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The Turners #1

The Soldier's Scoundrel

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A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London's slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be. 
A soldier untarnished by vice
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack's pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they're together. 
Two men only meant for each other

352 pages, ebook

First published September 20, 2016

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About the author

Cat Sebastian

24 books3,019 followers
Cat Sebastian has written sixteen queer historical romances. Cat’s books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist.

Before writing, Cat was a lawyer and a teacher and did a variety of other jobs she liked much less than she enjoys writing happy endings for queer people. She was born in New Jersey and lived in New York and Arizona before settling down in a swampy part of south. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, having one-sided conversations with her dog, or doing the crossword puzzle.

The best way to keep up with Cat’s projects is to subscribe to her newsletter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,179 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,843 reviews5,564 followers
October 31, 2016
*Price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US, 10/31/16!*

A lovely debut from Cat Sebastian. Historical M/M lovers have a new author to watch!

In the past few years I've gone from reluctant historical romance reader to having historical romance be one of my favorite genres. There is something about having everything be so period-perfect, so refined and formal yet so wickedly explicit, that just gets me going. This book had all the right ingredients, and the story was beautifully told.

I have a particular weakness for MCs of differing classes in HR. I loved the contrast between Oliver's refinement and Jack's rougher, more worldly history. It was exactly the type of relationship that I enjoy, with each man playing off one another in an enemies-to-lovers vibe with a heavy undercurrent of lust.

The story had an adventure/mystery feel, but mostly it was about two men from different walks of life getting to know one another. There was a lot of attraction from the start, but the romance was slow-burn and grew stronger and stronger with time. The period details were also very good, and the book had a great sense of atmosphere about it. I was transported into the story, which is always a fabulous thing.

I did have a few minor issues. For one, the book is a little on the long side, clocking in at 352 pages. There are some books that I just can't put down, but I had no issues putting this one aside and coming back to it the next day. While the plot was very engaging, it was also a bit slow-moving.

I also think that the author could have turned up the heat a tad more on the sex scenes. Sure, I'm a dirty girl and I love a filthy-talker, so some of the criticism could be just my personal taste, but I think the author could have taken it even further.

Finally, I'm not quite sure that these two men could really have made it work in the time-period. I was pretty happy with how everything was resolved, but I found their HEA to be a tad unrealistic. However, I accept that romance, especially M/M historical romance, often requires a bit of a suspension of reality.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Soldier's Scoundrel, and I think all HR-lovers will enjoy it too. It had all of the makings of a great story, and Cat Sebastian did a great job executing it. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,084 reviews772 followers
November 7, 2017

5++++++ Stars

Just try and ignore the cover the inside is worth it!

“You’re mine,” Jack repeated, dusting kisses along Oliver’s jaw. “I’ve tried being without you, and it’s not any good, Oliver.”
“It really isn’t,” Oliver agreed. “Let’s not do that again.”
“Never again.”


Damn! These MM historical are now creeping their way into my heart.

I smiled, I laughed, I was a little heart broken and by the end I was one satisfied lady.

After reading KJ Charles A Fashionable Indulgence and loved it, I decided to try another m/m historical book so I went book cruising on amazon and stumbled upon this little gem it was $1.99 not 6.99 or 7.99, I one-clicked so fast before the price could go up and I was not disappointed.

This book caught my attention from the first chapter.

MC's : Jack and Oliver.

Jack is a former scammer/thief/valet turned PI with a past that is so shady and lot of baggage. He gives off a bad vibe at first to keep people at bay but underneath he is a guy with a good heart. Oliver on the other hand is the son of an Earl, a former soldier who walks with a limp due to an injury. He is a gentleman who is privileged but a very lonely one.

These two meet when Oliver, bored to death by his uninteresting life, decides to go Jack’s office to find out why his sister paid Jack a lot of money and what was the money for. He finds Jack working on another case and he asks to tag along on Jack’s investigations and a wonderful relationship begins.

The writing is so good, the banter between Jack and Oliver is amazing.

Oliver bless his heart, I adored him. He was loving kind and just a good gentleman.

The man was forever tossing extra coins to crossing sweepers and flower girls.

Jack was this commitment-phobe, who did not believe in love until he met Oliver. I enjoyed reading about his character development from the cold and distant guy to a loving caring guy.

Jack himself was developing expensive habits, witness his recent purchase of lavender scented soap for the laundry woman to use on Oliver’s shirts, and the new pair of boots he bought for the little maid who brought up the coal.

Nobody had been more surprised than Jack to discover that when he was happy, he wanted to make others happy. What a soggy lot of rubbish, but there you had it.

The chemistry between these two was so on point. Nothing fake , nothing forced.

And the Sex! *fans -self* thank God this author did not hold anything back. It was hot! The kind I love to read.

I was intrigued with the mystery part too.

Overall I Loved it! Loved it!


When you smile I want to do awful things to you,” Oliver said, leering wolfishly.
“A lucky coincidence, because when I’m smiling it’s because I’m thinking of you doing filthy things to me.” Jack grinned back at him.

Profile Image for Ami.
5,773 reviews500 followers
October 3, 2016
I had to take a second look when I first saw this cover ... I read quite a number of releases from Avon, but this might be the first time they had full-length M/M novel. Correct me if I am wrong, though. I have slowly started to love M/M historical regency romance for the past couple of years. So this made me all excited.

I thought the romance was ADORABLE. The characterizations of Oliver and Jack, two men from different class in the society was well-told. It also has a well-written enemies-to-lovers theme (not usually my favorite trope because I often find the change to lovers to be unbelievable) where the relationship progress is slow-burn but still decorated with delicious undeniable sexual chemistry and tension.

I was giddy when I read Oliver and Jack's first kiss, I enjoyed their latter kisses, heck I even devoured ALL the steamy moments (yep, no skimming this time). Usually a sign on how I think the romance works, when I also enjoy the sex scenes ^^

I did have problem a bit with the pacing. The beginning was a bit slow. I admit that the story didn't immediately grab my attention. It was only when Oliver finds out about his brother-in-law, and then they travel to Pickworth to gather more information about the Wraxhalls that I couldn't put it down. Also I thought Jack was a little bit too stubborn near the end, even if I loved how Oliver tries to prove Jack wrong. Oliver is nothing if not determined *lol*

I can't wait for Georgie's story next year. YAY for new MM historical-romance series to follow ^^
Profile Image for Dan.
593 reviews42 followers
December 27, 2022
This is a mostly fun, enjoyable read.

