Read House of Mirrors by Bonnie Dee Summer Devon Online

house-of-mirrors

Driven from his family when his sexuality is exposed, Jonah discovers drama, passion, and intrigue in a traveling carnival--and in the enigmatic owner, Rafe Grimstone. The preacher’s son and the lord who’s rejected his former life in England feel the heat of attraction from the moment they meet. Open-hearted Jonah is willing to risk hellfire and damnation for brief momentsDriven from his family when his sexuality is exposed, Jonah discovers drama, passion, and intrigue in a traveling carnival--and in the enigmatic owner, Rafe Grimstone. The preacher’s son and the lord who’s rejected his former life in England feel the heat of attraction from the moment they meet. Open-hearted Jonah is willing to risk hellfire and damnation for brief moments of pleasure with Rafe, but the older man is frozen in a past he can’t escape no matter how far he runs.As Rafe struggles to choose between responsibilities of his present and his past, mysterious accidents assail the close-knit community of the carnival. Will the perpetrator be revealed before the traveling show is ruined, and will Rafe finally reveal his true self to Jonah or continue to mask his identity like the changing images in a house of mirrors?...

Title : House of Mirrors
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781607379867
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 234 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

House of Mirrors Reviews

  • Ingela
    2020-01-10 20:50

    Review written October 26, 20163 1/2 Stars - Nice M/M love in a interesting setting Got the $1 e-book two years ago, still unread, and I added the $2 WSfV audiobook (7:23 hrs narrated by Gary Furlong). Reading this author combo's historicals (both m/f and M/M) usually works well for me. Nice, quite easy reading, with usually interesting stories — so also this time. Summer 1902, southern Ohio« “Driven from his family when his sexuality is exposed, Jonah Talbot discovers drama, passion and intrigue in a traveling carnival - and in the enigmatic owner, Rafe Grimstone. The preacher's son and the (view spoiler)[ lord who's rejected his former life in England(hide spoiler)] feel the heat of attraction from the moment they meet.” »~ Remember the old song Son of a Preacher Man? ~Maybe isn't Sin and the Preacher's Son very unique, world shattering or the best ever, but it is a solid good sweet (heart touching) M/M to enjoy a couple of hours. Truly good stuff...I liked the set with a circus/ carnival and felt for these men and their friends traveling on the roads a hot American summer many years ago. This wasn't a glamorous life but they gilded the everyday lives of simple ordinary people in small towns and villages. People who hadn't much glitz and glamor in their often hard working life. There is a lot of rain, mud, heat and poverty but also a good tight community and wonderful characters (artists) in wagons and tents. — Great setting. “Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you. It is the season for wine, roses, and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”Add a pretty nice and delightful narration by this (new for me) narrator in Gary Furlong. — All in all: my smiling liking.I LIKE - historical's from a time just around 100 years ago["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Kaje Harper
    2020-01-09 20:52

    I've enjoyed every historical romance I've read by these two authors. The setting on this one is unique - a small traveling circus/carnival in the US Heartland. Rafe, the owner, is escaping from a difficult family situation in England that left him self-doubting and isolated. He gives sanctuary to Jonah, who is fleeing a beating, rejection and betrayal in his small-town home. Jonah is a sweet character, young and yet with an inner core of confidence. Rafe is tough and trying to hold himself back from entanglements, and yet unable to deny his kind heart and impulse to take care of people, especially Jonah. The end wraps a bit neatly and sweetly, but this book was a pleasure to read, with MC's I came to care for and some good secondary characters.

  • Ami
    2020-01-21 17:03

    3.75 stars rounded upI have enjoyed few of historical romance stories from these authors previously -- so when I saw Heather K's announcing the drop price deal for this (to 0.99) I just went ahead and bought it. Apparently this title was previously released as "House of Mirrors". But since I haven't read that one, I'm good :).What I loved the most from this was the CIRCUS/CARNIVAL LIFE! What could I say, I thought there was something magical about it. I loved the secondary characters that rounded up this story -- each with their own strong personality (even those who became the 'villains'). One character was even able to drive me to almost tears (view spoiler)[when he died (hide spoiler)] because of the kind and gentle heart that he had. I thought the circus/carnival family was pretty exciting to read in romance novels.When it came to the two main characters ... Jonah, the preacher's son who arrived at the carnival bruised and beaten, who loved his Shakespeare, and Rafe Grimstone, the owner of the circus/carnival, I would say that I adored Jonah better. When he first appeared, I thought he would be one of those meek ingenue characters although he also showed determination, by telling Rafe that he would do anything to keep a job at the carnival. It surprised me that Jonah ended up the one who were more experienced (plus topping from the bottom) compared to Rafe. All throughout the book, Jonah kept impressing me with his journey of maturing up. He befriended the 'freaks' of the circus, he worked hard, and when it came to Rafe, Jonah was taking the initiatives. He surely grown up.Now, Rafe, was a different case. I was a bit annoyed with his 'secret' because when he finally told Jonah about it, I didn't see it as a strong reason on why he kept Jonah in arm's length. Also, the people in his circus actually sort of supporting him -- or at least didn't really care about his relationship with Jonah, even with some sharp comments thrown his way. So I ended up thinking that Rafe was taking a cowardly way. Well, at least he made right in the end for both Jonah and his carnival.Bottom line, Jonah and the wonder of the carnival (alongside the secondary characters) was the gem of this. Rafe not so much. Which is why I can't give this an exact 4* although I'm willing to round it up.

