- File Size: 2558 KB
- Print Length: 215 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 17, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 17, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LZMABR0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The First Act Kindle Edition
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|Length: 215 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The First Act is an historical piece set in 1594 England. William believes he is love with the stage actor Richard Brasyer. His cousin Geoffrey is one of the owners of the playing company and William convinces him to take him on as an apprentice. After all being the youngest of four brothers leaves little for him to stay at home for, especially when he has a preference for men. While learning his new trade, William makes it his mission to seduce Richard without truly knowing what he’s getting in to.
The primary cast is small, and the author doesn’t stray from the storyline, which is good. William is a determined young man, from a small town wanting to experience the excitement of life. Richard is the irresistible stage fantasy women and men fill their dreams with. Privately, he’s a man with a heart who, due to his past, is hesitant to share it. Geoffrey is the caring cousin who gives both Richard and William warnings of a different kind. Then there is Bennet, the wealthy man who has acquaintances of the highest and lowest quality – a man who Richard both loves and hates. Will Richard’s growing affection for William take root? Will William’s love turn out to be only lust? Or will Bennet interfere in everything? I had fun finding out.
This story is written with the same quality that readers are used to coming from Dreamspinner. And for the majority, the language used is historically appropriate. I understand that the copy I read isn’t necessarily the final version, so this may change. However, the etymology dictionary suggests that some of the language (in the definition way it is used) doesn’t fit the period, e.g., F***, as a word referring to sexual intercourse wasn’t used until the 1670’s, and, cannot, wasn’t shortened to can’t until 1706. I’m on the fence here because, I recognize the need to be authentic, but reading entirely historically correct novels can be hard to understand unless Google is one’s partner while reading. Personally, I found the little embellishment on the timeline, helped me connect to the characters better. I think more stories like this could help open up historical novels to a wider audience.
The First Act has a charm about it. William is pushy, Bennet is ruthlessly calm, Richard is caught between the two. The spy angle is a later addition to the story, adding a little more drama. It is, however, the budding relationship between William and Richard, with Bennet as an interfering third wheel that takes up the majority. I found it an easy story to read and understand.
William Moodie of 'First Act' by Vanessa Mulberry loves to perform on stage. He also fancies himself in love with Richard Brayser, a famous actor, and will do almost anything to get to know him. William begs his cousin, Geoffrey, who works with Richard, to help him secure a place in their theater group. Geoffrey reluctantly agrees. When Richard throws out his apprentice for stealing, he replaces him with William. Out of respect for his cousin, Richard doesn't treat William like he did his former apprentice who was also his lover. Richard is determined to keep him out of his bed but William wants a chance to prove how much he loves Richard and how indispensable he can be and, hopefully, get Richard to love him back.
Richard tries to cool William's ardor by telling him that he's not the person William thinks he is alluding to a tarnished past; but it doesn't work. William tells Richard that he loves him and is going to keep at it until his feelings are returned. At every turn, William keeps throwing himself at Richard to get, if not love, at least mutual sexual pleasure. After being treated so badly by his former master, Bennet Goldfox, Richard has sworn never to let anyone have that kind of power over him again but, in his heart, he still loves and despises Bennet at the same time. When Richard is called back to spy for Bennet once again, he goes. Although he intends to leave William at home, Bennet's underhanded scheming makes it impossible to do so.
Even though from the country, William is not a bumpkin. He is smart, observant, and quite inventive when need be. He's young and naive, but knows how to improvise when he has has no experience to draw from, often impressing Richard with his ingenuity. William is also cheeky and stubborn and often will not take no for an answer without an explanation. He's impulsive, as twenty-year-olds often are, but, at times, he can be pragmatic. William has never done any spying, but he's up for it, actually intrigued and vaguely excited to be put in a situation involving subterfuge. William sees this as another opportunity to prove his worth and impress Richard. Honestly, he does not realize the intrinsic peril of the situation, but is very good at thinking on his feet and reacting immediately when he needs to do so.
This is the introduction to a new series and, as such, has a lot of background information to impart, leaving less time for the actual romance. I love William and all his spunk and determination but am somewhat conflicted about Richard and can't feel their chemistry the way I expected. I'm hoping, as Richard opens up more to William, I will gain more insight into their relationship in the future and also hope for more romance. I enjoyed the portrayal of 16th century life particularly as it related to the stage productions. The descriptions were vivid and easy to picture in my mind. Thanks, Vanessa. I am looking forward to seeing what these two get up to next.
Originally reviewed at Rainbow book Reviews.
I thought the dynamics were good, even with a bit of a triangle going, it wasn't ham fisted and what would probably happen to real people. Also, Sam was my favourite. Yes, he wasn't in it that much, but I want more Sam please.
And speaking of to come, thank you for not fading to black! Let's see more of that please!