Release Day Review: Finding Sanctuary, by Morticia Knight
Living on the streets of 1920s Los Angeles and pleasuring men in dark alleys for his survival is not how Francesco had thought his life would turn out. But he’s filled with hope that someday—if he learns how to be a respectable fellow—he can make a home for himself and maybe even find a man he really cares for who also cares for him. In the meantime, he hustles to get by and looks for the good where he can find it.
Theo’s existence is safe and predictable. He indulges in his perverse nature at his friend Saul’s sadomasochism club on Hampton Road and negotiates contracts for the Hollywood players and studios. When an enticing little grifter crosses his path one day, the encounter unnerves him. Not because he gets conned, but because the refreshingly open and unaffected young man holds a mirror up to Theo’s own dreary existence. Theo might have plenty of material wealth, but his wealth of spirit can’t compare to the delightful Francesco’s.
Theo rescues Francesco from a dire situation and brings him home. If nothing else, he can at least find the desperate young man some decent employment. Instead, they both find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. But until Theo introduces Francesco to what being a submissive means, he doesn’t dare give his heart away. Francesco has yet to discover the secrets that are hidden behind the walls of the Hampton Road Club.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of the Hampton Road Club series. This instalment is a prequel to book one and can be read first.
A Great Prequel!
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
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.
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.”