  • Heidi Cullinan
    2020-01-19 19:05

    Very much enjoyed this one both times I've read it. I love the way Rafe is so reluctant and messed up and Jonah is so sure. The whole circus thing is fun too, not your usual romance backdrop. I only nicked a star because it felt sometimes like I was just waiting for them to get over it and be together. I wasn't sure the first time I read it if I was being cranky or not, but it bugged me again this time, so I reserve the right to use that last star to ding the boys upside the head a bit.That said, fucking loved the book and will always auto buy everything these authors write together. The end.

  • Kassa
    2020-01-22 21:06

    House of Mirrors is in line with other offerings from these authors and I think fans especially will enjoy this. It’s an easy to read and likable historical with a lot of rich detail and angst to sink your teeth into. The story offers numerous memorable and vivid characters, rounding out a cast full of gritty life and heartbreak. The main romance suffers only from lack of time together but the detailed sex scenes should help readers when the two do eek out a few moments together. The ending is a bit over the top and an easy fix to some considerable problems but by then I doubt any readers will care. This isn’t a story I’d read again but it’s enjoyable and likely to hit with historical fans. The story starts out with preacher’s son Jonah asking to join the traveling circus. Jonah’s father has thrown him out of their home after discovering Jonah’s relationship with another priest. Jonah’s cousins decide to complete the send off with a beating. Yet Jonah’s vulnerability and open heart call to circus owner Rafe. The two definitely have chemistry but the life isn’t as easy as that. Between problems plaguing the circus and Rafe’s mysterious past, the two men may want each other but aren’t sure they can actually be together. The plot is a good mix of character development and action. The circus setting is quite wonderfully done with the patina of shine over tawdry items and realism once the lights are out. The broken down feeling to the circus is simply stunning, especially when contrasted to the magic and awe of the circus during a show. The dirt, grime, hunger, desperation, hope, and brief happiness all combine to create a memorable and well crafted setting. There are a couple circus themed stories in this genre and this one definitely stands out. It feels gritty yet with the aura of potential hope. The various cast members stand out as well from the drunk belligerent second in command to the prickly animal trainer. The main characters of Jonah and Rafe are almost upstaged by the secondary characters. The interactions between the members of the circus are interesting, complex, and filled with deeper meaning. Their pasts and potential futures are fascinating, each with a story of woe but underlying ability to survive. Jonah and Rafe fit in well with their own needs and back stories. Their romance is nice with definite chemistry but if anything the romance is secondary to how interesting they are individuals. The story spends quite a bit of time on the setting, the circus members, and Rafe and Jonah as unique people apart from each other. So much that it feels like the two spend the majority of the book apart. There are enough sex scenes to help soothe over any irritation at this fact but it does create a feeling that the romance is not the main focus. I was ok with this since the story is interesting and well written enough to stand without the erotic/romance focus but it does feel like a bit of an afterthought. Overall I think historical fans especially will enjoy this offering. It barely makes a misstep and offers a truly interesting and eye catching story, scenery, and cast.