The cover is super cringe. But I went by the blurb, instead, and I’m glad I did.

The class differences are interesting and make for intriguing dynamics between Jack and Oliver.

The sex scenes could be much more explicit. But kudos on the versatility and variety.

The ending is a bit too neat. Like, if they were able to (insert spoiler), why didn’t they just do that before? Or why didn’t it come to them earlier as an idea of how to be together? It’s not a major quibble, but some further exploration of this could have pushed the book closer to 5-star territory.

Nothing ground-breaking, but a solid story of two men from different backgrounds who fall in love and make it work.
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 73 books2,498 followers
November 8, 2016
This book's cover doesn't do justice to the well-crafted historical romance it represents. There is far more plot, and atmosphere, and character, than sex in this one.

Jack grew up in poverty, and he and his siblings have all clawed, and cheated, and conned, and fought (and also worked) their way up to a far better status. Jack works as a fixer of sorts - the kind of man a woman of quality can go to when she's been compromised, or blackmailed, or has lost a personal item in a revealing place. Jack can make her problems go away, with techniques ranging from reverse theft, to shanghaiing a man onto an outbound ship - anything short of murder. He lives above his sister's dress shop, and is getting a word-of-mouth reputation that will let him live by his skills.

Oliver Rivington came home after being badly wounded in battle to find that his sister has given a sum of money to an unknown scoundrel. Dragging his lame leg up the stairs to Jack's place, he demands to know what this con man has on his sister. But he discovers Jack's position in his sister's life is more defender than threat, and that she is not the only upper class woman whose wealth can't protect her from harm. Except when it's used to hire Jack.

Oliver saw the worst of what men can become in the aftermath of battle. He came home, hoping to find a principled, ethical life in England. He's determined to see justice happen without descending to Jack's underhanded methods. But getting tangled up with Jack has him quickly seeing the limits of the law. And wanting Jack? Ah, that puts him into unlawful territory indeed.

It's an open question whether Jack's distrust of nobility, or Oliver's stubborn integrity, will mess them up more. And it's a fascinating, fun, slow-burn ride to see them figure it out. The ending is happy, and only slightly optimistic given the risks of the time. I look forward to finding out more about Jack's fascinating brother in the next installment.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
832 reviews3,724 followers
April 4, 2018

4.5 stars. Having now (binge)-read the entire series, I can say without doubt that Jack and Oliver's story is by far my favorite, even though the two sequels were also enjoyable. I'll be sure to write a review (soon, I swear), but for now these short notes will have to do.

Its strengths, though :

◆ a disabled main character who won't be magically healed (thank you)

"Oliver hadn’t been prepared for this aspect of his injury–always having to talk about it, always having to act faintly apologetic when other people’s proposed cures failed to work."

◆ great discussion about privilege, especially in regards to classism & power

“No,” Jack said after a moment. “That is not how it works. With all due respect,” he remarked, managing to convey no respect whatsoever, “you wouldn’t know whether or not he was decent. You couldn’t, in fact. You play cards with him, maybe drink or make idle conversation. He has no power over you to be anything other than decent. It’s his wife and servants who know the truth. You would likely have thought your brother-in-law a decent fellow had you met him at your club.”

◆ a cunning hero who never stopped charming me (and making me snort, laugh, shake my head, too) ;

witty dialogues & great chemistry ;

◆ a compelling story including blackmail and a very friendly dog (HA!).


Now it seems that I have to wait because I've read all the books Cat Sebastian's published so far. UGH.

CW - Domestic abuse, mention of pedophilia, ableist language unchallenged
Profile Image for Andrea.
881 reviews132 followers
October 31, 2020
So I was cleaning out my tbr pile, reading sample after sample of books I no longer remembered adding. After about 20 samples I couldn't take it anymore. I deleted most of them and went in search for something completely new, something different, something that didn't feel like the same generic characters stuck in the same situations. And voila! I found it!

This has basically everything I ever wanted in a romance: the story of two loveably flawed people falling in love, without any random subplots (in fact, here the subplot actually managed to bring them closer together), and no over-the-top ridiculous drama. I loved both Jack and Olivier and I still can't decide which I loved more- the wounded (but totally kick-ass) soldier who still blushes every time Jack says something filthy; or criminal turned valet turned private investigator Jack and his adorable repressed mother hen instincts. They were both such complex characters, and it was lovely to see them get together. I loved that every time one of them screwed up there was little to no drama, they just mulled things over, manned up, and apologized.
I admit I had some trepidations in the beginning because I couldn't quite see how the author would manage to convince me that two men (and an aristocrat and a working class man at that) would live happily ever after in a time where "sodomy" was still an offence punished by hanging, but let's just say she totally pulled it off, I loved that ending to pieces (I made it through one week before I had to re-read the whole thing :)), and she has already won herself a spot on my list of favorite authors. Can't wait to see what comes next!!!

This was an awesome buddy read with Ally and Andrea!

Check out Ally's review

Check out Andrea's review
Profile Image for Sofia.
1,134 reviews192 followers
June 10, 2017
Bravo - great debut - looking forward to more

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Having initially been put off by the cover, I decided to try it anyway after seeing friends enjoy it. This I'm glad I did, as I spent a good weekend with it.

I was pleasantly surprised with the writing, with Jack and Oliver and the story. It's not a high angst adventure full of car carriage chases rather an exploration into the characters and their effect on each other and their growth because they allowed themselves the possibility to see the other's point of view.

Re-read 10.06.17 and up the rating to 5 because it more than withstood my memories of it and for making me smile once again.

Fits into slot 18 of my reading challenge - A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,862 reviews1,897 followers
June 27, 2021
Real Rating: 4.75* of five

First, read this:
Jack had relied utterly on {Oliver} for all things related to navigation—the geography of the north of England was nothing more than an ominous question mark to Jack. This morning, as plain as day, he had seen mountains to the west, mountains that he was certain had no business being in England at all, and yet there they were, which only went to show how completely unreliable everything became the farther one got from London.
When Oliver gently bit Jack’s earlobe, all those worries scattered like spiders, retreating to the dark and safe corners of Jack’s mind.
{Jack} said “breeding” like someone would say “syphilis” or “bedbugs.”

