“…it's a marvellous exercise in the use of language and historical detail, terrifically grounded, very vivid and real-feeling. I am a really big fan of what this author is doing with queer historical writing and the very strong research and language.”
– KJ Charles, author of The Magpie Lord
Oscar Wilde meets The Crimson Petal and the White in this rollicking, emotionally charged tale of finding a new path in life after a great fall. William Dempsey rose from a life of thieving and prostitution to be the personal plaything of the Marquess of Argyll. Then a betrayal sees him returned to the rough streets of London without patronage, his West End apartment, or a place among the ton.
So on a stormy night, he arrives at a house in Southwark – Marathon Moll’s in the Mint – the bawdyhouse he worked in during his ascent and where he earned the name Blue Billy. Here, amidst the parties and antics at Moll's, he meets Tom, a quiet, conflicted man, who senses in Billy a kindred soul. The attraction is immediate, and they take the first, tentative steps towards each other.
Then an ambitious young rogue arrives at the house asking Billy to fulfil the promise of his failed youth. He asks him to reclaim the language of his past, even if it costs him his future.
Readers and Reviewers rave about Blue Billy:
“A beautiful love story between two very different men. Elegantly written and full of fabulous historical details, this very entertaining romp is not only cleverly plotted but it is also blessed with a terrific cast of exquisitely drawn characters. A truly delightful story that will stay with you long after its last gorgeous sentences."
– Jean Luc Estrella, NetGalley Reviews
“A great choice for fans of historical romances. Lawrence has created a delightful world in Moll’s bawdyhouse. If you like period stories that take pains to build a vivid, engrossing picture of the time period, this is the book for you." – Joyfully Jay
“...(an) evocative historical novel of rogues, sex, and found community. Scenes like a staged “marriage” at Moll’s are uproarious, and the brothel offers a heartening sense of connection and camaraderie.” – BookLife Reviews, Publishers Weekly March 6, 2023
“Blue Billy's Rogue Lexicon is one of those rare novels that keep you thinking about it, even after you finish reading. The author has clearly delved deep into the archives that exist about that era, and uncovered some rare gems. A highly recommended, utterly gripping read!" – Cathie Dunn, author of Highland Arms: Rebellions, Danger, and Romance in Jacobite Scotland
“A gritty and emotional tale of a complex young protagonist… a satisfying and moving novel.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A beautifully written novel… a deep, poignant book with a moving storyline and complex characters. It was a wonderful read!” – The Historical Fiction Company