Title: Price of Passion
Author: Cassandra Pierce
Length: 5,300 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: m/m historical paranormal romance
In Victorian Oxford, Professor Algernon Price strikes a scandalous bargain with a young man who offers companionship in exchange for meals and a place to stay. He soon discovers, however, that his guest prefers meals consisting of human blood and a room that blocks all traces of sunlight. But even that is not as shocking as the emotions that arise between them, or the hope that his strange guest might be the one to alleviate his loneliness.
Algernon is a lonely academic who is studying poetry in his spare time. He’s just settled down to a quiet evening when his friend, the owner of an exclusive club tending to men’s particular needs, sends him a note asking him to come to the club that night. When Algernon arrives he is taken to see a young man, Jules, who needs a place to stay and Algernon is happy to help.
This was a nice little story with a historical background which was fairly wallpaper. There were references to the law and the fear that Algernon feels over being caught and imprisoned for sodomy. As a result he is as cautious as possible. It seemed strange then that he should allow himself to be almost bamboozled into taking Jules home.
I also quiet liked the way that it takes a little time for Algernon to catch onto what is happening. His confusion is rather endearing. In fact, overall I rather liked Algernon as a character, even though we don’t get to find out much about him other than he’s gay, a don at Oxford and has a friend who runs a sort of exclusive brothel. In some ways I would have liked to have known more.
The story ends with a promise of things to come which seemed rather sudden to me because Algernon had only known Jules for less than a day. I was surprised too that Algernon was so accepting of Jules and barely battered an eyelid over Jules’ revelation. We know very little about Jules, but again I would have been happy to know more.
Overall, this was a decent story with a nice sensual tone, although the sex is mainly offpage. However, this was really just a quick bite of a story which made me wish I’d had more.