Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Duty to the Crown by Rebecca Cohen

Duty to the Crown ( The Actor & The Earl #2) by Rebecca Cohen
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 210pgs
3 Pants Off

Sequel to The Actor and the Earl

Despite the uncomfortable clothing and the gossip at court, Sebastian Hewel is still enjoying the role of Lady Bronwyn, wife of Earl Anthony Crofton. But when Queen Elizabeth asks a favor of Anthony, Sebastian’s world fractures and his heart threatens to break. The Queen wants Anthony to seduce Marie Valois, the beautiful daughter of a French noble, to discover the whereabouts of her father, who is wanted by the King of France.

Sebastian knows Anthony can’t refuse the Queen, especially since he has something of a reputation at court. But the situation is further complicated when Marie meets Sebastian without his disguise—and starts flirting with him. Her brother, Nicholas, arrives at Crofton Hall, not happy that his sister has been linked to a man like Anthony, only to find his own head turned by Lady Bronwyn and her acerbic wit. Contending with the attentions of both siblings—and a very jealous Anthony—would be bad enough. But then Sebastian’s uncle demands Sebastian and Anthony stage Bronwyn’s death to avoid discovery….

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

While I didn't love the first book in the series, I was really curious to see how the second would turn out. In The Actor and the Earl, Sebastian Hewel dressed up as his twin sister Bronwyn in order to fulfill a marriage to Earl Anthony Crofton. Too bad Anthony was onto the ruse, and willingly married Sebastian anyway, but what began as a marriage of convenience soon turned into love. They become the hot topic at court, and everyone is wondering why Earl Crofton married such a plain looking girl.

After being together for a little over a year and a half, Anthony and Sebastian still has the court attention, but it’s clear that the Earl is completely devoted to his wife, and the once seducer has turned into a content loving husband. Now their relationship is being put to the test when the Queen asks a favour of Anthony that includes the seduction of a beautiful French girl. Sebastian isn't one hundred percent on board with the plot, but he knows that to deny the Queen could most likely cost the loss of your head. So now he must sit by and watch his husband court a girl all for a little information.

Things get exciting when Sebastian becomes a key player to unravelling the information the Queen needs. No longer watching on the sidelines, his skills as Bronwyn and Sebastian both become needed. Now the tables have turned, and it’s Anthony who has to deal with jealousy seeing his man with another woman. They never expected that seeking a little information from a girl would become so incredibly dangerous.

I feel like this book was just a little too long, and overall unnecessary. A little novella over like Christmas time would have been perfect, but this...was just a bit too much. Anthony and Sebastian's tug of war feelings became annoying; it’s like always moments of uncertainty followed by sex to prove that they love each other. I was hoping for the retirement of Bronwyn this time around, because how tiring it must be for Sebastian to dress up all the time and never fully being himself. Maybe there will be another book dealing with that in the future.

Should You Read It? If you liked the first one, then chances are you will like this one too. If you're like me and want to see how the second plays out, then I can't recommend it (unless you really can't help yourself). It wasn't a horrible story but as I said, I found it to be pointless and it didn't go to the places I had hoped.

3 Pants Off

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