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The Turners #2

The Lawrence Browne Affair

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An earl hiding from his future . . . Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is mad. At least, that’s what he and most of the village believes. A brilliant scientist, he hides himself away in his family’s crumbling estate, unwilling to venture into the outside world. When an annoyingly handsome man arrives at Penkellis, claiming to be Lawrence’s new secretary, his carefully planned world is turned upside down. A swindler haunted by his past . . . Georgie Turner has made his life pretending to be anyone but himself. A swindler and con man, he can slip into an identity faster than he can change clothes. But when his long-dead conscience resurrects and a dangerous associate is out for blood, Georgie escapes to the wilds of Cornwall. Pretending to be a secretary should be easy, but he doesn’t expect that the only madness he finds is the one he has for the gorgeous earl. Can they find forever in the wreckage of their lives? Challenging each other at every turn, the two men soon give into the desire that threatens to overwhelm them. But with one man convinced he is at the very brink of madness and the other hiding his real identity, only true love can make this an affair to remember.

335 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 7, 2017

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About the author

Cat Sebastian

24 books3,021 followers
Cat Sebastian has written sixteen queer historical romances. Cat’s books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist.

Before writing, Cat was a lawyer and a teacher and did a variety of other jobs she liked much less than she enjoys writing happy endings for queer people. She was born in New Jersey and lived in New York and Arizona before settling down in a swampy part of south. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, having one-sided conversations with her dog, or doing the crossword puzzle.

The best way to keep up with Cat’s projects is to subscribe to her newsletter.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 950 reviews
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,084 reviews774 followers
May 18, 2020
Audiobook - 5+++ Stars

Story - 4.25 stars

So good. 😍 So so good.

- MCs: Georgie and Lawrence - perfect together, well developed characters. Opposites attract.

-Story: Flowed so well, no uneccessary drama, a good take on social anxiety fit for that period.

-Writing: Excellent as always.

Overall it was an enjoyable story. When started, i couldn't stop. It was worth it. 😍
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 73 books2,498 followers
February 10, 2017
That was a lot of fun. Lawrence, the Earl of Radnor, is a great character. He's a solitary, brilliant giant of a man whose sociopathic now-deceased brother and father have made him into a recluse. Lawrence is sure he's going to go mad as they did, and that his attraction to men is a sign of his mental corruption, to be ruthlessly suppressed. He believes that he's going to harm anyone who gets close to him, and that he must shut out the world. He's an inventor, and has made himself content with hiding in his crumbling ancestral home, working on his research with only written correspondences, trying to perfect his devices while waiting for some kind of dissolution of his life. Or maybe for the roof to fall in and kill him. He's pared his life down to simple meals, science and technology, and his big, faithful mongrel dog. Until the day an unwanted secretary shows up and starts rearranging his papers and his clothes and his world.

Georgie needs to get out of London, away from the old lady he didn't have the heart to swindle, and the master-criminal whose money he lost by refusing. This post as a secretary off in the country seems like the perfect temporary hiding place - investigating the latest incarnation of the Mad Earl of Radnor for a client of his brother's. But the Earl is not like any other aristocrat he's ever met, or indeed any man. Lawrence needs him, in a way no one has, and under his growling and bad temper, he trusts Georgie, far more than he should. When Georgie finds out how many people's happiness depend on keeping Lawrence safe and well, he's finally in a position to make a difference to someone besides himself. If his past doesn't catch up with him.

The historical context was well done, an unobtrusive backdrop to the story. Both men are great characters - particularly Lawrence, with his bitter self-distrust, and yet open, naive heart. Although I wasn't sucked in emotionally to the depth of my favorite stories, some readers will no doubt fall hard for these two men. The plot was engaging, with moments of excitement, relationship-building, self-discovery, and of humor. I very much enjoyed the ride, and will probably reread this. I look forward to the next story from this author.
May 13, 2017

The Lawrence Browne Affair is an immensely enjoyable historical romance: honest and witty, with plenty of snarky banter (Georgie is a master of dry humour), a dash of danger, and two imperfect men who belong together.

The earl dropped the ax long enough to strip down to his shirtsleeves. That couldn't be necessary, given the chill in the November air. But on another, purely aesthetic level, it was quite, quite necessary for this man to take off his clothes whenever the spirit moved him.

I liked Georgie, but Lawrence (who has severe social anxiety and is possibly on the spectrum) stole my heart.

