Ava March

thief

ava march's the brookstreet collection
Thief also available in
The Brook Street Collection

Thief – Novella
Brook Street Series, Book #1
Regency—set M/M erotic romance
Release date: 3/19/2012
Word count: 39,165
Page count: 164 (pdf)
ISBN# 978-14268-9342-1
Publisher: Carina Press

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Brook Street Trilogy:
Regency London—where polite manners and spotless reputations reign supreme. Yet behind the closed doors of three elegant town houses along Brook Street, passion and lust reign as gentlemen dare to risk scandal by falling in love...

Thief, Book #1
London, 1822

It was only supposed to be one night. One night to determine once and for all if he truly preferred men. But the last thing Lord Benjamin Parker expected to find in a questionable gambling hell is a gorgeous young man who steals his heart.

It was only supposed to be a job. Cavin Fox has done it many times — select a prime mark, distract him with lust, and leave his pockets empty. Yet when Cavin slips away under the cover of darkness, the only part of Benjamin he leaves untouched is his pockets.

With a taste of his fantasies fulfilled, Benjamin wants more than one night with Cavin. But convincing the elusive young man to give them a chance proves difficult. Cavin lives with a band of thieves in the worst area of London, and he knows there's no place for him in a gentleman's life. Yet Benjamin isn't about to let Cavin—and love—continue to slip away from him.

Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

 

excerpt
© Ava March

 

With a distinct clank that marked an empty cup, the man set his tankard on the table. "I've had enough of the table. What about you?"

Benjamin hesitated, unwilling to lose his vingt-et-un companion. But his instincts told him the man had no intention of walking away from him. He nodded. "Always best to leave while ahead." And best to leave before he had to concern himself with concealing a full-blown erection. Pushing from the table, Benjamin scooped up his little stack of chips.

"A very good policy. I try to subscribe to it myself." The man grabbed his own larger stack. He stood, revealing himself to be a hair under Benjamin's own height. "Shall we head on over to the cashier?" He tipped his head toward a spot midway along the far wall. "If luck is with us, the wait won't be too long."

Benjamin followed close on the man's heels, gazed pinned on compact yet at the same time strong shoulders. The man wound through the crowd, moving with a fluid grace that Benjamin found highly erotic. There wasn't even a hitch in his loose stride as he deftly avoided a ruddy-faced fellow stumbling away from a roulette table. Did he move that effortlessly when crouched over another?

Benjamin's breaths stumbled. He clenched his hands at his sides in an effort to rein in the sudden surge of need.

The man came to a stop behind the lone individual at the cashier's cage.

"Luck is with us tonight," Benjamin said, stopping to stand at his companion's shoulder.

"Yes, it is." The man gave him a wink then stepped up to the cage.

Making it a point to look anywhere but at the man's arse, Benjamin held back and waited for him to exchange his chips. Pocketing his coins, the man moved aside. Benjamin stepped forward and pushed his chips beneath the brass bars. The short, wiry cashier quickly counted them and then pushed back a small pile of coins. Benjamin made to turn from the cage, but stopped as an elbow nudged his own.

"Wait. Count them," the man murmured. "That cashier's mathematical skills aren't always the best."

A check proved the cashier's skills weren't wanting that evening. Benjamin slipped the coins into a pocket and turned from the cage. "Thank you."

"Anytime." The man fell into step beside him. "Care to share cab fare with me?"

It appeared he was going to solve Benjamin's logistical question for him. "Anytime," he replied, wanting to do far more than share a fare with him.

The guard opened the front door as they approached. Cool night air wrapped around Benjamin, but it did nothing to cool the blood rushing through his veins, heating his skin. With a little motion of his wrist, the man hailed a hackney coming up the street. The carriage slowed to a stop a few paces ahead of them.

He didn't think twice as he stepped inside. He heard the rumble of that gorgeous voice as the man told the driver, "Wood and Lad."

