J.L. Merrow – Keeper’s Pledge


Author: J.L. Merrow
Reviewed by: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Historical
ISBN 13:   9781623803261

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Summary: A sequel to Poacher’s Fall, set four years later, in 1926.

Landowner Philip Luccombe has been enjoying a passionate relationship with young poacher turned gamekeeper Danny Costessey for four years now. Danny’s love has brought him out of the shell he retreated into when his first lover died after the Great War. But this Christmas, visitors to the manor threaten their happiness. Philip’s young cousin Matthew is artistic, vivacious, and flirtatious: just the sort to remind him of his long-dead first love—and to emphasise the social gulf between Philip and Danny.

But the worst danger comes from much nearer home. An old flame of Danny’s is discovered in incriminating circumstances, forcing the lovers to keep their distance for fear of being tarred with the same brush. Meanwhile, Danny’s younger brother, Toby, has grown to resent the connection between his brother and the lord of the manor. Danny wants to do the right thing—but that could divide the lovers forever. 

Review: This sequel to Poacher’s Fall continues the story of Philip and Danny, two seemingly mismatched people who together make each other better and make each other happy.  Danny is now the gameskeeper at Philip’s estate and the two of them are working at having a relationship as best they can (since it is 1926 and must be kept secret).  When relatives come for Christmas it makes it much harder for the two. Add in that Matthew is a rather obvious gay man and an incredible flirt and it just  makes it that much more difficult.  

Danny, who values his loved ones above all else in life, also is dealing with the actions of his younger brother, Toby, who has gotten a lass pregnant and isn’t stepping up to stand for her.   Even worse, the blacksmith that Danny used to fool around with was caught with another man and now rumors are starting in the village about Philip and Danny. 

Danny had suggested to Philip that he marry (prior to the blacksmith scandal) even, anything to keep Philip safe and happy.  Philip knows this isn’t what he needs but they just have so much going on.  

This is a nice continuation to their story and Philip’s pain upon their “short while apart” is palpable.  Even worse when Danny steps up to take the place of his brother, oh just breaks the heart.   They are a lovely couple and this is a great addition to the historical genre.


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