book reviews · m/m romance

Ava March’s “Convincing Arthur” (2009) & “Convincing Leopold” (2011)

 

24587277I thoroughly enjoyed both these books! They were fun, steamy, and ultimately sweet. The writing is of a very high standard and the characters are excellent. The pacing is perfect- there’s never a dull moment, and the plot moves along swiftly. The first book has a solid conclusion, but I am sure readers will be eager to get into the sequel as soon as possible, which brings Arthur and Leopold’s story to a very satisfying end. (I have to admit that I assumed the third book in this series, Convincing the Secretary, was also about our boys and I was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t- though it’s still a great book in itself!)

These books may be closer to m/m erotica than m/m romance, but I still think that the relationship between Arthur and Leopold was quite well thought-out and well-developed, with each character facing their own demons and making choices about the kind of lives they want to live. Despite Leopold’s charismatic, outgoing personality, he has a very soft, vulnerable side that I think readers will really respond to. His internal darkness is addressed more explicitly in the second book, and I really appreciated how the author handled it. Arthur is much, much more reserved, and has a lot more to lose by letting himself be with Leopold. It takes courage on his part to follow his heart.

The “historical” elements of this historical romance were satisfying, if not overly concerned with accuracy. The scenery of heyday London, gentlemen’s estates, private carriages and intimate fireside escapes makes a fantastic background for Leopold’s pursuit of Arthur.

As an author myself, I adored these books for their incredibly well-written sex scenes. If you ever find yourself wanting to write an amazing gay sex scene and are looking for some brilliant examples, these are most definitely the books you want to read! The scenes are perfection: steamy, sparky, and creative. The sex is never predictable, always imaginative- quite a feat given there’s a scene in almost every chapter. I’ll be returning to these books again and again for inspiration and advice.

{Summary from Goodreads.com:}

Arthur Barrington knows exactly what he wants. A practical man. Someone who values discretion. Commitment. In other words, someone like himself. His old friend, Leopold Thornton, an overindulged son of a wealthy viscount with a reputation for vice and debauchery, couldn’t be less of a good candidate.

Yet when Leopold extends an invitation to his country estate, Arthur agrees. Perhaps a holiday with the sinfully beautiful man will help him get over a recent breakup. Then he can return to his thriving London law practice and resume his quiet life.

Ten years ago, Leopold learned the hard way that patience doesn’t always have its rewards. Now that he has Arthur all to himself, he isn’t going to let a second opportunity pass him by. And he certainly isn’t above using pleasure to tempt Arthur into his bed.

Leopold has only a few days to open Arthur’s eyes to the possibility that he’s the man Arthur is looking for. That his love is genuine—and he’s worthy of Arthur’s heart.

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