Once beloved by London's fashionable elite, Hartley Sedgwick has become a recluse after a spate of salacious gossip exposed his most-private secrets. Rarely venturing from the house whose inheritance is a daily reminder of his downfall, he’s captivated by the exceedingly handsome man who seeks to rob him.
Since retiring from the boxing ring, Sam Fox has made his pub, The Bell, into a haven for those in his Free Black community. But when his best friend Kate implores him to find and destroy a scandalously revealing painting of her, he agrees. Sam would do anything to protect those he loves, even if it means stealing from a wealthy gentleman. But when he encounters Hartley, he soon finds himself wanting to steal more than just a painting from the lovely, lonely man—he wants to steal his heart.
It took me a bit to relax into this book and trust the Cat Sebastian would be able to give me a happily ever after in this queer interracial historical romance.
She does. The writing is lovely and detailed. Sam and Hart make a wonderful couple.
Hart is in crisis and has to reexamine so many things as his life is upended after he is exposed for being a kept man. He has to come to terms with the truth that through it felt like a choice to support his family, the power dynamics at play make "choice" such a complex concept.
Sam has to decide to have someone for himself.
Lines of class, race, and sexuality weave together.
The romance charming, hot, and sweet and feels possible.
The secondary characters really engaging as Hart builds new and better connections.
I would have like to know more about the Free Black community and felt that the aspects of the plot to due with Hart's brothers depended too much on the first book but overall so well written and engaging.