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Half a Man (War Tales #1)

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  121 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Traumatised by the nightmare of trench warfare in France, Robert Blake turns to rent boy Jack Anderson for solace. Neither man expects their business relationship to go quite so far.

It is 1919, less than a year after the end of the First World War with a recovering Britain in the grip of the influenza pandemic. Crippled veteran of the Somme battle, Robert Blake, is looking
Published September 2011 by Silver Publishing
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A Hearts On Fire Review

3.75 HEARTS--"Half a Man" by Scarlet Blackwell is a novella set in England after the end of WWI. The damaged soldiers and influenza scare help set the tone for this romance between a wheelchair bound ex-solider, Robert, and a rent boy/book shop worker, Jack.

This is an interesting take on the "Pretty Woman" theme, you know...a prostitute with a heart of gold has a dashing wealthy man swoop in to ease their troubles with a fat cock and an even fatter wallet.

The twist is:

Heather C
I saw Half a Man on the Coming Soon list from Totally Bound, and when I skimmed the blurb, I immediately wanted to read it. I love historicals and I love characters with disabilities. I sometimes even love rent boys in my historicals. Sadly, I was a little annoyed when I later figured out this was a rerelease…I don’t even know if has been expanded or even edited…? Anyway, I started reading it late one night and stayed up ’til the wee hours of the morning because I could not put it down. There we ...more
Edina Rose
Sep 11, 2011 Edina Rose rated it really liked it
Robert, a crippled war veteran, hires rent boy Jack for companionship.

Jack is younger and gorgeous, but what sets him apart from the average rent boy is that he went to university. He is well educated and can hold a conversation in high circles. Why is he selling his body? Because he couldn't find a well paid job. He is working part-time at a bookshop, but the salary is meagre. The rest of the time, he is a companion to rich men like Robert. He does not enjoy it much, but what's a guy to do?

3.5 stars

Robert is "half-a-man", bound in wheel-chair after a bullet hit him in the back during WW 1. His only way to achieve sexual satisfaction is to hire a companion. Comes in Jack, a rent-boy, who slowly gives Robert reason to care. This is another push/pull story from Scarlet Blackwell -- we have Robert who fears that he cannot give what Jack wants because of his condition, while Jack worries that he can't be in Robert's life because of his "profession". The balance between them is "smeared
Kaje Harper
Apr 23, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, historical, intense
A nice historical about a man eking out an inadequate income by working as a male companion and the paraplegic WWI vet for whom he's hired to provide his services. No real surprises, but very likable MC's.
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Nov 10, 2014 CoffeeTimeRomance andMore rated it really liked it
Your heart will be touched by the sincerity and longing that flows between Robert and Jack. They might start off as merely a rich man and his hired “help”, but the instant rapport goes well beyond the physical. There is a connection to these characters that feels so real, and I feel it is due to the emotional and physical trials they must try to overcome. I really enjoy stories that pull you in and keep you hanging on every word, and Ms. Blackwell provides a perfect example.

Reviewer for
Feb 12, 2013 Meggie rated it really liked it
The story was warm. I liked both main characters. Robert, even if being crippled veteran, was a sad person and you simply had to love him. Jack, a rent boy, made me a bit angry and confused with his feelings of denial. But in general, I have to say, this was well written emotional story and I really liked it. Highly recommend it on!
Jan 05, 2012 Erastes rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
Rather a touching premise, a tart with a heart and a man paralysed from the waist down. You don’t at first (or rather I didn’t) twig that Jack Anderson is a prostitute but I suppose these days he’d be called an escort. He provides companionship and relief if needed from discreet and wealthy men. He hasn’t been soured by his life as a renter, and is both professional and attentive.

He’s called to the house of Robert Blake, who we discover is in a wheelchair. The two men meet once a week, a little
Originally reviewed for


TITLE: Half a Man
AUTHOR: Scarlet Blackwell
GENRE/SUB: M/M romance, historical, D/s
RATING: 3.5 rounded to 4 for goodreads
Heat: 3 (blush worthy)
REVIEW (summary, cassl)

Jack is hired by Robert to be a companion. Robert is in a wheelchair, he is still functional , but his handicap has made him stay inside. He has been away from men for two years. Jack has other clients and is very professional. When Robert hesitates Jack gently u
Aug 13, 2012 BlackTulip rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, wwi, my-reviews
Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked Up

Robert is a man who went through the mill fighting this dirty war in the trenches in France, trying to stay alive in the mud and the blood of his fellow companions. He is left severely handicapped in his body as well as in his mind.
Two years later, he is a lonely man who still suffers, in a wheelchair, with no life, no hope and no one to care for, having lost his lover during the war and feeling guilty about it. He needs to fill a gap ... So he rents a young m
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
Apr 10, 2012 Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews rated it really liked it
4 Stars

First published at MM Good Book Reviews

Robert is a war veteran who was severely wounded. He now only sees himself as half a man but he has decided to find a little human comfort in the form of a companion. Jack is a book store worker but he also works as a discreet escort providing companionship and comfort to those who request it.

