Emmanuel, Duke of Thornton, is handsome, wealthy, and most of all, unmarried. Nicknamed the Duke of Camellias by his admirers, he seems to have the world in his hand, but harbors a secret nobody knows.
Blair Millais, on the other hand, has lost it all. His sister died from tuberculosis and the short stories he publishes hardly earn enough for him to live on. When Emmanuel Waterhouse invites him over to be the writer of his very own biography with a superfluous salary, it seems too good to be true. But soon Blair realizes how society looks upon gay men in Victorian England, and a betrayal which has made Emmanuel unable to love anymore. So when he learns who exactly the Duke of Camellias is, and the reason behind the sadness in his eyes, can he ignore the impending fate that awaits him?
TRIGGER WARNINGS: child abuse, assault, rape
The man was dressed tidily, with an embroidered blue waistcoat and black cravat at the collar. He had a face that would rival the actors of the Royal Theater, fine-boned, with a sharp nose and feline eyes. His hair, black like ink, reached past the nape of his neck and framed his face like the mane of a lion. However, his aura was gentle. Blair understood why he was named the Duke of Camellias.
"I'm surprised you accepted this job, in fact."
"Because," said the Duke, closing his eyes, "there are rumors about me." Blair cursed Morris Davis for not telling him about the rumors.
"That I'm not interested in women." He looked at Blair, then, and Blair felt a shiver. He wanted to ask if that was true, but something was holding him back. "Well, either way, I'm glad you're here now."
"Uh, yes." Blair couldn't meet his eyes.
The duke was handsome like Lucifer, yet alluringly beautiful like a painting of Venus. If he wanted to seduce Blair, he had no doubts he would fall for him, but Blair wasn't here to be a rich man's toy. He had a task, and it was to write.