Tag Archives: publisher: honeywine

The Valet and the Stable Groom by Katherine Marlowe

The Valet and the Stable Groom

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.]

The Two Lords of Wealdhant Manor by Katherine Marlowe

The Two Lords of Wealdhant ManorBook Info

Title: The Two Lords of Wealdhant Manor
Author: Katherine Marlowe
Published: December 9, 2015
Pages: 158
Publisher: Honeywine Publishing
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Algernon Clarke is destitute; the debtors’ prison is calling his name. But when a railroad executive, Mr. Sutton, shows up and tells him he’s the heir to an abandoned estate, he thinks he’s found the solution to his problems. Algernon has no problem letting the railroad set up across the land of Wealdhant Manor as long as it means his fortunes turn around. What he doesn’t count on is Jasper Waltham, the groundskeeper of the manor, who is very invested in the estate and the well-being of the people living on it. “Lord Jasper”–as the people call him–is unwilling to see the railroad disrupt the lives of those around him, and he is extremely skeptical of Algernon’s claim to the estate. Can the two of them find the space to live on the same land despite one man’s protective nature and the other’s lack of connection to the place? And when a spark of attraction springs up between them, how will they reconcile that with their competing interests?

Don’t buy into the thinking that history can’t be fun. Yes, this is historical fiction, but it’s still historical and it’s still fun. Both Algernon and Jasper are endearing in their own ways, but then you put them together and, well, it just gets even better. It can often be hard when we’re forced to choose between multiple things that we want, especially when we’re convinced those things are mutually exclusive. But the reality is that they don’t always have to be, and sometimes we can find a way to get around the obstacles and have more than we ever dreamed. And such is the story of Algernon and Jasper.

Highly recommended for fans of historical m/m romance–especially those who especially enjoy regency stories…

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

An Unusual Courtship by Katherine Marlowe

 

An Unusual Courtship

Book Info

Title: An Unusual Courtship
Author: Katherine Marlowe
Published: November 4, 2015
Pages: 150
Publisher: Honeywine Publishing
Author’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★★☆

Review

Percival Valentine enjoys his role in overseeing the provincial town of Linston, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t look forward to the promise of something new brought by his new neighbors from London. They are all three rather intriguing, and while Percival makes an attempt at courting the lady of the trio, Miss Bolton, he finds he must come to terms with the distraction that is Mr. Everett. Percival isn’t sure he should give in to his feelings–after all, he barely knows Mr. Everett, does he not?–but the mystery that is the man just might prove too alluring. But what is lingering below the surface? And what of the rumors of Mr. Everett’s bad behavior before he left London? Percival will certainly find out.

What a fun and lighthearted read! I absolutely loved the style in which this was written. I found myself easily imagining seeing this on the stage, just like one of those familiar British comedies, dare I say something right along the lines of Wilde. The language, the social norms of the time, and the people themselves are so well-rounded and clearly well-researched and constructed, that it’s difficult not to get lost in the story right along with them.

One of the things I enjoy about well-written historical m/m stories is that I feel like they present us with a forgotten history. We know that LGBT people existed in history, but their stories were often hidden in the attic and those that were more open weren’t recorded (save a few very tragic stories that we are left with). While we won’t likely know for certain all of the stories that were lost, we can try to imagine what would have and could have been within the lines of what we do know about the people of the times and how they lived. And I think this is definitely one of those stories…

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]