Angel Lust combines the mystical atmosphere we see in Ann Rice's classics of dark eroticism with Brass's more open, full-throttle gay sexuality. What makes this book different from other gay "erotic" novels of fantasy is that the characters are totally real. Despite being angels, despite the element of Time travel, Bert and Tommy, the two angels who have been together since eternity, could be your neighbors. They worry about making a living, about their landlord throwing them out, and about the day-to-day struggles that all humans have. Although they have powers far beyond most of us (for instance, they can revive the dead), they understand that their human side can get them into trouble, both with the law and their own deeper feelings, just like anyone else.
The book begins with a white-hot erotic encounter between Tommy and Niko, a handsome Greek factory worker in Brooklyn. Niko, who has not at all come to terms with his homosexual feelings (divorced, he now lives with his parents and his three-year-old son, Paul), can not understand how Tommy knows so much about him. Tommy, the handsome young angel who has been looking for Niko, seems to be able to read him like a book. What Niko is not aware of is that this "book" was written almost a thousand years ago, when Tommy, then in an earlier incarnation as Thomas Jebson, a young blond serf youth, had met another handsome Greek man, who had taken his heart away. In the Law of Angels, Time is elastic. It can bend. You can ride it like a wave or cross it like a bridge. It is as negotiable as three-dimensional space. The only problem is, once there, what do you do?
Even angels (who must be reincarnated on earth) know that the past can destroy them, just as the problems of the present can.
Under the power of ecstatic sex, Tommy Angelo is able to cross the bridge of Time and return to the England of 1077, where as Thomas Jebson he met Sir Bertrand, the impetuous knight from the Land at the End of the Mountain. One night alone, the two met under a bright moon and there Sir Bertrand promised to love and protect young Thomas forever.
Thomas had been searching for a nobleman to offer him protection-this is medieval England, where that was the key to survival-but never did he believe that such a handsome young nobleman would love him sincerely as well. What young Jebson did not know was that Sir Bertrand was already an angel, and that he, too, had been searching, but had to keep his own search a secret.
Thomas and Sir Bertrand became linked with one another through a series of quests and adventures. Thomas was able to kill an evil knight out to murder Sir Bertrand, and Sir Bertrand introduced Thomas to the amazing way of knights. Many knights are secret followers of "forest love," the secret love of men practiced by the wild men who still roamed the forests of England, in Robin Hood fashion, as they had done for centuries before the Norman invasion. These men were often despised by the Church and corrupt nobles, yet they formed a secret band dedicated to real honesty and goodness.
At the behest of Sir Garet du Fontayne, Sir Bertrand's noble friend and once his secret lover, Thomas and Sir Bertrand follow a quest to kill the corrupt Baron Odred de Campe, whose gaze is like ice and who terrorizes the very land on which Thomas's parents are bound serfs. With Richard Smart, a bearded, very "hot" bear of a man who leads a forest band nearby, Thomas and Sir Bertrand sneak into the Baron Odred's fortified castle. They are given work in the Baron's filthy stables. At night, Sir Bertrand, who has heard strange rumors about the Baron, sends young Thomas out to seak out the Baron in his private chambers. Thomas is all fear, but soon learns that the rumors are true. The Baron's dark castle is a stronghold of every sort of vice and sexual excess, including services to the Demon of the Night, whom the Baron faithfully worships.
Seesawing between the New York of the Third Millennium and the violent England of the Norman conquests at the dawn of the Second, the two angels soon discover that the Baron Odred also has an incarnation: a demon in the form of Alan Hubris, the icy gay businessman who, with the help of the sleazy Mayor of New York, is trying to corner the market on all the gay real estate in the City.
Like his earlier incarnation the Baron, Hubris is all greed and insatiable desire. He now runs a gay nightclub on the East Side of Manhattan, where gorgeous boys dance almost naked and offer private "dance lessons" to wealthy customers. All of this goes on with the Mayor's blessing, despite the fact that the Mayor has closed down most gay clubs that offer sexual entertainment to men with less cash. As Hubris says: "The Mayor loves gays, especially gays with money."
Although this is a relatively short book, it offers an array of plot devices to keep you guessing, and some of the most erotic scenes ever written. Brass never uses sex gratuitously, but always to advance to plot. If you are looking for an erotic novel at least one full millennium beyond the usual "here-we-go-again" material, this is the book for you. If this is your first Perry Brass book, you'll want to go back and read his other novels, especially his science fiction trilogy. But if you are already a fan of his work, then you know what kind of thrilling ride you have in store, and you'll want to stick with it until you turn the last page.