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When approaching an historical romance about same-sex lovers I always fear it will be tragic; while I know courageous men were able to find their happily ever after even then, most of the time it wasn't easy, or without drama. But the author, maybe cause she chooses to approach the story with a "prim and proper" taste, isn't reserving for these men a tragic or public exposure, their dilemma will be of course there, but lived inside their rooms, known only to their inner circle.

Harrison is from a wealthy family, not aristocracy, but middle class anyway, with a respectable career in the law field. He is the second son, so he is not expected to inherit the task to take on the family name, but in any case, he has to conduct a respectable life. A chance encounter have him face the reality of the poorest side of London, and there he meets Daniel; the impoverished son of another middle class family, Daniel is working as a clerk, but he is also doing volunteering job in a Catholic shelter. Even if it's not highlighted much, the author did notice how the Catholic origins of Daniel versus the protestant ones of Harrison are yet another point where they differ.

Harrison and Daniel's relationship is like embers more than fire; there is passion, and warmth, but they aren't full flames, so much that Harrison, until forced by someone else to analyze his feelings towards Daniel, hadn't realized they were love. I can probably see Harrison and Daniel go on for a long time with a deep friendship, and maybe in old age realizing they lived as a couple for most of their lives. While this is entirely possible if considering only Harrison, Daniel is aware of his feelings, and so, more likely, he was not to accept such development.

I don't think Harrison's attitude towards his homosexual feelings is unrealistic, actually I think many at the times did the same; many enjoyed long and deep friendships with other men, and most likely, they never turned into a love relationship... it was what they were expected to do, especially after the Wilde's scandal. Very few decided to not adhere to conveniences and expatriated in more tolerant countries (tidbit of history: did you know that Poland was the only European country who never criminalized homosexuality?)

Publisher: Manifold Press (June 27, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Always With Us

More Reviews by Author at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Reviews

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