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A Private Gentleman

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,360 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
To seal their bond, they must break the ties that bind.

Painfully introverted and rendered nearly mute by a heavy stammer, Lord George Albert Westin rarely ventures any farther than the club or his beloved gardens. When he hears rumors of an exotic new orchid sighted at a local hobbyist’s house, though, he girds himself with opiates and determination to attend a house party
Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Samhain
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Jul 25, 2015 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ???
Recommended to Carmen by: Romantic Times Book Review.
"Whores are meant to be bought with money, my lord, not flattery."

Another quick reply, one Wes gave almost without thinking.

"Perhaps it is not the whore I am trying to buy."

Ugh, this book was SO AMAZING. I loved it.

I was struggling the other day to think of a genre I've neglected. It was very difficult because I read everything. But finally I was like, "I am challenging myself to read one m/m romance novel and one f/f romance." Boo-yah! How exciting for me! (Now, this is not completely new terri
2.5-3 Stars

This is a second chances, healing love, beat the odds kind of story.

Lord George Albert Westin has a stammer that hampers his ability to communicate, it is so bad his family considered putting him in an asylum thinking that it was a mental illness. He also has a social phobia. These conditions have made him an introvert and reclusive man. The only way that he will even venture out is when he takes large doses of opiates.

Michael Vallant is a professional sodomite (and damn that's an awf
Emma Sea
Oh, the angst.

Michael is a rent boy with a heart of gold, who has developed PTSD-related panic attacks when he tries to work as a whore.

Wes/Albert/George is a lowly second son who loves Michael, and will pay for a month of Michael's time to do nothing more than keep him company on long carriage drives. And trips to gardens. And libraries. And more gardens. And Oxford. And gardens.

I loved both the MCs, and the botanical sub-plot was interesting (if a little overwraught metaphor-wise). The seconda
What a beautifully heartbreaking story.

Thankfully I know Heidi always ends a story with an HEA, but damn these two had to work for it. The secondary characters were perfectly done and added to the story so well. The story wouldn't have been nearly as strong if it weren't for Penny and Rodger. Those two were the backbone for the MC's when Wes and Michael were too broken to stand on their own. I loved every conversation they were a part of.

Both Wes and Michael were so much more than their station
This was absolutely charming. It had a much darker theme than I was expecting but I didn't doubt for a minute there would be a HEA, and there certainly was. Slightly over the top ending but perfect.
Nov 23, 2012 Breann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Breann by: Cassandra
Much darker themes and emotions than I had anticipated. Wes and Michael are very broken men, both are haunted by their pasts and the abuses of the same man. I loved their relationship and support of each other. Both have huge insecurities, but were able to help the other move past them. I love couples who are just kind and loving towards each other, no need for snark or snappy comebacks (not that I don't love that too) but these men were very thoughtful in their actions, it was sweet.

The only th
Sonia ~Ruber's fiancé in Crystal Court universe~
Exquisite love story between a whore and a stammerer opium addict.. I know, I know it doesn't sound very fairytaleish, but is was such a pleasure following their struggle to be together while trying really hard to overcame their inner demons (and boy do they have big ones!).
Their love, their pain, their hope felt so real, I was there with them every step of the way.. It was absolutely adorable to watch them become to enthralled and mesmerized when they got to explore their passions (Wes with the
Feb 21, 2012 Mouse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book.

Be warned, though, if you're into historically accurate books: THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. From the way they address each other (okay, really? That, at the very least, wasn't right? WHY NOT?) to the situations they find themselves in. It felt like the historical portion of this book was more of a vehicle for the characters verses an actual setting.

I label this: historical-fantasy. :)
Feb 22, 2012 Erastes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-historical
It’s not very often that I am charmed by a book almost from the first page–but this book blew a fresh wind into the rather overworked 19th century area of the m/m historical romance genre and I found myself won over and wooed.

I have to say that I took to Cullinan’s protagonist immediately. In fact I took to both of them because they were so refreshing in these days of perfect hunks of men. Granted they are both gorgeous as hell, but Lord George Albert Westin has a stammer that would make King Ge
Barb Manning
A Private Gentleman by Heidi Cullinan is at its core the love story of Lord George Albert Westin and Michael Vallant; it's a tale of failure and redemption in families, friendships and society. Cullinan paints a vivid tapestry of passion and pain, of love gone down to the depths of hell and reclaimed at great costs.

