Con has been away from his father’s estate for thirteen years, after his father caught him with the stableboy. In the intervening time, he’s inherited the estate and the title… but he has no wish to return home, having been told by his father that his stableboy lover repudiated him harshly and had to be paid for his silence. Matters need to be handled, though, so reluctantly, he returns to the place he grew up… to find Bryn still there, waiting for him, and apparently totally brazen about his actions.
Needless to say, I don’t think there’s a spoiler here to say there has been a grave misunderstanding. It’s understandable in the context, but Con spends the entire time refusing to trust Bryn, looking desperately for the evidence that Bryn really did have to be paid off, instead of realising that, hey, his dad was a git and Bryn was always true. Once that gets through Con’s head, the story turns sweet, but until that point he’s rather petulant… and his about-face felt a little odd.
Bryn would almost have been a more interesting POV character; he has his head on straight, knows what he wants, and while he isn’t impervious to pain, he knows he’s not the only one suffering.
Anyway, a fun and quick read, overall, but not super memorable.