The thing about privilege is, when you're born to it, it's a bit...restrictive. There are codes. Rules. Norms. Small price to pay for luxury, grumble those without it. Yeah? You try it, sneer those with it.
Honor was a luxury item, like hair pomade and snuff. Its only purpose was to show the world that you could afford to be impractical, that you had enough money to behave in a way that was compatible with some ludicrous code instead of acting out of self-preservation like the rest of humanity.

So Oliver, privileged by his parentage and his recent Napoleonic-Wars service and injury, is restless back in England. Accidentally he discovers his sister has paid a considerable sum to a private investigator, Jack, and decides he wants to know the whys and wherefores. There are prices to pay for losing one's ignorance...
“No,” Jack said after a moment. “That is not how it works. With all due respect,” he remarked, managing to convey no respect whatsoever, “you wouldn’t know whether or not he was decent. You couldn’t, in fact. You play cards with him, maybe drink or make idle conversation. He has no power over you to be anything other than decent. It’s his wife and servants who know the truth. You would likely have thought your brother-in-law a decent fellow had you met him at your club.”

Jack, well, he doesn't play even when it's playtime. Jack lives his life. There's no room in it for an overbred underdone scion of the nobility he so despises. Until, of course, Oliver:
{Oliver} seemed unperturbed by Jack’s loss of temper. He rubbed has hand along his jaw. “In that case, we could pretend to be cousins by marriage. And then we can both act appalled by the connection.”

Jack laughed, feeling his anger dissipate.”
“Hear me now, Oliver Rivington. You will not use gestures with me.”

The humor of the situation, a gap in social class being made as nothing when love enters the frame, the stakes of the men's mutual pursuit of a miscreant...all worked for me largely because Author Cat writes amusing and witty lines the way I sweat, effortlessly and profusely. I've tried to sample the typical lines, the ones that aren't set-pieces, as well as those that are. The story will stand or fall on your opinion of the synopsis. The writing, you've seen, is what will make your experience memorable for good or ill.

I'm very much on the "good" side, and I hope you'll be as well.

An almost-perfect score, a quarter-star off for a few mondegreens, but mostly BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT ONE SINGLE SOLITARY AWFUL GHASTLY WINK.
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,062 reviews615 followers
September 9, 2019

I have always loved historical romance but it actually never really occurred to me before that LGBT historical fiction was a thing. Once the thought entered my mind I searched Goodreads and came up with this book - and what a treat it was! Steamy, romantic and mysterious!

"Really, your heart shouldn't stir when you watch a man eat pork pie"


Oliver and Jack: Those who are accustomed to reading my reviews know that I always preach the importance of chemistry between the MCs in historical fiction. Well this book certainly delivered on that account! Jack and Oliver had sparks flying all over the place! But more than that, they were great characters in their own right as well. They balanced each other so nice and, being opposites, they gave each other what they were missing.

Sherlock Holmes: No, this was not a reimagining or retelling of Sherlock Holmes, but Jack had some Holmes-like traits that I really enjoyed.

Mystery: Yes, romance is pivotal in a historical romance book, no doubt about it! But I love when HR books have more than just romance. This book had a interesting, compelling mystery sub-plot that I really enjoyed.

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Profile Image for Martin.
739 reviews401 followers
October 29, 2016
I rarely read historicals, but this one definitely caught my interest. I admit it was the rather bland title and the cheesy cover that had me download the sample, but I totally enjoyed Oliver Rivington's (the soldier) journey to meet the mysterious Jack Turner (the scoundrel).

Returning from war as a wounded ex-soldier, Oliver is trying to find his footing in the world of the London gentry where he was born into a wealthy family. As the son of an Earl, he doesn't have to work and finds himself sitting around, boring himself to death. At least his sister Charlotte asks him to look over her accounts and damn! What's that insanely huge sum Charlotte paid to a Mr Jack Turner?!

Trying to find answers without letting his sister know he's meddling in her affairs, he seeks up the lad, only to learn that Jack is a kind of con-man who works for betrayed ladies and servants and uses shady methods to restore a lady's honor or force a gentleman into paying a debt to his servants. Very Robin Hood style, actually.

Oliver being an upstanding citizen, he's shocked about Jack's ways to earn a living, but as he pretty quickly finds out that the guy is homosexual, just like him, he does his best to bond with the man and finds in Jack a rather passionate friend who - at the same time - despises him for his upper class background.

Oliver and Jack start working on one of Jack's 'cases' together and Jack notices that Oliver's involvement opens him doors in the world of the gentry that he would otherwise have had to break in, so he profits from Oliver's presence in more ways than one.

Still, falling for a gentleman is strictly off his bucket list. Too bad that charming and beautiful Oliver makes it hard for him to stick to that rule. If only there were a way to overcome their social differences...

I quite enjoyed the story. The 'case' wasn't the most interesting one in literature (*yawn*), but Jack and Oliver and their 'gay Romeo and Juliet' theme were totally entertaining. I only wish the constant 'He deserves better than me so I have to push him away' and the 'I need to give him space otherwise he thinks I'm buying him' only to turn around a few sentences later with 'Oh but I can't stay away from him, I'll meet him one last time' got old after a bit and prolonged the story unnecessarily.

All in all, a pretty multi-layered historical with a cute HEA even though they certainly have to spend their life in hiding sadly....

4 stars!
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews309 followers
July 18, 2017
This was perfection. The purest sort of perfection.


Series: Oh yes and for that, I am most thankful.

Sexy times: Spicy!


Plan on reading more by the author: What do you think?

Synopsis: Jack and Oliver meet when O wants to know why his sister is handing over good hard won cash to a man of such dubious regard and low of station. So off he goes to Jack's office where they have a moment...see Jack recalls seeing O get a BJ when Jack was once a valet. Keep in mind O is a gentleman, I may have forgotten to mention that little fact. It is rather important.

Anyhoo, O kind of insinuates himself in Jack's latest case - he's a solver of things in case you were wondering. And we are off. Both men have some gnarly issues to work through not to mention relationship issues. But they do. And even though it looks like it may never happen, like the fates will conspire against them, we finally do get a good happy ever after.

Hero: Jack. Turner. Well, there's Jack. He's solidly in the "criminal not criminal" class but has this amazing heart of gold and it shows. All the time. Even when he's trying to hide it. He's gruff and rough and purposely thumbs his nose at the aristocracy every chance he gets.

