A Scot’s Surrender (The Townsends #3)

A Scot’s Surrender by Lily Maxton: Review by Lost in a Book

Synopsis:

When his brother leaves him in charge of Llynmore Castle, Robert Townsend is determined to make everything go smoothly. What does it matter if he’s inexplicably drawn to Ian Cameron, the estate’s stoic steward? Robert is sure he can ignore the way the Highlander’s apparent dislike of him gets under his skin. They’ll muddle along just fine so long as they avoid one another. An excellent plan…until a fire forces Ian into the castle—and Robert’s personal space.

Ian Cameron has worked for everything he owns, unlike spoiled Robert Townsend. And he may not have friends, but he has the Highlands and the stars, and what more could he really need? But when a guest’s stolen possession appears in his room, he doesn’t have much choice but to admit to the handsome and aggravatingly charming Townsend brother that he needs help. To solve this mystery, they’ll have to put aside their differences. And as Ian learns more about Robert, he’ll have to guard his heart…or it may be the next thing stolen.

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Review

4 Stars

This book made me happy.

Historical? Uh huh!
Scottish Highlands? Yep!
Ginger? Yassssss! UNF!
A KILT wearing ginger? Hell to the Yassss!

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Scot’s Surrender is an enjoyable historical that’s humorous with well written characters. The angst is minimal, the plot simple, but the actual romance is well crafted. As mentioned in the synopsis, Robert Townsend is running the castle while his brother is away. One of the cottages on his estate caught fire and the occupant, a frustratingly handsome steward named Ian Cameron is relocated to the main castle. Robert and Ian do not get along. Both are attracted to the other but Cameron keeps an icy facade at Robert’s attempts to connect. After a series of unfortunate events, Cameron and Robert have to join forces to solve a mystery of missing houseguest items.

Cameron is harsh and judgmental towards Robert and the idea of surrendering any part of himself. He has survived much in his life and isn’t about to let Robert tear down the walls he has built. Cameron is very much a man of few words. Robert is likable, social, and whimsy. He has insecurities that he covers with a disarming smile. Their journey is *very* slow paced but follows a natural progression of enemies to lovers and is befitting of the customs and the legal implications of being with a man in 1814. This isn’t a case of insta-love and I felt like a fly on the wall while watching two men form bonds of friendship, love, and intimacy. The chemistry and connection is there even if it isn’t loaded with sex. However, when there is sex, it’s hot! When the “Ask me nicely.” came during smexy times…sheee-it.

Then…

“Press me into the mattress. Fuck me like you mean it.”

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I adored Robert’s family. They were accepting, loving, and loyal. I didn’t read the first books in this series but the past characters were present and likable. I was pleasantly surprised how cohesive this third book was and didn’t feel lost at any time due to skipping the first two books. I will definitely read Lily Maxton again and absolutely recommend this book for fans of historical romance.

“Say but little and say it well,”

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Station- NSFW

The Station by Keira Andrews: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Two men exiled to an untamed land must capture love.

Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.

Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, but he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin despite himself.

From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.

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**NSFW **

 

4.25 Stars

Historical? Australia? Cowboys?

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The Station begins when Colin is just a boy of 13 and a new stable master, Patrick (22) is hired on at his parents estate. Colin quickly becomes enamored and visits Patrick any chance he can get away. Years go by and when he’s 16, Colin spots Patrick getting it on with another man. It turns him on while at the same time spooking him. Colin has to come to terms with his sexual identity and isn’t able to face Patrick after. Pressure from Colin’s parents keep him indoors for much of his teen years. They are determined he attend university while Colin would much rather work with his hands. And Patrick. On Patrick. To Patrick. He isn’t picky, by age 19, Colin wants Patrick.

Patrick is an Irish stable master with a prickly demeanor. He’s been screwed over by people in his past and trusts no one, believes love isn’t real, and sex will only ever be about release and never feelings. Patrick also doesn’t understand why Colin stopped visiting all those years and becomes very cool to the young Lord Lancaster.

Until…

*dramatic music*

Patrick is found “buggering” a man in the stable. Colin steps forward to save Patrick and admits to having a “sinful nature” as well. Both men are spared death and end up on a prison labor ship that’s going to help colonize Australia.

Colin is such a bright eyed man who’s relieved that his inclinations are revealed and that he isn’t heading to college. On this long journey, Patrick and Colin form a tentative friendship with benefits but Patrick remains clear that there’s nothing more to their interactions. Trust no one.

Because they have male interests, both men hit the prisoner lottery and end up escorting a widow and cattle to her station. It’s on this station that both men find their footing- happiness, purpose, friendships, and love. It’s a slow progression with Patrick being of the anti-love and physical release only mentality. Colin wears his heart on his sleeve and Patrick is closed off but cares much more than he lets on. It’s beautiful to watch each man find themselves as individuals and then together as lovers and partners.

**Please pardon this review interruption for some gratuitous Aussie cowboy pictures. NSFW**

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The secondary characters. *heart eyes* I adored William, Robbie, and Emily. My face sprung a leak as Colin said goodbye to his cousin William. Legit tears. I think it seemed so profound because all of Colin’s family were against him and although William didn’t understand, he still loved him. Isn’t that all that should matter? *sniff* Emily, the widow is a strong, independent woman that kicks ass and takes names- usually with a rifle by her side.

This is a captivating and unique story. The part that had me a bit disappointed was the historical element. The first part of the story that took place in London had the language and feels I crave in historical romances. Once they left London, my enjoyment level remained but the historical element seemed to vanish. The language was modernized and it didn’t read any different than some of the non-historical Australian outback romances I’ve read. Again, I very much enjoyed this but historicals are my preferred drug of choice and this read didn’t fully provide the fix I was jonesing for.

