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The White Swan Affair

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  36 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
London, 1810
After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay—but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister.

With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he
Kindle Edition, 255 pages
Published May 21st 2012 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
FYI>>> This review contains a quote of an erotic nature. ;)

This historical romance is a work of fiction revolving around the real events that happened at the White Swan on Vere Street in London in 1810. The White Swan was a molly house (gay club) that was raided by the police and a bunch of men were arrested and tried... This book does have some homosexual situations but it is not the main focus. The primary character in this story is Hester Aspinall.

We meet Hester as she is looking fo
I really enjoyed this book provided by netgalley. It is primarily a really strong story, which is, amazingly, based upon real events, and worked into a romance.

What I liked about this one:

- This is a really, really great story, based upon real events, and is a side of Regency history which is never, ever written about, and certainly not in a romance. There were a multitude of brothels in London, for heterosexuals, homosexuals and everything in between. Of course, much (if not all) of this was st
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Its the story of Robert's acceptance and his spinster sister, Hester's destiny. Robert and Hester lost their parents and Hester lost her fiancee to the sea, a few years ago. After all these terrible things, that happened to them, the family somehow sustains with Robert's occupation. Robert has a tailor shop to support his family. His shop's landlord, Thomas, has an attraction going for Hester. But, he thinks that Hester is not interested in him, without knowing the fact that the attraction is mu ...more
Review originally posted at The Bookpushers.

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

London, 1810
After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay-but she doesn’t fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor’s sister.
With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into ma
Dolce Amore
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Booked Up

To See Review at Booked Up

Thomas Ramsay is the third son of a Wiltshire baronet and the landlord to Hester Aspinall's brother Robert. When Robert is accused of sodomy and thrown into Newgate Prison, Thomas helps Hester to discover his whereabouts. If only it could have been someone else! Thomas is the only man for whom she has felt attraction since her fiance’s death.

A smile. A nod. A few brief words. She’d collected their encounters like a naturalist collects treasured sp
Stephanie Tracy
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I dont think it would be possible for me to say enough good things about this book. I won an e-copy of it online and was so excited to dive into it. Being a fan of romance stories (especially unconventional ones), this one really struck me as something interesting. I was very pleasantly surprised by how heavy this book actually was. It's not your typical light-hearted romance novel with teeny tiny speed bumps that the main characters have to get over before finding their happy ending. At the hea ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Michaels
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
It's been four years since her fiance's death left Hester heartbroken, alone, and totally dependent on her brother Robert. Since then, she's led a safe, albeit passionless, life. Her ordered world comes crashing down on her, though, when Robert gets arrested in a raid on a gay brothel. Suddenly, her friends turn on her, her brother's business is ruined, and she has lost her home and protector. Things look terribly bleak until Thomas enters the picture.

Thomas is Robert's landlord, and he's held a
Chrystal Snowdrop Dreams
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Going into this novel, I had no idea that the White Swan was an actual place or that Robert Aspinall was a real man charged with the very crimes mentioned in this story. It was fascinating to read the section at the end that mentions which parts of the story were real and which were fictional. Ms. Mady has given a colourful and interesting life to Mr. Aspinall, regardless that some of the characters and backgrounds were fictional.

I will say at first the story really revolves around Hester Aspin
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review also appears on my blog at http://www.thegoldenruleof666.blogspo...

I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't.
The story goes that Hester's brother, Robert, is arrested in a gay brothel. She goes to Thomas for help and, while they are trying to save Robert, they fall in love.

Okay, the summary and the cover make it seem like the romance is the center of the story...but it's not. The center is Robert's fight for freedom. While that's all well and good and I could have adjus
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Elyse Mady has taken a true life person in the name of Robert Aspinall and created a fictional world for him. She tells us that there was a real Robert Aspinall who earned a living as a tailor and who was, in fact, arrested in a raid on the White Swan and charged accordingly. Elyse has woven a wonderful story incorporating the real-life arrest, ultimate incarceration, and trial along with a fictional family background and future. Her characters are written with depth and her story is told in an ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
London, 1810
After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay—but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister.

With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he can't get the plain-spoken and desirable Hester out of his mind, even though she's never tried to secure his
J.L. Hilton
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this because I loved "The Debutante's Dilemma" and also because I'd heard that it's based on true events -- specifically, a sodomy trial in the 1800s.

