FROM POPULAR GAY ROMANCE AUTHORS CATHERINE CURZON AND ELEANOR HARKSTEAD
Book two in the Captivating Captains series
When an uptight countryside vet and a sexy TV star meet on the cricket pitch, they’re both knocked for six!
Henry Fitzwalter is a solid sort of chap. A respectable rural vet and no stranger to tweed, he is the lonely inhabitant of crumbling Longley Parva Manor.
Captain George Standish-Brookes is everyone’s favorite shirtless TV historian. Heroic, handsome and well-traveled, he is coming home to the village where he grew up.
Henry and George’s teenage friendship was shattered by the theft of a cup, the prize in a hard-fought, very British game of cricket. When they resolve their differences thanks to an abandoned foal, it’s only a matter of time before idyllic Longley Parva witnesses one of its wildest romances, between a most unlikely couple of fellows.
Yet with a golf-loving American billionaire and a money-hungry banker threatening this terribly traditional little corner of Sussex, there’s more than love at stake. A comedy of cricket, coupling and criminality, with a splash of scandal!
Well, this is just splendid! It has a classic English village feel to it, that makes you think of an episode of Father Brown. I am a huge fan of Curzon’s and Hartstead’s work, so I will admit that I was squealing in pure delight when I got the chance to review this glorious book. And it really is glorious, prefect reading for sitting in the sunshine, with a cuppa and a scone. 😊
This is the second book in the ‘Captivating Captains’ series and because it is so different to the previous; ‘The Captain and the Cavalry Officer’ these books are very much stand-a-lones. As ‘The Captain and the Cavalry Officer’ was set during WW1 and this is a set in a little very English village in the present day. Personally, I think it’s a stroke of genius, as it keeps the reader wondering what on earth is going to come next with these Captivating captains.
Best friends Henry and George were like two peas in a pod, always by each other’s side. They laughed and joked and played cricket together, until one summer Henry vet in training and new army recruit George played a game of cricket that changed their lives When the famous Longley Parva Cricket cup goes missing and Henry’s eyes are fixed firmly on George. This scandal destroyed their friendship and put a stop to what was clearly something developing between them. George went off to forge his Military career and Henry finished is veterinary training.
Fast forward fifteen years, and the two once friends are back together. Captain George is back from the war, he is now a huge celebratory and he is now back in the village he was born. He is back to clear his name, to find out what exactly happened to the cup and to prove to Henry that he is isn’t the rascal he thinks he is.
Whereas Henry became the vet he was destined to be and is now a stuck-in-his-ways, and lonely man with a house he can’t afford and a millionaire sniffing around on the want to cause problems to contend with. Henry has held onto that childhood bitterness toward George all these years, yet he unashamedly watch’s all his TV shows and buys his former friends books.
George may act the confident, pompous and slightly arrogant and cocky celebratory who is ever wanting the limelight, yet there another side to this gorgeous man. He hated not having Henry as a friend for all those years and I think that Henry’s opinion of George really matters to him. He is kind and gentlemanly with the perfect Officer’s bearing. George is a gorgeous, I mean, utterly breathtakingly gorgeous! No wonder Henry has always held a torch for his old friend, who can blame him falling under that green-eyed rogues, spell? And Henry, well what can I say about stiff, complex and adorable Henry? Other than, that he was a fool for letting this amazing man slip through his fingers the first time around.
I found these two to be such fascinating men, both tainted in their own way. They are both battling inner demons. They are so made for each other, both are honest and good men who deserve so much goodness. Plus, they are cheeky, fun and charismatic each in their own way!
As they face various trials everything from uncovering the missing cup mystery to trying to outsmart a villainous millionaire and overcoming prejudice. Their romance blooms and they grow closer, the old best friends re-connect, they get to know the men they are now. I particulay love the scene where Henry admits to George that he is gay, and he has always loved the handsome soldier. That really is the one of the most romantic scenes, the little looks and touches from George are not just beautiful but in those moments the atmosphere changes, it becomes charged and heated.
This isn’t just a second chance love story, there are multiple branches of the story that link together to create this beautiful, poignant and hugely satisfying story. I adore this, it has mystery, twists and a compassionate love story that touches on the prejudice that can be shown towards gay people and how that can affect the person and how they traverse their life to be happy. This is a beautifully written and charming romance that will keep the reader glued to the page as the whole story is unveiled and our adorable couple’s romance blossoms.
This a wonderful and articulated story, that sweeps you along from one scene to another at a gentle and soothing pace. A bit like a game of cricket, it is entrancing and delightful.
I can’t wait for the next Captain to march in.
This was an ARC via the author’s in exchange for an honest review.
The Captain and The Cricketer is available from 17th July and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.