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Helpless

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  116 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In London during the gross indecency trial of Oscar Wilde, Douglas Shrove finds himself still haunted by memories of his dead lover while skirting violence, blackmail and the affections of two men.

There are two who seek you out.

That is what the gypsy told Douglas Shrove a few months after the death of his lover. And the gypsy was right. Two men were vying for his affection
...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Seventh Window Publications (first published April 16th 2010)
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Kassa
Apr 09, 2010 Kassa rated it it was amazing
I haven’t read anything from this author so Helpless is my first foray into her writing. The story is immediately engaging, interesting, and carries off a delicate balancing act of keeping the tension high without ridiculous antics and clichéd twists. The characters are well crafted and set against the backdrop of Oscar Wilde’s trial so very cautious and aware of the political and social climate against homosexuals. There is no easy acceptance for the men and the very real threats they live unde ...more
Kris
Dec 26, 2010 Kris rated it really liked it
My Tasting:

Why I bought it: I won this during the M/M Romance goodreads group's anniversary celebrations.

Dislike/like (ending on a high note):

Dislike~ Most of my mates know how I feel about historical fiction. My rabid avoidance comes from a deep, abiding hatred for authors who don't thoroughly research the period in which they are setting the story. One of the perils of my working in the history field unfortunately. I therefore can't help but begin reading an historical romance expecting the wo
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Kade Boehme
Jul 19, 2015 Kade Boehme rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. Fabulously done. I hate that the horrid covers kept me away from this wonderful book so long. I love this time period and Pearson did it well, and well done with the weaving in of the Oscar Wilde trials. Also, I ADORED the very prim, British sense of humor from the guys. Just great. Highly Recommended for those who like M/M historicals. Know that the sex is all fade to black but it just worked so well in this story. Oh, and my heart breaks for poor Henry and all the men who lived ...more
Erastes
Aug 16, 2010 Erastes rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-historical

PLEASE do not be put off this book by the cover. If you've looked at it and thought "oh no, BDSM/torture isn't my cup of tea" then please read this review and perhaps decide to read it anyway. Because frankly I don't know what Seventh Window was thinking with this cover. It in NO WAY represents the book. The Snidely Whiplash character doesn't exist in the book, there's no half naked men (bizarrely wearing jeans) no one gets tied to a chair and there's a distinct lack of face fungus. I appreciate
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Fehu
4,5 stars

Douglas a peer of the realm has recently lost his best friend and lover. Two men are now competing for his attention, one is an artist from a peasant background and the other from a reputable family of a Marquie. Who will he chose?

The story is set in the time of the Oscar Wilde trials in London.
I got angry at Douglas on Warrens account, while he(Douglas) tried not to be shallow and snobbish, sometimes he was exactly that, always hounding Warren about his looks and appearance. Never taki
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M'rella
It's been sitting on my harddrive for close to 4 years. What a shame! :(

I loved the book, I loved the predictability of it, I loved how the author still managed to entice me into following the developing story, made me hang onto to every word. It was so easy to relax into the story, which despite the transparency never lost its edge.

Another favorite from MJ Pearson.



Charly
Oct 27, 2012 Charly rated it really liked it
Well written, but a little too grave for me

Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Rating: 8/10

PROS:
- Some of the things that happen, even as early as the second chapter, shocked me, but not in a bad way. If I were to encounter such unusual occurrences in a contemporary romance, I’d probably roll my eyes and think, “yeah, right,” but in the historical setting, I was able to suspend my doubts and enjoy the unexpectedness of the plot.
- There’s immediate comfort (and
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Hpstrangelove
Jun 27, 2011 Hpstrangelove rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m
Although I enjoyed the story, I dislike being misled by the cover art (a bare-chested man tied to a chair with a shadowy figure standing behind him, holding him by the hair). It has nothing at all to do with what happens in the story and I'm not happy that I bought this book in part because of the cover. The story summary made it seem that the cover art depicted a scene from the book; up until the very end, I kept waiting for the main character to be placed in the situation shown on the cover - ...more
thelastaerie
Mar 22, 2014 thelastaerie rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

First of all, the cover is totally irrelevant to the story. This is actually a rather intriguing "who should I believe" bizarre love-triangle, not the threesome kind, thank you,

Set with the Oscar Wilde trial as backdrop, it added the period atmosphere as well as a mean for characterization, it was also apt for the blackmailing theme in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Wren
I read the print edition, copyright 2010. The one with the cover of the Snidely Whiplash guy and the tied-up guy, which has absofreakinlutely nothing to do with the story.

