William’s task is clear: catch the blackmailer. William Richmond is an earl, a father, a country gentleman… and a former spy. Catching the blackmailer should be simple, but when William finds a beautiful, injured young man on the beach, unfamiliar desires surge. He is determined to focus on the task and resist temptation—resist Daniel, or his carefully constructed illusions will crumble, exposing his lies to the world… and himself.
Daniel’s question is simple: Should he trust William? Daniel has secrets: his identity, his past, how and why he washed up on the shore… and more. With revelations of espionage, blackmail, and the arrival of William’s colleagues, the danger of exposure grows. Daniel’s instincts tell him that William is a decent man, a man of honor, but his instincts have been wrong before. As the attraction grows, so does Daniel’s desire to confess, but if he’s wrong, he risks everything—his secrets, his freedom, and his heart.
While not a super fan of historicals, I do find M/M historicals easier to read. This one was quite enjoyable. William, a former spy (and paid assassin) for the English gov’t, now lives a solitary life at the family seat on the coast with his son Thomas and a tiny gaggle of servants. Daniel was shipped off to France by his family because they found out he was gay. When he’s washed overboard, he lands on the beach near William’s home.
I loved watching William as he tried to figure out what was wrong with himself. The way he feels when he is around Daniel is confusing to him and he is highly embarrassed by it all. One of the things I loved about Daniel? Even after the stuff society and his family did to him, he wasn’t ashamed of who he was. And when he began to get the feeling William was attracted, he set out to see if he was.
As in all really good books, the lead characters push the story forward, but it is the minor characters who give it life. William’s housekeeper is no nonsense and sees far more than she lets on. Betsy, his maid, is wonderfully short-sighted and tends to run into anything and everything. And Thomas, his son, really rounds out William’s character as it’s obvious that he must be a truly decent and loving man to have a child who is so open and happy.
Acceptable Lies has intrigue, a kidnapping, blackmail, and spies. Add in the two wonderful lead male characters and a sweet romance and I really liked this story.
There were two things that were never quite answered at the end of the tale, though. Whatever will William do when his mother keeps bringing ladies to his table? And will the inspector finally figure out what happened to Daniel, making a certain former lover appear?
Might I hope for a continuation of their story? Or, if not their stories, maybe tales for William’s former partners?