Author: Jess Faraday
Publisher: Bold Strokes Publishing
Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars
For once, Ira Adler has it easy. He has money in his pocket, a comfortable arrangement with an undemanding young man, and no one’s punched, chased, or shot at him in years. Sudden-ly, an explosion turns everything upside down. Eager to leave London, Ira accompanies his friends to America to settle a family matter. But though a handsome lawman and a trip aboard a luxurious ocean liner provide welcome distraction, Ira soon finds himself embroiled in a plot that stretches from London’s back alleys to the dusty dirt roads of California. Before he knows it, Ira is up to his neck in train robbers, rattlesnakes, unscrupulous cattle kings, and persistent young women driven to frenzy by his exotic accent. Just when he’s ready to flee back to Britain, Ira gets a fistful of second chances. But London is calling. Will Ira answer? Or will he embrace a new life abroad?
Josie Goodreads’s View:
Fool’s Gold by Jess Faraday is a thoroughly engaging rip roaring adventure that takes Ira Adler from the dirty grime filled streets of London to New York. Through the wide open Plains of America and on into the sunshine filled state of California. Its book three of the Ira Adler series, following book two Turnbull House and book one The Affair of the Porcelain Dog.
Through the three books we’ve seen Ira transform himself from orphan, to rent boy, to secretary. From a superfluous kept boy to a proud and independent man capable of earning his own living. In Fool’s Gold Ira finally lays his ghosts to rest and stands ready to face a new world and a new life, but his journey is not without perils and defining moments.
It’s been three years since Ira last saw Cain Goddard, his former lover and the notorious Duke of Dorset Street, a kingpin of London’s murky underworld. Ira is surprised to be suddenly summoned to Cain’s York Street address. Luckily Ira is running late as just before he arrives an explosion rips the house apart and ends Cain’s life. Ira mourns Cain far more than he expected so its weeks before he can bring himself to opens his letter from Cain’s Solicitors. When he does so he’s in for a shock, Cain has left him a fortune. Ira is now a very wealthy man. But was Cain murdered or did he take his own life?
Before Ira can do more than speculate about Cain’s death Tim Lazarus, his old friend who runs Turnbull House, a home for orphans, waifs and strays, asks Ira to accompany him and his family to America, they need to visit his mother in law to help settle a family matter. Tim thinks the trip will be good for Ira, help him to forget for a bit. Little do the men know that Cain’s shadow extends further than they could ever imagine.
It’s very hard to review this book without giving spoilers so I’ll try to explain why I love it so much without giving anything away. First of all it’s a long story, it comes in at around 120,000 words but don’t let that put you off, it doesn’t feel that long. It’s a powerful story, full of exquisite detail and characterization. It has plots within plots, and enough twists and turns that just events just hit me head on. What starts out as a sedate English Victorian mystery ends up a Wild West adventure straight from a boys own novel. It has cowboys and Pullman trains (I loved those) and I really felt I was along for the ride, like I was alongside Ira all the way.
Ira grows so much in Fool’s Gold. He faces his past without flinching, finally putting to bed his relationship with Cain Goddard. I’ve always liked Ira, he’s smart and intuitive, a good, kind and compassionate man. I’ve never considered Ira lonely though and Ira hasn’t either, but in Fool’s Gold he realizes he is lonely, the loneliness you feel when you’re surrounded by other people, when you realize everyone has someone except you, everyone has a place except you. The further away from London and England Ira gets the more he finds himself dreaming of a new start, somewhere clean and fresh, somewhere untainted by his past. Cain’s death, and his bequest leaves Ira the means to do anything he wants, be anything he wants and that freedom takes a while to sink in, and at first all Ira wants to do it treat his friends to the best he can give them.
The plot, while complex and full of intrigue, is easy to follow, full of moments of clarity. It’s told from Ira’s point of view, we get to see everything through his eyes, and that works perfectly. The historical detail shines through and its obvious Ms. Faraday has done a lot of research. The supporting cast is wonderful, with Tim and Bess and little Claire, I don’t normally like children in my stories but Claire is just perfect. Then we have Irene, Bess’s sister, the only woman to really captivate Ira, I did get worried for a while but I was glad Ira was honest in the end and I really liked Calvin Sutter. One thing that’s rare in this genre is historical notes at the end, and I really appreciated those, it’s where Ms. Faraday explains her sources and the characters inspirations.
Fool’s Gold can’t be defined as a MM Romance; there is very little sex for one thing, although I don’t define a romance by the amount of sex in a story. Fool’s Gold is a mystery, a superbly written gay mystery and it’s perfect for anyone who likes something a bit different, who wants an adventure. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of Ira Adler as the ending leaves the way open to more adventures. I’ve loved all the Ira Adler stories but Fool’s Gold is my favorite. Highly recommended.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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