A break from the daily routine in the form of a business trip to Seattle for the day job meant a break in my regular reading habits. Ages ago, my favorite contemporary romance author (okay, Anna Zabo is really the only contemporary romance author I really read) noted that a novel by one of their favorite romance authors was having a Kindle sale, so I snatched it up. This story was a quick and fluid read over the course of two lovely evenings, and exactly the right fare for my trip.
Georgie and Lawrence were fully three-dimensional heroes, and Sebastian brings both men to life in equal measure, despite their vastly different personalities and histories. As someone who also experiences chronic anxiety, her portrayal of Lawrence’s mental health was both realistic and reasonable (for how his character both reacted to and address his own issues). Georgie’s matter-of-fact support of Lawrence was the right amount of support without either coddling Lawrence or perpetuating outsider stereotypes of anxiety. Massive kudos to this novel for tackling mental health issues in a sensitive fashion in an unexpected venue.
As a reader without significant experience in the genre of historical romance, I’m not in a position to offer as solid a critique on that aspect of the novel. This historical part mostly matches up with my own knowledge of the subject, and my only quibble with the romance side of things is that it seems like many of the ones I’ve read involved one character leaving in a dejected state because they think it’s for the good of the other person in the relationship. But I guess if we’re terrible about communication in the twenty-first century, I can’t expect two men in the notoriously repressed Victorian era to be any better.
I appreciated that the very real risks of two men engaging in a romantic relationship in their place and time period were acknowledged, but that this potential source of conflict did not inform the entire plot. A second round of kudos to the author for acknowledging Georgie’s bisexuality, because representation is important for all sexualities.
Overall, this was a sweet read with some delightful plot twists and a satisfying happily ever after. Definitely an author I might consider adding to my regular repertoire. (At this rate, I’m going to become a romance reader, and I can’t even say I’m kicking and screaming about it.)