This isn't a fast-paced story; it's gentle and surprisingly sweet. Georgie, a thief and swindler on the run, can't bring himself to steal from Lawrence, the "mad" earl who's not mad at all, just misunderstood.

"I've been here for two weeks, and I'm still waiting to see evidence of this madness . . . I have to say, I'm fairly disappointed. I had hoped for some good old-fashioned howling at the moon, and all you do is build ingenious inventions and eat too much ham."

Georgie poses as a secretary, and he is an incredibly efficient one, but he also becomes Lawrence's friend, his lover, his confidante.

The accidental "house party" Lawrence hosts is a joy: a rather awkward, inside-out take on a proper le bon ton affair.

While the steamy scenes are somewhat muted, I never doubted the connection between the MCs.

An epilogue wouldn't have gone amiss, but the ending is nevertheless a believable and romantic HEA.

Highly recommended for fans of Regency romance.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,862 reviews1,897 followers
June 27, 2021
Real Rating: 4.25* of five, rounded down

First, read this:
“You have a library of hundreds—if not thousands—of books downstairs, and you let them rot.” So it was a book Turner was waving about, brandishing like a weapon. “Do you have any idea what that does to any person of sense? It’s obscene, I tell you.”
He ruffled feathers without even knowing he had encountered a bird.
He had never understood what use fine feelings were to a man who was half-starved.

But now he thought he did.

There just isn't a more fun way to spend a couple of hours than reading well-crafted unserious stories designed to make you smile. Georgie and Lawrence are perfectly matched opposites. A lower-class con-man must be a social creature or fail and be punished by draconian laws. No one is ever going to tell an aristocrat he's wrong and bad for being "on the spectrum" as we say in the twenty-first century. Bring the two together and let the author's wit and cleverness grease the rails and bring the narrative train to full speed.

I love the way Author Cat takes very real issues, such as the social isolation of those on the spectrum, and weaves serious points into her farrago-of-nonsense stories. (I mean that in a *good* way! I need nonsense!) I am, in this case, not quite as rapturous as usual only because I felt it was anachronistic for Georgie to respond so, well, empathetically to Lawrence. It's not impossible! I do fully realize it's not as though empathy only showed its face, shyly and reluctantly, in this century. (And we could use a LOT more of it, come to that.) But it was just a little jangling bell, a thready response up that one sneaky synapse...this is a bridge too far, even in my willing suspension of disbelief that two men—and one an aristocrat!—would be left alone to do as they liked when one is clearly not "right"...fired and fired.

You know what? Screw all that analytical crud. Get this book, read the series, let your mind take a vacation from the darkening edges of our social contract's shredding. Georgie Turner and Lawrence Browne deserve to live their happily-ever-after and you deserve to have it be in your brain.
Profile Image for Lau ♡.
357 reviews259 followers
February 26, 2021

The Lawrence Browne Affair is a beautiful historical MM romance about two soul mates who fall in love despite the odds. It feels human, real. I could feel myself inside the story, touching the characters with my own hands. It’s my first book by Cat Sebastian, but I’m sure it won’t be my last!

Everyone knows that Lawrence Browne, Earl of Radnor, is mad. And he is not interested in showing otherwise. After all, it runs in the family.
He has resigned to live by himself, spending his days working in his inventions. At least, that was his plan until Georgie Turner arrives at Penkellis, declaring to be his new secretary.

Lawrence knows that Turner is not the person he claims he is, but he is not afraid of the secrets that lie underneath his charismatic smile. He sees the handsome man who has put all his energy into creating a better life for him, and he wants to do the same in return.

I loved the simplicity of this romance. It’s so clear that Turner and Lawrence are made for each other. Turner is easy-going and talkative while Lawrence is a quiet person with a scientific mind. But they understand each other perfectly, and both deserve a chance to be happy.

Turner spends his time trying to make things easy for Lawrence, because he knows the Earl is not mad, only shy and a bit insecure after all that happened in his family.

I will always be glad to have known you, Lawrence.” He brought a hand to Lawrence’s jaw and stroked his beard. “I want you to remember that. When I’m not here, I want you to know that wherever I am, however we part, I’ll be better for having…” He hesitated, then touched his own heart before bringing his hand to rest on Lawrence’s chest. “For having you as a friend.”

Lawrence knows that Turner is afraid to tell him who he really is, what he has done. But he doesn't care about any of that. He only wants to help the caring man he has fallen in love with.

