I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest, nonreciprocal review.
I am not an avid reader of historical romance stories. If you are, it is likely you will enjoy this ride. For my part, I have read them. There was a time, quite some years back, when I read a fair number of them. I discontinued largely because I discovered that each was the same story—in different clothing—or with a new hairdo, if you like. The same flawlessly beautiful, high strung and spirited heroine meets the same handsome, but moody, lead male. And, so it was with Gentleman. Before delving into the story, I note that there were occasional copy and editing errors. I found that they did not take from the story and I did not consider them with this review.
Gentleman opens with Cassandra (a fairly predictable name for a fairly predictable heroine) tending to her horse that is about to foal. Due to difficulties, help is required. Jackson and Colton (again, a fairly predictable name for the fairly predicable lead male), assist Cassandra. Though only weeks since the death of her husband, Cassandra falls immediately under the spell woven by Colton. Of course, it would not be a romance if Colton did not feel the same about Cassandra. The angst of not feeling worthy of one another while simultaneously feeling superior to one another, and the sexual tension, begin.
I had some issues with Cassandra. They weren’t about her being the most beautiful and having the poutiest (?) of lips, or that her bosom was larger than the next, or that she was willing to use the attention of one man to garner that of another. I expect these things in stories in this genre. My issues were more about what she—at the ripe old age of 19—was able to do. Specifically, she was able to translate improved dietary methods used by her mother for people, to the breeding and raising of horses, with results that seemed almost instantaneous. She was able to discover the problem with a stallion the farm had been using for stud service when Colton, even with his history and experience as a horse breeder, had not discovered the problem for two years. She was able to negotiate deals for grain at a significantly reduced price when, again, those who had been in the business for a significant time before her, had not done so. But, my biggest issue with Cassandra was with what she was willing to risk and how little thought she gave to her actions. In that day, a young woman would have risked a great deal to satisfy her longing for a man she knew little about. I appreciate that people have always done as people will always do, and perhaps it is my own understanding of that era (which admittedly may not be entirely accurate), but it seems to me that the risks that came with Cassandra’s position were so great that—at a minimum—Cassandra would have given them some thought. Even so, while she was a bright, talented young woman, when it came to her own welfare, she seemed strangely absent.
Likewise, Colton was largely predictable. (Fortunately, he knew that the word ‘no’ meant ‘no’—and for that, I thank the authors!) While relentlessly pursued by other local young women, he found himself unworthy; while he could read the signs of the other young women, he could not see that Cassandra longed for him; and while Cassandra was putty in his hands when each time they came together, he did not think he was loveable or that Cassandra might love him. I guess I never quite understood why. . . .
The story moved along and kept me engaged, but I did not find myself waiting with baited breath for the next words.
With all that, those who enjoy historical romance are sure to enjoy Gentleman.
Learn more about NO GENTLEMAN IS HE here.