Hero: Oliver. Dear Oliver. He's the perfectly imperfect gentleman, isn't he? He has this misdirected moral code for what is right and what is wrong and when his eyes are opened to the fact that he REALLY has to squint to see right and wrong, it just messes with his head. He's all eyes wide shut at first. And then, he begins to see the light and the human side of right and wrong. He's sublimely wonderful.

Why it did or didn't work for me: Oh this worked alright. This was amazing. These were two mature men who treated relationships with the respect they deserved. There were so many misunderstandings and miscommunications along the way, but every single time, dammit, they were overcome so easily. So beautifully. There was angst but it wasn't bullsh!t angst that had me ready to throw the entire book to the wolves. It was brilliant angst. I felt like I really was watching two people grown into who they really were meant to be.

Damn. This book? It rocked.

Forever your fan, Ms. Sebastian.

Profile Image for Ingie.
1,330 reviews169 followers
December 20, 2016
Review written December 19, 2016

4.4 Shiny Stars - A lovely romantic "men loves men" historical. Recommended!!

The Soldier's Scoundrel is a quite new, by friends very much liked, historical M/M. It is (as I know) also Cat Sebastian's first novel and lucky was the e-book for just $1. — My big applauses, approval and liking. I cross my fingers for more from this pen.
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London 182x after the Napoleon war..

« Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London's slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. ~ After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington (the Earl of Rutland’s youngest son) craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. ~ But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before... »
‘He wanted to know what it was like when relations weren’t hasty and shameful and soon forgotten. He suspected that nothing about Jack Turner was hasty or shameful or soon forgotten.’

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My cup of tea...
I liked so much about this one. The style of writing, these adorable sweet characters, their sizzling love affair, the London feeling and the end. Simply adorable charming.

Don't hesitate! If you (like me) like you some nice historical romances reading, if you enjoy to read about all those glorious (sweet & sexy) men which are loved and adored by other amazingly wonderful men, just take a chance: add, download and start to read. I dare to promise some good, lighthearted and really well done sweet entertainment M/M stuff. ...Indeed yummy good !

I LIKE - to be surprised and a bit stunned
Profile Image for Meep.
2,040 reviews199 followers
March 28, 2023
Really enjoyed this, I've seen the series on my feed before but the covers put me off, that'll teach me!

The characters are interesting and likeable, they're from different ecconomic backgrounds and both bring a very different mix of experience and innocence without it ever feeling forced.
While a romance there's a good amount of mystery and intrique that kept me guessing.
And the way the story ends is satisfying.

Reminded me a bit of The Gentleman and the Rogue which has a more gothic feel though similar dynamic - a different tone to it but if you like one recommend giving the other a go.

This is easily a favourite book and diving straight into the next one.
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,239 reviews266 followers
October 10, 2019
Reread because 1) I'm rereading old favorites and 2) I had wanted to listen to this one.

Rivington seemed unperturbed by Jack’s loss of temper. He rubbed has hand along his jaw.
“In that case, we could pretend to be cousins by marriage. And then we can both act appalled by the connection.” Jack laughed, feeling his anger dissipate.

I think, probably, my friends have all written better, more adequate reviews. And I'll tell you that this seems to be about the only book that hits the spot. The humor was just right, the angst was well done, and just overall a beautiful book.

I love Jack, I love Oliver. I love that both heroes have strength and vulnerabilities.I talk about vulnerability in characters a lot. As a person, I find it a big risk and reward. So when both characters exhibit it whether willing or reluctant, it strikes a chord. Somehow this book has a balance in both characters that is refreshing and delightful. Somehow they both manage to be 'alpha' (kind of hate that term) in different ways. Basically, they are adorable.

This is ours

This one obviously held up on reread, if not improved. I like Gary Furlong a lot. I don't always love his timing, but overall find him super easy to listen to.

Loved it.
Loved the heroes. Loved the tension and buildup. Loved all the things they said without words. Loved the fireworks. The conflict was well done as well.

Intrigued by secondary characters. I wish I had more to say in this review, but I really don't.
168 reviews20 followers
January 22, 2021
4,5~“you’re never going to be anything other than good and honorable. And mine.”~stars

✄ ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈
♠️ My review of: ♠️

#1 The Soldier’s Scoundrel4,5 ⭐️
#2 The Lawrence Browne Affair4,5 ⭐️
#3 The Ruin of a Rake5+ 🌟
✄ ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈

The Soldier’s Scoundrel is my very first M/M historical romance, and a great first foray into the genre. Because of that, it will most definitely not be my last.

This was also my first book by Cat Sebastian and what a wonderful introduction it was. Her writing is so delightfully engaging and the story is really captivating and enjoyable.

It’s no surprise The Soldier’s Scoundrel was such a great book, it had all the necessary components for a wonderful romance:

✔️ Super likable characters
✔️ Witty banter and funny sarcastic dialogues
✔️ Beautifully written story
✔️ Enticing plot
✔️ Hot chemistry
✔️ Steamy and delicious sex
✔️ A charming, sweet, and slow burn, opposites attract romance(my favorite kind)
✔️ Last but not least, a HEA against all odds(which was just the cherry on top)

⚜️✨ Jack & Oliver: ✨⚜️

“When you smile I want to do awful things to you,” Oliver said, leering wolfishly.
“A lucky coincidence, because when I’m smiling it’s because I’m thinking of you doing filthy things to me.” Jack grinned back at him.”

Jack and Olivier are the textbook definition of opposites attract and hate to love.

⚜️ Jack is a scoundrel who has grown up in the darkest part of London, with a job that puts him on the wrong side of the law.
He is very obvious in his distaste and disdain towards aristocrats, mainly because of his past experiences with the lot, and also because of his shady and dark past.

”If any man had ever needed to be punched in the face, it was Jake Turner.”

He is very cold and grumpy at first, but once he meets Oliver, he transforms into this deeply caring and compassionate man while staying true to his cunning and witty personality.
Although it was very subtle at first, i loved how thoughtful and mindful of Oliver he was, it just made me love him even more.

⚜️ Oliver is a gentleman with a noble background, who has recently returned from war(with a knee injury-i should add-which causes him to limp) and he is looking forward to a peaceful, law-abiding life post war.

”Christ, i must be in bad shape if i have career criminals asking after my welfare.”

Oliver is a very honorable man, and he has a narrow view of right and wrong, which inevitably makes him question and disapprove of Jack’s criminal ways of living.

Outwardly, Jack and Oliver are like chalk and cheese, two very different men from different walks of life.
Truly, they’re just two flawed characters falling in love.

