I would love to say that this is another one of those opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone, but we all know I’d be lying through my teeth 😀 After my last experience with a specific romance publisher, I’ve shied away from them unless they were Jane Austen related for quite some time. Thankfully this one is tangentially Jane Austen related in that it’s set during the Regency. Swoon.
I’m happy to say Loveswept* may have won me over with this one. After requesting a copy of A Gentleman’s Position (out April 5, 2016) and then devouring it, I think I have a new publisher to turn to when I want something a little more frilly to read! Seriously though, I need to get my hands on the first two-and-a-half books in this series! Now, I just need to keep myself away from their galley page because I want to read all the books by all the authors!
I think what I enjoyed most about this book was the author’s slow and deliberate reveal of the story from both parties’ perspectives. I feel like there were a few things I missed not having read the first two in the series, but this definitely works as a stand alone. Charles’ takes the idea of gayborhoods and meccas and builds on that.
“They had banded together some years ago, their little society of gentlemen with a taste for gentlemen, because the isolation had been intolerable, but he had come to feel that their mutual allegiance was a danger in itself. If one fell, they might all fall.” (Chapter 2)
I mean this is how it must’ve happened throughout the ages. There are theories that explain that LGBT didn’t become an “identity” until after the industrial revolution and people no longer subsisted on family economies. No longer having to make the food they needed and the goods their families needed, individuals who had same-sex desire or gender identities that aren’t their assigned gender flocked to the city and societies and clubs like this one appeared.
I have no idea how many of these societies existed and I really hope there was one in Regency England, but even if there wasn’t this was a fun read. I like that Charles wasn’t afraid of alluding to BDSM (I’m guessing in an earlier book) and to cross dressers. And her sex scenes weren’t too many and they weren’t over the top either. Sometimes you pick up a romance novel and you’re like OMG WHAT?! within seconds.
The only thing that put me off was some of the language. The swearing and the references to some anatomical parts were a bit awkward. I think however she used proper period dialogue as she thanks someone who has a historical swear twitter feed!
Recommendation: I mean I enjoyed it and I know a lot of people who would enjoy it, so I think you should read it, but you know what they say about strokes and folks right? Haahaa, but seriously this was well written and I enjoyed the characters and the love story. I hope the author continues to write them because I know I will continue to read them.
* I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest opinion. No goods or services were exchanged.
Opening Line: “Lord Richard Vane and his valet stood in the book room, waiting.”
Closing Line: “Be damned to meeting the demands of rank and society; Richard, with David all shuddering pleasure under his hands, had better things to do.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)
Additional Quotes from A Gentleman’s Position
“David balked at nothing, from burglary to blackmail, to achieve his ends; he had certainly never struggled with something as simple as approaching a possible bedmate. He usually just asked, because it was astonishing what he had won for himself by daring to reach for it. It had always surprised him that others were so afraid to try.” (Prologue)
“Dear fellow, we are all vulnerable. Every time we fall in love, we are nothing but vulnerable.” (Chapter 10)
“My dear fellow, it is not a criticism, Every Elizabeth needs a Walsingham to effect the tasks beneath her dignity. The monarch in state and the spymaster behind the scenes” (Chapter 15)
“‘It never bothered me before,’ he said. ‘But Silas reads all the time. Have you read this? Have you read that? I had no idea anyone read so much. All the things he knows, and talks about, and I can’t remember the last time I read a book.” (Chapter 15)