  • Kate Aaron
    2020-01-22 16:40

    This took me longer to finish than I expected. It was light, fluffy, easy to read... but I never hit the point where I *could not* put it down. I actually abandoned it at 94% the other night to go to bed, and it really isn't so long I couldn't have finished it in 15 minutes. Having read three books in a row by these authors, their formula is starkly apparent. Dark-haired, "devilish," older top meets young, blond, innocent (looking) but always keen bottom and fucking ensues. I got jaded fast, although the American carnival setting of this book was fun, and I think more suited to the authors' talents than olde worlde Englande. Some inconsistencies -- why does everyone make such a big deal of how fine an actor Jonah is, when (a) nobody's seen him act, and (b) he can't hide the fact he's mooning over Rafe to save his life? Why does Rafe keep teasing Jonah about his love for Shakespeare when the one quoting the Bard is Rafe himself? (Usually when teasing Jonah, creating an interesting ouroboros if nothing else.)The image of two tongues curling around each other got more absurd with every repetition, and it was repeated a lot. All I could envision was weird reptile kissing. And this veiled jab about bisexuality got my back up:If he'd [Rafe] been with Miss Jamie, it meant he liked both women and men. Giving and taking physical pleasure was only sport to him and meant nothing.Overall not bad, but the parts that were memorable were so mostly for the wrong reasons.

  • jo_t
    2020-01-27 19:53

    A touching romance with unusual historical settings, and forbidden erotismI read House of Mirrors twice. First, when I got it, in a hurry to know what was going to happen next. And again this week, before writing the review. I liked it more the second time around. The authors brilliantly conveyed this story woven in human suffering, suspense, and prohibited passions.House of Mirrors is hard to review without spoiling the storyline, so I will focus on the relationship of the main characters. Taking a moment to praise the great secondary ones, all interesting well-developed characters, and the original setting of a wandering carnival touring the American Midwest during 1902. I'll always remember the opening of this book. It touched me to read how badly Jonah Talbot, a preacher's son, is beaten. When his family discovers his affair with Ezekiel Burns, a minister from Jonah's father's congregation, who betrays and blames Jonah when they are compromised.Desperate, Jonah approaches a carnival trying to escape his hometown. All he needs is a job, a place to recover and a way to travel. He finds much more in Rafe Grimstone, the ringmaster and owner of the carnival. A cynical and mysterious man, who doesn't know what to do with Jonah, who seems too good to be true. Jonah finds Rafe in the worse moment of his life, and is like love at first sight, for a man as none as he has seen before. Jonah is impressed by Rafe's looks and voice, soon learning they share a penchant for Shakespeare, poetry and forbidden, but inescapable desires.Jonah opens the curtains of Rafe's murky staged existence, letting the light into it with his smile, sense of humor and honest love. A love capable of erasing the dark bounds in Rafe's torture past that still affects his present. Disheartened, Rafe finds hard to believe Jonah's goodwill and cheerful disposition. Thinking that their mutual passion jeopardizes their current circumstances. Working hard, Jonah earns his place in the circus regardless of his relation with Rafe. In a short time Jonah makes close friends, but as the storyline unfolds, misadventure awaits. One of my favorite parts of the story is, when Rafe encourages Jonah's playwright talent, giving him the opportunity to adapt some of Poe's works into performances.Jonah rebels against the doctrine he'd grew up listening to, and pushing aside the guilt, fully embraces his sexuality. Rafe guards his real self in layers of stoicism and mystery. Layers that crumble first under his desire for Jonah and later collapse completely amid the tender intimacy the younger man offers him. Jonah uses every technique he learned during his ill-fated romance to seduce Rafe. Who in spite of being older, only has the experience of illicit, but quick encounters, being easily surpassed by Jonah's avid conquest. I love happy endings, that's why I read romance, but some are better than others, the one from House of Mirrors I enjoyed it very much. After the sorrow we endured during some parts of the book, the way the authors wrapped the story is a reason for smiling after reading its conclusion. If you need to relax, and forget about things immersed in a journey that will make you cry and laugh, while being the voyeur in steamy love scenes, this is the book for you. Another recommended read from me.

  • Dee Wy
    2020-01-14 19:49

    3.5 stars. A very interesting historical centering around a traveling circus. The secondary characters added a lot of depth to the story, but I found the romance between Rafe and Jonah a bit underwhelming.

