Title: From Upstairs to Downstairs
Author: J.P. Bowie
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
Genre: Historical, MM Romance
Length: 182 pages / 63,160 words
When everything is taken from you, including the memory of who you are, what possible chance is there for happiness?
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?
♦ Personal Thought ♦
This is a multiple POVs and evenly-paced tale set in Victorian era London. It’s a pretty straight to the point story really. The young buck starring here, Edward Lazenby, is a sole heir to a wealthy nobleman. His love interest is Thomas Marsden, a gentleman merchant with his own business. When he suddenly became a victim of vicious attack, Edward disappears from London and believed to be dead. Months later on a house party, Thomas found him on an estate, working at the stable and has no memory of his earlier life. Thomas brings him back to London, both unaware of the danger lay in wait.
While I enjoy the story and quite fond of the main characters, From Upstairs to Downstairs feels a bit too black-and-white in term of bad guy and good guy. Personally I think flawed characters, such as redeemed blackguard, have more interesting story to tell than plain goodie-two-shoes. Edward is such a naive and oblivious young man, he’s practically has no self-preservation. His dispositions frustrates me no end. The bad guys are just SO OBVIOUS and Edward barely smell the smog!!
Another thing, there’s a removed feeling to the story the way it hop from one scene or one POV to another. To me it gives the overall plot lack of depth; more of the told-but-not-shown mold. Even how the bad guy(s) defeated are quite happenstance, not through the main characters’ superior thinking or other. It’s rather disappointing as I’ve read this author’s books before and this has to be among the least impressive of his.
I guess if reader hopes for a sweet, unconditional, and all-out love, you can still find them with Edward and Thomas. That love conquer all is strong with this two. Other than that though, I’m sorry to say that this book falls under the meh side.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.