Review: J.P. Bowie – From Upstairs to Downstairs

Author: J.P. Bowie
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Mm Historical

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Edward Lazenby has it all – a rich grandfather, a beautiful home, days spent riding his favorite horse in Hyde Park. What he doesn’t have, and feels he never will, is handsome Thomas Marsden, a man who, at first, seems repulsed by Edward’s forwardness when they meet. Dalliances with members of the same sex in Victorian England can lead to scandal or even imprisonment, so Edward and a few close friends have formed their own Club where they can meet without fear of persecution.

When Edward’s grandfather dies, Edward is heir to his estate but before he can lay claim to it, he is brutally assaulted, his injuries resulting in complete memory loss. Months later, Thomas Marsden finds him working as a stable boy on a country estate. Thomas takes him back to London, hoping to find a way to have Edward’s memory restored to him, and remind him that just before he disappeared, they had declared their affection for each other.

Can the two men build a life together or will Edward’s disability be too much of a hurdle to happiness?

Review: Edward has the charmed life. He has enough money from his grandfather to do what he likes and friends who understand who and what he is. I have to say I loved the idea of the club because in a time where even being thought to be attracted to your own sex could lead to jail these men found a way to stay safe while being true to themselves.

Unfortunately, an attack on Edward shortly after his grandfather’s death causes him to lose everything, including his memory. He has no idea who he is and somehow ends up at an estate where a kind housekeeper puts him back together and he works as a stable boy. A frenemy from his former life, Thomas, finds him there and brings him back where he belongs but Edward still has no memory of anything. It is with the help of his friends that he begins to fall for Thomas (again) and try to figure out how to get his memory back.

Part of this story is the romance between Edward and Thomas and that is lovely, as is the dealings with their friends. I liked how they watched out for each other, “He said you were so nice and understanding about…um, us, and he didn’t want to see any harm come to you.” The other part is the unraveling of the mystery behind his attack. While the reason was clear, I was surprised at how he ended up at Whitgrove, the estate. Edward’s reaction to Welcher was so typical of him and despite it all, I was glad how he handled it.

This is an interesting story with the historical aspects seeming right. The characters had depth and I appreciated there were no over the top villains. Thomas and Edward, of course, the best.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for the lovely Review! Cheers,JP

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