Kit Webb has left his stand-and-deliver days behind him. But dreary days at his coffee shop have begun to make him pine for the heady rush of thievery. When a handsome yet arrogant aristocrat storms into his shop, Kit quickly realizes he may be unable to deny whatever this highborn man desires.
In order to save himself and a beloved friend, Percy, Lord Holland must go against every gentlemanly behavior he holds dear to gain what he needs most: a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight and could be Percy’s savior. More comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than coffee shops frequented by criminals, his attempts to hire the roughly hewn highwayman, formerly known as Gladhand Jack, proves equal parts frustrating and electrifying.
Kit refuses to participate in the robbery but agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. Percy knows he has little choice but to submit and as the lessons in thievery begin, he discovers thievery isn’t the only crime he’s desperate to commit with Kit.
A bit quiet, all building up to a single central action that happened very quickly. The mystery was easy to guess, and the plot a bit convoluted. Some things weren’t clear or explained, because they’ll be covered in the next book. I’d have appreciated a little more time spent with Percy’s father or explaining the relationship both between his parents and him and his father.
Percy is over the top flamboyant, wearing haute couture in color-matched sets and heart-shaped beauty marks. He’s out and doesn’t care who knows, relying on his wealth and position to protect him from persecution. I thought it was a fun choice to go all-in on what was actually fashionable versus what we might consider conventionally attractive today — he wears wigs and face powder and lipstick and jeweled brooches. Not drag in the modern context, but definitely a dandy.
A bad choice on the cover. This seems to position it in the kind of chick lit category which seems like a weird choice for an m/m. I’m starting to see more illustrated covers in historical romance and so far I haven’t liked any of them I’ve read besides this one. I think this would be much better suited to a photography-based cover. I’d love to see someone make this a cover with a model decked out to the nines like Percy loves to dress. This, I feel like, “cutifies” and sanitizes the gay? They look so placid, not like two men who want to fuck each other’s brains out. At the least if you’re going to go with illustration where you’re not limited by purchasing appropriate costuming, make Percy look like the very high class, fancy man he is, not a little bit sloppy with his hair down? Kit is a former highwayman who’s described as broad, but he looks practically willowy on the cover. Also, he’s shown half-standing up, but he’s disabled with a serious leg injury and probably couldn’t stand like that.