Their destination was only a couple of streets south, if Benjamin's memory served correctly. Close enough to walk, though tonight he much preferred the privacy of a hackney.

The springs creaked as the man got inside the carriage, sitting on the bench beside him, so close his thigh pressed against Benjamin's, one long line from his hip to his knee. The stale air of the interior was suddenly filled with the potent scent of man. Musky and heady. He fought against the urge to shift his weight. To move even closer to the strong body beside him. To press full up against the muscles he was certain he'd find beneath the black coat and trousers.

The hackney pulled away from the hell, leaving the golden glow of the streetlamp outside Clements in their wake and cloaking them in shadows. If they both turned their heads, it would take but the slightest of leans for their lips to touch.

Benjamin's lips tingled, begging for that brush of skin against skin. No, for far more than a mere brush. He wanted those full lips beneath his own. Wanted to sweep his tongue inside that gorgeous mouth. To finally discover what another man tasted like. To discover what—

He racked his brain but came up empty. The man had never told him his name, nor had Benjamin introduced himself.

Where the hell had his manners gone?

Straight to your damn cock.

The beginnings of a chuckle shook his chest. "Benjamin Parker," he said, breaking the silence and extending a hand.

Long fingers wrapped around his palm, grip firm and secure. "Cavin Fox." He must have sensed the furrow of Benjamin's brow at the unusual name, for he added, "Me mum's Irish." Every trace of England briefly left his voice, leaving only a thick, lyrical lilt.

"Ah, that explains the accent."

A shoulder rubbed against his as Cavin shrugged. "I've tried to get rid of it, but it insists on lurking about."

"I quite like it." He could pick the man out in a crowd of hundreds by his voice alone.

A hand settled on his thigh, a hand that held the weight of a man's touch. The heat of Cavin's palm seeped through his trousers, warming his skin. A sensation he was certain he would never forget. His cock hardened even further, pressing against the placket, desperate for that hand to slide up his leg. Desperate for a touch, even if masked by clothing. But Cavin didn't move his hand. It stayed right there, midway along Benjamin's thigh, holding the promise that soon there would be so much more.

Silence settled between them as the carriage made its way down Wood Street. Cavin did not offer any information as to where he was taking him, other than the bit Benjamin had overhead. Rather than unnerve him, the silence only served to ratchet the anticipation hanging so heavy in the air he could taste it.

The wicked thoughts that fueled his nights filled his head, the nameless, faceless man now replaced with the man beside him. Cavin's bare skin beneath his hands. Cavin's body pressed tight against his. Cavin moving behind him, above him, under him.

The carriage slowed to a stop. Cavin glanced out the window to a rather dismal three-story brick building. "Actually, how about you see to the cab and I'll see to the room?"

He nodded. "All right."

"It won't take but a moment. I'll wait by the stairs and you follow me up." With that, Cavin exited the hackney.

 

reviews

"A wonderful historical novella... It is passionate, it is beautiful, and it is smoking hot." — Reviews by Jessewave

"March neatly balances erotic moments with the budding friendship and romance between the proudly independent Cavin and the nervous but eager Benjamin in a charming and spicy novella that will leave readers impatient for more." - Publishers Weekly

"Ava March gives us very emotional, sensual love scenes that really make her books romantic. I really enjoyed the dynamics of these two with one being a titled gentleman and the other a thief." — USA Today

"I really enjoyed this novella. Ben's sexual initiation is so well done. It's incredibly hot and completely believable." - Red Hot Books

"I adored everything about it and look forward to the next book in the series." - Seductive Musings

"As always in an Ava March book, the sex is very hot and loaded with emotional intensity. With many obstacles to overcome and a relationship that seems impossible, the romance was very believable and also very sweet." - Fiction Vixen

"Ava March really is the queen of the M/M Regency historical. …her characters come across so fleshed out - whether good, bad or indifferent, they make you care about them. Thief is no exception to this, and I loved it." - Hearts on Fire Reviews

"A sexy and sweet romance." - Library Journal Xpress

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