Once A Gentleman is a M/M Regency romance by Eliot Grayson, the second in the author’s Love in Portsmouth series.
This reminded me why I loved the Regency novels so with characters at near constant flash points with each other , starting from the moment Kit Hewlett fell awkwardly into the arms of Andrew Turner, who walked into the bookstore Kit was working at.
Then fired from because of the incident. The first of many incendiary arguments stemming from misunderstandings and assumptions quickly follows.
Grayson’s two person pov contributes substantially towards putting the reader in the middle of this combustible relationship as it shouts, snarks, daydreams, argues, threatens, and finally ends up , in love . But even that has it’s stumbling moments.
The characters need to undergo, especially Andrew, a sea change in terms of his life and character. He does so by bringing Kit into his house, with all of Kit’s restraints and expectations. And Kit’s reactions towards Andrew’s own wildly unwanted impulsive actions to pull Kit towards him.
In between all the drama and character actions happening at the Turner household, there’s the ship being repaired and readied for a new assignment.
Grayson saves the reality of Turner’s maritime career until the last section of this story, bringing with it one of the most romantic moments of their journey together.
There’s more then once you will want to knock heads here over continuing issues and slights that could be solved by better communication. But I was absolutely committed to this story and couple, and read this book straight through from start to finish.
If you’re a lover of historical fiction and Regency romance, here’s a story and series for you.
Love in Portsmouth series:
✓ Like A Gentleman #1
✓ Once A Gentleman #2
Penniless, friendless, and with nowhere left to turn after his family’s ruin, Kit Hewlett can’t afford any more disasters. When a rakish, too-handsome gentleman—and Kit’s own clumsiness—cause him to lose his position as a bookshop clerk, Kit has no choice but to accept the gentleman’s offer of employment as his secretary.
Andrew Turner serves honorably in the Royal Navy, but when ashore he wastes his fortune and his time on an endless round of drinking, cards, and…other pleasures. He appreciates his new secretary’s slim body and pretty green eyes more than he ought, but he’s also struck by Kit’s quick wit and clever mind. To Andrew’s shock, he finds himself wanting more than a tumble. But that’s inconvenient. It’s irritating. And Kit won’t bed him anyway.
Trying to convince Kit that he’s more than just a debauched wastrel takes some doing, but once desire overrides Kit’s common sense, their attraction explodes into passion. Just as Kit dares to believe in Andrew’s love, Andrew’s ship is sent on a mission to the Continent. Will separation, worry, and fear tear them apart or will love bind them to one another forever?
This is the second book in a series, but it can be read as a standalone. Contains debauchery galore, a footman who wants to murder the butler, love letters, and gratuitous references to Gothic novels…and of course, a guaranteed HEA.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.