For spoiled young aristocrat Colin Harwood, the port city of Casmile is a buffet of easy pleasures. But when he steps into a pub brawl to help a dangerously outnumbered young man, he is drawn into the seedy underbelly of the city the young man calls home.
Gabriel is a cutpurse and a knife for hire, practically an urban legend. His vision of Casmile is touched by a strange combination of faith and madness, driven by fairytale logic and a capacity for love that he often must suppress to survive. He’s always worked alone, but when a dashing dragon who calls himself Colin saves him in a bar fight, he pulls Colin into his world.
Gabriel’s city is nothing like the refined, socialite existence that bored Colin senseless. Colin finds adventure and excitement there—and maybe even love. But with his layers of finery stripped away, nothing remains to protect him from poverty or danger—except Gabriel. So he must choose: go back to the civilized young man he once was, or fly free as Gabriel’s dragon.
Gabriel’s City was a unique read for me in a lot of ways. We’ve pretty much established that Historical Fiction isn’t my ‘go-to’ genre. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s more that it’s not on my reading radar. This was definitely Historical Fiction. It was also a book dealing with ‘tough issues’ before people even knew the term existed.
Gabriel was a legend. Up until the moment he met him Colin thought that he was just that. Coming face to face with ‘the Gabriel’ was more than shocking. Before he knew it, Colin became a part of Gabriel’s world. A world that both intrigued and terrified him.
Just a word of warning, in today’s world both Gabriel and Colin would be considered the ‘bad guys’. You can’t read this book from that perspective and sympathize with these characters. The world they lived in was full of people who bent the rules. Laws were obscure and justice was interpreted on a whim in a lot of cases. In Gabriel’s world you fought for survival… literally. No one fought to survive harder or more viciously than Gabriel himself.
So, that tough issue I was talking about? Gabriel obviously had some mental and emotional issues. He flipped between reality and fantasy day to day and sometimes hour to hour. Colin became and anchor for Gabriel. They depended on each other for more than just watching each other’s back. This story was more than just a romance, it made you think and feel… those are the best kind. Even though it wasn’t an easy story to read because of the content, it was a story that I’m glad I took a chance on. It was also my first Laylah Hunter read, and I’m now sure it won’t be my last.