Book – Finding Sanctuary (The Hampton Road Club #6) (The Hampton Road Club Prequel)
Author – Morticia Knight
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 135
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, dual character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, BDSM, Series, Historical
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
WARNING: homophobic slurs/behaviour and mentions of historical (non-sexual) child abuse.
I love that the Prologue begins in present day, because I really wasn't sure why this had been billed as book 6 in the series when it was, in fact, a prequel and took place long before the rest of the series. Having the prologue follow on from the timeline of book 5 helped make that transition easier to understand and made sense of the placement.
From the moment the “flashback” origin story begins, we can see that Francesco has always been exciteable and unaware of what is proper and what isn't. It's so sad to hear him constantly degrading himself, but it's also evident that he does it before anyone else can.
The sad thing is that, despite some of the other characters being poor or in bad situations (like Sam and Kenneth) when they met their Master, none of them had ever been so devoid of nice things and had never been treated well in their lives, so much so that they marveled at every kind word and every luxury. Though Kenneth lived an awful life, he remembered kindness and luxury, but Francesco has never had it, not once, and it's beautiful to see his reaction to the way Theo lives and treats him. But it's also heartbreaking to know that he's gone his whole life without ever knowing the kind of treatment and life that others consider 'normal'.
I'm a little bit disappointed that it ended at 92%, only because I'd hoped for another 'present day' scene in an Epilogue of some sort. But, overall I have to admit that although it was short it was the perfect length for the story that needed to be told. I'd have liked to have seen a resolution to the whole Traski brothers situation, but having seen so much of Francesco and Theo in the other books, in the future, I get that there's no much to worry about.
Overall, this one was just as good as the rest of the series. There were a few things missing that I'd have ideally liked to have seen, but they didn't diminish the overall story at all, so I'm not taking them into consideration with my rating. I think the best thing about the book was the characterisation; although we know both Francesco and Theo from the previous five novels, there is no lack of exploration for either of them. They're still properly explored and written as though we hadn't met them at all.
I know the author has said that this will be the final novel in the series, but I sincerely hope there are more novellas or books in the future and, if so, I'll be eagerly awaiting each one.
READER'S NOTE: I want to note that the blurb says this book should be read in sequence, but because it's a prequel it should be read first. DON'T DO IT! If you read this first, you will lose the amazing surprise and wonder over reading book two in the series. If you read this book first, then it gives a major spoiler to book two within the first page of the prologue. Read them in order. You won't regret it.
It was so hard to pick my favourite, because there were so many really good quotes to be highlight. But, this is the one I eventually went with, out of the dozen or so I marked. For me, these two perfectly encompass who Francesco is and what this book is all about.
“Everything about Theo was the opposite of all he’d endured throughout his life.”
““But…but I don’t want to wait to be with you. I hate waiting. Waiting means I don’t get what I want.”
Theo wrinkled his brow as he regarded him. “Why wouldn’t you get what you want?”
“Because it goes away. People go away. They say, ‘wait here, I’ll be right back’—but they never do. Or ‘wait your turn’, but when I go to get my piece of bread, or a candy or some soup—it’s all gone and I’m told, ‘sorry, someone else got it first’. Waiting is very bad.””