Despite the awful and cheesy cover, the story was rather sweet, considering the circumstances. A love story between duke and a prostitute. Max, the duke, is always considerate towards Tristan. Both of them are always very gentleman-like. Almost 90% of the book, it is only about them. And I am not saying only smutty scenes, but their inner struggles, their happiness to be together.
Of course, I missed the tease between them, which is, to me, one of the highlights in a MM romance. They were more cautious, sweeter. It was kind of sad to read how gay man had to satisfied his needs... and have a secret relationship with another man. And at the same time, to me is also part of the charm to read a mm regency romance.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. The sex scenes were hot without being a porn with plot. The characters, both Max and Tristan, were likeable, and one of those couples you just have to think that "deserve to be together". Max maybe be the bigger and more alpha-male, but Tristan has his chances to be the top, so it was a nice -and steamy- surprise to change roles.
Also, they talked their problems fast enough. If Max was upset for something, he discussed with Tristan right away. If Tristan came to the conclusion he was in love, he confessed it immediately to Max. Once Max knows his own feelings, he tells Tristan. No going around the bush with misunderstandings or other crap.
The things I did not like are just part of my nature. In M/F romances, I dislike when the heroine is a courtesan. In MM I do not care so much, but I did here. Maybe because there is a scene where Max watches Tristan giving a blowjob to a disgusting pig -it is interrupted at least. Or maybe because the Tristan sees himself below Max, precisely because of Max's title and Tristan's position.
Another thing is that Max likes a bit of BDSM. I am not fan of this kind of activity, but thankfully, the BDSM is mild, only cuffs, leather and a bit of spanking.
And finally, it is around the end, where Tristan is hurt and refuses to get back to Max. They were almost without drama for the whole book, but then Tristan has to come and be all "you-hurt-me", "we-cannot-be-together-despite-our-love" crap.
I will not read the 2nd book of the series (reading the blurb, it is not as interesting as this one) but I will definitely check this author's other books.