Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Dante Bartholomew runs his family’s foundation but many times his donations are returned because according to the residents of his town he is the Beast of St. Giles. Three years ago Dante’s wife Allison died after falling down the stairs in their mansion and although he was cleared of any wrong doing the town was convinced that he killed her. Dante came into an enormous inheritence after the death of his father and the town is convinced that rather than have to give her anything in a divorce he chose to kill her.
Dante has lived with the guilt of his wife’s death even though he did not physically do it. When Dante’s father insisted he marry in order to get his inheritence he married his best friend Allison. Allison knew he was gay but they had a strong love for each other although not physical. Since her death he has rarely showed himself but at the insistence of his attorney he attended a fundraiser for the Community Center. Dante knew the kind of welcome he would get but was surprised when a young boy took his hand and led him to a table.
When the counselor who ran the Center also sat at that table near him he was instantly smitten. Beau Clarity is not a classically handsome man but there was something in his eyes that fascinated Dante. Beau had heard all the rumors about Dante being a beast but he is a man who decides things on his own and doesn’t listen to gossip.
Not only did Dante attend the fundraiser but he also agreed to come to the Center and work with the kids. These kids are at the Center because they are the product of substance addiction either drugs or alcohol and they are the young innocent children who have to deal with it. The Center has done amazing work with these kids and Dante finds himself drawn not only to Beau but to the kids themselves.
Beau sees a different man than everyone else but he knows that Dante is keeping the truth about his wife’s death deep inside himself and unless he can let it go he will always live with a dark cloud over him. Beau also has a secret, a secret that has on more than one occasion caused him to be left standing alone. These two damaged men meet and begin to care about each other but they have to reveal their secrets if there is any chance for a relationship.
This was a wonderful story about two gay men who didn’t suffer as so many young men did when they revealed their sexual preference but none the less suffered in other ways. Both men deserve love and happiness but will they achieve it. They also have to deal with someone who is determined that Dante never have a happy moment as long as he lives and that complicates an already complicated situation.
This book also gives an amazing look at what young children suffer when one or both parents are substance abusers and it is heartbreaking.