This is not your typical romance novel. Yes, it has all the usual elements -- female main character, her dashing male love interest, courtship and misunderstandings ("Does s/he love me? Oh, s/he couldn't possibly..."), and passionate woohoo. But the relationship and the sex are not the only plot. They're more of a sub-plot. The st
Shan ~ A ~
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this story. I tried very hard. It had the perfect plot and it dealt with an issue(sodomy) that I have never seen another book quite this way. The way everyone treated Hester after Robert's arrest seemed true to form for that period of time. I loved Thomas and how he stuck by her through it all. The thing that kept me from loving it was Robert. He was a judgemental jerk of the first water. Whenever there was a scene in the book with him in it, especially while dealing with ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review written for

I was not sure what I would think of this book when I first picked it but it sounded so different than most books that I read that I decided to try it and I must say it surprised me. This story is more than a romance. The relationship between Robert and his sister Hester really makes the book. It is set in a time when being gay was punishable and Robert is having a hard time with his homosexuality. But Hester will do whatever she needs to do to help her b
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at: Over A Cuppa Tea
Review date: 6 August 2012
Review link:

I didn’t really know what to think when I delved deeper into this book. Initially I thought I’ll only be reading the usual typical historical romance where there’s regency rake, decent courtships and forbidden affairs, but this book is more than just that. There’s plenty of sub-plot in this book, and while I find it rather distracting, I can’t help but applaud the author for such a job well done. Wond
Hsiau Wei
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
The book tell the story of Hester and her brother, Robert who have been caught by the police for being involved in a homosexual act. Hester, in order to help her brother, agreed to the landlord's offer to accept his offer to stay with him and offer to help her brother. Thomas, who never have a place to call home has been attracted to Hester and with her being so close to him found himself having difficulty in hiding his true feeling from Hester.

Overall, this book is an easy to read book ;)
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.25 out of 5. A marvelous novel that makes history come alive and deals frankly with the issue of homosexuality in 1810 and the society that brutally condemned the accused as well as anyone connected to him. Beautifully written, it is a story that will both grab and sustain the reader's interest, educate and expand the reader's mind and understanding, and warm the libido. It is a great love story within the context of brutality, greed, political intrigue, and the brutality of the English prison ...more
2.5 stars. The premise was intriguing, especially since it was inspired by a true event. However, I never really connected to the characters. There was a conflict that didn't really work for me (view spoiler). It came across to me as the author needing a bad guy but not being sure what to do with him. Add to that some basic editing errors and the result is a story that for me was just okay.
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, read-2014
I thought I would enjoy this when I read the synopsis. Who wouldn't like a romantic historical read? While the book had some historical elements, I didn't fully get the experience. There were other elements that took center stage; some that I enjoyed and others that I didn't really care for. I did appreciate that the book spoke about things that aren't usually written about in historical romances, but overall it wasn't for me.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy this book. As some others have mentioned doing, I went in expecting a historical romance and got a nuanced social commentary with some sex on the side. The book is interesting and relatively well-written, but it's not my style at all. So, don't be fooled by the romance-type cover. This is a historical drama about extortion, deceit, and societal attitudes towards homosexuality in the 1800s.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting book. The story revolves around the heroine's brother being charged with homosexuality. Imagine such a thing being a crime; punishable by death! The romance part was still very prevalent naturally, but the story revolved around how her brother's 'crime' impacted the characters. I liked both the H/H, both were well written & their chemistry was very good.
Heidi Dover
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: liked
Enjoyable read, liked the uniqueness and well handled plot. Liked the main characters very well, thought all situations and reactions were well done and realistic. Had some trouble with Robert the brother, but he realizes his double standard actions to some extent which made it easy for me to roll with.
Zee Monodee
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, romance
This was more general fiction and the story of the brother more than the romance between the couple, as advertised... Which made it totally not my thing as I'd been expecting a romance but was sorely disappointed.
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not a romance reader...this is maybe the third romance novel I've ever read. But it doesn't matter, because the book has a great story with well-developed characters and a little steam thrown in. Not too shabby.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Review June 26th - Blog Tour
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Detailed review to be posted later.
Deborah (LoveToReadRomance)
rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2012
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2015
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Jul 02, 2012
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An enthusiastic and voracious reader of everything from 18th century novels to misplaced cereal boxes, Elyse has worked as a freelance magazine writer for the past several years.

Her first work of fiction, The Debutante’s Dilemma, was published by Carina Press in the fall of 2010. Her first contemporary romance, "Learning Curves" was published in June, 2011

In addition to her writing commitments, El
More about Elyse Mady...