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Wicked Gentlemen

(Wicked Gentlemen #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,919 ratings  ·  439 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
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Blind Eye Books
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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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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  3,919 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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* A Reader Obsessed *
5 Stars!

I’ve not read a lot from Hale, but I’ve been consistently impressed with the writing and especially, the unique world building that is present in all of her stories. Admittedly, I’m typically not one for “demons” in my books, but in this world the definition is not traditional, and I was thrilled to realize that this shares the same setting as that of The Counterfeit Viscount which I greatly enjoyed. Here is an absolutely wondrous dark fantasy that depicts a society that is starkly and s
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio 4 stars
Story 3.5 It's me not the book stars

I’m pretty sure this is my first Steampunk read, and that maybe the reason why I spent a good part of the story confused. Confused, but not bored. There was enough action and violence to keep me interested, not to mention I really enjoyed Ginn Hale’s writing.

This is one of those stories were the romance takes a backseat to the investigation, and there's not much relationship development. But I liked the idea of a demon and a priest/investigator f
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
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 l
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
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
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-sff
While reading, I have found so many great paragraphs and sentences. I loved the words that Ginn Hale used in her book. It is full of atmosphere, depth, and wit. She created two unique and absolutely loveable characters with Belimai and Harper.

WICKED GENTLEMEN is separated into two parts, two cases, but tells us the one story of how Belimai and Harper meet and ultimately find a future together. The first part is told from Belimai's POV, the second from Harper's, and I thought this devision was re
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
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 le
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~
Nov 20, 2010 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

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
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-on-man-luvin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.34 stars.

Wicked Gentlemen is a paranormal steampunk divided into two books, respectively: "Mr. Sykes and the Firefly" and "Captain Harper and the Sixty Second Circle". Each book is narrated from the perspective of each of the protagonists. Which is nice, because we know each horizon that each protagonist has and how he manages it.

Sincerely, I had never read anything in this footprint and in that genre, when I started I found it a bit strange, but I love different writings, and that's why this
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-like
1,5 stars.
I'm sorry, I can't help it, this book really landed somewhere between "I didn't like it" and "it was (kinda) okay" for me. I wanted to say "maybe I would have liked it better if I had read it in 2007" but then I thought about other books written even earlier than I liked just fine - so, no. It just didn't work for me.
I liked the idea of the world in this book; and that's it.
The writing was terribly pretentious. The plot was... well, it was there, but it felt very accidental. And Belim
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!).
Dawn C
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-storytel
This had so much potential for something good, so I’m almost sad it was wasted on a mediocre story with characters that were never really fleshed out and a plot so thin you could see through it like glass. There was a whole world full of ideas that were never taken advantage of. It wasn’t badly written per se, just... not interesting.
"Chapter 1
The night hung in tatters. Gas streetlamps chewed at the darkness... Heavy purple clouds pumped up from smoke stacks and patterned the sky like ugly patches on a black velvet curtain. A few fireflies blinked from what corners of blackness remained.
A pair of them invaded the darkness of my rooms. I watched them flicker, darting through their insectile courtship. They swooped past my face, circled, and then alighted inside the fold of my shirtsleeve.
They crept close to one another, bri
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
Julio Genao

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.
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
Eva ☆
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As I read "The king's golden tong" and this book appeared in "recommended if you liked this book" I decided to give it a try, well it was kind of boring, I didn't really care about the plot or the characters, the writing is good tho, maybe try other books by this author later on.

Rating: 2.5 Stars.
Steam: 3 out of 10.
Triggers: (view spoiler)
Love Triangle: (view spoiler)
Cheating: (view spoiler)
HEA: (view spoiler)
LD  Durham
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joyfully Jay
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jovan
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

Wicked Gentlemen is an engaging fantasy story about society and power. It explores how those in power influence society, how it shapes people’s lives, and how, amidst the chaos and corruption, two lost souls can still find one another and make a place for themselves and a little justice. What I enjoy most about the book is Ginn Hale’s ability to evoke the mood of a scene and place so well with just a few well-chosen words, and it pays off the most in the worldbuil
Heidi Cullinan
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
The word I would use to describe this book if I only had one to spare is "beautiful." It is artfully written, which is always nice, but best of all are the characters and Hale's deft, careful hand with them. She is patient in her delivery, and while the mystery and external plot are worth reading, the real treasure in this story is the relationship between Belimai and Captain Harper.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have gone with them to bed. I felt like I missed part of their sto
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Goodreads Librari...: Same book 3 19 Jan 14, 2018 10:29AM  
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The Backlot Gay B...: Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale 12 66 Dec 22, 2013 01:19PM  

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Wicked Gentlemen (3 books)
  • Mr. Harper and the Christmas Stocking
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35 likes · 23 comments
“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.”
“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.” 24 likes
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