“He took hold of Jack’s collar and bent down for a kiss. With each stroke of his tongue he thought, This is ours. It wasn’t something he was doing to Jack, or Jack was doing to him. Neither of them owned it. It was theirs. This was what he had wanted; as much as the physical pleasure he wanted the sense of shared desire, mutual longing.”

Personally, my favorite part was the slow progression of their relationship.
Jack and Oliver were instantly attracted to each other, but the enticing push and pull and game of seduction which was expressed through gestures, glances and unsaid words was my favorite part of their relationship.

The slow build up and the high tension kept me on my toes, but i also really enjoyed the process of them uncontrollably developing feelings for each other.

They slowly but surely learn to trust and be vulnerable with each other, and although they have completely different views of the world, they learn to see the world through each other’s eyes.

“You’re mine,” Jack repeated, dusting kisses along Oliver’s jaw. “I’ve tried being without you, and it’s not any good, Oliver.”
“It really isn’t,” Oliver agreed. “Let’s not do that again.”
“Never again.”

♦️🗯 Favorite Quotes: 🗯♦️

“Nobody had been more surprised than Jack to discover that when he was happy, he wanted to make others happy. What a soggy lot of rubbish, but there you had it.”

Awww 🥺🥺
Happy Jack = Happy Oumaima 🥺😍

“The lady obviously spent her days reading, napping, and eating biscuits. He didn’t know whether to be disgusted
or jealous.”


“Mothers and governesses ought to spend more time instructing young ladies in the importance of destroying incriminating evidence and less time bothering with good posture and harp lessons and so forth.”

As they should 😂👏🏻

“Jack was dangerously close to being impressed with Rivington, but he supposed he’d get over it.”

“It was more than attraction. Seeing Jack like this was the first inkling Oliver had that he could feel more for him than interest in a passing dalliance. Jack Turner’s face was one that could be dear to him.”

~Oliver coming to the realization that he’s in too deep🥺😍

“Perhaps I don’t feel like tutoring a nobleman’s son in the finer points of cocksucking.”
“And what makes you think I need tutoring?” A flash of amusement glimmered in the man’s absurd blue eyes. He shot Jack a filthy smile that landed like a cudgel to the side of Jack’s head. “Give it to me and I’ll show you how wrong you are.”

Then later on, Oliver makes Jack eat his works, and proves to him exactly how wrong he was:

“God almighty, Rivington,” Jack said, kissing the top of Oliver’s head, “that was some professional-quality cocksucking.”
“Why, thank you.” Oliver’s smile was quite smug, and rightly so. “I take it you don’t feel that this particular nobleman’s son needs to be tutored in that matter?”
Hell, he had remembered that. Jack pulled Oliver close for a kiss. “I’m a fool.”

~Oh how the tables have turned....i love to see it 😂😍

“But now he knew that it wasn’t a man like Rivington who caused his heart to beat so riotously, it was Rivington himself. Oliver. And Jack was in terrible danger of becoming foolishly fond of the man.”

~Jack starting to realize his feelings for Oliver 🥺🥺

“Please,” he begged.
“What do you want?” Jack’s voice was pure gravel.
“I want you inside me.”
“But I am.” He moved his fingers inside Oliver, as if to prove the point.
Oliver shivered. Oh, this was malice. “Bastard.”
Jack laughed, soft and low. “Is there something specific you want?”
Oliver took a deep breath. “Your cock. Inside me.”
“Say it,” Jack rumbled.”
“Fuck me. Please, God, fuck me, Jack.”

Fuck yeah...👀👀🔥🔥

“Christ,” Jack growled, and it sounded to Oliver nearly reverent. “You’re beautiful.”
Oliver tried to imagine how he looked to Jack—spread out beneath him, naked and wanton. Decadent. He felt a blush tingle its way down his body. “I’m yours.” He meant it.”

Aww...how adorable 🙈😍

“You stubborn, ignorant bastard.” He was speaking through gritted teeth. “I love you. I don’t want you to die for me. I don’t want you to be hurt at all. I want you to be safe, with me. Why is that so hard to understand? What if you had died tonight? What the hell would I have done with myself once I had figured out that you did it for me?”
Jack forced himself to look directly at Oliver. “Then you would have known that you were loved in return.”

~Their first declaration of love to each other and such a heartwarming scene...definitely one of my favorites🥺🥺

“Finally, finally, he felt Jack’s hands settle on his hips. “You didn’t need to make such a thorough disgrace of yourself, you know.”
“I obviously did,” Oliver protested. “You needed it spelled out, so what else could I do? No matter how often I told you that I want you more than decency or honor or rules, it still wouldn’t get through your thick skull. So I decided to show you.”
“Jack’s voice was in a deep, growly register that Oliver felt reverberate against his own chest. “You’re never going to be anything other than good and honorable. And mine.”
Oliver felt warm lips brush over his own, a kiss that was a promise of future kisses.”

~Oliver sacrificing his reputation and his social status to be with Jack, and Jack being Jack 🤩

”Really, your heart shouldn’t stir when you watch a man eat pork pie, or eat anything else for that matter. In the interest of brevity, Jack felt he could very well shorten the rule: your heart shouldn’t stir, full stop. But Oliver had eaten his second serving of pork pie and Jack was glad of it, and those were the facts of the matter. If those bare facts were written before him on his cards, he’d know what interpretation to put on them, and he didn’t like it one bit. He was in a fair way to losing his heart to Oliver Rivington, and there wasn’t a damned thing he could do about it.”

~Jack helplessly losing his heart to Oliver, and me losing my heart to them both🥺🥺

〰️I know, I know, I went a bit overboard with the quotes, but that’s just because i had so many of them to choose from, the book was that good. Still, I’ll wrap this review up now, or else i will probably never stop.

♠️💭 Final Thoughts: 💭♠️

This book was such a pleasant surprise, and a wonderful debut by Cat Sebastian.
It was so well written, had a great romance, sexy times, great banter and was just overall really fun to read.
I loved it, and would highly recommend it for lovers of M/M historical romance with interesting and complex characters.
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,044 reviews385 followers
January 4, 2019
5+ STARS!!
Love was something one ought to cling to with both hands.

There wasn't one thing I didn't like about this one! The plot, the characters and their backstories, the romance, the setting - and the fabulous narration by Gary Furlong (Audio: 5+ STARS!) - all came together to create some serious magic for me.

