This is the first book in a trilogy about David Lauriston, a young lawyer from a humble background and Murdo Balfour, an anglified Scottish peer. David is idealistic and honourable and sees his weakness for men as a sin. Balfour is self-assured, domineering and carnal. He indulges his urges without guilt and it does not even occur to him not to marry and have a family as well. These two men meet against a background of rebellion and treachery and their brief encounters become more serious as their lives entwine.
The story has quite a brutal opening as David watches the execution of two rebels he defended in court. David's sympathies for them and for the grieving younger brother Euan, really resonates and I was inspired by his character. Murdo is much less noble but I could already feel his defenses starting to come down as his attraction and admiration for David grows.
The book is set in Regency Scotland and the sense of time and place is perfect.
Although the immediate conflict is settled at the end of the story it really feels like things are only just warming up. It's easy to see who will be the main players in the second act and I can't wait to see what happens. Even though this ends with a bit of a cliffie, (view spoiler) the story works so well as a series that I don't mind at all. I saw on the author's website that book 2 is out in December 2013 and book 3 in May 2014.
Highly recommended for historical romance fans.