Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by HarperCollins.
Their kiss was slow and patient, the kiss of people who knew they had time. Hartley kissed like he had never done it before, and maybe he hadn't. That thought touched Sam and tore at his heart at the same moment. Hartley ought to have had years of kisses, a lifetime of kisses; but at the same time Same was all too happy to be able to claim the entirety of Hartley's kisses for himself.
I make no secret of my love for all things Cat Sebastian. The woman knows her Regency romance, and she wields that knowledge by gifting (Sorry, "gifting" non-fans!) readers with stories that push past the usual and ordinary. From the moment I discovered her writing courtesy of The Soldier's Scoundrel almost two years ago, I've looked forward to reading every single novel she writes. With her latest release, she not only shares the story of two men who fall in love in spite of their differences, but it's also the tale of love triumphing over dark pasts and prejudices.
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score is the second novel in the Seducing the Sedgwicks series. At twenty-three, Hartley Sedgwick seems to want for nothing. Bequeathed with a lavish house, dressed in finery, and money earning profits, life appears to be good--or as good as it can be when one's reputation is in tatters. When he meets twenty-eight-year-old pub owner Samuel Fox in a dark alley outside his house, they quickly go from strangers to allies on a quest to retrieve scandalous paintings--one depicting Sam's best friend. It's risky, but what's most at risk are their hearts.
Unlike his brother before him, I didn't immediately like Hartley. However, you know what they say about first impressions. As the layers were peeled back, and the very human side of Hartley was exposed, his heart--pun unintended!--was generous and loving. From his brothers, particularly Ben and Will, to his household staff, basically just Alf and Sadie, and even Kate and Daisy the dog, Hartley showed in his own way how much he cared. It was when Sam came along that he was able to be his most authentic self and later gave him something to fight for.
I loved how Hartley and Sam were thrown together yet worked together quite well when they finally allowed themselves to do so. This book wasn't just about the romance but also how delved into how their relationships were with other people and how those flourished, especially on Hartley's end. We get hints as to who and what could be up next in the third upcoming novel, one that I'm already excited about considering the bits and pieces that were here. Cat Sebastian more than satisfies with A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, which gets five-plus stars. ♥
Read my reviews for the Seducing the Sedgwicks series:
It Takes Two to Tumble (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 10 July 2018
Date Read: 08 July 2018
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