REVIEW: Devil’s Bargain, by Kathryn Sparrow

Title: Devil’s Bargain

Series: King of Hearts Series Book 1

Author: Kathryn Sparrow

Genre: Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay/MM

Publisher: MLR press

Reviewer: Linda, Paranormal Romance Guild

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Seth Griffin is forced to live out his wildest dreams at the expense of his best friend, the man he loves.

Seth Griffin’s life was basically on track. Attend Cornell, double major in Mechanical Engineering and Astronomy, play basketball, and room with his best friend, Kevin. So what if he had a hopeless crush on his gorgeous, straight friend.

When Maynard Frederick Winthrop IV buys all of Seth’s family’s debt and threatens to foreclose, everything Seth has worked for is in jeopardy. Winthrop offers Seth a deal: spend a week at his mansion, a place that seems to defy logic and violate the laws of physics, performing challenges of Winthrop’s choosing. If Seth succeeds, all will be forgiven.

But can Seth do as Winthrop asks, especially when Kevin is the one who will pay the price?

The Review

Seth Griffin attends Cornell University working towards degrees in Astronomy and Mechanical Engineering but an envelope slipped under his door would change his life. Seth is gay, openly and proud and has been in love with his roommate and best friend Kevin Fields for years but unfortunately Kevin is straight and goes from one girl to another.

Inside the envelope that was slipped under his door was an invitation to dine with the mysterious billionnaire Maynard Frederick Winthrop IV who according to the letter now owns his parents mortgage, his student loans and in addition he owns the company his father now works for. If he agrees to dinner and if he agrees to Winthrop’s proposition everything would be resolved, his parent’s would own their home, his student loans would be paid for and all his continuing education would also be paid for but even more important his father would keep his job and be promoted.

To say that Winthrop’s proposition was beyond weird would be an understatement, the short, fat, bald billionnaire wants Seth to live in his mansion for one week during spring break and it would involve sex. The only thing on the plus side is that the sex would not include Winthrop since he desires to watch. Seth would not be hurt, there would be no BDSM and he would be with one man but once he agrees he cannot refuse to do whatever Winthrop bids him to do.

When Seth meets the man he will spend the week with it is none other than the man he loves, Kevin, but why is Kevin there and what hold does Winthrop have over him, of course neither man can discuss their agreements and now Seth faces having to have sex with his straight best friend, sex that he only dreamed about but sex that could destroy his and Kevin’s relationship as friends. 

I did not hate this book, but did find it uncomfortable when page after page Seth and Kevin were given assignments involving what sex act Winthrop desired to see. The entire book was based on Seth’s discomfort for his friend and Kevin’s willingness to go through with everything.

Needless to say there was explicit sex of all kinds.

There were also surprises, and an ending that made the book worthwhile.

The Reviewer

I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York.

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