Wishing you all a very happy new year! I hope this year will treat us better. As a little something, I am hosting a giveaway on my Instagram page for The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. This is open to Indian residents only. So go get your entries in!
To my International friends and followers, I am planning to host a massive International giveaway soon! It’s in the works and I hope everything turns out good ☺.
Now moving on to the book that I am talking about today,
I had read The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle back in September but then I didn’t finish it at that time. No, it’s not because I didn’t like the book but because I completely forgot I had half read it. A few days back when I was looking to read something, I noticed that I had left this book midway and immediately picked it up 🙈.
‘Your brother takes me for a barbarian, Mr Bowen. But I assure you, I’m quite well trained.’
When Benjamin and Edgar Bowen embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, they are ready to meet People of Quality. They have trunks full of powdered silver wigs and matching suits, a hunger to experience the architectural wonders of Ancient Rome and an ability to quote Voltaire (at length). They will make connections and establish themselves in high society, just as their mother has planned.
But it soon becomes apparent that their outfits are not quite the right shade of grey, their smiles are too ready, their appreciation of the arts ridiculous. Class, they learn, is not something that can be studied.
Benjamin’s true education begins when he meets Horace Lavelle. Beautiful, charismatic, seductive, Lavelle delights in skewering the pretensions and prejudices of their milieu. He consumes Benjamin’s every thought.
Love can transform a person. Can it save them?
Trigger Warnings: Child Abuse, Homophobia, Suicide, Violence, Murder.
Set in 1763, Edgar and Benjamin embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, as instructed by their mother who wants her children to associate with the aristocrats and meet “people of quality”. Edgar is excited about the whole trip but Benjamin, not so much. The story is narrated from Benjamin’s point of view and we see him struggling to fit into the snobbish society. Being a gullible person, Benjamin is fascinated with young Mr. Lavelle. Soon he is in love with Lavelle but it’s the eighteenth century and their love for each other would hardly ever be accepted.
If I am being honest, I am not sure how I feel about this book. It’s not bad, of course, but it’s not exactly what I thought it would be. This book has gay reps and M/M relationships which I LOVED. I have no complaints with the characters; they are complex and have many shades to them. I love grey characters and one such character in this book is Horace Lavelle. Lavelle is the kind of character you would want to hate but you can’t, no matter how wicked he is. Horace is charming, witty and has a way with his words. At times he did come across as manipulative, wicked and cruel but it all stems from his own motives and upbringing.
This book has some really really toxic characters along with scenes of gore. The writing felt a bit flat to me. The characters had so much potential but they were overshadowed by the exuberant setting. I felt that they didn’t get enough time to shine. Lavelle’s character significantly developed throughout the story. Benjamin on the other hand didn’t grow much and Edgar pretty much disappeared in the background. The overall story is heart-breaking and isn’t at all fluffy. It’s sad, okay? But it was good to get an insight into the lives of gay people in the eighteenth century.
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