  • Lena Grey
    2020-01-12 15:58

    “Which image is the real you?” asks the barker in the first paragraph of 'House of Mirrors' by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. Set in a carnival, the illusions in the story can be interpreted on several different levels. Few things are as they appear to be. Where does fantasy end and reality begin? This is the pressing question throughout the story, especially for Jonah Talbot and Rafe Grimstone. Who are they really? Which of their desires are valid and which are not? “How do you keep your House of Mirrors from shattering?” Jonah asks Rafe. At the time it is a literal question, but could have also been a rhetorical one. How can the characters manage to maintain their cover, the mask they hide behind and how much are they willing to risk to take them off? For both men, discovering the answer is imperative to their survival and future happiness.I admired Jonah; he comes from a repressive, difficult life, filled with fear and recrimination, yet still manages to come out of it as a good, loving person. He is wise enough to know that without the Reverend Burns initiation, he would never have acknowledged the passion he felt for Rafe. Jonah does nothing half way. He tries to spare himself hurt, but that's difficult to do. Jonah loves with his whole heart and, although he can be deceitful, is basically an honest person. Even though I realize it was the mindset, even the law, of the times, his life was hard. From his banishment from home, to being Rafe's dirty little secret, my heart ached. I cheered for him when he finally challenges Rafe and tells him he needs more than the private relationship they have.Rafe is definitely an intriguing character. It's difficult to believe anything he says because he's so deceitful. He's a good, strong leader and seems to be fair enough, but the way he treats Jonah, although a necessary evil, did not endear him to me. Sex is the only language in which they can communicate. During their trysts, he allows himself to be vulnerable, yet even then, he's unable to be completely honest. Getting to know Rafe is like learning about an onion with many layers. Fortunately Jonah is patient and willing to un-peel them.This is a wonderful, unusual story with delightfully complex characters, many of whom I grew to admire and love. The carnival world is a perfect setting for this engaging story, challenging us to think about reality versus illusion; it's an eye-opening look into the hardship and camaraderie of life on the road for carnival entertainers. I'd recommend 'House of Mirrors' to anyone who enjoys a well written story, full of angst, hate, deception, honesty, friendship and love.NOTE: This book is owned by the reviewer. Queer Magazine Online

  • Dig
    2020-01-16 17:04

    I really loved this book. I thought the story was well thought out and it was a great historical romance. Def. some twists to who the "villain" was who was destroying their circus show, etc. Sam's death hit me really hard too. I just really enjoyed the dual POV and both characters were pretty well written w/out unnecessary angst and the audiobook narrator did a great job. It was a happy ending but not everything was resolved. I really liked that Jonah never got to see his family or that we weren't told about the resolution there b/c not everything tied up nicely in a bow... It's been a while since I've enjoyed a story so this was refreshing.

  • Bookwatcher
    2020-01-22 21:57

    I loved everything about this book.A very mysterious English man ruling a traveling circus... A runaway preach son, tired of his live under a repressive family.Everything in this story is sensual. There are explicit sex scenes, but the most erotic scenes in my view are the non explicit... The need of both men, their constant attention to avoid be discover togueter and be persecuted by law. From the circus acts, to the romance, I love everything. I'm VERY glad I bought this book, and wish it could be 1000 pages long! Because time flew while I was reading, and when I reach the last page I was sorry the curtain falls... But I couldn't contain my applause to the show5 stars

  • Dina
    2020-01-14 15:56

    4 1/2 stars (rounded down to 4 stars because the deus ex machina at the end was hard to buy and didn't fit the gloomy feel of the overall story)

  • Octobercountry
    2020-01-01 16:04

    I was all excited when I saw there was a new Dee and Devon novel out; I really enjoy the historical fiction produced by these two authors.However, when I read the description, I thought "Wait a minute...." Yep, disappointingly enough, this isn't a new novel at all, but a reprint of an older title, with a new name and cover. Sin and the Preacher's Son is in fact the same book as House of Mirrors. I'm not sure why the publisher felt the need to give this a new title; frankly, I like the old one better.My only disappointment is that this isn't a new story; I enjoyed the novel itself. I read the book a couple of years ago and reviewed it at that time. So, why don't I just copy out that review here.************************************Well, I had intended to space out my reading of the historical titles that Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon have written together, but I enjoyed my first sampling of their work so much that I went ahead and read a second one right off: House of Mirrors.When I was in my early teens I was completely devoted to the works of Ray Bradbury, which often featured stories of old-fashioned traveling carnivals. So, it was a given that I’d find the atmosphere of this story, set in America’s Ohio and Kentucky in 1902, to have a certain appeal.The authors have done it again; I believe I enjoyed this one even more than the Regency I previously read. Once again we have two charismatic characters whose relationship grows and deepens in quite a natural manner. There are a few genuinely touching scenes along the way as well---but an upbeat ending is assured.(My only tiny nitpick was the repeated use of the word “braces” for the more usual American term “suspenders,” which seemed a bit odd since this novel is set in the US. Of course, “suspenders” in the UK means something quite different…)Now, I suppose the works of these authors really cannot be considered “literature,” but their books feature very winning protagonists and interesting plots which put them far above much of the romantically-oriented literature on the market. So, I’m very happy to recommend them----this is another winner in my book. And I’m looking forward to reading the remaining three titles that the authors have collaborated upon.Unfortunately, I’m going to call the cover of this one a “miss.” The characters pictured look nothing at all as I imagined them; for one thing, Rafe is described as having longish hair and a full goatee which gives him a slightly devilish look---not the least bit similar to the fellow on the cover sporting a bit of scruff.

