- File Size: 1595 KB
- Print Length: 157 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Kate Rothwell (June 13, 2016)
- Publication Date: June 13, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01G4OQDIS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$6.99|
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The Private Secretary Kindle Edition
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In this book the class distinction exists between several characters, most prominently Robert, a madcap man about town, and Ezra, a bookish man of the middle class, whose family has had a terrible financial setback. In addition you discover that Robert’s cousin Ambrose is one of those scholars and eccentrics for whom class is secondary to intellect. Robert’s disdain fades away as he gets to know his cousin and comes to respect him. On top of that and other distinctions, Robert even starts to think about his servants and how they might feel about changes in his household when at first Ambrose joins it, then a small cadre of odd little people, and of course Ezra himself who gets elevated not only to living in the household but living in the master’s bed.
It is fascinating to watch how Devon has Robert evolve. The first time you see him and Ezra together, Ezra is up a ladder in a library and Robert is on the floor giving him puzzled and slightly disdainful looks. They have a sort of history together. You soon find out that Ezra’s friend Francis was once hurt by Robert’s lack of respect for him. Robert remembers the friend, Francis, putting down Ezra as to infatuated into intense. Both Robert and Ezra learn quickly to rethink their former judgment. Ezra, constantly confronted by Robert’s quizzing, finally admits to why he doesn’t like Robert, or why he might not seem to. Between Robert’s disdainful behavior toward Ezra’s friend Francis and Ezra’s own sexual attraction to Robert, the wealthier man soon comes to realize just how complex Ezra’s reaction his ban. Between observing the man and his treatment of his cousin and the servants, Ezra comes to understand that Robert is not a self-satisfied, superior type, but actually quite concerned with others’ feelings. Ezra comes to understand that Robert quite cares for his cousin Ambrose, and through the many encounters they have with others just how readily Robert begins to care for them. One unexpected character in the story is Emile, a beggar child who starts out being discovered to be a boy, not a girl, who steals food at every opportunity, and who turns out to be a charming fresh air for everyone.
One characteristic of gay romances is that at some point at least once or twice there will be a sex scene, some authors going on for pages and pages and others offering something short and sweet. In Devon’s case the sex scenes are always distinct and unique, explicit but at the same time terribly sweet. I definitely like where they get to.
I am going to have to contact Devon and Dee, though I must quickly point out that this book was only by Devon, to learn how they write together and how they manage this incredible volume of work between them and individually. I so admire their understanding of human nature, their skillful writing, and the freshness and latter understanding of both the individuals and pairings in their novels. Maybe someday I’ll have the good fortune to get to write something along with one or the other or both of them.
I am leery of historicals, simply because I’ve read too much Victorian literature and am impatient with them. Devon manages to pull it off very neatly.
For all that she’s not apparently British, Devon (aka Kate Rothwell) manages to maintain a believable British sense of place and language. There’s a certain stilted quality to the written English that echoes period literature, for all that the story itself would be impossible in the context of nineteenth-century England. It is a graceful piece of work, and she makes both Ezra and Robert prickly enough that they seem plausible and human, rather than idealized caricatures. Ezra is wounded and self-righteous; Robert is arrogant and snobbish. (Yes, shades of Pride and Prejudice.) But the use of Ambrose MacBean, who in modern times would be understood as being on the autism spectrum, is very smartly accomplished, and it is Ambrose’s story and Ambrose’s character that direct our attention away from the main protagonists in the most effective possible way. Through their actions towards Ambrose, both Ezra and Robert see the other as they really are. This plot device also gives us the chance to think about what was defined as madness in Victorian England, and the grim realities of a world where the workings of the human mind were so little understood.
I enjoy this author's writing, because her books have always some story to tell. There is never "wam bam thank you ma'am" as is too often a fact in ebooks.
For me there is an aditional suspence in these historical books - how will the writer solve the relationship in the light of the actual time period and is it believable? In 19th century was this kind of relationship punishable by law. To make it believable a position as a secretary is perfect. A close relationship between a gentleman and his secretary was after all almost a requirement.
Robert is the gentleman in this story and a man in development, too. Not only because of Ezra, the other MC, but very much because of his cousin Ambrose. Ambrose is a somewhat eccentrical amateur scientist (today we would probably say he had Asperger's syndrome). Robert had saved him from what one could rightly call a house of shame (not that kind of shame!). There were places calling themselves institutions or homes or even hospitals, but they were in fact kind of repositories of unwanted people. Sometimes their families really believed it was for the person's best, sometimes they just wanted to get rid of them.
Ezra, a man of middle class background, needs desperately a job. Becoming secretary to Ambrose will bring him close to Robert, towards whom he (in the begining) harbours some resentment. This will, of course, gradually change.
It is really a sweet love story. And a borrowed dromedary as a kind of wedding gift to a wedding that can never be!? Funny.
Most recent customer reviews
With all the lush trappings of the well-to-do and the ne’er-do-well, The Private Secretary takes you on...Read more