The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple (gay historical romance) Kindle Edition
|Length: 344 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- "(...) action packed and had me on the edge of my seat. (...) I see Evan and Julian as the first M/M power couple." - Natasha, Kindle Cousins
- "A book that will leave its mark on you." - Caryn, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- "(...) the perfect blend of romance and action. It's amidst chaos, and with the threat of everything ending, that the love and connection of the characters really shine." - Ele, Gay Book Reviews
- "Watching these two lonely and vulnerable men as they lower their guards and finally start to open up to each other was really touching." - Alisa, Goodreads
- "They were two men dealt a rotten deal in life but refused to be herded like sheep to the slaughter, they stood proud and tall and gave us the most enthralling and remarkable love story." - Lorraine Lesar, Three Books Over the Rainbow
About the Author
- ASIN : B01N7WQHV7
- Publisher : Acerbi & Villani Ltd. (February 7, 2017)
- Publication date : February 7, 2017
- Language: : English
- File size : 4534 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 344 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #435,766 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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We could see Evan and Julian as anti-heroes, but the book isn't written with that perspective. In some scenes where we might find an author exploring emotionally and morally complicated motives we find instead two authors giving their characters thin, ad hoc motivations in order to force a scene into the narrative. I found myself wanting to like these characters, even sympathizing with them, at times, but ultimately I struggled to see and feel why I should be on their side.
The odd and awkward writing, which, especially towards the end, tended to drone on and on, is another major problem. This book is apparently lacked a good, objective editor prior to publication. I assume a good editor would realize most scenes and the book as a whole are too long. Such an editor might also question the authors' strange sentence structures that frequently called attention to themselves - thereby taking me out of the imagined world and interrupting my connection to it. It feels a lot like unsuccessfully trying to ape the sound or style of a period, trying to give it an authentic feel but failing. The authors have a strange sense of word choice, unsuccessfully stretching the typical use of words for stylistic effect. (I'd provide examples but this review is already too long).
If I start a book I almost always finish it - even if it is so bad I skin big sections of it. This novel isn't as bad as that, although I skimmed a bit in the last chapters as it seemed to drag on. But it has some serious flaws. I urge the authors to find a good editor who can take their passion for writing to to the next level. If I ever pick up a book by these authors (who write together under a single name) it won't be because I want a good book. It will because I'm curious if they've become better writers
Evan is caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to be a gentleman and save the one thing in his existence that is worth anything, but without the necessary funds to do so. Until he pulls over the carriage bearing Julian.
Julian is avoiding marriage, and the further displeasure of his father and brother. He’s made a mess of his life, and not cared, until he crosses paths with the highwayman that makes his blood stir.
Evan and Julian clash, in the worst ways, and in the best ways. Evan knows what he wants, yet doesn’t understand Julian well enough to interpret his meanings, and Julian is giving mixed signals every time Evan turns around. The days may be long and riddled with dust and neglect, but the nights are full, and hotter than they’ve any right being in Cornwall.
Before you set this one in mind as just an erotic story though, be aware that is does have a great plot, with Evan and Julian working as highwayman, and trying to understand one another. It has some of the best character development I’ve seen in awhile, and while there is quite a bit of angst, it’s worth the ride.
Do heed the warnings in the book description, because some readers may find this novel triggering. But! for those that like bad boys, some angst, a great plot with mystery. Also–Evan is a cinnamon roll. Just saying….
But what you will get is a heat-stopping, and heart-warming, story involving two fiercely independent and exceptionally strong young men working their way from bitter confrontation to wildly abandoned lust to totally committed love.
Both men are upper Regency class, Evan is gay, Julian is a wastrel who is sometimes interested in women but never really men. Until Evan confronts him and takes him against his will, only to suffer the consequences of Julian's deeply resentful reactions.
And from there the adventure begins and does not stop--a wild, wild ride through the Cornish culture and countryside, some completely unredeemable villains, some dedicated friends, some very nasty family members.
This ride is smoothed at times by a beautifully developed love story that will leave you hanging until the very end, which should be followed up by a novella to bring the smile on your face up to a wide grin.
Exceptional in every sense.
And it botherd me that they used the word prick all the time it started sounding weird after while but that's prolly just me.
How I loved the fast pace in the beginning only to slow it down and let our MCs get to know one another in the middle. These two men are some of my favorite characters ever!
Top reviews from other countries
It’s no secret I devour anything I can get my hands on by these authors, but I’ve been particularly aching for the release of this book, as the ladies are amazing at penning historical romance, albeit usually alternative history. Their Zombie Gentlemen books?...some of my absolute fave reads. So it comes as no surprise at just how much I relished this one. It's beautifully written and honestly one of the most romantic books I may have ever read, and thankfully, doesn't get too bogged down with the world building.
