My #Bookreview of MM #Romance The Captain And The Cricketer by @MadameGilflurt & @e_harkstead

The Captain and the Cricketer (The Captivating Captains, #2)The Captain and the Cricketer by Catherine Curzon

3.5 stars

The Captain And The Cricketer is a contemporary MM romance (fiction with an intimate relationship between two men) set in Sussex. Local vet Henry Fitzwalter, and TV star Captain George Standish-Brookes, come face-to-face once more at the village fete. The pair had a disagreement fifteen years ago over a cricket match trophy, which robbed them of their friendship. Now Captain George wants to solve the mystery of the missing cricket cup, whilst using his TV fame to help raise much needed money for repairs to the local village hall.

Still harbouring a grudge, Henry despises George and the fans which surround his every move. His temper is made worse when he receives a letter from a neighbour who is claiming true ownership of Henry’s home. But a beguiling George keeps popping up in Henry’s life. Can Henry put aside his anger and be friends with George once more?

This is book two of the Captivating Captains series of romances and can easily be read alone. I enjoyed the first book with its World War One background. Book two has a historical feel in a more modern era.

The romance is expected and swift as Henry and George bond over a deformed foal. Georgie’s disregard for normality adds humour, especially when he invites the foal into his home. But the trio find a deeper connection when they delve into forgotten family history.

The village of Longley Parva is extremely rural and quaint with all the boxes ticked for an idyllic English hamlet, with: a manor, roses around cottage doors, a thatched roof, a game of cricket and cucumber sandwiches. For me, this clichéd, overly idyllic image suits a bygone era, and I found it a bit at odds with other storyline aspects, like social media and mobile phones.

I think this book would appeal to those who enjoy this romance genre, or readers who love all things they believe are traditionally ‘English’.

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Book description

When an uptight countryside vet and a sexy TV star meet on the cricket pitch, they’re both knocked for six!

Henry Fitzwalter is a solid sort of chap. A respectable rural vet and no stranger to tweed, he is the lonely inhabitant of crumbling Longley Parva Manor.

George Standish-Brookes is everyone’s favourite shirtless TV historian. Heroic, handsome and well-travelled, he is coming home to the village where he grew up.

Henry and George’s teenage friendship was shattered by the theft of a cup, the prize in a hard-fought, very British game of cricket. When they resolve their differences thanks to an abandoned foal, it’s only a matter of time before idyllic Longley Parva witnesses one of its wildest romances, between a most unlikely couple of fellows.

Yet with a golf-loving American billionaire and a money-hungry banker threatening this terribly traditional little corner of Sussex, there’s more than love at stake. A comedy of cricket, coupling and criminality, with a splash of scandal!

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#Romance The Captain And The Cavalry Trooper by @MadameGilflurt And @e_harkstead

The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper (The Captivating Captains #1)The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper by Catherine Curzon

4 stars

The Captain And The Cavalry Trooper is book #1 in the Captivating Captains series. It is a romance set in the latter years of World War 1.

Trooper Jack Woodvine is sent to Chateau de Desgravier where he will be Captain Thorne’s latest groom. Both the Captain and his horse Apollo share fierce reputations; several previous grooms have been kicked by the horse and yelled at by the Captain. But Jack grew up on a farm and with gypsy blood running through him; he has a talent for calming horses with just a whisper

The Chateau is home to an eclectic mix of soldiers, all awaiting orders from the front, with some praying they never see the fighting. Trooper ‘Queenie’ Charles prefers silk robes to his khaki attire and makes sure everyone knows how dangerous he can be. He’ll do anything to keep himself away from the warfare.

When Jack meets Captain Thorne, he’s instantly attracted to both the man and his steed. He believes he sees something behind the icy façade. With the threat of war all around, the chateau offers an enchanting place to escape the horrors of combat and to live, for a while, in just the moment. The men fall in love and begin a clandestine affair, but dangerous prying eyes miss nothing.

As the call to the frontline becomes imminent, Thorne attempts to keep Jack safe, but his plans backfire. They both find themselves on the battle line and the war is hungry for more soldiers to chew on and spit out.

This book is primarily an MM romance, but the unusual Chateau setting in wartime France worked well. I could easily picture the stables and yard features, while I understood the hopes and fears of the soldiers. The romance was daring in a time when the men would have been corporally punished if caught, but the author has blurred lines of social acceptance that might have been stricter elsewhere. An enjoyable story which fits the genre well.

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Book description

As the Great War tears Europe apart, two men from different worlds find sanctuary in each other’s arms.

Captain Robert Thorne is the fiercest officer in the regiment. Awaiting the command to go to the front, he has no time for simpering, comely lads. That’s until one summer day in 1917 when his dark, flashing eye falls upon the newest recruit at Chateau de Desgravier, a fresh-faced farmer’s boy with little experience of life and a wealth of poetry in his heart.

Trooper Jack Woodvine has a way with strong, difficult stallions, and whispers them to his gentle will. Yet even he has never tamed a creature like Captain Thorne.

With the shadow of the Great War and the scheming of enemies closer to home threatening their fleeting chance at happiness, can the Captain and the Cavalry Trooper make it home safely? More importantly, will they see peacetime together?

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