Monday, April 30, 2012

The Sartorialist by Cecilia Ryan

I have to admit something: I love Dreamspinner Press.  I found them at BEA last spring and it was moment of perfect serendipity.  After being welcomed into their booth by the lovely Andrew Grey, who signed one of his books for me, I was given a packet of their materials and found out that they used NetGalley for their galleys.  I have requested, read and reviewed at least a dozen of their books and loved every one.  The thing that really drew me to them was their inclusive attitude.  I'm a woman and there was no judgement.  They took my hand, invited me into their booth and handed me a book.  I love that because while I read plenty of GLBT fiction and non-fiction, I always feel ... off about reading m/m fiction.  I think that it's due in part to the attitude that some people have that if I, a seemingly straight woman, read it that I am somehow fetishizing it.  But that is in no way my intention.  I read all kinds of GLBT work.  I have a harder time finding lesbian works but when I can, I read them.  All love is sacred and beautiful and I think to really understand ourselves and others, we have to be open to all of it.  We have to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and see things from their point of view.  We can all learn about ourselves, the world and our place in it if we see love as universal and open ourselves to all of it's expressions, even if it isn't our cup of tea.  But I digress.

The Sartorialist is a wonderful piece of historical romance that I stumbled across on NetGalley.  I was given the ARC in exchange for my honest review.  Here's the Goodreads blurb:

When royal sartorial adviser Beau Brummell meets a pretty soldier at a ball full of people who have begun to bore him, he's only thinking of a brief affair and the opportunity to prove that clothes make the man. When Toby turns out to be not only beautiful but kind and a generous lover, Beau finds himself falling fast. Though previously happy to let him have his fun, the jealous Prince Regent issues an ultimatum: Toby must return to France or risk being charged with treason. Knowing Toby is unlikely to survive, Beau begins a downward spiral into depression and debt. Surely he and Toby will never meet again…

 The story is told as Beau Brummel reminisces on his life.  The book is not terribly long but it is an emotional read.  I read it all in one sitting because I just had to know how it ended.  I had to know if they ever found each other again.  The story is not for the young reader due to mature content but the content was really not that graphic.  You'd have to have pretty delicate sensibilities to be offended by the wording.  The thing that really struck me about this story was the emotional pull that you felt for the characters.  You were rooting for them and you were devastated when they were separated. There is this overwhelming love between two people who really didn't expect to find love like they did but then had it taken away.  It was heart wrenching and gripping.  The way that the author has incorporated real historical figures into the story is great because you get a sense of realism.  I loved every moment of this book.  I really did.

You can find out more about Cecilia Ryan on her website or follow her on Tumblr.  You can also add The Sartorialist to your Goodreads by clicking here.  You can find more books from Dreamspinner Press on their website.  The Sartorialist by Cecilia Ryan earns 5 Fairies for a beautiful, heart warming love story.

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