I thought this would be angsty AF. It wasn’t and I’m so glad I put on my big girl pants and took a chance. When conditions were miserable, Colin still had hope, found happiness, and felt the relief of a new day, being true to himself, on an unknown Australian adventure. With Patrick. Definitely recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

The Fortune Hunter

Reviewed for @BMBR

3.75 Stars

Ever have one of those magical lazy days? Where it goes by so peacefully slow and the only requirement is pajamas? Yeah, me neither. But I can imagine they would be a lot like most of this book with its slow pacing, lazy country days, simmering attractions, and budding friendships.

I recommend reading the synopsis because it does a great job of setting the stage. As the book starts, Hal is meeting Margaret’s (his fiancé) family at their country estate. Clearly, Margaret didn’t fully prepare her family and all were surprised-especially Julian, her cousin. He is taken right away with Julian’s looks but must keep his eyes on the prize. Hal was an orphan and has always craved security in a life that lacked control, funds, food, love, and shelter. He truly cares for Margaret in the way you would a dear friend. Unfortunately, Hal didn’t account for Julian.

Julian is a self righteous arse that falls in line with the high society gentleman in London. He swoops in on his high horse and stays there for the first part of the book. He sees past Hal’s gentleman appearance and distrusts him immediately. Rightfully so, but it seems he’s most angry about his attraction to someone he can’t have. Margaret decides they need to extend their stay due to family obligations and Julian is all too eager to stay as well and find the truth about Hal.

But… on those lazy country days and against Julian’s better judgement, the men form a connection. Each know they are hiding something and find it impossible to resist the strolls, talks, and discussions on books and history. Their chaste interactions become thick with desire. The desperation they felt in a simple holding of hands made my heart ache. They were so different yet the same in their wish to be understood and loved in a world where their “proclivity” wasn’t tolerated. Although Julian and Hal unknowingly gave their hearts, the dark cloud of deception wasn’t ever far from sight. Julian has to reconcile the Hal he grew to know with the actual Hal. Or are they one in the same?

Hal is painted in negative light from the beginning and yet I understood and maybe even accepted his reasons. While his intent was deception, it wasn’t malicious. He wants a family to visit at Holiday, a place to hang his hat, children, and a companion.

The beginning of this book dragged a bit for me. Not much happened beyond talks, strolls, and riding. I did enjoy the progression of Julian and Hal’s relationship and the challenges they faced to get their HEA. The pacing picked up around 45% and it wasn’t long before I became fully invested in the characters, Margaret included. The way Hal and Margaret’s engagement/relationship was handled the second half was refreshing.

The second half of this historical drew me in and I was able to overlook *most* of my feelings about the sleepy start. I fell for the characters and even embraced the deception with heart eyes for Hal. Recommended for fans of historical romance.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

 

The Valet

Warning…This book contains LOTS of sex. Could it be deemed gratuitous? Yep. Did I mind? Not at all. For some reason, this historical porny-land didn’t grate on my brain like a book driven by sex typically would. So yep, lots of sex. You’ve been warned.

4 Stars

Reviewed for @BMBR

Well well well, this one took me completely by surprise. How is this S.J. Foxx’s debut novel? Bravo S.J. Foxx, Bravo! I know this isn’t a surprise anymore but I LOVE historical M/M romance. Regency era is my preferred but I dig 1920s and older. I say all that because I’m a picky bitch about them and I really enjoyed this. It was engaging, well written, entertaining, endearing, and hot AF. Two words… feather. duster. I’ll let that sink in while I give you the run down.

Hugo is a spoiled rich kid at 20 years old that was found in bed with another man’s wife (Don’t worry, he’s a big fan of the peen). After bringing shame to the family name, he gets shipped off to his dear ol’ Aunt and Uncle in England. If he doesn’t straighten up his act over the next year, he’ll lose his inheritance and be cut off. Hugo is whiny and self-destructive when given any opportunity. After arriving at Finchley Hall, he meets Sebastian, who soon becomes his valet. Hugo notices right away the mischievous smiles and wicked gleam in Sebastian’s eyes after every encounter and quickly becomes enamored. After Sebastian finds evidence of Hugo’s preferences, he wastes no time in providing creative ways to pass the hours.

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Yes, Let’s.

Sebastian was fucking awesome. He was cheeky, rebellious, assertive, dominant, sexually creative, and could reduce Hugo to a whimpering puddle of needy submissive goo with single look or tone of voice.

“Whilst we’re still sleeping together, you have to know that you don’t own me. I work for you, but you answer to me. Is that understood?”

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He had class elitist Hugo role-playing as a valet and getting off on it all the same. Sebastian had him making beds, getting him dressed, cleaning and shining dishes and Hugo was hard as a rock every time and begging for more. Sebastian was a forward thinker and fucked Hugo with the feather duster shaft after making him dust the room.

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Two birds. One stone and all that…

There was also humiliation kink, some spanking, and public sex which didn’t disappoint. There’s a lot of heat between these two and naturally that leads to some sex. A lot of smexy times are to be had by all.

Due to his station, Sebastian was deemed lower class which made the power exchange in the relationship all the more enjoyable and special. Along with all the heat, there were sweet and caring moments that provided depth to their relationship. It wasn’t all rainbow and snowflakes though. Hugo could be an arse when he was in one of his bratty moods. As I mentioned before, he’s self-destructive and for the first half lashed out at Sebastian for his own shortfalls. Hugo does realize the err of his ways and feels contrite about his treatment of Sebastian. They get their HEA in the end but it takes some work between them and also overcoming the other obstacles life throws their way.

Trigger warnings: There is drug use and an attempted sexual assault.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers that like an entree of historical romance with a big giant overflowing scoop of sex on the side.