Kay Fraser – Coming Home

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Author: Kay Fraser
Reviewed by: Vivian
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: M/M Regency
ISBN 13: n/a

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Summary: Christmas would be bleak affair this year… until an emotionally scarred soldier returns from war and throws Kit’s well-ordered life into upheaval.

Christopher Whyte never aspired to hold a respected position in the Langholm household. After all, during his youth, he had once been caught trying to pickpocket the former earl of Langholm. Yet somehow, through the magnanimous nature of the family and some unexpected circumstances, he has become valet to the new earl. However, with the new earl’s arrival come the bittersweet memories and unwanted emotions that Kit had thought buried long ago. Then, an unexpected offer gives Kit a new perspective on his situation, and he must make a choice: a life of security and stability away from his new master, or one of unrequited love with him?

Alexander Harrington, the new earl of Langholm, knows he shouldn’t have come back. After having fought in the Crimean War, the man he had once been no longer existed. As the Christmas season nears, he is only further reminded of how far removed he is from the idealistic youth he once was and how foreign his home now feels. But it is his new valet, a man he vaguely remembers from childhood, begins to rouse something within him—something sweetly tempting, yet undeniably forbidden. And when the reality of losing Kit becomes all too real, he is forced to confront and beat his past demons. Can a Christmas miracle restore his long lost faith before Kit is lost to him for all time?

Review: Early Victorian love story that crosses the class divide.

Friends since childhood, but separated by time and war. Alex and Kit’s improbable love really was a sweet story. From savior, to friend to something more their relationship has always had one thing in common–they’re there for each other.

I like the young, bold Lord Alex. His radiant composure as he expects his word to be taken even as a child. Spot on. Though a youth, he is no child and has no qualms about making his desires and wishes known. He knows what’s his and he has no uncertainty about what he’ll do.

How he coaxes the young Kit is one of the things I liked about this story. That and Kit’s devotion and sense of responsibility to his younger sister, Lottie. The treatment of what we consider children today and expectations for what they understood and did during this time period were very well done.

Alex has been a big influence of Kit’s life. And, when shoe is on the other foot they both get to see how important they are to one another. While I found the story endearing and enjoyed the chaste blooming of their affair it left me feeling like something was missing. I don’t mind the HFN, but it’s as though the stoicism of the stiff upper lip really left me unsure of their intentions. Perhaps I just needed more reassurance then they did with the understatement.
Favorite quote:

“This isn’t my Lord Alex!” The moment those words left his tongue, his whole world seemed to tilt on its axis.

 

Recommended to readers who enjoy a quietly restrained story of love and friendship.

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