Rebecca Cohen dives back into Elizabethan England with Much Ado About Lady MacBeth. A enlarged, rewritten version of a short story, it takes place in the same universe as Cohen’s historical Crofton Chronicles.
Those are favorite books of mine featuring a certain Earl and actor Sebastian, who is very present here! It’s wonderful to see him again, and the Earl, if only in mentions.
Cohen centers her story around the activities and actors of King’s Men, the company of players at the Globe theatre, in London, England. The two main characters are actively hostile towards each other, upcoming actors who each seek the same roles.
David Bell, who’s family lives in the slums, barely surviving, is about to age out of female roles. But he’s still wanting to play Lady MacBeth before he leaves female roles behind. The descriptions of the poverty and living conditions are concise yet impactful.
His rival for that role and others? The person known for making disparaging remarks about him? That would be the lovely Jacob Milner. Pretty of face, but with a nasty word for him. And the current favorite with plenty of money behind him. His middle class background is also well defined and believable.
Cohen sets the stage with Shakespeare’s verse, plays, good old fashioned mystery, misconceptions, and a healthy sexy romp or two.
All while keeping within the laws and morals of the times where same sex relationships were illegal and men could be gallows bound if caught.
It’s still got the feeling of a shorter story but with a fuller heart. The characters are well done and Cohen’s universe and understanding of the times is well established.
It’s a sweet historical romance and a lovely edition to The Crofton Chronicles , especially if you’re a fan like me.
I’m recommending it!
Jacob Milner might have the face of an angel and the legs of a sinner, but his poisonous tongue would taint even the prettiest visage.
A Shakespearean era enemies to lovers MM Romance
David Bell has risen from the London slums to be one of the up-and-coming stars of the King’s Men, the company of players at the Globe theatre. On the cusp of being too old for female roles, he yearns to play one more part before he leaves the skirts behind: Lady Macbeth. But he is not alone in that desire, and his nemesis, Jacob Milner, a soft-bellied popinjay who has never known day’s work in his life, is also vying for the part.
Sparks have flown between them before, but the fiery barbs and risqué name calling are hiding a different passion. But even if they do manage to put their animosity behind them, Jacob has another problem, his father is trying to marry him off to the daughter of Baron Runcorn.
Modern Crofton series:
🔹Saving Crofton Hall #1 (orig released 2014
🔹Making History at Crofton Hall
🔹Below Stairs at Crofton Hall
🔹Getting Married at Crofton Hall-TBR September 2022
A spin-off from The Crofton Chronicles-historic romance series
🔹The Actor and The Earl #1
🔹Duty to the Crown #2
🔹Forever Hold His Peace #3