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Wicked Gentlemen

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,695 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
Belimai Sykes is many things: a Prodigal, the descendant of ancient demons, a creature of dark temptations and rare powers. He is also a man with a brutal past and a dangerous addiction. And Belimai Sykes is the only man Captain William Harper can turn to when faced with a series of grisly murders.

But Mr. Sykes does not work for free and the price of Belimai's company will
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Blind Eye Books (first published May 1st 2007)
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Rulle I know nothing of a possible sequel but there is at least two short stories on the authors website set in the same world and with the same characters.
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7th out of 515 books — 985 voters

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Community Reviews

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Oct 19, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing
It's a long time since I've relished a book this much -- or had that sense of having lost myself in another world. Hale's marvellous creation of a Barrie-esque AU England and her wonderful characters held me spell-bound for an entire evening. I was very sorry when it ended as I could have followed the adventures of Captain Harper and Belimai Sykes very contentedly for another 300 pages.
Final rating: 4/5 stars

Some romances end more badly than others.

But, (view spoiler).

I can only describe this book as interesting. This is how I felt even after finishing it. And don't forget about the bonus sequel short stories (Mr. Sykes and the Noble Muse and Mr. Harper and the Christmas Stocking), because both were equally amusing and it was wonderful to read about both of them years later.

This book literally has 2 books inside - it was lik
Sep 27, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it

Liked the world, the story, the characters and the POV which was dual so we got to see both characters from inside and out and Hale ably shows that how we see ourselves is not how others see us. With all the questions I had, Hale made me curious, interested to read more immediately, but she did answer them so I'm good.

This book should totally be read together with the following two shorts. They satisfied the more I needed as in the book the romance, the intimacy remains a bit fade to black, a ba
First comment: this book is the winner of an award (the Gaylactic Spectrum Award for Best Novel-2008) ... and deserve it!

This unique fantasy M/M book is divided in two stories, with the same characters, but different storyteller.

Book one
the first part of this book is a deep immersion on Belimai thoughts and feelings.
Belimai is a tormented "Prodigal", aka, a half demon. That's all... can't say more. You will discover, at Belimai will, his past and pains. With his unstoppable sarcasm he will let
Mar 16, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Centuries ago the fallen angels accepted certain legal restrictions in order to get out of Hell and live on earth. Now their diminished descendants are second-class citizens, living in a ghetto and scapegoated by the Inquisition. Responsible for policing crime as well as heresy, the Inquisition uses torture and drugs to extract confessions, and is subject to little external control.

Belimai Sykes ran afoul of the Inquisition years ago and was never the same. Thus, he is less than pleased to have
I read many good reviews before decoding to give this book a try and as I started to read, I could see why there are so many positive comments. This book is in two parts and the second part was my favorite. The world-building is simply amazing and very unique. The characters are complex and easy to love. This is a sweet love story in a very dark world where there is plenty of violence, torture, addiction, religious fanaticism and prejudice. But even in a world such as this one, there is always a ...more
Aah, Wicked Gentlemen …what a treat this is. Brutal murderings, a dark and gritty world, mystery, violence, demons, vengeance and addiction. Tis just my thing.

Ginn Hale’s imagination and inventiveness is, as always an awesome thing to behold. She creates a world where demons or prodigals now live under oppression in a city of night built under the city of men – she calls it Hells Below, and the atmosphere is repressive, dark or at best, gas lit. The streets above are crooked and the smell of pis
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Wow. This was amazing. This was true literature, the beauty of the prose still lingers with me. It's made me doubt my own abilities as a writer.

It also had everything I love: unique world building in a modern fantasy framework (as opposed to epic or high fantasy), suspense, murder, mayhem, a broken protagonist, characters that are unique and that I love, unusual theme, etc. I had no idea how they would get to a point where anything worked out at the end, right up until the epilogue.

My favorite
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
Dec 12, 2010 Emanuela ~plastic duck~ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emanuela ~plastic duck~ by: Geoffrey
I fell in love with this book! I loved the world, absolutely adored the characters. They are so wonderfully imperfect and at the same time that's what makes you like them. Their relationship was hot and intense, even if the book was almost chaste.

