Series Review: The Turner Series by Cat Sebastian

I received this book for free from Won in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Series Review: The Turner Series by Cat SebastianThe Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian
Series: The Turner Series #1
Published by Avon Impulse on September 20, 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Won
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows

Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London's slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.

A soldier untarnished by vice

After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack's pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they're together.

Two men only meant for each other

Though I rarely enter giveaways anymore, Tessa Dare did a Twitter giveaway for The Soldier’s Scoundrel, and I entered because m/m historical endorsed by Tessa Dare = YES YES PLS DO WANT. I got to DM her! It was magical. Then I proceeded to request the egalleys of the following books so that I could actually make time to read the book, and, you guys, Tessa Dare did not steer us wrong. The Soldier’s Scoundrel is a positively adorable hate to love romance with investigating.

Sebastian’s writing is great; I love her prose, and the inherent humor. There are some comparisons to Dare’s own writing, but it’s a closer match imo to Courtney Milan stylistically, with a blend of the comedic and stronger historical elements, while Dare’s go a bit more to the fanciful and comical side. (FYI, this is no criticism of Dare’s work; I love both styles.) Given the fact that I love the eff out of both authors’ books, this is a major compliment.

Jack Turner grew up in the slums but managed to raise himself up (through a life of crime), and he now works as a fixer, which also is pretty criminal lbr. However, Jack’s a noble criminal, working for the disadvantaged against the privileged. For example, he helped “convince” one woman’s noble (and abusive) husband to leave the country.

Oliver has sold his commission to the navy due to an injury, and he’s looking for a nice, relaxing life. I mean, sure he’s a little bit bored, but he saw terrible things in the war and wants no part of the seedy aspects of life anymore. Because he’s without occupation, his sister lets him look at her account books, and he spots two hundred dollars paid to Jack Turner. Oliver is VERY CONCERN AND MUCH GRUMPS, so he stomps over to the office on his bad leg to interrogate Jack.

Jack and Oliver end up investigating a mystery (okay two) together, starting out antagonistic and growing to respect and kiss one another. They have a great character arc, and they’re adorable and yes I ship. I’ve not read much m/m romance, but I really love the changed dynamics, because, if one of them gets all dominant in a sex scene, I don’t find it creepy the way I would with a woman. I’m also all for overturning tropes, where the more stereotypically masculine guy is the less experienced one.

So far, these are just Avon Impulse titles, aka ebook focused, but I really hope they do super extra well so that Avon buys more m/m historical romances and puts them in the main imprint. The Soldier’s Scoundrel is funny, shippy, and delightful. Read/buy (my dudes, it’s only two dollars!) if you can so Avon knows we will absolutely read these!

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Series Review: The Turner Series by Cat SebastianThe Lawrence Browne Affair by Cat Sebastian
Series: The Turner Series #2
Published by Avon Impulse on February 7, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

An earl hiding from his future . . .

Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down.

A swindler haunted by his past . . .

Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl.

Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives?

Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

Oh, Cat Sebastian, where have you been all my life? This series is so incredibly delightful, and I really don’t know what I’m going to do when I run out and have to wait for her next one to be published. Keep reading all the m/f romances I missed in my years where I didn’t read HR, but I want more of these. *pouts*

The Lawrence Browne Affair centers on Jack Turner’s brother Georgie, who is bisexual and one hell of a flirty rapscallion. He’s even more criminal than Jack, since he’s a wee bit less well-intentioned. His hard-scrabble childhood has him looking out for number one. When he gets himself into boiling hot water, his brother finds him a gig pretending to be the secretary to Lawrence Browne, the mad Earl of Radnor, to investigate whether he’s actually mad.

Basically, The Lawrence Browne Affair is Beauty and the Beast as an m/m romance, and I am all about it. They’re not as much my shippy catnip as Jack and  Oliver, but I still very much had the feels about the poor Earl of Radnor. He’s been completely fucked up by his nightmare family, and he thinks he’s mad and a monster. He doesn’t think he deserves anything good, and just lets his ancestral home crumble down around him while he tries to create the telegraph, so he can communicate with people without ever leaving his house, because the poor dear has serious social anxiety. MY HEART.

I didn’t as much get them as a couple on the page, though I do love most of their dynamics now that I think back on it, so I’m not quite sure what didn’t click. The two work as an excellent team, and it’s touching that Georgie’s so moved to be treated with respect for his intelligence. Once again, the big strong guy is the more emotional and less experienced of the two, which I love. And, it’s also exceedingly happy-making that Georgie’s lies aren’t part of a break up plot towards the end of the novel; I could not be more thrilled that this trope is slowly disappearing from romance. View Spoiler »

These romances are just so, so, so, so good. For reals, guys, the ebooks are TWO DOLLARS. They are worth so much more than that. Go buy them and experience this awesome.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Series Review: The Turner Series by Cat SebastianThe Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian
Series: The Turner Series #3
Published by Avon Impulse on July 4, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

Hello, yes, Cat Sebastian’s books are my new favorite. The Ruin of a Rake is my favorite of the series by a hair, but tbh they’re all just so cute and delightful and absolutely yes.

The reason that The Ruin of a Rake is my top favorite is because of the ship obvs. It’s another hate to love romance, which hell yes basically always. Lord Courtenay is a complete scoundrel with the absolute worst reputation and Julian Medlock is the most prim, proper, and respectable gentleman ever. Obviously, they don’t get along so well on first meeting, with Courtenay flirting madly just to get Julian’s dander up, and Julian being all aroused but unhappy about it.

One of my many favorite shippy things is when people are in love but remain completely grumpy about it. Julian’s absolutely like that. He haaaaates that he is having feelings and he doesn’t understand why this is happening to him, and zomg it’s so fucking cute. Like, he keeps doing things to help Courtenay, and he’s like “WHY AM I DOING THIS?!?!” and I just squee on the sidelines. Again, as with the rest, Courtenay and Julian end up making such a great team, and they’re both so good for one another’s mental health, which is so healthy and excellent.

Obviously, the plot about the salacious novel was completely delicious and up my alley. It does hit a couple of very predictable beats, but it’s not turned into the melodrama it could have been. I also really love that Julian fights to protect Courtenay from his toxic family. Get toxic people out of your life! And of course the group of gay couples having a picnic at the end is so fucking adorable, I die, though I still would have liked a kiss or something between the two ladies (who were in book one and I FUCKING KNEW IT HURRAH).

This whole series has just made me so incredibly happy. I WANT MOAR. Also, yes, you should still go buy them all.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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