Kissing Turner had felt like the suddenly obvious answer to an equation he had been trying to solve for years. Hell, every minute he had spent not kissing Turner seemed evidence of an unsound mind.

Overall, The Lawrence Browne affair is an enjoyable story about friendship and love, with real characters that would have to learn to let themselves be happy.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-written, realistic MM romance and characters that feel human.
Profile Image for Noah.
161 reviews32 followers
July 8, 2022
Well, I’m afraid that I’m running out of positive adjectives, but this was wonderful, fun, sweet? Okay, it’s just a good time all around I reckon. The whole “thief falls in love with the target” trope (is that what it’s called?) is such a good one because it makes the inevitable break up chapter feel way less contrived. Though this book was a bit subversive in that sense because the drama doesn’t come from the place you would expect from the initial set-up.

I also liked how both Lawrence and Georgie felt like they were on equal footing the whole time, even though Georgie technically works for the former. They had a relationship built on empathy and respect, rather than just co-dependency and sexual attraction. And this has nothing to do with the story, but the people on the cover don’t match with the character descriptions, especially with Lawrence! It didn’t make me angry, but maybe a little miffed.

Final thought; Every now and then I have music on in the background when I’m reading, and reading this book was no different. I didn’t have a specific playlist, I figured I’d just hit shuffle just to see where that got me. And I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’d be surprised how many Carly Rae Jepson songs serve as a perfect backdrop to a 19th century love story between an agoraphobic gay man and a duplicitous byesexual.
Profile Image for Nelly S..
378 reviews67 followers
July 7, 2022
4.5 stars

“Last night, under the tree, he hadn’t felt mad in the slightest. Kissing Turner had felt like the suddenly obvious answer to an equation he had been trying to solve for years. Hell, every minute he had spent not kissing Turner seemed evidence of an unsound mind.”

This is my first Cat Sebastian book and it won’t be the last. It’s a beautiful hurt/comfort romance about a reclusive earl who has agoraphobia and the swindler masquerading as secretary sent to spy on him. A little boy longing for his father’s affection and a large scruffy mongrel dog round out this eccentric and lovable cast.

“It was tempting, the idea of Radnor‘s warm body covering his own, pressing him heavily into the mattress.
No, it was more than tempting. Apple tarts were tempting. New waistcoats were tempting. Stealing a gentleman’s hat was tempting.
Radnor was disastrous.”

“He didn’t have the luxury of fine feelings, nor the time for compassion… He was a swindler, born and bred; a creature of back alleys, smoke and mirrors, whispers and lies. He didn’t know any other way to be.”
Profile Image for ~Nicole~.
523 reviews63 followers
February 4, 2023
Well, this was fun! A very good historical though let’s be real,it’s Cat Sebastian, there is no bad historical with this author. Awesome characters, good plot and fun all around.
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews200 followers
September 16, 2019
He had never understood what use fine feelings were to a man who was half-starved.
But now he thought he did.

Georgie Turner learned early on that swindling and conning others meant food and safety for himself. But when a sudden occurrence of conscience forces him to leave a job unfinished and his dangerous associate out for his blood, he jumps at the chance to get out London and pretend to be the secretary of the mad Earl of Radnor, spying in order to determine just how mad the Earl really is. But instead of madness he finds a gruff and rude Earl, a brilliant and very enticing scientist. But no matter how attracted he is to Radnor, Georgie doesn’t do permanent, his life is built on lies and a good and honest life is not meant for someone like him.

Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, knows that it’s just a matter of time before he’s just as mad as his late father and brother. His fear of being surrounded by others, of any kind of change in his surroundings is a good indication of his impending doom. He certainly doesn’t need a secretary who will just disrupt his predictable life. But the more time he spends with the talkative and utterly beautiful Georgie, the more his life is thrown in orderly and neat chaos. And for someone who craves his solitude, his sudden need for a certain man’s constant presence makes him feel panicked and at peace.

Can two people so opposite be meant for each other?

“Listen,” Turner said, his voice silky. “I’ll spell this out for you. I want you badly. I won’t try to persuade you to do anything you might regret, but I also won’t hide how much I want you.”

I loved Georgie. Because of his criminal past he doesn’t exactly have the most favorable view of himself. I loved how confident he was in his own skin, his sexuality and that he managed to make Lawrence accept and understand his own needs as natural too. I loved that he saw beyond the mad label everyone has placed on Lawrence, that he saw the truth about him and that he made Lawrence realise it too.