I really like Pearson's writing. I enjoyed the characters of this book and the subtle humor, and didn't mind that the sex was off-page. There was some mystery involved, revolving around the two men who are interested in Douglas, the main character. You aren't sure who is hiding what at first. There is also an interesting juxtap
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Bo
Oct 26, 2015 Bo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Duplicity and Complicity

This one is the third of author Pearson's that I have read and it is completely original in its setting, plotline and characters. If you pay attention to the blurb, you will not get any clues as to which of Douglas Shrove's newfound acquaintances is the one who may--or may not--be seeking to destroy him.

And you won't really suspect the real culprit at all.

This book plays on the stupidity surrounding the Oscar Wilde tragedy, but more than that it comes to grips with the ha
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Rissa
So good! Honestly, I was a little irritated with Douglas in the beginning because I was definitely pro Warren lol. But as I read more I understood. I empathized and the more the story progressed, I actually really liked him. He was indeed a fighter!
And ugh I knew there was something off with Perkins but I did not expect that. That was sad because it was horrible. And oh my gosh, so much horribleness that I was all yay, Douglas, lol.

(I knew vaguely about Oscar Wilde but I'm now more curious!)

A v
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miss_chams
Jan 16, 2011 miss_chams rated it liked it
First of all disregard the cover, the blatant BDSM theme has little to do with the story apart from some tenuous link with a feeling of helplessness, so don’t let it put you off if bondage isn’t your thing. Apart from that my only advice to anyone yet to read this book is to give Douglas a chance. After reading “The Price of Temptation” (which in retrospect has quite a few similarities to “Helpless”, but I digress) your first impression might be that Douglas is a bit of a girl (like Jamie). I me ...more
Plainbrownwrapper
Apr 08, 2013 Plainbrownwrapper rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
I'll just say this right up front: I love the covers on MJ Pearson's books. The ones that are painted illustrations, that is, not the tame photograhic ones that are substituted in some editions. The illustrations are trashy and cheap and bawdy and tawdry and have virtually nothing to do with the stories themselves -- and, to me, they are hilarious homages to the old trashy mf bodice rippers. I just love em to death.

Fortunately, I'm also very fond of the stories hiding behind those trashy covers.
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Karel
Dec 01, 2013 Karel rated it liked it
Shelves: nomance
Let's just clarify something: the book's no mystery. Anyone who has read at least 20 romance novels in their life is going to know within the first two chapters - or by the first sex scene - exactly who is the villain and who is not.

Beyond that, it's just a fluffy bite of a romance with zero boners and frustrations - the kind of stuff you want when your brain's meter on 0. The characters are quirky and lovable stereotypes, the writing's pretty decent, and you can figure out the entire book withi
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Jeremy
Aug 19, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
I've loved everything by MJ Pearson I could get my hands on - her published work - and loved each one to bits, including Helpless. It was a little different from the previous two, and the stakes didn't feel quite as high as in The Price of Temptation, but I felt for the characters, and was just as unsure of the two men as the protag was. Good job!
Diane
Feb 25, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. However, I did think that the problems of the various characters were resolved a bit too easily. I thought that the historical context of the book was well done. It is amazing how difficult it was for gay men to live in society in previous centuries. To be under the threat of prison or even death must have been terrible.
Crescentm
Nov 10, 2010 Crescentm rated it it was ok
After reading some of his other works, I was very disappointed with this book. The main character was not very likable, being extremely weak and forgettable. The other characters weren't all that much better and in general I don't think it was very believable. I had such high hopes since I generally love the author.
Angela Benedetti
Note that the illustration on the cover has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the story, except perhaps in the most general, purely-symbolic way. And I have no clue who the guy in the top hat is supposed to be; he bears no resemblance to anyone in the book. Cover!Fail.
Elizabeth H.
I didn't like the ending at all; it raised some serious moral issues for me. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and think it is very well written. Perhaps the best historical I've read yet.
Bebe Burnside
Nov 14, 2011 Bebe Burnside rated it really liked it
Sweet, edgy, funny and of course romantic. I was sad to read the last page...I wanted more of Douglas & Warren.
Edwinnaarden
Mar 10, 2013 Edwinnaarden rated it it was ok
It was an easy to read book and not unenjoyable but a bit far fetched for my liking.
Pj Butler
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May 18, 2016
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Apr 22, 2016
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M. J. Pearson’s meandering career path has included stints dispatching taxis in Vermont, making pizza in Santa Fe, digging Roman ruins in Israel and studying nationalism in Scotland. Currently residing in Indianapolis, M. J. is hard at work on a new romance novel.
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