Monday, October 8, 2012

My Regelence Rake Book Review *J.L. Langley*

J.L. Langley is one of the few authors I go gaga over. Based on her Sci-Regency books, particularly My Fair Caption, she has opened my mind and introduced me to an incredible world of such possibility. She’s one of the few authors who has not only molded me as a reader, but as a writer, and has shown in so many ways that love is a beautiful thing in whatever form it takes. First of all, you wouldn’t think a combination of Sci-Fi and Regency Historical Romance would work well together. But, in J.L. Langley’s hands it does. Also in this world, homosexuality is the norm on the planet of Regelence where men marry men, have children together (through scientific means) and embody the Regency England lifestyle and ethical code. 

My Fair Captain was my gateway into reading M/M romance and finding a bearded hero, with that of Intergalactic Navy Captain Nate Hawkins so amazingly sexy, (including his top secret special piercing) as well falling for Adien Townsend, his shy, younger artistic husband. In The Englor Affair we saw Adien’s brother Payton and Marine Colonel Simon Hollister tumble into love, and now in My Regelence Rake, Adien’s younger brother Colton falls for the man he has loved for years-the Captain of the Kings’ Guards, Lord Sebastian Hastings.

Colton is a prince, one of four to King Steven and his Consort (husband) Raleigh “Cony” Townsend. Colton is the middle son and on the cusp of manhood. Colton loves horses and horse breeding and wants to own his own stable and race horses. He’s had a crush on Sebastian for years but Sebastian barely notices him. The one night while at a ball he spies Sebastian being pleasured by another man and that breaks his heart in two. From now on he’ll concentrate on his horsing venture and push Sebastian from his heart and mind.

Sebastian has always been fond of Colton, but never recognizing his attraction to him until Colton starts ignoring him or acts far too polite when before he was overly friendly. Also Colton has a bad habit of going off alone unchamperoned, which is something unmarried men in this society don’t do. Sebastian takes it upon himself to watch over to Colton, to Colton’s dismay. Sebastian can’t stop thinking about Colton and ends up kissing him, which in turns makes Sebastian want more from him. They find out a horse is being abused by a Viscount Leith, who Sebastian has an unfortunate past with, and buy the horse from Leith at a very low price to save the horse. Leith vows revenge against both men for making him look like a fool. Soon there’s talk of Colton and Sebastian stealing the horse and being lovers. Colton is giving the direct cut from society, and because of it, Sebastian has no choice but to marry Colton. He cares for Colton but is afraid his marriage to the prince will fail like his first marriage and the proof about his birth and who he really is will come to light.

What both men don’t realize is that they have been manipulated by Colton’s father Steven who thinks both men are perfect for one another. He believes theirs’ is a love match in the making like he had with Raleigh, who still makes him burn after all the years they’ve been married. But his concentration is also on a shadowy figure who’s watching and stalking him for no reason he can think of. Not only does he want Colton and Sebastian to admit their feelings for one another, but he must figure out why he’s being targeted and who’s behind it before anyone close to him is hurt.

My Regelence Rake is a book that will make you swoon. M/M (Gay) romance, specifically Historical romance doesn’t get better than this. The writing is engaging and the chemistry between Colton and Sebastian is wonderful. Poor Sebastian is so smitten by Colton to the point he goes crazy thinking about him and wanting him badly (naked and in a bed preferably). Colton’s reactions to Sebastian are a joy to read. He may come off as some innocent virgin, but once he learns about passion (thanks to Adien showing him what sex between two men are like based on his drawings in a very touching and funny scene), he gives and takes as much as Sebastian does. Colton and Sebastian’s love scenes are steamy and rich. They’re not afraid to show their emotion for one another, which seems to be the case with most of the couples portrayed here.

Colton’s parents, Steven and Raleigh are given a lot of page time, and seeing them together as they help their children find happiness, including their displays of affection was a great idea on J.L.’s part. I really enjoyed the relationships here from the love shared between a parent and their child to the Townsend siblings, including friends and the dedication the royal family’s staff has for them. Also fans of Adien and Nate will be so happy to see how their marriage has grown, including the heir to the throne and eldest Townsend son, Rexley and his relationship to his betrothed, Jeremy, nicknamed Trouble (he’s Nate’s son).

My Regelence Rake was a lovely treat. The Sci-Fi element was downplayed  here, unlike the first two novels, but there are some mentions like light saber swords and technical ways of communication. There’s also a suspense element regarding a murder and the person stalking Steven that didn’t really interest me that much and took something away from the story. I felt that wasn’t as well rounded as the plot regarding Colton and Sebastian and fell flat overall.

My Regelence Rake is a book I couldn’t get enough of and now I’m craving more from the Townsend clan. I do hope J.L. will think about writing a prequel about how Steve and Raleigh got together and then finally write Rexley’s and Trouble’s romance, which most fans are anxious for (NOW PLEASE).

J.L. Langley is an author you should be reading, and I urge you to do so by introducing yourself to the world of Regelence and J.L.’s lush romances that makes my heart sing in so many ways. (Samhain Publishing, $3.85)

Final Grade: B+