Mary's Reviews > Mr Warren's Profession

Mr Warren's Profession by Sebastian Nothwell
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it was amazing
bookshelves: queer-romance-erotica, historical-fiction, queer-historical-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read August 25, 2018 to August 30, 2018.

I do apologize for the delay with this review, I've had it knocking around since February.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, this book is for you. If you are a fan of historical romance, this book is for you. If you have been on the lookout for same sex romantic stories in particular, this book is the book for you.

I could end the review here. It’d be pretty easy to keep on with shouting and exaltations of exactly how good I believe this book is and leave it at that. But, of course, the purpose of a review is to show exactly why the reviewer believes that the item they are examining is good or bad.

One of the core pillars that helps make “Mr. Warren’s Profession” such a good read is the amount of research that has been packed into the book. You can even see it within the first five chapters. There’s information on how a cloth mill works and the machinery that it needs to work including such things like the self-acting mule and the Jacquard loom. There’s what books would be published around the time that the story takes place. There’s information about the demands of women workers’ unions. All of these are presented in such a way that it feels effortless and natural for the characters to reference the information, rather than info dumping it in a giant block of text or by explaining things in a way that makes you feel that the characters or narration are forced to go over concepts that are basic to the characters.

Another is how the script is flipped on common plot tropes that pop up in novels that have a main-or sub plot about relationships. Of particular note are misunderstandings driving the plot, the slow burn, and angsting over sexuality. The misunderstandings are handled by the characters actually talking to each other about things. More often than not, the misunderstandings are cleared up within the scene where they were brought up. If a misunderstanding is realized while the characters aren’t together, then it is cleared up in the next scene where they see each other. This applies not only for the main couple, but for several of their friends and family as well. Slow burn stories are often set up with sexual intercourse as the payoff for the pining and consternation that the intended couple have gone through. In "Mr. Warren’s Profession", they have sex rather early on in their relationship, but because they have much to work out emotionally between them, it still qualifies as a slow burn because it takes a while for the emotional payoff. The angst over sexuality trope, a staple of queer fiction for decades, and especially queer historical fiction, just doesn’t happen. Instead it is a realization that allows the character’s world to suddenly make sense, and he continues on with his plans to win over his intended beau.

Finally, a third major joy of this book is the number of female characters who are included and are relevant to the plot of the book, ranging from Lady Rowena Althorp, a noble woman and sister to one of the main characters, to Miss Brewster, a unionizing mill girl. Even if their role in the plot is small, none of them could be replaced with a sexy lamp and have the plot go in the same direction. It is a great relief to read, especially since there are plenty of books and other media out there where women hold little to no presence.

In moving to what is specifically a delight about "Mr. Warren’s Profession" it comes down to character. Aubrey and Lindsey hit me right in my sweet spot for my love of fictional pairings: characters who are very different, but have a hidden amount of commonalities to connect them. Aubrey is a workhorse, has been his whole life, with a dark past that cast him from any sense of shelter from an early age. Lindsey was born to inherit a title, has done little work in his life, and has been sheltered by all of his family and friends. Under normal circumstances, these two men would not meet, until the circumstances of the book happen and the result is heartwarming and delightful.

I adore Aubrey’s tension and his dreams for his own future. I’m charmed by Lindsey’s sheer earnestness of character. I was constantly warmed by how their connection to each other allowed them to grow beyond the circumstances of their lives that held them back, dragging out the ugly and the beautiful into the light. Both are well formed, flawed and delightful. I could only wish in the drafts of things I have that I would be able to write characters that touch readers half as well as these two do. I’ve recommended it to my friends, and am trying to broach how to recommend it to my mother.

I also recommend it to you, reader of this review.

So go off an read this marvelous book, right now.
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Reading Progress

February, 2018 – Started Reading
February, 2018 – Finished Reading
August 19, 2018 – Shelved
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: queer-romance-erotica
August 25, 2018 – Started Reading
August 26, 2018 –
page 24
August 26, 2018 –
page 48
August 26, 2018 –
page 48
13.19% ""Most gentlemen don't give two bits what their workforce wants, much less ask for their literature."
"But I adore literature!""
August 26, 2018 –
page 89
August 29, 2018 –
page 103
August 29, 2018 –
page 163
August 29, 2018 –
page 179
August 29, 2018 –
page 224
August 30, 2018 –
page 256
August 30, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 22, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
September 22, 2018 – Shelved as: queer-historical-fiction

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