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Lord James Warren, Viscount Sudbury, lives a quiet, safe, and predictable life alone on his estate in Suffolk, only traveling to London once a year to visit family and satisfy his more forbidden needs. But this year, his routine is shattered when his niece and nephew ask him to help a beautiful young man they’ve only just met.
Kyle Allen, alone and running from his abusive lover, stirs feelings in James he has long denied for fear of tarnishing his reputation and losing his family’s love. Though undeniably drawn to Kyle, James’s honor demands he keep that part of himself completely secret, even if Kyle is feeling the attraction as well, despite the pain and betrayal he’s recently suffered.
Assistance and a future for Kyle might be secured, but then they would face a choice: stay apart and continue leading half-lives… or risk everything for love.
I don’t know if it’s about timing … that if I read this kind of regency romance way back when, in my early years of reading romance (of any kind), I would’ve like it better. The truth is, I have been reading romance for the past 20 years, and I have built a strong dislike to the ‘damsel in distress’ trope. The spineless and helpless heroine who needs a rich, powerful, handsome hero to rescue her. Add with a bunch of scenes of the heroine in tears, weeping about her life, you can bet I will roll my eyes in disdain. I like my heroines to kick ass, to be resourceful even if she’s down on her luck. I want the dynamic to be more balanced.
Change that woman to a man … and well, it definitely didn’t make me like it any better.
Somehow this is what the story felt like to me, pulling the ‘damsel in distress’ card only with a man instead of a woman. Kyle just feels too helpless to me and the whole dynamic between Kyle and James, the knight in shining armor, just made me lose interest in the couple. The pining also didn’t work well. Somehow for a story that happened only in a span for a week, it felt like years. It felt dull and unexciting. Oh, and I had trouble with the alternate name changes from first name and surname. I had to go back rereading the paragraphs several times when Kyle addressed James as Warren (who?) or called Andrew with Ashton (wait, isn’t Kyle with Andrew, who’s Ashton?!).
I did like both the niece and the nephew.
I guess this story just didn’t work that well for me. Luckily, this is Rowan McAllister’s first (?) book and I have loved her recent stories more, including two of her other historical novels.
Tracy: 4 stars