Title: Behind These Doors
Series: Radical Proposals #1
Publisher: Greenwose Books
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Length: 105,000 words
Reviewed by Erin
Lucien Saxby is a journalist, writing for the society pages. The Honourable Aubrey Fanshawe, second son of an earl, is Society. They have nothing in common, until a casual encounter leads to a crisis.
Aubrey isn’t looking for love. He already has it, in his long-term clandestine relationship with Lord and Lady Hernedale. And Lucien is the last man Aubrey should want. He’s a commoner, raised in service, socially unacceptable. Worse, he writes for a disreputable, gossip-hungry newspaper. Aubrey can’t afford to trust him when arrest and disgrace are just a breath away.
Lucien doesn’t trust nobs. Painful experience has taught him that working people simply don’t count to them. Years ago, he turned his back on a life of luxury so his future wouldn’t depend on an aristocrat’s whim. Now, thanks to Aubrey, he’s becoming entangled in the risky affairs of the upper classes, antagonising people who could destroy him with a word.
Aubrey and Lucien have too much to hide—and too much between them to ignore. Rejecting the strict rules and closed doors of Edwardian society might lead them both to ruin… but happiness and integrity alike demand it.
I'm going to be honest here (not that I'm not always!), but historical romance is not something I normally read. It's completely a personal preference, not anything against the genre itself. I know many, many people who adore it and read it exclusively. That being said, when I saw the blurb and the cover for Behind These Doors by new to me author, Jude Lucens, I knew right away I'd be giving the book a try. New author and a book outside of my usual go to? Sign me the heck up. I'm always looking for new and different books to check out... it's fun to read something not in your comfort zone every now and then, right? So a book that has a poly relationship, class differences, and a bit of politics thrown in sounded like a book worth taking a look at. And boy was I right.
Right away we're thrown into the upper crust of society and we're introduced to Aubrey Fanshawe, the lover of Lord Hernedale ... and his wife, Lady Hernedale. I'll admit, the beginning of the book took a little bit for me to get into. Not only are there lots of characters and names to keep track of, the verbiage and tone took some getting used to, but once I did, I was thoroughly engrossed. Through a chance encounter, Aubrey meets Lucien Saxby. A one night stand follows, and so do the recriminations and guilt for Aubrey. It's also easy to see that Aubrey won't be forgetting Lucien any time soon. The two come from different backgrounds, different classes, and even though they shouldn't work, they do. Spectacularly so. Their connection is so deep. As befits the time period and the tone of the story, these two are definitely more smoldering fire rather than sparks and flames. That's not to say that their intimate times aren't intense, they are, but it's a subdued kind of heat, the kind that builds and builds.
I really enjoyed this book and the characters. Aubrey has this way of looking at the world around him that just got to me and as for Lucien, well, he's a bit jaded but it totally fits his character. I also really, really enjoyed the diversity throughout. The different relationships, both sexual and not, and they way they are portrayed. Behind These Doors is more than just a romance, and not a typical one at that. There are issues of class, of women's suffrage, and of the cause and effect of sensational journalism. I was thoroughly captivated by the characters and the story and and I'm so glad I gave this book a chance. I will for sure keep my eye out for the author's next book so make sure you check it out, too.
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