Cullinan is not a gentle writer. She can draw beautiful imagery, such as her descriptions of Wes' orchids and Michael's books. However, her power as a writer is in her depiction of em
Feb 14, 2012 Feliz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, historical
This book was like one of those vending events where a well-versed eloquent salesperson effortlessly as anything manages to convince you that you can't live without their goods - and you listen raptly nodding your head and open your purse wide since you're sold, literally. Only once you're outside the sales room with your absolutely superfluous overpriced heating blanket, you wake from your daze enough to take a break to think, and then you shake your head at your own gullibility. But do you sto ...more
An excellent historical m/m romance set in Victorian times (not sure the cover conveys that period). I very much enjoy Heidi Cullinan's writing: this book had an intelligent plot and fully developed likeable characters.

The stammering opium-addicted Lord George Albert Westin (Wes or Albert) meets beautiful short-sighted whore Michael Vallant and his world begins to change..

'She shrugged. "Life is pain, Lord George. We all deal with it as we can. Some of us hide in our anger. I prefer not to judge
Feb 20, 2012 DL rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here is another book that isn't getting the stars that the writing may deserve because the Theme was too much for me. And I'm going to blame Samhain for it. No where in the product warning was I told that child sexual abuse was going to be so front and center. "Product Warnings
Contains wounded heroes, bibliophilic tendencies, orchid obsessions, a right bastard of a marquis, and gay men who get happily-ever-afters. " It sounds almost blithe. No, the abuse wasn't on screen but it was certainly cle
Bitchie!!! on books
This book had a LOT of things going on. I think it would have been better served to not have so much conflict. I don't expect all fluffy bunnies, especially from this author, I just think all the conflict and angst overwhelmed things a bit.

We had Michael, the hooker with a heart of gold, who had a period of child rape/abuse in his past, who is suddenly, after all these years, crippled by fear and nightmares, and then we have a stuttering, agoraphobic opium addicted bullied "worthless" second son
Before reading...
Not a review just self-encouragement...

As my dear friend Vio told me good-naturedly - this will end tragically.
Not for the characters....for Sims!
But -
a.) I`m incorrigible (what shall I do,I love the blurb..!)
b.) I`m prepared
- Disbelief got kicked out of the window,dislike of historicals completely ignored,CwD-allergy rigorously suppressed and my other pet-peeves...what are pet-peeves?

...that should work...*deep breath*

After reading...

It didn`t work...
I had a serious problem wi
Kaje Harper
Jan 25, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, m-m, historical
I really liked this one - the characters were wonderful, unusual, and not perfect, although Michael came close. The historical setting felt real but not intrusive. I was caught by surprise by where the story went plot-wise in the penultimate climax, with a nod to the reality of addiction. The secondary characters added depth and complexity. (Actually, I'd love to see Rodger get a story of his own - he really caught my imagination about who he is, how he ended up the way he did, and where his lif ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Zainab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m

Review to come.
Feb 18, 2017 Anke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No idea why I didn't read this sooner! Perhaps when it was released I wasn't a fan of historicals. But since then I read several great ones. This one was another addition. Wonderful story, great characters and a wonderful happy ending.

Full 5 stars.
Vicktor Alexander

Two hopelessly flawed men discover that they aren't as hopelessly flawed as they suspected. A son of a whore who becomes a whore himself and the painfully shy, socially awkward, stammering son of a marquess meet in the most unlikely of situations and start a love affair with a dark, unspoken and painful secret between them.

I must admit, I am not just an epilogue whore, I'm a history whore as well and this story had me enthralled in the historical references, the sensitive subjects it touched on
Page Crusherz
Feb 17, 2012 Page Crusherz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED! This was excellent. I was dying for a great romance where I could lose myself and have that "I can't stand to stop reading" feeling. THIS WAS IT! I carried my kindle around all day in case I could get a glimpse! I made myself almost late to work! I love Heidi's work, in particular Special Delivery and its sequel. (I frequently debate which I love more, and its about a 50/50 split.) In those, she took characters I didn't think I could love, and made me love them. Here, ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-love
Such a sweet, gentle, yet passionate and emotional romance. I really enjoyed seeing Wes and Michael learn to love each other. They were great characters, and they felt very real. It was beautiful how they could just be themselves around one another, and they accepted each other without questions, flaws and all. The plot is pretty intense, and it grabbed my attention from the very beginning.