The book has a very dark atmosphere, but it's not claustrophobic, even if there are a lot of moments when the two characters are confined in small spaces. There are many themes - violence, torture, addiction, religious fanaticism, prejudice, you name i
Jul 01, 2013 Ilhem rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, fantasy
4,5 stars

It would have been a 5 stars rating if I had had my fill of the murders plot lines, but I revelled in this world, in every street, every alley, windowsill, roof-top, every dark corner and gas lamp from White Chapel to Hell’s Bellow.

I fell for Belimai and the “Flower of Evil” texture of his thoughts, all dark melancholy, self-loathing and opium induced poetry. I liked that it wasn’t overplayed and that the sounds, scents and touch he is so attuned to, brought as much grittiness as reveri

I was a bit wary of this book. A while ago I gave Rifters a try and it kind of stalled after 1,5 books. Too much ... exuberant prose, not enough psychological "grip" on the characters, I guess.
I know, I know, I have to keep reading until book 3 at least (or so I've heard) and I will, just not now.

So, while the prose was not entirely different here it worked because it was Belimai's voice. And Belimai's voice, let me tell you, was just wonderful. A deeply personal, unique, sensual voice. I was dr
Jul 25, 2013 KatieMc rated it really liked it
Oh my, so much goodness in packed in this little book. Mystery, deception, intrigue, gore, addiction, demons, injustice, revenge, redemption and flying. The flying is totally cool. And from it all, the unlikely pairing of Harper and Belimai. They have a guarded, yet genuine connection and their repartee is most enjoyable. I hope to see more of these two (I heard a rumor!).
Feb 13, 2016 Mandapanda rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like mm steampunk or fantasy
Shelves: various-romance
I don't know what I can add to the many complimentary reviews of this book. Belamai and Harper are such wounded alienated souls. Their love story is understated but intensely alluring. The world Ginn Hale has created is a dark and dingy place lit with fireflies and yellow eyes. Loved every word of it. Extras:
This is not really my genre, steampunk fantasy religion, all big no-nos for me as a rule. The results. Absolutely amazing. Yeah yeah, never say never. Belimai is a drug addicted Prodigal (demons no longer live in hell and are "people") and Harper is a priest, aka cop. The cops use torture in the name of religion to generally get confessions from people, often Prodigals. However Harper and Belimai end up teaming up to catch some serial killers who are preying on Prodigals, Belimai nearly getting ...more
Feb 02, 2014 julio rated it liked it

Wonderfully spare prose as vivid as any riot, paced with the sure hand of a true storyteller. The switch in perspective is distracting, but also impressive.
Sep 28, 2015 Pixie rated it liked it
Shelves: man-on-man-luvin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2013 Xing rated it really liked it
"Even the most degraded and ruined Prodigal is still closer to divinity than are any of us born of Adam's flesh."

Original rating: 3 stars
After rereading (12/12/13): 4 stars

I couldn't appreciate Wicked Gentlemen on my first read, because I had just finished Ginn Hale's Lord of the White Hell series and wanted a similar story. When Wicked Gentlemen gave me something different, I couldn't appreciate the story for what it was. After just finishing my first reread, I was able to enjoy the story a lot
LD  Durham
Feb 01, 2008 LD Durham rated it really liked it
Recommended to LD by: CarvedWood
This was a good one. The book has two short stories and an epilogue. At first, I was disappointed that the first story ended and we moved away from the first person POV of Belimai, but the next story was even better.
My two gripes: a fade to black in the first story (I wanted to see! I'm a voyeur) and the abrupt ending. It wasn't a bad ending, just abrupt. I loved these characters and I wanted to be eased out of their lives, not dumped out.
Best part: Ginn Hale's sensual details that pull you ri
2.75* rounded up to 3*

This book left me feeling disjointed, as if there had to be a much larger tapestry, but someone chopped it off at the edges. The result didn't bowl me over, it left me with sort of a meh-feeling. Or maybe I'm just over fantasy as a genre.

