Now Available: Saints & Madmen!
Presenting Saints and Madmen, a Gothic M/M/M from Amber Allure, an Amber Quill imprint. Available today at a new release discount for only $3.90!
When tragedy leaves his family nears destitution, farm boy Cadmon—named after the famed saint and poet—has no choice but to accept a position with Lord Vance, the so-called Mad Lord of Whitby, posing for paintings…nude.
After contracting an illness during his travels, Lord Vance was left both impotent and prey to fits of madness, and now lives vicariously through painting handsome subjects. Cadmon is shy at first, but his affection for his lordship quickly grows and he regales his master with tales of erotic, recurring dreams.
Lord Vance’s servant Tamar, a handsome Batavian slave gifted in the healing arts, attempts to hide the enormity of his master’s affliction until the night Cadmon stumbles onto the truth linking his dreams and Lord Vance’s madness. Passion flares between the three of them but is shattered when Cadmon discovers he was hired under false pretenses.
Heartbroken, Cadmon seeks refuge in the ruins of Whitby Abbey. There, haunted by the memories of both saints and madmen, he must find the strength to offer his body and risk his sanity to save the men he loves.
Tamar rapped upon an ornate wooden door, and after a muffled, “Enter,” we went into a study no less opulent than the rest of the house. The only difference was a bright fire which served to heat the room quite well.
A dark-haired man was seated at the mahogany desk, bent over as he wrote. Tamar bowed. “Lord Vance, this is Cadmon, the boy who was recommended to us.”
His lordship raised his head to show a neatly-trimmed beard and piercing brown eyes. He was younger than I’d expected, perhaps thirty or thirty-five, wearing a suit tailored perfectly to fit his muscular frame.
Recognition struck me, though from where or when I knew his lordship I did not know. The reaction was visceral and went straight to my cock. My body yearned for his as though we’d been lovers for years. I let out a gasp, stunned into forgetting the common courtesies of greeting a lord.
He stared at me with the same surprise. I saw it in his eyes, a brief glimmer of familiarity before he covered it over with annoyance. “Something wrong, boy?” He didn’t sound pleased.
“N-No, my lord. I—thank you for agreeing to see me.” I bowed, fervently hoping he would take my bad behavior for nervousness rather than shock. Tamar gazed at me, expression neutral, but I was certain he suspected something behind my response.
“I haven’t seen anything yet. Show me yourself.” Imperiously, he waved his hand.
I took a deep breath before I let the silk slide from my shoulders. Tamar took the robe, probably as much to keep it from the floor as to prevent me from using it to cover myself.
“You’ve inspected him, Tamar?”
Tamar bowed. “Yes, my lord. I have found him suitable.”
He made no mention of his intimate examination or causing me to spend not once but twice, which seemed to go far beyond anyone’s idea of peculiar. However, he had not been cruel or forceful. Truth be told, I’d enjoyed myself. If he expected favors like during my employment, I could deal with it.
“Good.” His lordship pushed back from the desk, then rose to circle me much as Tamar had. I didn’t dare to move as he gazed at me. His fingers dug into my spine. “Stand up, boy. There. Be proud of yourself. If you’re not, act like it.”
I straightened, determined not to let his lordship consider me a weakling or coward.
“Better.” He stopped in front of me and crooked a finger beneath my chin. He turned my head this way and that before finally nodding. “You will notice that I have no women here. I do not hate them, if that’s what you’re thinking. They simply do not suit my way of life. I do not enjoy having them around and most would be appalled by the life I choose to lead. There will be times I will require you to sit for me while I paint. There are also tasks usually performed by women that need doing. Scrubbing, cleaning, errands and such. Those will be your chores in order to earn your room and board. If you object, you may leave.”
“I do not object, sir.” Besides, I needed the money too badly. I’d taken on such feminine duties while Niall and Papa had been ill and Mama busy trying to earn us a living with her mending. While letting a man paint my naked body was not the life I had envisioned, it seemed a luxury compared to the backbreaking work alongside Papa or laboring amongst crowds on the docks or in the mines.