3.5 stars. I would have gone up to a solid 4 if not for the (divert your eyes people who haven't read) SECRET BABY PLOTLINE. Are we back in 1985 again? *HUGE FIST SHAKE* for screwing up a decent book with what I thought was a retired plot device! As well, there was too much in the middle that I wish had been cut out or revised.They say my lover is a sinister beauty, and perhaps they are correct. But when caught in her heady embrace there is nothing sinister about her. How can she be evil, when she bathes my body in a thousand raptures? How can she be anything but a radiant sorceress when she takes me to heights never before experienced?I worship her.If you thought the above reflection was about a woman, think again. Lindsay is addicted to two desires - one of the flesh and one of the soul. He is torn between the two relationships if you will - his beloved childhood friend & recent lover Anais, and his tempting mistress called Opium.When the two worlds collide, reality and fantasy are often confused."You'll be gone. Won't you?""Yes, Lindsay, I will be gone.""Then I shall smoke more, and you'll come back to me. You always come back to me, walking out of the smoke and into my arms."My heart ached for a man who kept having the woman he loved slip through his grasp. I found myself frustrated with Anais for not seeing what she could have had, if she had only let him speak of his wrongdoings. They might have found comfort in each other sooner had this been the case.What made this book stand out for me was the drug abuse storyline. Had this added element not been present, the love story would not have stood for me on its own. Other than a few brief mentions of laudanum addiction in historicals here and there (which strikes me as the gentleman's form of opium), this is not a story touched upon very often in this genre, and the harsh reality of addiction and recovery was not glossed over. Everything was laid out in all of its ugly detail, including the stinging bite of withdrawal and the sickness that comes with it."I can't stop. Even now, knowing how ashamed it makes me feel, I still find myself looking at the tray, at the pipe. I'm craving it, Anais. Dying for it, that feel of the pipe in my mouth and the smoke in my lungs."Let's get to the rest of it, which should only take a second or two. The sex was lovely and Lindsay was enchanting to read about while in his head, when he was thinking upon Anais. In my opinion, he had built up her worth too much, because I would've hooked up with the much more appealing younger sister instead. But maybe that's just me. I might not have seen the value in Anais, but good lord, I felt Lindsay's emotions and what he felt for her, which was beautiful. For such a tormented and flawed hero, his inner goodness still shone through, even at the darkest of times.