Rating: 4.5 🌈
In Rock and Henry’s marvelous Regency series, The Lords of Bucknall Club, the authors start with a premise that history zigged instead of zagged in 1783 when the Marriage Act Amendment was introduced in England to allow same sex marriages. Why? Because it wanted to encourage childless marriages between the many lesser young men and women of the Realm. Those who wouldn’t inherit and therefore strengthen the right of the first born to inherit the title and property, not the younger siblings.
It’s a great twist on history and their take on Regency romance is just plain out splendid. It’s full of rakes, spies, romantic twits, Lords of high intelligence and those of questionable morals. It’s got it’s Bow Street Runners and it’s French Haberdashery! It’s just grand fun.
Sanctuary for Soulden , the fourth novel in the series, has at its center the enigmatic Philip Winthrop, Viscount Soulden. Viscount Soulden has been a major character over the series , always in the middle of things. Especially with his friend Lord Christmas Gale (A Case for Christmas #1).
Finally, after the major role Soulden played in what I affectionately call The Tale of Two Twits aka A Rival for Rivingdon #3, the man gets his own fabulous story.
By turns exciting, sexy, unexpectedly poignant, and yes, a tad funny, A Sanctuary for Soulden is such a great romantic romp that I forgot to take notes and just blew right through it.
The dialogue is sheer delight! Especially when it’s Soulden and the rest of the group gathered at The Bucknall Club. Whether it’s Soulden calling Worry “Wally”, a mare being mistaken for a stallion, or a waistcoat of hand painted buttons….of one’s husband. There’s always something memorable to comment one and chuckle at.
The medical profession, the subject of the need for corpses, the war, and it’s traumatic impact is strongly dealt with. But is ways that often sneak up on you, as they do the characters. Here the moments that recollect overwhelming loss, grief, anger, and guilt play out…a cacophony of emotions. All through the great characters of Surgeon Edmund Fernside and Fitz.
Not only can a reader clearly picture each setting and situations, but each character is so well defined that it’s a feeling of being connected each time we drop into the relationships and maneuverings as the story continues.
Like all the couples, who appear here, the relationship is one that is relatable and nicely realistic in its expectations. It’s definitely a HFN. I think that was a great choice here. Especially as all the others are going through changes and growth as well.
I’m excited over the next book, An Affair for Aument. It’s one that feeds beautifully out from this one with a new , yet amazing character.
This series just continues to expand and amaze. I highly recommend it to all. It’s just just a splendid thing you shouldn’t pass this or any of the books up. Read them in the order they are written.
Series – ThLords of Bucknall Club
A Husband for Hartwell #1
A Case for Christmas #2
A Rival for Rivingdon #3
A Sanctuary for Soulden #4.
A Affair for Aument #5 – coming later
He wasn’t meant for a quiet life.
Philip Winthrop, Viscount Soulden, is a fop. An idle popinjay with nothing more on his mind than how to best knot his cravat. He definitely doesn’t spy against the French. Or arrange hasty weddings. Or occasionally commandeer the navy. And he certainly doesn’t seek out mortal danger in order to combat his pervasive ennui. It’s all just a big misunderstanding when he’s shot by a French intelligence officer during a merry riverside chase. And what a wonderful bit of quick thinking to pretend to be a corpse in order to get himself taken to the local surgeon’s autopsy cellar. The French will never find him there. If the French are even looking for him. Which they’re not. Now he just needs to locate a way out before this surgeon fellow attempts to dissect him.
He’d rather deal with the dead than the living.
Surgeon Edmund Fernside does his best to heal the living, but in truth, he’d much rather look into the gaping chest cavity of a corpse than into the startling blue eyes of a…corpse that just climbed off his autopsy table. Well then. Lord Soulden is clearly a man with some complicated secrets. But with the French in hot pursuit and a rather brutal gunshot wound, Soulden’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and Fernside discovers that he enjoys the pleasure of his company. In more ways than one.
Now, trusting each other could mean the difference between life and death.
As Soulden learns to be still for the first time in his life, Fernside wonders if perhaps it’s time to spread his wings a little. They can only hide from the outside world—and from their pasts—for so long before the secrets they’ve uncovered about each other strain the growing attraction between them. Each man must decide whether a life of comfortable lies is preferable to one full of difficult truths. And whether the sanctuary they’ve created together is something worth fighting for.
A Sanctuary for Soulden is the fourth book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance. The Lords of Bucknall Club can be read in any order.