The plot : Oliver Rivington, an earl's son recently returned from war, has been going over his sister's household accounts and finds that the sum of £200 was paid to a man by the name of Jack Turner. His sister refuses to answer his questions so he seeks out the man himself.

Jack Turner is a fixer. For a fee, he helps all kinds of women with all kinds of problems. When Oliver shows up demanding to know how he's extorted such an outrageous sum from his sister, Jack basically tells him to sod off.

And so begins the explosive push and pull of their relationship.

Jack was so wonderfully jaded. I loved him. His disdain for the aristocracy - and by extension, Oliver - ran deep, and I thought the author laid out the reasons beautifully.
For years Jack hadn't needed anybody, hadn't wanted anybody.
Oliver was his complete opposite. Not even his time with the army could alter his optimistic and honorable nature. It did, however, leave him with a healthy respect for law and order, which meant Jack and his corrupt/criminal ways constantly grated against his conscience.

Oh, you guys, the build-up between these two was AMAZING! I loved how the overlying conflict between them meshed with their underlying loneliness and insecurities. It all fit together perfectly. I'm in awe of this author's ability to give her characters depth and texture.

And when they finally do give in to each other, it was so worth the wait!
"I care for you, you stubborn jackass."
And of course, no book gets a 5+ from me without it containing at least a modicum of sarcasm - and in this one, it ran throughout the narrative and left me purring like a contented kitten.
"Sometimes I think fashion magazines are run by revolutionaries. Just to make the aristocracy look stupid."
Honestly, The Soldier's Scoundrel had it all. I can't recommend it enough!

PS: A huge thank you to Lyn for not only putting this book on my radar, but for telling me about Scribd. <3
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
September 7, 2017
I’m warming to historical MM romances, especially when well written. And Cat Sebastian did a great job, imo.

Oliver is the son of an Earl, coming back from war with an injury leaving him limping and with a need for rules and order. Despite his charm and the privileges attached to his name, he’s lonely, restless but not oblivious to his sister’s predicament : being married to a brutal man. Which leads him to meet with Jack, a scoundrel according to his standards. But it’s not enough to prevent him being intrigued by this man, full of surprises and so ready to chock him.

The plot is more than interesting, lightly broaching subjects of class system and of women rights during the 19th century. As for the romance, it’s a question of opposites attract to each other, mixed with a sizzling chemistry and good banter. Oliver and Jack are meant for each other, even if they don’t know it.

I’m convinced and will read the rest of this series. It’s just too good not to.
Profile Image for Caz.
2,645 reviews1,002 followers
December 18, 2016
I've given this an A- at AAR, so that 4.5 stars rounded up.

Cat Sebastian’s début historical romance is a thoroughly enjoyable, extremely accomplished piece of work that sees a prickly former-thief-turned-investigator working with the son of an earl to establish the identity of a blackmailer and falling in love along the way. This is no light-hearted romp, however; during the course of the story, the author explores the realities of the class differences lying between the two men and takes a look at the inequalities inherent in a justice system which really only operated in favour of the wealthy and influential.

Former valet, former thief and former perpetrator of various other illegal activities, Jack Turner now runs his own business working as an investigator and righter of wrongs for those in society – the poor and women – who have little or no recourse to justice via normal means. His life on the wrong side of the law and then as a servant has only served to reinforce his own opinions about the ‘nobs’, the gentlemen of the nobility who largely regard themselves as untouchable and if his work gives him the opportunity to even the score a little, then he regards it as a job well done.

So Jack isn’t best pleased when Mr Oliver Rivington – second son of the Earl of Rutland – bursts into his office one day, demands to know why his sister recently paid Jack a large sum of money, and refuses to leave until he gets an answer. Realising he can’t get rid of the man without causing a scene, Jack allots Rivington a seat in a dark corner while he interviews his latest client, a young, married lady who is being blackmailed over a series of letters exchanged with a former beau.

A serious leg wound after a decade in the army has led the former Captain Rivington to sell his commission and he has returned home eager to embark upon a life of quiet predictability, free from the chaos and frequent lawlessless of the army. His experiences with the sort of riot and mayhem wreaked by a victorious force following a battle have made him determined to uphold the law and respect due process, so the idea that Jack Turner could have employed less than legal means in order to help Charlotte sits badly with him, no matter that whatever Jack actually did has kept her drunken, abusive husband away overseas for the last two years.

Both men are rather surprised to recognise the sudden sexual attraction that crackles between them, and both ruthlessly tamp it down. Jack doesn’t want anything to do with aristrocrats, no matter how pretty they are, and Oliver is most certainly not going to become embroiled with a criminal. Realising that Jack is probably going to resort to law-breaking in order to help Mrs. Wraxhall, Oliver is determined to find a way of getting the lady’s letters back without using illegal means to do so, and begins making inquiries of his own.

When it seems that a journey to Mrs. Wraxhall’s former home in Yorkshire will be needed to dig up more information on the lady’s past, Jack very reluctantly agrees to accept Oliver’s help. After all, a prettily behaved, good-looking gentleman like him will be able to open doors that are closed to Jack, and Oliver will probably be able to charm people into revealing confidences that Jack’s gruffness would be unlikely to encourage. And while his intense fascination with Rivington irritates him, the attraction is obviously mutual and also impossible to ignore, so Jack decides that he might as well indulge himself while he can. It’s not something he does very often; he doesn’t do emotional entanglements and the only people in his life he trusts are his brother and sister, but he’s certainly not averse to taking Oliver to bed.

Oliver is similarly captivated by Jack – a man he is coming to know as having his own code of honour that he lives by, no matter how strongly he might deny it. Oliver recognises that Jack’s gruffness is his way of keeping people at arms’ length and he very much wants to break through that barrier and show Jack that he’s worth caring about.

Cat Sebastian has crafted a very well-balanced tale in which the relationship between the protagonists takes centre stage, while also offering an intriguing sub-plot about the blackmail investigation. As I said at the outset, she takes a look at the inequality in a justice system that permitted the upper classes to – sometimes literally – get away with murder while it would hang a starving man for stealing a crust. And worse, a system that would turn a blind eye to a woman trapped in an abusive marriage or a woman being threatened in the vilest terms. But there is no heavy-handed sermonising or info-dumping; her observations are seamlessly incorporated into the plot, adding richness and colour to an already readable and entertaining story.

