Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.
Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.
As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.
Have you ever finished reading a book and when you think about it...really think about it you realize I shouldn't have liked it but I did. That's what happened here. I really shouldn't have liked this there were a lot of reasons not to, but when all was said and done I did and I'm not even sure if I can fully explain why but I'm going to have a little ramble here and see if anything makes sense.
'Gideon' is the first book in a new series called 'The Order of the Black Knights' and it's by Ashe Barker who is a 'new to me author'. So I truthfully didn't know what to expect when I started this. I knew what the blurb told me and it sounded interesting and of course I saw the series title and well 'Order of the Black Knights' seriously how could that not be intriguing. So, I decided I was going to do this thing and that was that.
Now let's talk about the actual book. 'Gideon' is a supernatural mystery with a bit of romance on the side (I'm going with the word supernatural because after doing a bit of googling and reading what I learned was that there is a difference between the words paranormal and supernatural and for the purposes of this story I feel that the word supernatural is the most appropriate).
Gideon Maybury has led a life of privilege and he's use to getting his way. Add to this the fact that his moral compass is pretty much broken. When he's not working as a merchant banker he works for His Majesty's Government as a paid assassin because he's had a fascination with death from a pretty early age and hey, everyone should have a hobby, right? Well Gideon's so good at his he makes a living at it. I want to just take a moment here to clarify the fact that at the beginning of this story I did not like Gideon...not even a little bit and that didn't really change much. As I said to my friend, Dani (who truthfully didn't enjoy this story nearly as much as I did, so I strongly encourage you to go over to GR and read her review if you're looking for a very different perspective) Gideon for me went from 'you are one seriously f*#ked-up dude' to 'ok, I guess even crazies need love'.
While Michael Mathison and Gideon have never really met. Gideon was a key figure in the death of Christopher, Michael's lover back in college. Needless to say Michael has hated Gideon for a long time but it's not until the death of Gideon's brother, Richard that Michael decides to find out more about the mysterious Gideon Maybury and to try and find proof that he is responsible not just for Christopher's death but for that of his brother as well.
Going undercover as Gideon's driver to gain access to Gideon and hopefully the information he needs to confirm his suspicions draws Gideon and Michael together and places them both in danger and as the body count grows so does the attraction between Gideon and Michael.
Ok, so there you have it that's the gist of the story. Sadly while I enjoy a good mystery the 'who' in the 'who-done-it' part of this story became more than a little obvious far to soon for my liking making a solid contribution to that missing star in my rating.
However, it's the part of the story that I enjoyed that isn't discussed in the blurb and that I'm not going to mention in any real detail that I enjoyed the most. There was a paranormal element to this story that gave it that little bit of different that hooked me and made me want to keep reading the book.
Usually if I really like a book it's because I've connected really strongly with at least one of the MCs and that wasn't the case here. As well as being a sociopath I found Gideon to be cold and indifferent, self-centered and arrogant...and well really he's a sociopath, do I really need more reasons than that not to like him? As for Michael, I didn't dislike him. He was ok a likable enough person. However, interestingly enough, for me, these two characters worked well together. They were believable and I actually liked them better as a couple than as individuals...I'm really not sure I've ever said that before but there it is.
I enjoyed Ashe Barker's writing style it wasn't quite what I'm used to and I found that for for this story it worked well . Things flowed well and while there were some things that seemed a little incongruous for me they felt like minor issues and didn't really spoil my enjoyment of the overall story.
My main attraction to this story was the paranormal or supernatural aspect of things, it put me in mind of some shows and books from the past that I've really enjoyed and I found myself anticipating the possibilities that this series could hold. I know there are at least 2 more books to come and each of them are written by different and new to me authors, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the next couple of stories progress and how these authors handle the paranormal or supernatural aspect that started with 'Gideon'.
'Gideon' is a story about revenge and forgiveness and the path they can take a person down and how once choice can affect a lifetime. This was a strong start for a series that has the potential to be a step outside of the norm and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
********************An ARC of 'Gideon' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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