An honorable artist
Benedict Pennington’s greatest ambition is not to paint a masterpiece, but to make the world’s greatest art accessible to all by establishing England’s first national art museum. Success in persuading a reluctant philanthropist to donate his collection of Old Master paintings brings his dream tantalizingly close to reality. Until Viscount Dulcie, the object of Benedict’s illicit adolescent desire, begins to court the donor’s granddaughter, set on winning the paintings for himself . . .
A hedonistic viscount
Sinclair Milne, Lord Dulcie, far prefers collecting innovative art and dallying with handsome men than burdening himself with a wife. But when rivals imply Dulcie’s refusal to pursue wealthy Miss Adler and her paintings is due to lingering tender feelings for Benedict Pennington, Dulcie vows to prove them wrong. Not only will he woo her away from the holier-than-thou painter, he’ll also placate his matchmaking father in the process.
Sinner and saint—can both win at love?
But when Benedict is dragooned into painting his portrait, Dulcie finds himself once again drawn to the intense artist. Can the sinful viscount entice the wary painter into a casual liaison, one that will put neither their reputations, nor their feelings, at risk? Or will the not-so-saintly artist demand something far more vulnerable—his heart?
Bennett's fourth Pennington romance introduces complicated gay characters who face down social conventions in 19th-century England. Incorrigibly glib Sinclair "Dulcie" Milne faces extreme pressure to marry well from his father, Lord Milne. He is goaded into betting that he can woo Polly Adler and inherit her grandfather's extensive art collection, but his interests lie elsewhere with his former schoolmate and artist, Benedict Pennington. Benedict engages in a parallel campaign to convince the Adlers to found a public art museum with their collection. The two men share a deep attraction, butting heads as they meet socially and Dulcie canvasses for Benedict's brother's parliamentary campaign. Impressed by the artistic realism of Benedict's work, Dulcie talks Benedict into painting his portrait. The more serious, relationship-minded Benedict uses their posing sessions to wear down Dulcie's flippancy and draw him into a hesitant romance. Several twists and turns delay their happy ending. This pleasing romance highlights the complications of premodern gay desires, rounding out its story with precise historical flair and genuine feelings. (BookLife)
The Art World Comes Alive
This is the first book I have read by this author and I had not read the other books in the series. Benedict Pennington abandoned everything to pursue his dream and had become a renowned painter. As he finally returns home, he has high ambitions to open the first National Museum. I found this so interesting because it entails so much history and information about art that I did not know. Benedict finds a patron who might donate some old masterpieces and gets caught in being pushed to woo the gentleman's granddaughter!
He runs into old schoolmate Viscount Dulcie who also wants the paintings, and the two end up in a competition to marry the wealthy granddaughter to obtain the art! But as the two are thrown together, who will come out the victor? Will they win each other?
The author brought the art world alive and the two characters were very distinctive in their different personalities. An enjoyable read and can be read as a standalone. I read this through NetGallery.