About Hyacinth Club
Written by BA Tortuga
Devlin Montebanc knows that a Victorian man needs a place to go, someplace he can be at ease, enjoying his port, his cigars, and some special male companionship. That’s why he maintains the Hyacinth Club, a traditional men’s club with a twist.
The sophisticated men of the Hyacinth Club find their pleasure in this series of bawdy tales, from a Scottish earl who falls in love with a Texas rebel, to a bored noble who finds an innocent young scholar to instruct in the ways of dominance and submission. See how repressed those Victorians weren’t. Read Hyacinth Club today.
Cynthia Potts, editor of the upcoming Play Ball, writes: If BA Tortuga has a fault as a writer, it’s the constant tendency to cram too much good stuff into one book. That’s certainly the case with The Hyacinth Club, Tortuga’s latest offering, and a ripping good historical read.
We’re spirited back to a time of gentlemen’s clubs and manor houses, where discrete servants draw baths and thespians seek patrons who provide more than creature comfort. One is immediately drawn to a central quartet of characters: Stephen, the rangy Texan, and his Scottish lord, Low, and the delightfully perverse Thaddeus and Drummond. Other couples grace Tortuga’s pages, each distinctly drawn, and in truth, worthy of their own individual titles.
The kink factor is high in this volume, with some lovely bondage, the best fisting scene I’ve read in a long time, and group and exhibition scenarios. Tortuga’s characters, as always, feel intensely and deeply, so fans of heart-felt lovey-dovey slash will certainly have their fill. Fans of the more intimate elements won’t be disappointed either – there’s a little something for everyone in this volume. The first two chapters are slow going, but once the action picks up it just doesn’t slow down. Clear a couple of hours in your schedule and settle down with The Hyacinth Club. You won’t be disappointed.
Perhaps he was simply becoming jaded, but Caleb Fitzhugh was bored nearly to tears. The masquerade opening to the weekend party ought to have been a fine idea, and there were entertainments aplenty, but none of them appealed.
T'was obvious from the gaiety of the other guests that his friend and host, Devlin Mountebanc, had not lost his ability to throw a soiree. So it must be his own difficulty. The problem, he deduced, was that when you lived a life of idle pleasure, there was very little you had not done after a certain length of time.
Adjusting his mask, a green and silver leather affair fashioned as a dragon head, Caleb took another glass of sparkling wine and scanned the room. Perhaps someone he knew would catch his eye, assuage his boredom. Or perhaps someone he did not know.
Such as the tall gentleman in the stark black evening clothes, overlaid by a red and white cloak, masked as a fox. There was something in the man's posture -- in the way his hips rolled as he walked, perhaps, or the tilt of his head -- that intrigued Caleb greatly. Perhaps he had found a temporary relief for his ennui. If not that, at least talking with the fellow would pass some time.
He set his glass aside and made his way slowly through the crowd, eyeing his quarry all the way. The deep red of the man's waistcoat and the rubies at his throat and wrists made him stand out, as did his height, which put him a head above the rest of the guests. The movement of his hands as he filled a plate spoke of sensuality, as did the choices of food. Which gave Caleb the perfect opening salvo.
''I should be careful of the almond cakes,''he said when he reached the man's side. ''They have been known to mean eternal love, and surely anyone attending Devlin's party cares not for that.''
''Ah, but they are garnished with mint leaves, dear sir, and surely that which attracts the Lord of the Underworld would not invite the more gentle forms of eternal bliss.''He received a quick smile, dark eyes flashing behind the mask.
The wit matched the smile. The man might well prove as interesting as Caleb first thought. ''One hopes, at any rate. I fear I would much prefer the company in Hell. Tell me, which of Devlin's entertainments are you here for? One hesitates to ask, but it is too easy to overstep certain bounds, and I should hate to do so before we are properly introduced.''
Caleb returned the smile, hoping the gentleman in question understood what he asked.
''Ah, a prudent man, to be sure.''He was offered a slight bow, a tilt of the head. ''You may call me Reynaud, Sir Dragon. And so far as niceties, if Devlin saw fit to invite you to one of his so-charming soirees, then there are precious few boundaries which are sacrosanct, for he has very particular tastes.''
He chuckled. ''True enough. Well then, perhaps you might do me the favor of lending me your company? I find I am having great difficulty in summoning enjoyment this evening.''Caleb let his shoulder brush the man's arm as he reached for the quince jelly.
''That depends, sir.''The thin lips twisted in a smirk. ''Are dragons such as yourself often in hunt of a fox? I have found tonight's chase dreary thus far.''
Caleb stiffened, uncertain as to whether the man meant Devlin's party, or his own attempts at conversation. He was unused to being rebuffed. Very deliberately, he leaned in, letting their bodies touch closely, allowing the other man to read the intent in his eyes. ''I assure you, sir, that fox is a most pleasing prey to a dragon, and one to be savored as carefully as it is snared.''
That earned him a flush and the softest gasp, the man's long neck arching, a sure temptation. ''In that case, Sir Dragon, I would find your company most welcome.''
''Oh. Good.''Beneath his trousers, his cock grew and hardened, a most uncomfortable state of affairs, and an unusual one at that. In the main, he had far better control over himself. There was simply something about the man. ''Shall we find a place to dine?''
''There is a fine table set at the end of the hall, behind the emerald curtain, so that one might... dine unobserved.''The fox moved away, walk sleek and sensual. ''Devlin is very considerate of his guests and their comfort.''
''He is a fine host.''Caleb followed, enjoying the sight of the flowing cloak the man wore. Somehow it was more intriguing than if the man was completely uncovered. His own leather breeches left little to be imagined, and he counted his blessings that the guests here would hardly take notice.
The table Reynaud indicated was indeed private, and had the advantage of a single cushioned bench seat, large enough to fit four and covered with green velvet cushions. Caleb was not above using it to his advantage, letting his fox sit first, trapping the man neatly between the wall and his body.
When the cloak was pushed back so the man could sit, Caleb caught sight of a fluffy, white-tipped tail, the sight quick enough to be a tease.
''Foxtails are highly prized keepsakes for dragons, you know.''Caleb settled in just close enough to smell the tang of the fox's soap, to feel the heat of his long body.
''Are they?''The long fingers pushed light hair from where it fell over the mask, the scent of pomade fragrant and rich. ''Fortunately for me then, that I am careful to watch for mine and protect it from being stolen away.''
Quick fingers slid across his palm in a bare caress. ''It has been most excellent doing business with you.''
''Oh, I think our business is only beginning.'' He turned his hand, capturing Cormac's. ''At least I hope so.''
The scent of sandalwood and roses wafted up. As he stared down, he caught a glimpse of the barest hint of a blue crescent moon inked into the hollow of Cormac's throat, covered with a flesh-colored powder.
''I find doing business with you quite refreshing, sir.''
''And I find you most... invigorating.''