  • Heather C
    2020-01-24 18:38

    Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon never fail to create an enjoyable story with characters that are easy to fall in love with. The idea of this story is really quite sad! Bloody and beaten and rejected by his religious family, Jonah finds himself in awe of the traveling carnival. He figures it is the perfect opportunity to get away and start a new life. Rafe, the carnival manager, agrees to give Jonah a chance to find his place among the other members. Of course, Jonah and Rafe won’t be able to keep their hands off each other for long...and Rafe is running from his own demons. The Setting: This is probably the fourth book I’ve ever read that’s set within a traveling carnival. There’s just something about that lifestyle, never settling in one place, yet constantly with the same “family” of people, that intrigues me. The authors did a wonderful job creating that spectacular illusion of something that’s so grand in the dark, yet dusty and mucky come the light of day. Secondary Characters: Then there was all the unique characters. From the freaks to the performers to the barkers. I have my favorites and I have the ones that I hated. But what stands out is they all had their own voices and purposes in the story.The Mystery: There were actually two little mysteries taking place here. The primary mystery was obviously who is vandalizing the carnival, which I didn’t figure out...although I didn’t try all that hard. The other, and most intriguing, was the mystery that IS Rafe. What is he running from? How does he REALLY feel about Jonah? THAT is what kept me turning the pages.Romance: *sigh* Jonah and Rafe were yummy together. I loved how Jonah turned out to be a bit more experienced at sex than Rafe, although Rafe was more experienced with keeping his distance and protecting his heart. YES, I wanted to grab Rafe and shake him by his shoulders MANY times! I just wanted him to SEE Jonah right in front of him and everything that Jonah had to offer. Eventually...he did. :)The Ending: I mostly loved the ending; it’s a pretty solid HFN. I just wanted to see more of the reunion between Jonah and Rafe. I DID love the new direction the carnival crew plan to take and I could totally read more about these guys! Reviewed for The Blogger Girls

  • BlackTulip
    2020-01-27 15:40

    Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked UpTwo main characters, two men, one of them will be the key to unlock the other's heart.The story takes place in a circus in the early 1900s and we follow the heroes from Southern Ohio all the way to Kentucky.We are first introduced to young Jonas with his face bloody and battered and his body aching after the beating he has taken. He is forced to leave his home and seek a job, any job. Then we meet Rafe, a tall dark-haired man, the owner of the Carnival who hires him - temporarily.There's an undeniable attraction between them from the first but in the beginning it's only lust. It will take some time for them to realize and accept that what they share has developed into something else. Rafe is definitely the most stubborn of the two.He has a dark secret in his past that catches up with him before the end. At this point it becomes a great complication in their relationship. There is also an interesting mystery that takes place behind the scenes. But let's not forget all those wonderful and colorful minor characters who added so much liveliness to this book, each having their own unusual story. Because of them there was always something happening, either happy or sad.Although I'm not particularly interested in neither the period nor the location the novel's set in, I really liked the authors' previous books and the story was unusual enough for me to give it a try. Now that I have, I can say without a shadow of doubt that it was very engrossing and I don't regret my choice.I found this novel a great read. I give it a 4/5.

  • Daanquai
    2020-01-13 16:59

    The duo of Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon never cease to amaze me. Once again, they have written a beautiful, heartfelt historical novel.First there's Jonah, a preacher's son, driven from his home when his affair with a minister (!) is discovered. Poor thing was beaten to a pulp when he meets Rafe for the first time.And then there's Rafe, ringmaster and owner of a traveling carnival. It was pretty much love at first sight. Normally I'm cynical of such a phenomena, but thank goodness they didn't profess their love to one another right away. Usually a book is over to me once the characters do so too soon.The authors also did a wonderful job describing the sights, sounds and overall atmosphere of the entire carnival. They also included many colorful characters to further illustrate the carnival environment.I also just loved that, despite being raised by a fire-and-brimstone father who turned him away for being gay, Jonah never abandoned his faith nor tossed aside his manners, etc the way he was raised to act. But he had no problem embracing his sexuality. It was genius for the authors to make Jonah "the innocent preacher boy" when dealing with the harsh realities of the world, but he was clearly more experienced sexually compared to Rafe, who is older and more "wise".Loved, loved this book!

