Author: Elle Brownlee
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Dreamspun Desires
Summary: A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.
American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.
Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.
Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.
Review: I was very conflicted as to how to review this sweet, no-sex addition to the Dreamspun Desires line. I liked the premise – a misunderstanding of the National Trust Pass causes Finch to have a week for two people, as opposed to the two weeks for one person that he wanted. Enter the handsome stranger, Benedict, who Finch offers to share his pass with and in turn, Benedict shares his tea vouchers. A week to get to know each other and such, I figured this would lead to a romance that would take a hit when, as the blurb states, Benedict has things to answer for.
To a point, this is exactly what the story was. My first problem with it is that we find out who Benedict is very early in the story, about a third of the way through. My second issue is that, to me, this seemed more a “history dork” story of Finch exploring and discovering England than a romance. While this was interesting, it felt the romance definitely took a back seat. There wasn’t anything that felt like a connection until about the 80% mark and then the misunderstanding at the holiday party, followed by Benedict’s action, left me saying, what just happened?
Benedict and Finch have their week together and part ways. They (literally) run into each other again later and spend a bit more time together. Finch is very aware of his flight back to Delaware but agrees to spend some tour time with Benedict. The truth of who Benedict is comes out after he rescues Benedict when he’s stuck with no money. This happened at location 165 (of 686) on my iPad and from here on, it’s a recounting of Benedict employing Finch as nurse/travel aid to Gran, the matriarch of the family.
Finch is often so adamant about not getting close to Benedict, not staying, not being there and I kept wondering, “why?” He has no job at home, no family and from the sounds of it, not much else. So I couldn’t figure out why. Then the flip side comes where Finch feels hurt when Benedict is working or for some odd reason, he feels “snubbed” about Crestmoor’s Christmas cards.
There are events happening with Gran and her sister while traveling with Finch, and I’ll be honest, at that time, it was more like ‘WHAT IS HE THINKING?” , because he’s so worried about how he is perceived yet I seriously questioned his judgement during the sightseeing. Finch ends up needing to stay in England longer (and it’s much longer, actually) and stays at Crestmoor. There is still nothing resembling romance, alas.
There is a side issue with Gran’s goddaughter that I felt was thrown in and we have woman as villain.
Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this, I couldn’t. I liked the history lessons and I found the discussions interesting but it didn’t seem romance for the majority of this book and some of Finch’s actions seemed out of character.