Theodore Swann is a jobbing writer, proprietor of the Matrimonial Advertiser lonely hearts gazette, and all-round weasel. He’s the very last man that Martin St. Vincent would choose to rely on—and the only one who can help.
Martin is a wealthy merchant who finds himself obliged to put a stop to a young heiress’s romantic correspondence in the Matrimonial Advertiser. When she and her swain make a dash for Gretna Green, Martin drags Theo on a breakneck chase up the country to catch the runaway lovers before it’s too late.
Theo guards his secrets. Martin guards his heart. But as the two of them are thrown irresistibly together, entanglements, deceptions, and revelations come thick and fast...
In this short, eloquent novel, randy adventures ensue in a lighthearted feel-good but historically plausible early-19th-century setting, with just enough intrigue to stay interesting. Merchant Martin St. Vincent, a black freedman, goes into the offices of London's Matrimonal Advertiser to compel the publisher, white Englishman Theodore Swann, to disclose the identity of a correspondent to the paper who is pursuing the daughter of St. Vincent's former owner despite her family's objections. When the daughter and her swain try to elope, St. Vincent brings Swann on a recovery mission that allows the two men a great deal of private time together. Charles (Rag and Bone) elegantly uses period language to support the feeling of the era in a way that's easy to read, and is honest about 19th-century race relations while meticulously avoiding clich s and stereotypes. The sex scenes between St. Vincent and Swann are always mutually enthusiastic but still have an aggressive, testosterone-driven heat. The eloping couple serve a plot role rather than becoming a secondary romance, but their characterization is strong.
A charmer from KJ Charles
A fast-paced romp with a sense of humor and good plot twists, plus bedroom scenes that prove that affirmative consent really is the sexiest thing ever. Checked it out from the library, finished it, and immediately bought a copy because I know I'll want to read it again.