Note: There were pretty major editing oversights that detracted from my experience. For example, one charac
Fani *loves angst*
A sweet and tender love story between a whore and the second son of a lord, who happens to be a stammerer and opium dependant. Though it turned into too sweet territory at times, it was never cheesy and those two were so sweet together and so obviously in need of each other, that I didn't mind it at all. I really enjoyed reading it, even if it's not what I'd call my usual 'fare'.
Mar 12, 2013 julio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to julio by: Breann
Heather C
Feb 07, 2012 Heather C rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather C by: Kaje Harper
A Private Gentleman has been on my TBR list for a while now and since this week was set aside for “Heidi Cullinan Week”, I figured it was the perfect time to read it.

While snooping around at a house party searching for a rare orchid, Lord George Albert Westin, social outcast and stutterer, encounters Michael Vallant, professional whore. Both men have some dark demons: Wes is a slave to the poppy and Michael has a really bad history with Wes’s father. I don’t want to get into too much plot review
Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Magnus ♥
I would give this more of a 3.5/5. I was looking forward to reading about a shy, socially awkward lead. I enjoy awkward and endearing characters. I was expecting him to be like Jeremey from Carry the Ocean. And although I did enjoy Wes, I enjoyed Michael more. Wes was not really what I had expected. He was far more deeply troubled than just a stutter and shyness.

Carry the Ocean is the only book by Heidi Cullinan that I have read before, and although it was heavy and dealt with some dark issues
Shelby P
I liked Penny and thought she was a refreshing character. I was quite surprised how open some of these men were with buying whores. For something that was punishable by death, a lot of these characters seemed to indulge and it wasn't very clandestine.

I was also thrown my the use of the word fucking for just kissing and groping. That was odd. Although I liked Michael and Wes I didn't really come to care for them as a couple. This book started to drag and it was a chore to finish.

(view spoiler)
Mar 03, 2012 Melyna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
I bought the book not really sure how I would like a m/m story in a historical setting. The setting I could handle, the emotional and physical abuse the characters endured was much harder - only in that it was very heart breaking to read. It was filled with broken people, evil perpetrators, people trying to cope with the aftermath, people looking for healing and love.

If you are looking for light historical romance, this is not it. I am happy it ends on a positive note.
Feb 24, 2012 Elizabetta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Really no stars or maybe a 1/2 star. I really really tried to finish this book but I just lost interest about half-way and couldn't bring myself to care. This is especially frustrating since I am a fan of Cullinan's other work. The historical genre is just not one of my favorites and it has to be freaking good to keep me going. I'll give this one a rest and maybe try it sometime much later.
Oct 25, 2011 Jayhjay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review was originally published on my blog Joyfully Jay.

Lord George Albert Westin is painfully introverted and suffers from an extreme stutter that keeps him out of most social settings. But he has braved a party with the help of some laudanum in order to see a prized orchid owned by the hostess. Though he is uncomfortable with people, Albert dearly loves plants and manages to pull himself together enough to visit the rare specimen.

Michael Vallant is a high class prostitute, hiding out fro
I greatly enjoy gay-themed Regency stories, but confess to a certain amount of unease about this one, due to the fact that it’s a bit darker in tone than many of the historical novels that I read. You could say that this book puts on display the seedy underbelly of the times in a way that Georgette Heyer never would.

With themes involving laudanum addiction and child abuse, there’s no doubt that this book touches on problems never mentioned in lighter historical fare. But at the same time the sto
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Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren't enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her family. Heidi also voluntee ...more
More about Heidi Cullinan...

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“It's your eyes, I think. They promise something kind. Heaven help the world should you ever turn dark. You would send Satan himself scrambling.” 2 likes
“Michael turned his head enough to pres a kiss against Wes's chest. "You are good for me."
Wes swallowed a different kind of lump, a full, radiant blockage rather than a hollow one. I love you. I love you like a fool. I would give up all the orchids in the world just to lie for an afternoon like this with you.
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