Tuesday, December 4, 2018

INTRODUCING MR. WINTERBOURNE and MR. WINTERBOURNE'S CHRISTMAS, two novellas in a (better be) long series


INTRODUCING MR. WINTERBOURNE
JOANNA CHAMBERS
(Winterbourne novellas #1)
Kindle original
FREE for pity's sake! Run! Get it now!

Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Lysander Winterbourne appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, amiable, and a renowned sportsman, he is the darling of London society. As far as Adam Freeman is concerned though, Lysander is just another spoiled aristocrat.

A wealthy mill owner, Adam has no time for the frivolous world of the ton, but when his younger brother becomes engaged to Althea Winterbourne, he reluctantly agrees to be introduced to society–with the Winterbourne clan’s golden boy as his guide.

Resigning himself to a few days of boredom, Adam is surprised to learn that there is much more to Lysander than his perfect surface. But will Adam have the courage to introduce Lysander Winterbourne to his own secret self?

My Review: No points for realizing that Adam's secret self and Lysander's are in perfect harmony. Their spirits are, to each other's and their own deep surprise, perfectly made for the other man's wants and needs.

Why is that a fun story to read, grumble the po-faced. People fall in love every day, grouse the eat-your-spinach crowd, and look what hell it gets them. Everything is awful, sneer the small-souled, so quit distracting yourself from it and be wretched like you're supposed to be!
Get over it for an hour (it's that short a novella). Join Lysander the inexperienced youth as he does his best to entertain a man he's never met before, whose background isn't a thing like his own, and make sure his duty to his family is done. All the while wondering how he can haul this big fish into his arms.

Spend some time with a man so sure he can never let himself do something so risky, so suicidal in fact, as fall in love with another man. Get inside the head of a wealthy and non-conformist outsider who takes one appalled look at a scion of insiderdom, a perfect Golden Boy, and loses his heart and his mind at the same time.

Go fencing with two fit, athletic studmuffins who come to understand each other's bodies intimately without ever touching a naughty bit to a naughtier bit. Revel in their physicality, their competitive edge, as they learn and comprehend what their honed and powerful bodies want most from each other.

And then I dare you not to come unglued from the sheer sexual frustration of waltzing with your dream and imaging that's all you'll ever get.

And then when it is not...not at all...all you will ever get...!

Recommended reading for its happy, happy ending. What could be better than each new lover getting what his heart most desires?


MR. WINTERBOURNE'S CHRISTMAS
JOANNA CHAMBERS
(Winterbourne novellas #2)
Kindle original
$2.99 available now, so hop to it!

Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Lysander Winterbourne has been living happily at Edgeley Park for the last eighteen months. By day he is Adam Freeman's estate manager, by night, his lover...but Adam never speaks of his feelings and Lysander has no idea whether their relationship is any more than a convenient arrangement for Adam.

When the two men are invited to Winterbourne Abbey for a family Christmas, matters quickly come to a head. Snowed in at the Abbey with a house full of guests, Lysander has to face up to shocking revelations, long-held secrets and a choice he never expected to have to make...

My Review: So, after eighteen months left to their own devices, whither Lysander and Adam? Why on EARTH would one expect the happy ending to remain happy? After all, both men have families (those well-known sources of misery and dissatisfaction), the world outside is chock-a-block with superstar divas whose lives require you as audience-slash-extra in the blockbuster that is their drama, etc etc ad nauseum.

And it's Christmas. Oh Tide Pods of comfortless boys. I mean tidings of comfort and joy, of course I do, silly old faggot.

Adam is besotted. Lysander is deeply in love. Each man is eagerly disfruiting the tree of carnal knowledge; each is contentedly launched into work that satisfies his soul; what could possibly be wanting?

Nothing. Until the snake arrives in their Edenic Buckinghamshire manor. A well-meaning, lovely man called Jonny, long-time friend of Adam's school days, is recovering from his most recent emotional devastation as the men's guest. We join the party just in time for goofy Jonny to plant the seeds of doubt and fear into Lysander's inexperienced, needful-of-reassurance soul: "Adam's so in love with you that he's even got rid of his harem!"

Harem. HAREM?!
Is that why Adam's gone for weeks at a time?! Is that why Adam hasn't said he loves me?!? Well yes, okay, I haven't said it either but...
You know the drill. You've been there. So has Adam. After all, he's gnawing his store of happiness like a rat in a granary because beautiful, accomplished, socially desirable Lysander couldn't want to spend the rest of his life stuck in Nowheresville with old fuddy-duddy Adam, not when the world that dislikes a starchy, focused businessman adores Golden Boys...
And hoopla! It's Christmas, their second as mates, and guess what? Lysander has to go home. Again. Hold on...wait for it...Lysander's useless arrogant git of a daddy invites ADAM, of all people, to spend it with them! No one is more surprised by this than Adam. Except Lysander. Whose shock and horror continues to mount as Adam is led off to the east wing. Lysander's back in his old room, of course.

In the west wing.

Teatime! Into the drawing room pile all the guests, and of course Lysander must greet them, be introduced to a few, catch up with childhood bestie Perry...uber-hunky Lord Peregrine Cavendish to Adam's uneasy eyes...and his bratty sister Bella, husband-hunting minx in need of a rich, single man. Say, like Adam.

So we get to see all the charming (and not-so-charming) aspects of Family. The Winterbournes are not to be trifled with. It takes a serious commitment to endure the silly, frivolous people causing actual and damning harm, the timorous people failing to reach out for what they most want and what's more what they're wanted for, the selfish absentees who simply won't. Luckily for Lysander, his timidity is rattled a good hard one, and Adam is the most committed man ever born when he's decided what he wants.

So why can't they just say it?

Because someone's always inter-bloody-rupting them!!
Every. damn. time. someone opens the door to the room they're in, knocks on it, drags one off to do something tedious, you name it! And then when they least expect it, are least prepared for it, a deeply felt and long held secret rocks Lysander's (and by extension Adam's) world.

It was delicious.

I won't tell you what it is because spoilers, but I was on the edge of my seat! But no. No. Too cruel of me to tease, it was the long-time building
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Anyway, I know you're as floored as I was, so we're all on the same page now! And just imagine how awful that was
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Can you even imagine the sheer cruel audacity of that Author Chambers wench! Treating our men so cavalierly. They have feelings, you know! Dreadful person.

But it was all in service of a good story well-told, so all is forgiven.

Except those five (5) ghastly w-bombs.

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