  • Melissa
    2020-01-02 00:07

    Solid 3-3.5 read for me. I enjoyed the historical elements. I really liked the circus people. The freaks stole the show. Even though they were a sad group of freaks with only the tall man and the fat lady. I thought the authors stayed true to the history and drama of the circus environment. The rescue of Grimstone near the end was quite comical yet fitting. There was plenty of angst and lovin between the main characters. I did feel that the story ended quite abruptly. I turned the page on my Kindle and was like…"what the!" I had to go back and re-read the last several pages cause I felt like I missed the big moment….Oh well.Good Read!

  • Jill Mccaw
    2020-01-25 22:56

    I have a real soft spot for stories set in circus and carnival settings so this one ticked lots of boxes from the start. I enjoyed the characters and liked the juxtaposition of the seemingly naive preacher's son, who wasn't innocent at all. The supporting characters were nicely rounded but somehow the run away Earl just wasn't quite right. I was really enjoying the carnival but when the whole cast up and headed to England the story lost it's edge a little. An enjoyable read and I'll be interested to see what these two author come up with together again.

  • DaisyGirl
    2020-01-21 19:03

    3.5 StarsI liked this book. The traveling circus and the family of characters that constitute it were interesting. I liked Jonah and I enjoyed Rafe. I cried when (view spoiler)[the gentle giant died (hide spoiler)] and I laughed and loved along with the unconventional family. That said, the book did drag at points, especially towards the end.Bottom line: Liked it but it was slow at the end.

  • Page Crusherz
    2020-01-26 16:44

    I love Bonnie Dee, so I was excited to read this one.Add in circus life and a preacher's son! Eyeball candy...and it was everything I wanted. I loved the rich setting and the deep characterizations.Recommended.

  • Deanna Against Censorship
    2020-01-17 21:45

    It was so nice to read a story with a different setting. Who hasn't thought of running away to the circus? I want more.

  • Rebecca P.
    2020-01-28 23:55

    Gorgeous period setting, great characters, great pacing of the romance between the two main characters. I absolutely loved this book.

  • Liz (Bugetta)
    2020-01-21 20:01

    4.5* I really enjoyed this, which surprised me because I wasn't super excited about it based on the description, but, it turned out to be great with a strong romance, well fleshed out characters (the MCs and the secondary characters) and the most unique setting I've encountered in historical m/m romance: a traveling carnival in the midwest at the turn of the century.The "Preacher's Son" of the title, Jonah, has just been outed to his very conservative preacher father and then beaten up by his cousins. He leaves with a few of his possessions and no money, but luckily finds a carnival set up on the outskirts of town, where he meets Rafe, the darkly handsome, charismatic owner of the carnival. Rafe takes pity on him and lets him join the carnival for room and board with no pay to start. Rafe is a bit of a mystery, with his ever-changing accent (is he English? Or Irish?) and a past he won't talk about. They are immediately attracted to each other, but Rafe's past won't leave him alone, so he doesn't want to start anything serious (ha! and you know how that always goes :)). Since this is set in a carnival, the cast of characters is quite colorful and really add a lot to the story. It's, of course, a romance but it's also a story of growth and learning to find who you really are for both MCs and there was a bit of mystery and intrigue too. Definitely my favorite Devon/Dee collaboration so far!I listened to the audio version and the narrator, Gary Furlong, did a great job.

  • Terri
    2019-12-30 15:48

    This is my review of the audiobook:This is a wonderful story of finding love, friendship, and acceptance in a traveling carnival in the early 1900's. Jonah is a small town preacher's son, and he has been kicked out of his home and beaten for the "perversion" of being attracted to another man. Rafe is the owner and leader of the carnival where Jonah takes refuge, and he has his own secret past and reasons for trying to escape. The two men are instantly attracted, and they quickly begin changing each other's lives for the better.I found this story thoroughly entrancing. Jonah, Rafe, and the other carnival workers, are all brialliantly brought to life, through both the authors' words and the fantastic narration. There were moments that brought me to tears, and there were times I smiled happily. I enjoyed this world and the people who inhabited it. Jonah and Rafe stole a piece of my heart.I was provided a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tam
    2020-01-24 18:06

