sunita's glowing review at Dear Author. At that time, I decided I wouldn't enjoy it because (a) it's a historical, and I'm not a big fan of historicals, and (b) it's about two bank employees, and what could possibly be more boring than banking? But when I found out recently that this book is available for Amazon Prime members to borrow, I decided to try it. I ended up buying it before I was halfway finished, because I already k ...more
Cecilia Grant
Nov 24, 2011 Cecilia Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charming, affecting, affirming tale of two opposites who drive each other nuts before one, then the other, recognizes the possibility for love.

The characters are wonderful: I particularly loved stiff-necked, buttoned-up Jonah (his overzealous devotion to the bank where he works is funny but also believable and admirable), but gregarious, golden-touch Reid is a delight, too, particularly as Jonah's evident disapproval & borderline passive-aggressive hostility only redouble Reid's determinatio
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Katharina
Feb 07, 2013 Katharina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, history
4.5

This was... pretty amazing, actually. The setting and plot were original, the writing very good, the main characters had depth and were believable and likable - as individuals and as a couple. The story is told from Jonah's point of view as the 3rd person narrator, and his slightly neurotic, very unbudging character is unmistakable. His development throughout the story is well portrayed.
The best part, though, was how utterly flabbergasted the second half of the book made me feel. I didn't see
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Trix
3.5 stars

I thought this a 4 star book until I got almost halfway through the book. Then it dropped to 3 star and picked up a little more steam towards the end. This is probably very subjective, so don't mind my rating.

(view spoiler)
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Dumbledore11214
When I was a child I used to imagine that one day I will get to travel in the time travel machine to some of my favorite eras in the past to see for myself how people lived in those days. Of course I know now that this is not possible, but in a sense
this book for me had been a perfect substitute of the time travel machine. It transported me to another era. I felt that I was in the year 1888 in the city that gave me a second home, just as it gave second home to Jonah and Reid. I really loved thi
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John "King of the North"
Tamara Allen can do no wrong in my eyes. This was so good!

Unfortunately, I have read all of her books and I do not see any news of future books from her.


Please Miss Allen, write more. We need it.
Elisa Rolle
Oct 26, 2015 Elisa Rolle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2011 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Joyfully Jay
Mar 10, 2016 Joyfully Jay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: veronica
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars


This slow burn is great, until I recognized that they got together and there were a whole lotta pages left.

What was going to happen to the conflict? Oh, the delicious breadcrumbs pointed at a double-cross that was sure to break Jonah’s heart. And wow. How the ending came about, with all the twists and turns, and danger and harrowing bits? My goodness! Could not turn the pages fast enough. Truly.

This book had me holding my breath, praying that Jonah was not a pawn in
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Estara
Mar 30, 2011 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of historical romance and m/m romance
Recommended to Estara by: Ann Somerville and my enjoyment of Whistling in the Dar
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shira Anthony
This book just snuck up on me... It started out slowly, setting up the tension between the two protagonists, filling in the background, pulling me in. And then - wow! - I was on the edge of my seat and hanging on for dear life for the last quarter of the book.

(view spoiler)
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Furio
Jan 27, 2013 Furio rated it liked it
There can be no doubt about Ms Allen's being a gifted author: her shorter "If It Ain't Love" is stuck in my memory with its rich setting and fine writing.

A rich setting and a fine writing are what I have found in here as well.
Miles away are those unprofessional penpushers that clutter the M/M romance subgenre with outrageously expensive, one-size-fits-all booklets worth much less than the time it takes to forget them.
Ms Allen's language is deceivingly simple but it is fluid, precise, concise and
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Fangtasia
Apr 21, 2013 Fangtasia rated it really liked it
An escape to late 1800's NY, masterfully set to transport the reader away from today's customs. The characters are very much three-dimensional, which is a welcome surprise, when a romance plot is based on the "opposites attract" trope. Jonah has reasons for being who he is, as does Reid. The secondary characters provide depth and enrich the story, keeping the experience realistic and engaging.

The plot is interesting and original, well-paced until the main conflict takes place, which takes entir
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karlakolumna
4.5 stars

This has been an absolutely delightful and enchanting read. I'm usually not that much of a fan when it comes to historical fiction. Especially so in the glbt department because it often enough leaves a bitter aftertaste considering that gay love was not at all accepted.

This, however, turned out to be most entertaining. I totally fell in love with these two main characters. Reid, especially, was fun to read about with his charm and smugness and the way he enjoyed poking and poking at Jon
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Kukko
Main Characters: Reid Hylliard & Jonah Woolner
Key Themes: In the Closet, Blackmail/Deception, Enemies to Lovers, Revenge
Location: New York

Loved the depiction of 19th century New York.

Also loved that Reid was so complex and unpredictable, and that by contrast Jonah was so regimented and stuck in the mud.

This is a clever story and a satisfying read. The twist in the tale was totally unexpected and very well done.

Only wish we had been given more insight into the MCs backgrounds.
Bo
Jan 06, 2016 Bo rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, Beguiling, Bankers' Bromance

Well, it's more than a bromance, but the way Tamara Allen leads Jonah and Reid up to the point where they go beyond budding, if not frustrating, friendship and trust to lovers is both typical of her style, and totally in keeping with the characters, plotline, setting and pace of the novel.

I love these turn-of-the-century books, especially those which take place in New York City, especially with MCs that include one uptight and conservative gay man and one f
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Ashley♥Alexis
4.5 stars

Another amazing story by Tamara Allen. I'm usually not a historical kinds girl but her stories just work. I also live off of relationship growth and if the two MC's don't meet within the first 10% I don't even bother but there is just something about Allen's writing that throws all my habits out of the window. the story was interesting and the romance was sweet and tasteful. I loved it!!
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The bank was systematically at risk!!! 1 25 Jul 23, 2013 02:08AM  
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This author has been published under the pen name James Allen.
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