Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Highwayman, Angela Plowman

An interesting M/M period piece.

- Review by Kazza K 

I really liked this book. It was easy to read, I liked the wording, and it was sexy. I was also looking for a short read and this fit the bill nicely. This book is heavily influenced by the beautiful poem The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, only with a M/M narrative and a happy ending.

The Highwayman is set in 1820's England. The protagonists are Ben, the Innkeeper/Landlord's son, and the mysterious Highwayman, Richard. Ben sees Richard the first time, does not know who he is, but he opens longing and desires within Ben. Let's face it, in the 1820's being desirous of another man is not a healthy proposoition. However, this older, handsome stranger elicits feelings within young Ben -

So at nineteen, wistful, and virginal, Ben caught sight of the stranger one night at the inn, and all of his desires and unspoken longings coalesced into painful yearning.

The book is a nice period piece, yes George was the King (both George III, until January 1820, then George IV were Kings), so glad the author got that right. Truly, I've read Regency pieces where there was a queen!

The Highwayman  tells the story of Ben and Richard, how they got together, how Ben wondered what Richard did for a living, and how they would meet at night. There were some nice secondary characters, Bess, and Ned, Ben's father.

Because it was short the writer was limited in character development but she still made it possible for me to really liked Ben, he was sweet and nice. And I really liked Richard, he was mysterious and sexy. I enjoyed the dialogue and I loved how Richard would talk to Ben -

"Does that bother you my Ben, the landlord's dark-eyed son?"

B: "You had to come tonight. I've been longing for you all day."
R: "That explains why I thought I heard a voice calling me down this road tonight. I think you could call me from hell itself, and I would come to you."

Because it isn't overly long I won't say much. I feel it's better read.

Two things that bothered me in the writing, the overuse of the word "moors." I get it, they were on moors; and the use of Americanized words, eg traveled, in an English period piece. Picky perhaps, but editors/publishers should note these little things.  However, the book was enjoyable no matter these two 'grumbles.'

Overall, The Highwayman is a really nice, enjoyable, sexy, M/M, period retelling/read. I will definitely look for more by Angela Plowman after this.
The Highwayman

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