This is a well written story that pulls at the heart strings. We have Robert who has shut himself off from the outside w
Jan 12, 2013 Kay rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
3 1/2 Stars ~ Left with little sensation in his legs and pelvis from a bullet to his back, Robert has reconciled himself to a life in a wheelchair. It's now two years since his return from the Battle of Somme, and he craves physical contact. So he rents a young man to be his companion. Jack is actually an English scholar but academic work is hard to find. He works in a book store two days a week and spends the balance as companions to rich gentleman. He's intrigued with Robert and as is deeply ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Alina rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story! It may be my favorite from Scarlet Blackwell so far!

I loved Robert and my heart ached for him - for both his physical sufferings and his pain of losing the man he loved and I adored and respected him for his strength. And I liked Jack too, despite his profession he's very sympathetic character and quite a serious and considerate person. Those two is a good match and I'm glad Jack had finally overcome his doubts and accepted it.

Although the ending was very satisfying I'd really l
Jan 31, 2012 ManOhMan rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Reviewed by Max: I think the idea behind this novel was a good one and there could have been a lot done with it, but unfortunately it fell flat for me.

My problems started with the sex. It was explicit and I felt it was out of place in this story. I didn't buy the instant connection between Jack and Robert. Everything felt rushed and there's no need for that in a novel length story. Better developed characters, along with more subtle love scenes would have made this one a winner.


Oct 05, 2014 Ingela marked it as to-read-yes-own
M/M HR freebie to down load here on GR. - get it with the green "download ebook" button or
Hearts On Fire Reviews
Reviewer: SheReadsAlot
Genre: M/M Historical
3.75 Hearts

Review: "Half a Man" by Scarlet Blackwell is a novella set in England after the end of WWI. The damaged soldiers and influenza scare help set the tone for this romance between a wheelchair bound ex-solider, Robert, and a rent boy/book shop worker, Jack.

This is an interesting take on the "Pretty Woman" theme, you know...a prostitute with a heart of gold has a dashing wealthy man swoop in to ease their troubles with a fat cock and an even fatte
This would have been a 4-star rating because I enjoyed most of the story quite a bit.

Post WWI isn't my preferred historical time period, but I enjoyed that aspect well enough. I'm also a sucker for a disabled hero. Naturally, both characters have bouts of self-recrimination and lashing out and pushing each other away. The smexing is hot. Everything is VERY well written. As a self-appointed member of the grammar police, I especially enjoy that. For this, I will look at other Scarlet Blackwell bo
Dec 01, 2011 KaysieLynne rated it really liked it
I surprised myself and enjoyed this book. Originally I was concerned because I accepted this reading challenge without realizing it was an M/M story. As I said in my first status update, I've read books with M/M scenes but never a book that was solely M/M.

I enjoyed that I was brought through the emotions and passion that I would expect from any other romance. The loving was sweet and sexy. And the relationship was dear and real.

Overall, very satisfied with this read.
3.75 Stars

This book had everything going for it - rent-boy, WW1 vet - and while it was very well written, it just didn't quite gel for me. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I just didn't feel connected.
Jul 23, 2015 Ambre rated it it was ok
This could have been really good, but one of the MCs was awful and the relationship was really unpleasant. You know, when someone has to apologize 20 times a 100 page book, it doesn't feel like romance, even when he miraculously changes in the last 10 pages.
This was a five star book until the middle and then it went to crap somehow. It doesn't even feel like the same characters of author after the party.
Sammy Goode
Sammy Goode rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2011
Liewen rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2016
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Dec 02, 2016
Portia rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2012
Sara rated it it was ok
Dec 02, 2015
Misty rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2013
Rosemary rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2012
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Sep 04, 2011
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Scarlet writes erotic romance.

Scarlet would rather stick pins in her eyes than go on Facebook but now sees the necessary evil of it. Please join her there for useless writing-related ramblings and hot men musings and ease her in gently. Bah.
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