Lately, I’ve been feeling in the mood for something historical. I had a period in my life back in the day, when all I read was historical (M/F) romances and I adored them. These days, I prefer contemporary, but every now and then longing for gentlemen and historical settings flare up in my chest and I want to indulge.
Widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.
Christy’s life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.
Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy’s life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy’s emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?
There’s a special place in my heart for imperfect heroes. I’m not a super fan of the alpha male, the gruff main character with chiseled abs who likes to pin his man to the wall and have his way with him. I much prefer the normal guy. The flawed guy who manages to steal my heart just by being awesome. Just like Lawrence. Mr. Fenton. He was born with a physical deformity of his hip and leg, and he thinks it makes him unlovable. He’s spent a long time all alone, hiding behind a gruff exterior, and it’s not until Christy comes into his life that it changes.
Christy is a fabulous character full of joy and creativity despite the conditions of his life. His mother is remarried to a drunken idiot, who uses his fists on both Mother and son and takes almost all the money Christy earns in the bookstore and buys booze with it. Christy’s life changed for the better that day when he stepped into Mr. Fenton’s bookstore.
I want to visit that bookstore. I want to sink down into the old chairs (that Christy restored) in front of the fire, and drink a cup of tea and eat one of Christy’s slightly charred biscuits. I want to browse the books and have a conversation with Mrs. Anderton. The bookstore is fabulous and I can imagine it so clearly.
“Spending his days amongst books was his idea of absolute heaven.”
Lawrence and Christy’s story is slow burn, but full of emotion. Both characters are amazing, and I love seeing them be there for each other from the start, even when neither of them knew if the other was gay or not. And maybe that’s why I adore this book so much: I’m a big fan of the small, thoughtful ways to show your love. Like how Christy leaps up the ladders that are difficult for Lawrence because of his hip. Or how Lawrence gives Christy coal or firewood to take home to his mother.
“He waited for him to resist, to pull away, demand to know what his game was…but he melted into him, buried his face in Lawrence’s neck, and let out a shuddering sigh that pierced Lawrence’s parched, lonely heart.”
I loved this book. I mean like I want to scream it from the rooftops-loved it and I’m going to make it my life’s mission to force everyone to buy it. Buy this book! It’s an order! Curl up in your favorite reading spot with a cup of tea (or hot chocolate!) and immerse yourself in Lawrence and Christy’s love story. It’s glorious and you won’t be sorry.
This is definitely a five Christmas tree-read and it ended up on my feelgood, re-read shelf…and I went and bought most of Ruby Moone’s other books at JMS Books 😀