Rating: 3. 5 stars out of 5
American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.
Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.
Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.
Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee is a very old fashioned romance. It reminds me very much of those old movies and books where the heat was in the touch of a hand and the shared looks because that’s pretty much all you’re going to get here. This is romance sans the physical aspect except for the kiss and the implied “togetherness” to come. Fade to black.
However, the rest was charming, maybe a little fusty in that old way I’d forgotten, that I enjoyed the book for what it was. A slow buildup of a relationship between Finch and Benedict and when I mean slow I mean molasses on a cold winter morning slow. They aren’t clueless about the way they feel about each other. No, but it’s tied up in all sorts of things money, and estates and well, British. Honestly Finch reads more English then he does American. If I forgot about the fact that he’s supposed to be from the US, then it fit better. Finch could be anyone away on his first big trip and it works. His mistakes are those of a first timer and are very believable. Brownlee has made him a nurse and his inclination to help, to jump in and rescue defines his character. We get Finch, and so does Benedict, although not that he wants to at the start.
What makes this book so lovely and warm are the characters that Brownlee creates for it. Not just Benedict and Finch, but all the wonderful supporting cast, including the ones at the manor to Benedict’s family that ends up playing a major role in their relationship.
Eddie Izzard does a very funny bit in his routine about the difference between US and British films. He talks about in the British one (Room with a View) , romances where the mc is shuffling matches to the American ones where we switch it up to Room with a View of Hell, Pond of Hell etc. If you haven’t seen the bit, You Tube it or click on the link, it’s brilliant. This story is the shuffling matches one, with just one or two nods to the American in it.
Anyhow, now I’m thinking about Eddie Izzard.
If you like sweet stories with zero heat and lovely characters, then this Dreamspun Desires addition from Elle Brownlee is just the thing for you.
Cover Artist: Bree Archer. Design and art works for branding the series and this story. Nicely done.