It has been more than a year since I last read anything by Joanna Chambers … so when I saw this one being listed by Riptide at Netgalley, I requested it without any second thought.
Sir Edward “Ward” Fitzwilliam comes to Porthkennack to continue his work — to scientifically experiment and to prove how the plane of spirits can interact with the real world — after his reputation is shattered among fellow scientists in London. In order to do this, Ward needs subjects, and he hopes with his money people in Porthkennack will be willing to participate. Ward doesn’t count on how people distrust him since his work involves electricity.
Nicholas “Nick” Hearn is a land steward to the Roscarrock family. He is a half Romany Gypsy (from his mother’s side) and Ward thinks Nick is perfect for his experiment. At first Nick refuses. However, after a slight misunderstanding — Ward sees Nick with another man; Nick thinks Ward is going to blackmail him upon this knowledge — Nick agrees to become Ward’s subject for a limited time …
Oh how I adore this story. It reminded me again how much I miss Chambers’ writing, characters, and stories ♥. This is a classic opposites-attract, in my humble opinion.
Ward is a scientist but he also comes from privilege, so some things are easy for him (like purchaing the land for his experiments, or offering money to attract the locals). At the same time, he is also sheltered due to a grave illness so Ward is not the most sociable person. For me sometimes he is either too ‘nerdy with his passion towards science (though nothing wrong with that!) or unable to get social cues.
Nick, on the other hand, is a half Gypsy and a bastard. Some people never really let Nick forget about that. He has a complicated relationship with old Godfrey Roscarrock — his employer, landlord, and to an extent, his family after Nick’s father left and his mother died. Nick distrusts Ward on sight and he feels that he is roped into agreement due to blackmail.
But then Nick gets to know more about Ward and vice versa, and how I devoured the progress. I loved their sessions. I loved how they exchanged things about their lives. I loved them together, period.
I also loved reading about them individually, these two men with their different baggage. Ward is still dealing with grief and unable to let his twin brother go, even if he tries to hide it by working on his project. While Nick tries to find a place he calls home as he feels like he never truly belongs in Porthkennack. Even if he loves the land.
I did have slight problem with the pacing. Somewhere in between Ward and Nick building their tentative relationship, to knowing each other better, to acting up on their attractions, to realizing their true feelings for one another … I felt sometimes the pace was off. Especially during the part where they go to Truro to see the séance all the way to the ending. It felt rather rushed for that moment of love declaration.
Still, it ends in a lovely way that made my heart soared *smile*
I think fans of both Joanna Chambers and MM Historical Romance in general will not miss this one, for sure. Next time, Joanna, don’t stay away too long, please?
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: A Gathering Storm
Author: Joanna Chambers
Genre: MM Historical Romance
Word Count: 82,000 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: April 17, 2017