The prose irritated the bloody hell out of me, it was so narcissistic and self-important at times, I was completely distracted. True, it got a bit better towards the end, but then the harm was already done. I'd been distanced from the story
Josephine Myles
It really shouldn't have taken me so long to read this, after so many other writers have told me I'd love it. Yeah, I did love it. Strange, haunting, unputdownable, gritty, enchanting. It was all of these things, and more. I liked the second story best, because Harper rules, but they were both superb. Ginn Hale sure does know how to write, and she has an amazing imagination. I was particularly taken with the prayer wheel damage on Belamai's body--that detail drew me in at the beginning, and keep ...more
Amarilli Settantatre

A volte leggi libri con trame simili, che si differenziano per qualche lieve modifica, e ti abitui a non provare più stupore nè ad essere spiazzato da una lettura "bella" nel senso più concreto del termine: bella come idee, come prosa, come immagini disegnate sulla carta.
E poi ti imbatti (grazie a chi lo ha cercato e tradotto qui da noi!) in piccoli gioielli che ti fanno ricredere nella fantasia e nell'arte di raccontare ricercando la bellezza.
Il libro di Ginn Hale
Karen Wellsbury
Sep 18, 2015 Karen Wellsbury rated it it was amazing
I loved this
Apr 30, 2014 Lena♥Ribka rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans without sex needs.

3,2 stars

Wicked Gentlemen consist of two books. In spite of I enormously enjoyed the first book, the second book didn't meet my expectations.
It is the reason for my muted reaction.

Full review will come later. I hope. I'm slightly disappointed right now.
Blake Fraina
Sep 10, 2011 Blake Fraina rated it it was amazing
Did you ever finish a book only to feel sad that you can never again open it anew and discover its delights for the very first time? Rarely if ever, I'm sure. Well for me, Wicked Gentlemen is one of those books.

And I am completely envious of any lover of dark fantasy and/or gay romance who has yet to crack the spine on this gem.

First time novelist Ginn Hale has created a world so tangible, so complete, that I felt as if I could smell, see, taste and feel everything right along with her charact
Kaje Harper
Sep 07, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing
Once, long ago, the fallen angels who had chosen to rule in hell as demons changed their minds. They ascended to the human world and accepted an offer from the Inquisition to wash them clean of sin and begin again. And so they rose, terrible and beautiful, with powers and strengths beyond the merely human, and were cleansed with holy silver and fire... it was not a great success.

Their ancestors now coexist with humans in an uneasy relationship. The Prodigals are almost human, except for their bl
Apr 30, 2009 Katie(babs) rated it really liked it
Wicked Gentlemen reads more like a paranormal with a mystery and romance combined. Whatever genre this book falls into, Wicked Gentlemen exceeded all my expectations. It has a great atmospheric feel featuring the tortured character of Belimai Sykes. Belimai is a drug addicted demon called a Prodical who has been tortured ruthlessly by those who feel they are God’s servants and have the right to condemn Beilmai’s people. Wicked Gentlemen has many religious undertones that deal with the subject of ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Fangtasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah! The horrors of the Church as government and police force both. This is the background upon which the author develops this tale. I'd always known this book to be considered one of the classics of the genre, but somehow had never gotten to it. Now I know why it is so well liked. The writing talent oozes from the page, with every evocative word, with every sense engaged to immerse the reader into this desperately frightful world.

I, like many fans of this genre, prefer a good dose of sex with o
Nov 24, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it
This book was completely different from anything I have read before so I was not real sure what to expect. Fantasy books and books with religious undertones are not ones that I normally read. But, from the beginning I was drawn into this world that the author created that was both intriguing and believable. I enjoyed how the author created two separate stories within one book, but still intertwining them and tying everything up with the epilogue at the end. The two main characters, who are so di ...more
It was a pleasure to read. I can't get enough of this world.

ETA: I just found this: A lovely sequel.
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“I'm so glad to be grouped with the men you've seen in rotten shape. My hope is that someday I will reach the pinnacle of that appalling list.” 25 likes
“Tell me." Edward had to raise his voice a little. "Do you live by the principle that what people don't know can't hurt them?"
"No," Harper replied. "What people don't know can't hurt me.”
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