A Gentleman Never Keeps Score

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score
Cat Sebastian, 2018

Read Harder Challenge 2018 - A romance novel by or about a person of color

Premise: Hartley Sedgwick risked everything to give his brothers the hand up their feckless father couldn't give them, but it backfires badly. His much-wished-for life as a gentleman is slowly killing him until he meets the kind and handsome pub owner Sam Fox.

I've now read a few of Cat Sebastian's historical romances, but while I like them, I have not yet loved them. This one doesn't break the pattern.

Then I recently saw this:

The scale places Charles from "Medium Angst" to "So Tense I'm a Mess," and Sebastian from "Very Low Angst" to "Medium Low Angst." And that might explain everything. You see, I love KJ Charles. And I think my problem is that Sebastian's work, while lovely, just doesn't have enough excitement and/or angst for me. However, now that I know this, maybe I can choose to read these books when I'm really in the mood for fluffy lightness.

This is a good story, with engaging, charming characters. Hartley is broken after being openly accused of selling his body for advancement, and he's struggling with a fear of touch. Sam is a solid, good person who has to fear the judgment of authorities for his history as a boxer and his existence as a free black man in London. But none of their problems end up feeling that serious. I felt like any of these issues could have been delved into more deeply without risking the character's ultimate happiness.

This is a fun, frothy romp with just enough tension to keep it from being boring and enough emotional moments to tug the heartstrings.

It's fun, and it's enjoyable, but I don't know that I'll remember it a few weeks from now.

3 Stars - A Good Book


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