But there’s no question that Jack and Oliver’s romance is at the heart of this book, and it’s by turns funny, tender, sexy, and wonderfully romantic. The two men complement each other in terms of their personalities and outlook; Jack is all rough edges, where Oliver is polished politeness and charm; Jack is outspoken where Oliver is more considered – and they make a terrific couple. I particularly liked their playfulness with each other, and the sense that, in spite of the class difference, they are equals in the relationship. I’ve not read m/m romance very widely, but in some I’ve read there is one experienced character and one who is less so or perhaps somewhat uncomfortable with his sexuality. It’s refreshing to see that isn’t the case here, and I really liked how, despite his blushes, Oliver is shown to be every bit as comfortable with himself and his preferences as Jack – and, when called for, just as naughty ;) Even though they hide things from each other to start with, once they get to know and accept one another, there’s a lovely honesty to their relationship, a true caring that goes deeper than lust or attraction, and Ms. Sebastian has done a superb job in conveying that depth through their words and actions.

The Soldier’s Scoundrel captivated me from start to finish and is most definitely going on to my keeper shelf. The central romance is wonderfully portrayed, the characterisation is excellent and I loved Oliver and Jack to bits. I can’t wait for more from Ms. Sebastian and am eagerly awaiting her next book – about Jack’s flamboyant brother, Georgie – next year.
Profile Image for Papie.
625 reviews116 followers
December 31, 2022
This was so entertaining! I loved Jack so much, and all the secondary characters. Oliver, I went from loving him to wanting to slap him a few times.

It was a little slow at times, but so much fun overall! ❤️
Profile Image for Somia.
2,050 reviews123 followers
January 5, 2019
4.5 STARS!

My first-time reading M/M romance, and a historical romance at that so wasn’t sure what to expect. I was uncertain how such a romance would play out, with a HEA, within the framework of time it is set in, but it works – this is overall a well-crafted historical romance.

Cat Sebastian has given us fab characters in Jack and Oliver (although I won’t lie Jack was my favourite). The interactions between the two were well written and ensured that I was transported away from where I was.

Oliver Rivington, is an earl's son, back from a decades long service in the army, his sister in an attempt to occupy him gave him something to do – looking at her household accounts, but I don’t think she was expecting him to be so diligent/inquisitive. Oliver finds that his sister has paid a substantial amount of money (£200) to a man named Jack Turner. His sister refuses to answer any of his questions as to why she has done so, so he seeks out Jack Taylor in order to understand his nefarious deeds/plans.

Jack Turner is a problem solver, a fixer. For a fee, he helps his clients with all kinds of problems. An important point to note, Jack never has male aristocrats as clients, knowing from his own experiences, direct and indirect, that they get away with plenty and are often the cause of his clients' problems. When Oliver shows up demanding to know how he's extorted such an astounding amount of money from his sister, Jack basically tells him to take a hike, a piece of advice Oliver ignores. What comes next is unexpected for them both.

This was an engrossing and very entertaining read, both Jack and Oliver had me absorbed and eager to see where this story would go.
Profile Image for Mary.
Author 117 books4,571 followers
June 1, 2017
I'm late to the party because this book came out last year and I wish now that I had seen it right away because I love everything about it. Jack is the alpha character, all gruff and thinking he's a bad man when in actuality he's one of the best. Oliver is judgmental about his new acquaintance and then over the course of the book, just like it happens when you fall in love, he discoverers that Jack is kind and good and all of a sudden, gorgeous to boot. They are both good men, Oliver the classic hero, concerned for others, for his country, and how he interacts with others in his world. Jack is more mercenary but the champion of those who have no voice. The book is full of fun banter, sexy romance and true love. I have been looking for a historical romance that blends the Julie Garwood feel with men in love and holy cow did I find it with this author. I bought the next one already and as soon as the third is out in paperback, it too will be mine.
Profile Image for Jay Northcote.
Author 61 books1,567 followers
December 2, 2016
I really enjoyed this. I'm not a big reader of historicals but grabbed this when it was on offer, and was very glad I did. Great writing and a nice balance of romance and plot. I loved both characters and was very invested in their relationship. Recommended!
Profile Image for Mo.
1,351 reviews2 followers
May 13, 2020
3.5 stars ...

I don't know ... it all sort of just fizzled out in the end and it didn't really keep my attention ... started skimming which is never a good sign for me. All ended a bit too hunky dory ... I don't think it would all have been such plain sailing back then ...

JACK ...

The declarations of love were a little bit too quick for my liking and, honestly, if I am going to nit-pick, I really don't think the class difference would have worked in that day and age, no matter how one tried to adjust their lives (Think "Oscar Wilde" and read The Ballad of Reading Gaol if it tickles your fancy ). I know, I am such a cynic sometimes.


Sex scenes were hot, if a little bit repetitive ...

It was the first MM Historical I read and it was a good enough read and I would probably check out more by this author in the future.

Profile Image for Annery.
932 reviews120 followers
November 20, 2017
Well now I know where to look when I'm looking for something good to read: my own library! Apparently I had purchased this gem in a fit of good sense but then let it languish in my queue. Big mistake.

This is one of the best historical romances I've rad in a long while. Period. That praise is not modified by genre. This is quite simply a gorgeous book about two people, who in this instance happen to be men, who fall in love and overcome odds to be together. And what wonderful and complicated men they are.

The central love story is between two seeming opposites. Oliver Rivington the spare or second son of an Earl who's returned home to England after 10 years among the carnage of Badajoz and Waterloo yearning for normalcy and order. Alas what he encounters is Jack Turner who upsets all his notions of order but to whom he's attracted like a lodestone. Jack feels the same pull but fights it tooth and nail as Oliver represents everything Jack hates and resents: the fickle, careless, superfluous and sometimes cruel aristocrat. Of course Oliver is nothing of the sort and Jack is lost from day one.

I loved that Jack's reasons for his line of work and his dislike of the upper classes were clearly shown and it made perfect sense. But it was also nice to see him start to see things in a different light or rather make allowances once he starts spending time with Oliver and obviously falling in love with him. I loved that Oliver for his part had revisions to make to his rigid moral view of the law and was fairly quick about it. It's one of Oliver's most endearing qualities his openness to empathy. Also his general good humor serves as a perfect counterbalance to Jack's prickly hedgehog but make no mistake, Oliver with all his yielding and melting for Jack is very much his own man and not one to be trifled with. The scenes between these two, wether having tea with a hostess or burning the sheets, are always revelatory to both men and to the reader. This is a journey of discovery for both men. Jack feels that they are as different as day and night and that a relationship can never be because he doesn't do love and all Oliver wants is a home in another, something to call theirs and he's willing to go to any length to get it and prove to Jack that they can. Perfect.

