The Desire for Dearborn by VB Kildaire

Dreamspinner

Gay / Historical

ISBN: 978-1-61581-010-9

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

American Leander Mayfield isn’t sure what to think when he comes to London to take up his new position—as the Earl of Dearborne.  Having grown up a sickly youth on a farm, he knows nothing of life as a nobleman.  Confused and unsure in his new life, he returns to his main joy, reading ancient books about King Arthur.  He also decides to learn about his new duties. 

Julien Sutcliffe, Earl of Blackstone, is not terribly interested in gossip about the American Earl.  He has his own problems, and from his own blackened reputation he knows better than to listen to gossips.  Then he meets the man, and his opinion begins to change.     

The Desire for Dearborne takes a lot of the familiar tropes of Regency romances and gives them a subtle twist.  Sweet, naïve Leander reminded me of a lot of the bluestocking female characters in Regencies, only male and with a much more powerful position in society—not that he knows how to use it.  Julien is a perfect example of the hardened rake with a mistress and a terrible reputation, only his “mistress” is an actor, not an actress.  There seemed to be fewer consequences for Julien’s known liking for men than there should have been, earl or not, given that it was illegal at the time, but I could easily forgive that little historical question.  There are a lot of familiar secondary characters in The Desire for Dearborn, including a bluestocking, other aristocrats, the kindly aunt, a scheming relative, and others.  Somehow, though, VB Kildaire manages to make all  these characters feel new and interesting.  The same goes for the plot, which is filled with emotion, intrigue, and even some action.  There are all kinds of clichés, yet each one has enough of a twist to make it fresh.  The end result is a story that’s both familiar and new, and kept me turning pages to see what would happen next.  I have a feeling other readers will find the reimagining of classic themes as fascinating and fun as I did.  Regency fans won’t want to miss The Desire for Dearborne.

     

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