Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Bad boys don’t tame easy.
Victor is a bad man. Is there anything he won’t do for power and money?
Destroy a local business so he can buy it cheap? Kick out its owners and turn it into a cash cow? He relishes the chance.
Idris is a good man in possession of a renowned tea-house. He’s put his heart and soul into the place. It’s everything he has and wants…
Except for Victor.
He wants Victor too.
Can the love of a compassionate man soften a predator’s heart before it’s too late? Or is Idris doomed to lose his life’s work, and his heart with it?
A contemporary mm romance, Seeing Red is a long-awaited new installment of the critically acclaimed Trowchester Series.
Each book in the series is a standalone, and can be read in any order.
I have been an enthusiastic fan of Alex Beecroft’s Trowchester series since the release of the first story, Trowchester Blues. There we met Finn Hulme, a retired criminal, now proud owner of a bookshop in Trowchester and Michael May, ex cop come to the village and his childhood home full of bad memories. Everything about that story has staying power. Vivid complicated characters, a powerful romance with a troubled and rocky path, realistic given the men, and a complex plot that included Finn’s past returning to haunt him. All that while introducing us to the village of Trowchester. The canals, the canal boats, the shops, the people, and overall atmosphere of ancient and waning, new and struggling. So remarkable and vivid that the place just felt as though you could go visit and walk the streets, but stay in the lights in certain areas.
This first novel set the format for the characters and plots really for the stories that followed in the series. Contemporary romance yes, but the main characters? Unlike really any I’d met. They felt raw, real, sweet and naive, solemn and severe, gritty and savvy, broken and internally twisted.Even sociopathic in some cases, their upbringing warm or a horror, or even , here where several of the characters and their culture is so far removed from the British norm.
Seeing Red is another spectacular novel and romance which further elevates this series. It starts with Victor and his very different perspective. It’s that of a man who is going to destroy someone we have come to love through the previous stories, Idris and his quirky tea shop. However, Beecroft turns this into a psychological study of a man who’s entire life has been a struggle of fear and survival, stemming from abandonment and pain, and constant abuse. Victor has used the items of wealth as barriers against all that in his life, watches, clothes, condos, and a job he hates. All a wall against the existence he had growing up and the voice that beats against his brain and heart constantly when he lets it. It’s a fierce and scary thing.
On the other end of the spectrum is sweet, and somewhat naive Idris, running his shop with his cousin from Bangladesh, where being gay is a crime. But even in Trowchester, things are uncertain. Brexit and the rise of hate crimes in England against Muslims are making Lalima uneasy and she is thinking of returning. But this is his home and his special place, his friends, and his sanctuary. His and others. Something we have come to understand through the stories. His gentle kind and loving nature shines like a welcoming beam through the pages ….to us and to Victor.
The thing is that Victor is unformed in so many ways. He’s broken and stuck as a fearful almost child/man who has never seen the consequences of his actions or wanted something other than things. All that will change now.
Seeing Red is shattering, heartbreaking, raw, beautiful, and incredible. It’s about love and redemption.
And as Alex Beecroft does, enlarging one’s universe again and again.
There are things here that as an American I will never quite get. The obsession and deep pain that gets inflicted on those with red hair in the UK or England. Yes, people in the US get their share of getting called “carrot head” and other names, but basically its kid stuff. Not the culturally deep seated derision and worse that seems to be reserved for “Gingers” over there. That too comes through loud and clear though Victor .
Not familiar with this series? Each is a standalone so start anywhere. Including here. Then go and get each one. They are perfection and absorbing. I highly recommend them all.
Cover art is gorgeous.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 298 pages
Published May 12th 2019