Emanuela ~plastic duck~'s Reviews > Wicked Gentlemen

Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
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's review
Nov 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, steampunk, rainbow-gay, glbt, romance
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 it - but I never felt constricted. The characters are so involved in their own survival, which they pursue in a very no-fuss way, that the obstacles they have to face are almost a given and they are overcome with such practicality that the read feels light.

The first part of the book is written in the first person point-of-view (the prodigal Belimai's). The second part is written in the third person point-of-view (the Inquisition captain Harper's). Both men have an enthralling way to let us enter their intimate feelings, without disclosing them to each other. They belong to different "species", but they are very similar, especially in their willingness to sacrifice themselves for others. The world around them is deceitful, there's a lot of morality display, but very little inner virtue, and Belimai and Harper fight to retain their integrity.

There's so much to say, I don't even know where to begin. All I know is that Harper and Belimai are now in my thoughts together with all those characters that I've loved so much that I began to care for them, and I hope there will be more of their adventures in the future.

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Reading Progress

November 20, 2010 – Shelved
December 9, 2010 – Started Reading
December 10, 2010 –
26.0% "I'm in another world..."
December 10, 2010 –
50.0% "Hopelessly addicted..."
December 12, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Bookwatcher I hope you like it Manu. I looooooved this book!
And in my view is so well written! Let's see if you agree with me!

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ I'm going to start it tonight :)

Bookwatcher I can't explain why but this book really take a place in my heart. Belimai... Harper... Is not an easy thing to me still remember so vividly books characters... Those two I remember... Really a remarkable book.

message 4: by Bark (new) - added it

Bark Sounds fantastic!

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ If you have to choose your next book, Laurie, that should be it. It's really beautiful, awesome writing.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I like the sound of this very much :D

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ Nancy, read it, read it, read it!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I Will!, I Will!, I Will!!!!!!!! :D
Love Nancy

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ Re-reading. First three chapters. I am amazed at how poetic and lyrical the writing is. The hands. Belimai's have black nails, almost claws, but Harper's are white, the nails are perfect. I liked how Belimai got into Harper's personal space, playing with H's hat and then sharing the gin. When H took off the gloves and showed his perfect hands it was almost erotic. Wonderful.

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ Re-reading up to Chapter 7. Again that TS Eliot feeling. The way Belimai inhales the smells around him, bringing them inside himself, studying the composition, studying the person carrying them, is powerful.

I like seeing how at ease Belimai and Harper are with each other. It happens and they don't really question it.

Belimai's flight is the only moment when I can see him free.

The way Nickolas Sariel projects his desires with smoke is very sensual. At the beginning of the book, Belimai says that the fascination he holds on people depends on the euphorium, and they don't realize that they'd strip him of his attraction if he were to give up his addiction. When he meets Sariel, Belimai says that his addiction made him a lesser man, in a sense and he can see how Sariel is repulsed by the scars of the needles. Sariel tells him he (Belimai) is not like that. So: who is Belimai? Does someone know? Does he want to know?

Belimai's sacrifice for Sariel seems so small, but it cost so much to him.

Harper's sister is still a mystery.

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ Re-reading between chapter 8 and 9. I didn't remember how paralized by fear Belimai was.

Quote to remember: Some night, if I concentrated, I could taste lies in the cool air.
This has a taste of its own.

Emanuela ~plastic duck~ End of first part: Even if both men are pretty private and not chatty and they've known each other for a short time, they are incredibly comfortable together. Harper's acceptance of Belimai probably comes from (view spoiler), not only from Belimai's attraction. It may be that he didn't want to put Belimai in danger, but didn't he know that he would put Belimai in a dangerous position nonetheless, exposing him to the attention of people close to the church and inquisition. Belimai was probably disposable at the beginning, but he was able to get under Harper's skin. Harper is as lonely as Belimai.

Second part: change of narration, but it's not shocking. The case and intrigue is set immediately, so we anticipate the danger, soaked in it since the first pages as Harper is soaked in water. It's interesting to see how Harper drags mud in a pristine but shady environment. He is clean but drags dirt in the house of the murder, while others are trying to cover up what really happened.

I like Belimai's lies, how indifferent he is at being caught in them. They're small, useless lies, and Harper lets him get away with them. We finally get to see Belimai from the eyes of someone else, of someone who is invested in his well being. The effect that Harper experiments after tasting Belimai's blood (the thickening of smells and air, all airy elements) is enthralling. I also liked seeing Harper's jealousy and a bit of bossy attitude, because I imagine Belimai was the bossier between them until that moment.

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