Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almost An Equal (The Hunt Club Chronicles 1) by Heather Boyd

When Nathan Shern, Duke of Byworth's, empty sham of a marriage is threatened by a fellow duke he is naturally aggrieved. He cannot allow the potentially damaging contents of his wife's diary to reveal the depths of their estrangement because exposure of his secret dalliances with other men would taint his innocent children's lives. Not to mention end his life. So, without revealing his mission to his steward, Henry Stackpool, a man he trusts for everything else, Nathan undertakes to steal the diary back alone.

Former pickpocket and molly house whore, Henry Stackpool, works hard to keep his position as right hand to a moral man, the Duke of Byworth, but he fears his kind hearted employer is ill-equipped for a confrontation with his unstable opponent. Yet Henry cannot reveal his knowledge of the threat without exposing the secrets of his past or his keen interest in Byworth's safety. So when fate places Henry in harms way, he risks his hard won reputation to retrieve the diary. Yet he too is held captive, and when Byworth comes to his rescue his lies are revealed.

Can Byworth forgive him for his deception and will Henry keep the country life he's grown to love?

Reviwer: BlackTulip
I've never read anything by Heather Boyd before and I'm happy to say that I loved this novella.

The two main characters are as different as can be. Henry Stackpool is lucky enough to have secured a job as the steward of Nathan Shern, Duke of Byworth's. Something he thought he could never obtain, being a former pickpocket and a molly house whore. This is why he worked so hard and definitely earned the trust of his employer.

Deep, deep in their hearts they both hope and imagine something that can never be or so they think. They both hold back and struggle, too afraid to lose that trust and respect that exist between them.

Nathan has a lot on his shoulders and the responsibility of his good name and his children is paramount. So when everything seems in peril because of the carelessness and the irresponsibility of his wife he has to act alone because there is too much at stake.

The thing that characterize them both is the loneliness and the goodness in them. Henry has a knack with children, and Nathan's are very fond of him. Nathan is rather uneasy with them, he loves them of course but he doesn't really know how to show it.
The Duchess doesn't care at all about them; she is shallow and selfish and only thinks about her own pleasures.

One dreadful night causes their carefully arranged lives to collapse. They drop their masks and openly show what they feel for each other. Together they will be strong enough to fight whatever enemy there is to fight.

It is a beautiful love story, written with finesse and taste. The only criticism I have is that I would have liked to know more about Henry's past life. That being said it was a good read and I give a 4/5.

See the original review on goodreads


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