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Marcus, Lord Rothbury, is on the run. Part of a foiled plot to help King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette escape to Switzerland, he’s searching for the jewels the rebels stole from the queen—jewels that, when sold in England, will buy the monarchs’ freedom and restore the aristocratic order Marcus holds dear.
Pamphleteer James Lockhart publicly condemns the monarchy and has his own plans for the jewels—selling them to help the Parisian poor. But when the two are thrown together against a common adversary, Marcus finds himself increasingly attracted to the impetuous American.
As they hunt for the jewels, Marcus begins to suspect his companion isn’t all he seems. Secretive and changeable, James could be playing a double game, and Marcus can’t be sure who James is fighting against—the enemy, or the man who’s fallen in love with him.
I think what is interesting about this story is that it takes place – almost exclusively – in the woods. Marcus is on the run. Then he is thrown together with James against soldiers who are looking for rebels. They both determine to find jewels – although both have different reasons. Because of that, I think this falls better on the adventure spectrum rather than romance.
I really like the conversations – not so much a banter but more like clash of principles, but makes it worth reading – that happen between Marcus and James. Marcus is a loyal follower of the monarch while James condemns it. They’re constantly at ends regarding this issue – though I must say that I’m on James’s side, rather than Marcus *haha* — but at the same time, they also have great chemistry. They’re ‘opposite attracts’, that’s what they are.
Marcus and James actually had sexual intercourse prior to meeting in the woods (after a heated discussion that leads to the bedroom), but it happens off page before the story starts. So in a way, these two have a history before they are forced to stick together if they want to find the jewel and it avoids the instant-love storyline. It’s also pretty low on smut; Marcus and James are constantly being c*ck-blocked by other animals in the woods or by soldiers coming at them *LOL*. They still have their sexy moments though, so no worries.
I am not going to comment on the writing authenticity. I’m an Indonesian, so the time period doesn’t really do anything for me. I admit it took a little while to familiarize myself with the writing – since historical is not my favorite genre – but once Marcus and James are going together, I enjoyed it quite much.
All in all, pretty nice MM historical adventure read. It is pretty fun to read.