The reclusive and near penniless nobleman, Sir Evan Penhart, finds himself thrust into a life of crime of his own making. Due to the fecklessness of his late brother, Evan’s ancestral home is rapidly deteriorating while his debts are spiralling out of control...so desperate times, calls for desperate measures. His one-time shot in his new role of highwayman goes quickly south when he accosts the haughty little dandy, Julian Reece – who’s been quite literally dragged kicking and screaming from another of his all-night benders to travel with his brother to meet his future bride. But instead of merely robbing the other man, Evan agrees to Julian's mutually beneficial ploy of pseudo-kidnapping him and holding his wealthy father to ransom, thus allowing Evan to save his home from ruin, whilst Julian escapes his arranged marriage and flees the country. Cleverly concocted plan right? Would be, if Julian's father actually gave a toss about his son’s welfare..and..if the two didn't balls up the entire scheme by falling madly in love with one another.
I loved that a lot of the formalities and social etiquettes of the time that would've normally been present between these men, had been dispensed with from pretty early on in their relationship, due to the highly unusual predicament they found themselves in. It forced the pair to not only become much more open and frank, but also afforded them the luxury of time to really get to know and trust one another...and of course, act on their attraction. And in an era when homosexuality meant imprisonment or the death penalty, these men would've never had the opportunity to even consider the possibility of a life together, making this tale just that little bit more forbidden and exciting. But it's also damn funny in parts. The initial interactions between the men is first class, especially when Evan has to suffer Julian's fanciful and incessant wittering about money, fine clothes, his “toss-off book about fairies”, and other inanities, whilst poor Evan’s barely making ends meet. So how he managed to refrain from throttling the pompous brat, was baffling.
However, Julian isn't quite the useless and narcissistic creature we initially assume. It was heartwarming to see that beneath all that shallow superficiality of frivolity and finery, there's actually a very decent, kind and dependable man, with a tender and caring side. And who also, when the need arose, wasn't afraid to fight for his lover and also muck in and get his hands dirty, when he fought side by side with his man against the villains of the tale. I was admittedly beaming with pride on his behalf. But I confess, Evan stole my heart from the get-go, as I'm ever the sucker for a swarthy brute with a brooding intensity, not to mention he’s got a helluva kinky side to boot. But the real clincher? Selling his beloved telescope so his little canary could go to the ball. Aaawwww....if I didn’t already adore the man…then that selfless and uber-romantic gesture surely did the trick. That, and the way he pandered to his pretty peacock’s every whim, was, for me, nothing short of swoon-worthy.
This is also a sexual awakening tale for Julian. Unbeknownst to himself, the reason for Julian's lack of interest in bedding any of the wenches at his local brothel of late, is because of his true sexuality. But when feelings stir within mere hours of meeting his captor, and he finds himself ogling the brawny beauty at every opportunity, he’s genuinely perplexed as to why. So when he eventually realises that all his thoughts and fancies of late have more than likely been triggered by his latent desire for men, I honestly felt such a rush of relief...and happiness for him. Evan on the other hand, is all too aware of his own inclinations. And while he tries to suppress his sexual orientation for obvious reasons, he finds himself lusting after Julian from the second he lays eyes on him.
Admittedly the lovers’ first time together may have been under morally dubious circumstances – when Evan decides to ravish Julian as payment when his father refuses to pay up – but imo, Julian more than wanted Evan. But he also needed to be wooed and cherished first, and not made to feel like he didn't have a say in the matter. And in that respect, this felt reminiscent of the whole Dom & Seth (GnB) scenario. And besides, the slightly dub-con nature of Julian and Evan’s first coupling, made it no less sexy. Although as their relationship deepens and strengthens and the men confess their love and devotion, the sex becomes crazy-hot, but also sweet, tender and very loving. And they also get a little kinky together, when Evan inadvertently introduces Julian to the joys of a little bondage & discipline.
Even for m/m readers who aren't normally fans of historical romance, I'd urge to have a crack at this. It's a must read imo. It's such an exciting, drama-filled, sexy, funny, sweet and super-romantic new take on the old-school bodice ripper. With 2 beautiful, albeit occasionally flawed, leads, who you will undoubtedly come to love and root for. And love or loathe them, there's also some intriguing background characters too - those who aid our star-crossed lovers in their struggle for freedom and happiness, and those who go to any lengths to prevent it. There's no epilogue showing the couple living their HEA, but believe me, the story doesn't miss it. These enemies to friends to lovers go through hell to be together, making it a guarantee they're in it for the long haul. The only other thing I'd like to see is Martin (what a sweetheart) get his own tale some day??, as I did feel a little bad for him.
I don't think the authors intended to write a rape story but a dom/sub one, but the lack of care taken in redrafts means they have written something very harmful.