    I wish I could pinpoint the years this is set, but it’s the time of the old traveling carnivals in the US mid-west. Jonah staggers into the carnival seeking work, badly beaten and while Rafe isn’t exactly receptive, he doesn’t turn the kid away and gives him a chance to earn his keep. It seems that Jonah had an on-going relationship with a visiting preacher, and when his father caught them, the preacher threw Jonah under the figurative bus (they didn’t have buses yet) and he was banished by his family and beaten by some young men.He’s educated, but pretty naive world-wise, and Rafe, the owner of the carnival may be and educated noble in exile, but when it comes to gay sex, Jonah has the upper hand. I rather liked that Jonah, while in essence innocent and soaking up the whole experience of the carnival, he was the one who was more experienced in the bedroom (not that they ever had sex in a bedroom). Also seeing his wonder of the carnival and seeing the magic behind the garish surface was fun and also seeing how the carnival people formed their own family, many of them rejected for various reasons, or simply wanderers who’ve never known another life. There were the good, the bad, the grumpy, the simple.This is a rather slow-moving story. Much of the first part is simply life in the carnival, Jonah adapting, stolen moments with Rafe, as Rafe tries to keep their relationship hidden and push Jonah away. There is a bit of drama later with a saboteur in the carnival and Rafe’s family has sought him out to come home as he is now the heir and head of the family, but for the most part it’s just kind of Jonah learning about life and Rafe struggling not to get attached. I thought on the whole Jonah came across as more mature even though he was younger.I wasn’t sure how they were going to work it out if Rafe returned to England given that Jonah and the carnival folk carried on back home, but it did work out, if a tad conveniently. However I just loved Jonah and his straight forward manner. Despite his super-religious upbringing, he accepted his homosexuality and that maybe there were other ways to live and didn’t angst over it. He got on with life in a no-nonsense way, whereas Rafe seemed to be the angsty one more often than not, worrying about the past and the future, and the present.These two authors are ones I can pretty much guarantee I will enjoy when reading a historical. While the two men were cautious about being gay in the time, it wasn’t overdone and the secondary characters here played a large role, both in the story and in Jonah’s growth as a young man. So even if you aren’t into historicals much, it’s a very interesting time period and the descriptions of the rather decrepit carnival were fascinating and a bit sad, to see the tawdriness behind the glitter and glow. Well worth a read.

  • Sue
    2020-01-12 18:57

    This is the first of Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon's books that I've completed, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.The setting of the carnival was one of the best parts of it for me. I liked the descriptions of the travelling life,which the authors have obviously researched well, at the turn of the 20th century (I think - the period is a bit woolly in my mind). Indeed, so gripping was this part of the book, that once the focus shifted in the last couple of chapters to London, I didn't enjoy it quite so much.The writing is descriptive but not flowery, with excellent language skills shown throughout. This was one of the nicest surprises these authors gave me, and I will definitely pursue them from now on.The UST between the main characters was beautifully shown, and I definitely felt the spark when they came together. There was a nice amount of sex throughout this novel - not too much that we lose the flow of the plot, but enough to keep the novel hot and the reader craving more. I also liked the age difference between Rafe and Jonah, though again I'm not sure of the exact amount as I don't think Rafe's age is specified (I could well be wrong about this).This would have been a solid 5-star read for me except for the (view spoiler)[ slight cliché of revealing Rafe to be an English lord fled to the USA. As a Brit myself I grind my teeth quite often at the overuse of the 'undercover lord' trope. Given Rafe's personality and obvious love of the travelling life, I found it rather unbelievable. That part of the book, at the end, was what made it slip up for me. Yes, it's an historical romance, and they are replete with plots involving noblemen, highwaymen, regency rakes and the rest, but I think this book would have worked just as well plot-wise if Rafe had been merely middle class or well-to-do, perhaps inheriting an uncle's country house (not a stately home) or a small business, perhaps. That would have made it more believable and still resolved the plot while making the book a little more original. Personally, I'd rather the authors had stuck to the theme of the travelling life throughout, having Rafe make gradual improvements to the carnival through thrift and efficiency, and working their way up to a grander show, or perhaps even Broadway. The company surely had enough talent and were overall a decent group of people who could have done that. But I'm not the writers and that's only a personal preference. (hide spoiler)]So in summary, this is a very good historical romance without period inconsistencies that I could see. I would have found it perfect if not for the slightly clichéd outcome.

  • Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
    2020-01-06 20:51

    Originally posted at: http://whippedcream2.blogspot.com/201...Running away to the circus may seem like an ideal escape but Jonah soon finds out it’s not all glamour and lights. In 1902, preacher’s son Jonah runs away to hopefully join the traveling carnival. With his old life ripped away Jonah seeks solace among the misfits and outcasts that make up the carnival. Little did he know that his attraction to the handsome and mysterious owner Rafe would end up changing both their lives forever. House of Mirrors is a steamy hot historical romance set amidst the carnival backdrop. The characters fairly leap off the page with unique style and verve. The carnival setting is really the star here as both the glitz and the run down shame are shown. There have been TV shows and a plethora of books that talk about traveling carnivals back in the early 1900’s and this novel evokes those images from the beginning; the dusty trail, broken wagons, quick tricks of the eye or tongue that seem much more magical under the big top but seem almost tawdry in the light of day. The close family nature of the various members is also shown as transient and interchangeable. While the setting was enough to catch and hold my attention, the various characters stole my heart. From the quiet gentle giant to the prickly animal trainer, the surly drunk and even the mysterious owner all of these combine to give a fully three dimensional picture. The romance between Jonah and Rafe is nice but mostly shown through the sex scenes. And there are a lot of sex scenes in the book. The development of the emotional part of the relationship is nicely shown in internal thoughts but they’re usually having sex almost all the time Rafe and Jonah are physically together in a scene. So you have to be willing to accept that their physical relationship is dynamic and hot enough to spark and emotional attachment. The ending is a slight non-ending as it drags on a bit with an exaggerated ease to all their problems. It’s a tidy, neat ending but it’s perhaps the weakest part of the whole story. It’s too easy and takes too long to get to that point. Also it would have been nice to see more of Rafe and Jonah together outside of sex. However these are minor issues in a story filled with imagination and wonder. The eye catching setting is wonderful and the story is interesting. It may not be a story I’d read again but it’s an easy one to recommend.

  • Christopher Moss
    2020-01-12 16:03

    Discovered in an illicit affair with a visiting preacher, a n Ohio preacher’s son is kicked out of the house and beaten to a pulp by his cousins. He makes his way to a traveling carnival. The carnixal manager takes him in and fast rakes him on as his lover. When a number of missing and broken items and start to plague the carnival, the young man is suspected, but ultimately, just as the carnival owner is about to respond to his aristocratic family’s summons to come home to England, it all comes to a head. All that is left is to learn if the show will go on without the owner and his preacher’s son lover.This is tried and true Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon with just enough fantasy of lords and commoners to be satisfying. The mystery revolving around the stolen and broken items is a good one, keeping the reader guessing, and the carnival owner’s torn loyalties are understandable and heart-wrenching. If there was anything I did not care for, or, rather, puzzled the Hell out of me it was the carnival owner’s names, Grimstone and Lord Darkwell and his Lucifer-like appearance -- was there a point to this?The characterization of the various carnival people is sublimely archetypal and true. I recommend this book to anyone who had gotten used to De and Devon quality.That's All I Read http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com

  • Emmie
    2019-12-29 16:04

    A young preachers son and a runaway lord. In a carnival. With random vandalism. It was good, but I found Grim's sudden change of mood towards the end too abrupt and an easy switch for his mind. He had pushed Jonah away for so long and been so absolute in the decision, the sudden adjustment to create a play hall in England and to send for the carnival seemed a little too easy and convenient. I did like characters but they talk about Grims mustache and goatee so much that he started to look like the character from V is for vengeance. The anonymous mask. I never really got the image presented by the cover. Also- the ending felt a little off kilter. I don't know if it was the ease of the performers acceptance or the lack of clear plans for how exactly they would make it work. I dislike when authors use a line like 'they would figure it out' in reference to their character's future. I kind of want to know how they figure it out and if it works. Maybe a short epilogue would have satisfied me.

  • Kate
    2020-01-09 22:50

    Other People's ReviewsThis is a wonderful, unusual story with delightfully complex characters, many of whom I grew to admire and love. - Queer Magazine OnlineThe story offers numerous memorable and vivid characters, rounding out a cast full of gritty life and heartbreak. - Three AM ReviewsThe authors have woven a place of magic in this story, and I highly recommend this book for anyone who desires a piece of the past. - The Romance ReviewsA fascinating tale of illusion and reality, emotion and suspense. - Joyfully ReviewedA cast of characters that are memorable in their quirkiness and their surprising wisdom. Great plot and fabulous characters all combine to make an entertaining, captivating tale. - Sensual ReadsThis historical romance mostly set up inside a travelling carnival was a captivating read for me. - Jessewave BlogIt's this Grapes of Wrath level of detail that I loved most about the book. - Speaks Its Name BlogWhile the setting was enough to catch and hold my attention, the various characters stole my heart. - Whipped Cream Reviews