I loved the mystery that was woven into the story and the business with Charlotte. In fact this was one of my other happy surprises in this book, how the women seem one way to society from the outside but when you really looked from the inside you saw the love that they extend to each other in ways big and small. How they care for each other with a cup of tea or something much bigger.

I loved the solution or accommodation to which Jack & Oliver came in order to be together and if Oliver lost something along the way Jack was willing to budge in his ways to make him happy and feel cherished. I loved that it didn't get resolved in some tragic way or the dreary master/servant arrangement. The author doesn't make light of the dangers of such a relationship but I'm certain that in the past people found ways to be together and happy away from prying eyes. After all we did not invent homosexuality recently.
Did I say I loved this book. I did.

I must add that I also did the audio by Gary Furlong and it's fantastic and absolutely worth it!

I'm off to book 2, Georgie's story.
Profile Image for Pavellit.
227 reviews21 followers
November 25, 2016
It's been a incredibly satisfying journey, following along with the way Gentleman Oliver and Private Investigator Jack interacts. They were both such strong and developed characters, circling each other so slowly...... And then— oh God—came in a surge of pleasure and no-regrets- boneless satisfaction. The book intertwines suspense, romantic and historical elements, but the power of love is much stronger than a compelling story of mystery-crime, blackmail, scandal. Despite the historical fact that the Regency period has a surprisingly relaxed attitude towards homosexuality, from the position at modern time here this period places restrictions on their love, desires and passion.

Jack is the titular scoundrel. He grew up in the slums with criminal parents. He was a servant and sometime criminal. But now, he is a private investigator, who helps a lot of women, either with servant troubles or husband troubles. His methods are usually not 100% within the law. On the other hand, Oliver is son of an earl and ex-soldier, who has taken a bullet in the leg during the war, and now walks with a cane. He inserts himself into his sister' case to confront Jack's methods and assumes he overcharged his sister for some unknown task. Oliver believes in law and order. During their first meeting they are interrupted by a client who has been blackmailed, and Oliver decides to insinuate himself into the case to protect her from Jack's unscrupulous and unlawful way of solving the problems.

'For years, Jack hadn’t needed anybody, hadn’t wanted anybody. He trusted Sarah (his sister) and Georgie ( his brother), at least most of the time, but had always known it would be ruinous to trust anyone else. That principle had been implicit in everything he had learned from his father, mixed in with how to nick a pocket watch and how to cheat at cards. But Jack had trusted Oliver. Call it love, call it want, call it whatever you please, but the plain fact of the matter was that Jack Turner had abandoned what had always been a core tenet of his life.'

Congrats to Cat Sebastian for her delightful debut, told us with wit and sensuality. Jack and Oliver's internal and external struggle with possibility to be with someone outside your 'social sphere', literally and figuratively, was adorable. This was the most well-built up opposites-attract relationship, I've read in MM genre. Not to be missed!

“When you smile I want to do awful things to you,” Oliver said, leering wolfishly.
“A lucky coincidence, because when I’m smiling it’s because I’m thinking of you doing filthy things to me.” Jack grinned back at him.
Profile Image for Wollstonecrafthomegirl.
472 reviews195 followers
November 15, 2016
For a debut novel there's no getting away from the fact that this was very, very good. Sebastian has a strong voice and the plotting was sure footed and interesting. And (praise be!) it was as far away from the Avon Historical Romance Stereotype Generator and the Avon Historical Romance Project for the Promotion of Pointless Fruity Adjectives, as it's possible to get. It would be easy for an m/m novel to feel like a contemporary in long dresses (what's the male equivalent here? Leather jackets? Levi jeans?) but this one really doesn't.

The characters were engaging and thoughtful. Oliver, handsome injured war hero (catnip!) and Jack, child of the slums done good and now a Regency fixer come investigator. Their chemistry was very good. In addition there was a cast of background characters who were equally interesting and thoughtful. I came away very intrigued about Georgie, who is to be the hero of book three.

The setting was well researched and the language and so on was period appropriate. The novel was punctuated with savvy observations which served to illuminate the characters. My favorite was Jack thinking of Oliver "Honor was a luxury item, like hair pomade and snuff. Its only purpose was to show he world that you could afford to be impractical..." (loc 4047)

I think for a lot of people this will be a five star read. There's not much to criticize. However, it didn't grab me from a romance perspective. Jack and Oliver's relationship grows from lust and is forged in the midst of the investigation Jack's embroiled in, so I didn't feel at any point that I'd been really grabbed by wanting to see the two of them together. That's a terrible explanation of what's likely to be an entirely personal reaction. This was still a seriously accomplished novel and I'll definitely be picking up the next one.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,437 followers
December 14, 2017
What a delightful historical romance!

Jack and Oliver. I loved these two together. Jack’s job mainly is to help powerless women with a number of problems including problems caused by their abusive husbands. As a scoundrel who has grown up in the darkest areas of London, he hates aristocrats and he never wants to be their servant again.

Oliver is an ex soldier. After he got wounded badly, he resigned from the Army and now he tries to figure out what to do with his life and maybe understand what his sister does with this rascal Jack Turner. Maybe he will get married and have a couple of children, but this is not something that will make him happy.

Their love story unfolds, while
…Jack investigates the mystery of the disappearance of a number of love letters that a currently married woman had sent to and received from her former love interest. After she got married, she kept the letters. But now someone stole them and she has asked Jack’s help.
…the husband of Oliver’s sister re-appears (who apparently had disappeared unwillingly) and she asks Jack’s help to make him disappear again.

Jack and Oliver will be drawn to each other from the beginning, but their problems in their relationship will be caused from the fact that Oliver does not trust totally Jack and Jack does not want to submit and love an actual gentleman with a noble background.

The good thing is that Oliver has the time of his life with Jack and his investigations and somehow he is the one who does the pursuing – although Jack always thinks that he is the one in charge. Their feelings will deepen and they will both learn to trust each other and show their real self.

I though Oliver’s sacrifice in the end was extremely cute and funny. And all together Oliver and Jack is an extremely cute couple.

Nice historical romance with a touch of mystery.
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