The Valet and the Stable Groom by Katherine Marlowe
Published by: Honeywine Publishing on June 24, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)
Clement Adair is an excellent personal valet. So it’s no surprise he has his eyes set on becoming a butler. When the household he’s working in splits, he expects his promotion will go along with it. To his dismay, however, he is moving with his employer, but he is staying in the same role. Not happy with the prospect of being stuck as a valet on a small country estate, Clement plans to resign as soon as things are settled and return to London to seek a new path.
What Clement doesn’t count on, however, is meeting Hugo Ogden, the estate’s stable groom. Hugo is fascinating to Clement in ways in hadn’t expected. And he finds himself wanting to get to know the man much better. Which can’t really happen if he gets on the next train to London and never looks back.
There’s more going on in the household, though, that needs Clement’s attention. His employer’s constantly changing hobbies keep him more than occupied. The fact that the household butler is nearly incompetent gives him extra duties. And someone keeps playing pranks on said butler–who is quick to give Clement the blame. Can Clement help get the household in order in time to figure out what he wants with Hugo? Or should he really just leave all of the disorder behind?
Let me start by saying this book is simply wonderful. That’s really the best way I can sum it up at this point. The plot, the characters, and the storytelling make for a masterful book. It was quite difficult to put it down when I needed to get back to work. 🙂
Many times in regency-type historical romances, we see the relationship between two members of the aristocracy or one aristocrat and a member of the serving class. A story that focuses on two members of the serving class is a bit more rare, in my experience. So this is certainly refreshing for that fact alone.
What’s more is the cast of characters that rest in the background (if you could really call it that). They bring this wonderful world to life in some very vivid ways. And the humor and entertainment value of these characters is also great. Considering the relationship is slow to get started, they certainly serve to keep the reader interested while Clement and Hugo take their sweet time in finding their way.
This is a definite strong recommendation from me!
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]