Helping his poor parishioners Baby animals Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre
After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.
Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:
His ship People doing precisely as they’re told Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity
Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.
In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.
This was one of those ARCs that had been on my schedule for so long that I forgot what it was–and when I pulled it up and saw the cover, I made this face:
I obviously knew it was a romance from the title but I had forgotten that Avon sent me one with two male leads! I was pumped to see how it fit the genre, how homosexuality was treated in society, and how the typical romance themes were approached.
I am here to tell you that this is one of the sweetest romance novels I’ve ever read. I immediately fell in love with adorable Ben and grumpy Phillip–their characters were interesting and deeply developed. And the tension was more a soft simmering friendship than a boiling pot of love/hate, which I always feel is the preferable way to go. Ben teaches Phillip how to connect with his children on their level instead of being militant about it, sort of like Maria and Captain von Trapp in Sound of Music. And Phillip realizing his son has the same form of dyslexia that he has? So sweet.
Ok…as you can see, I could go on and on…I quite obviously loved this novel. I was a little disappointed that the couple held back their relationship from two of their closest friends, but I do understand that in societal context of the time. They do mention going to prison if caught a few times, mostly when out in public. Otherwise, most of the people in their lives seem to recognize what is happening and are welcoming.
All the major plot points for the usual romance novels are there, so fans of the genre are sure to love this as much as I did. I’ve added the second in the Seducing the Sedgwicks line, along with all the rest of Cat Sebastian’s books to my TBR.
Avon Books provided a copy of this ARC for unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.