Last month, I read my first-ever M/M romance novel! You guys voted and it wasn’t even close…The Gentleman and the Rogue by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon was the winner! I was pretty excited for this one. Historical fiction plus romance? Why those are two of my very favorite things!
Well, I liked it…but not quite as much as I was hoping I would.
I would say definitely yes in the romance department. I wasn’t sure about this book’s content, but I was hoping that it would be heavy on the steamy stuff. And it was! It was weird, though. I was anticipating that I would like the sex more than I actually did.
I loved the Brokeback Mountain movie so much, and I definitely get a little turned on when I see two guys kiss in a movie or something. So I was expecting The Gentleman and the Rogue to be a slam dunk in that department! But, while some of the sex scenes were very good and I liked them a lot, by the end I found myself not enjoying them as much as I wanted to be. But that’s never happened to me with a M/F romance novel before. Weird!
I wasn’t crazy about the background plot. The story centers around Alan, an English gentleman (duh) who just finished recovering from a wound he received in the war. He comes across Jem — the aforementioned rogue — who is a gay male prostitute, and decides to bring him home for some romantic comfort of the cock-and-balls persuasion. Alan likes Jem so much that he decides to hire him as a servant. Let the antics ensue!
But while their whole romance thing is happening, there’s also this kind of violent mystery subplot going on in the background. It was very over-the-top and pretty unbelievable. It just didn’t see to go at all with the whole M/M romance thing. I kept being like, “Wait, this is really happening right now?” I thought that the mystery/suspense aspect was actually kind of interesting, and maybe would’ve liked it in another book, but it seemed very out of place here. It was hard to flip-flop from seeing this book as a sexy gay romance and then, one minute later, almost as a gory Frankenstein-like thriller. Very strange.
I really liked Jem and Alan’s relationship. I thought their master-servant dynamic was adorable and definitely made for some hot dirty talk. And I liked how they each had very distinct personalities at the beginning of the book, and then as it continued you began to see each of their walls break down and them slowly learn how to navigate the world together as a couple. The whole thing was very cute and I really, really liked it.
Definitely! I’m not sure if M/M romance will ever be a favorite genre of mine, but I enjoyed getting my toes wet with The Gentleman and the Rogue. I’ll be interested to see if I like the sex scenes slightly more in another novel. And I also want to try something that’s slightly less sex-focused. I think my next read will be Bear, Otter, and the Kid by T.J. Klune, which comes very highly recommended by Cayce.