Kissing Turner had felt like the suddenly obvious answer to an equation he had been trying to solve for years. Hell, every minute he had spent not kissing Turner seemed evidence of an unsound mind.

Of course I loved the grouchy Lawrence and how out of depth he was with Georgie who was never afraid of him like everyone else. It was so sad to see how he struggled to realise the truth about himself, believing himself mad for so long. I loved the way he saw Georgie, how he never thought bad of him because of his past and that he didn’t care about it at all.

“I’m not going anywhere, and you’re out of luck if you think you can get rid of me. You can build a dozen new houses, and I’ll simply follow you about from house to house, like a bad case of bedbugs. Where you are, I am, so get used to it.”

I’m a true believer of opposites attract so I always love it in my romances and Georgie with his need for order and neatness, and the absent minded Lawrence with his tendency towards predictable chaos were so perfect for each other. They brought out the best in each other and balanced each other perfectly. I loved their romance, how neither could deny their powerful chemistry and how willing both were to keep the other safe.

I really enjoyed the plot with Lawrence working on his telegraphic machine, trying to make it work, which was so interesting. And the mystery regarding Lawrence’s family estate and the rumors of madness and witchcraft someone was spreading about him, and Georgie trying to get to the bottom of it.

I love HR and M/M romances and to find a author who writes a brilliant combination of both while still staying true to the difficulties of those times has made me ecstatic. This was another fantastic installment to a series I’m loving. Highly recommended to all HR and M/M fans!

Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,344 reviews37 followers
March 6, 2021
4,5 stars

You may have heard me ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’…. This was just delightful!

This is truly romantic without any sap:
A rogue and fraudster with a conscience and a heart.
A ‘mad’ earl who leads the life of a hermit believing himself lost to the world, drowning in loneliness in a house that’s falling apart.

A lovely journey for both men:
For Georgie to find a place and a purpose where he can truly be himself.
For Lawrence to accept that he isn’t mad, but ‘different’ (and I suspect he would be diagnosed with a variety of anxieties nowadays.)

An utterly heart-warming romance:
Georgie gradually coaxing Lawrence out of his shell, ‘socializing’ him, returning him to the world whilst crushing the misconceptions the Earl has about himself is a simply sigh-worthy, heart-warming story.
And Georgie finds that, whether he likes it or not, he is a good man, who shines in the best way when given a chance to do so.
I really loved the men’s conversations and banter, and the genuine heat and tenderness between them.

This definitely holds its place amongst my most favourite historical romances, and I’m certainly going to check out more books by this author now.
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews309 followers
November 14, 2017
Oh Lawrence, you did not think you needed a Georgie but how wrong you were

zach thumbs up

Series: Yeppers

Sexy times: Yes, there is that. Hotness. Plenty of hotness.

zach lollipop

Plan on reading more by the author: Please. This woman writes beautifully crafted romance. How could I not read more?

Ok, Lawrence is pretty sure he's as mad as a hatter and is bound to take after the rest of his family in losing his damn marbles. He's an inventor, a genius and a man who has let his house and life nearly fall down around him. He's agoraphobic as dislikes most human beings. He's kinda messy.

Then there's Georgie, swindler extraordinaire, who needs a place to disappear to. Enter the Vicar who is just trying to protect Lawrence and his connection to Jack and Oliver (see first book in the series) and Georgie is sent to check on Lawrence. Georgie ends up taking a post as Lawrence's secretary and who knew? He's a damn fine secretary. Organizes L's messes and get's the man back together.

Now, Georgie is on the run from some London bad dudes yet is doing everything he can to protect L from any who would do him harm. He's worried that L's inventor partner (who L has never met, but only corresponded with and who takes care of the money end of their inventions) is out to swindle L. He's worried someone is creating rumors about the mad dude in the castle. He's worried the bad dudes will come to L's castle and try some bad stuff. (I, unlike Cat Sebastian, write like a 3rd grader).

Cue L's son-not-son (read the book) and Georgie's desire to make things better for the two of them. Cue a giant slobbering and slumbering dog. Cue a bunch of other stuff.

Hero: Lawrence. His time with Georgie is like cleaning out a window from his brain to the rest of the world. He finally sees he is NOT mad. He is good. He is normal-ish and he is in love. He's gruff and cranky and awesomely curmudgeon like.

Hero: Georgie is the exact opposite of L. He's groomed within an inch of his life. He's polished. He's slim. He's talkative. He's all about people and he's saving L's life. For reals.

zach winning

Why it did or didn't work for me:
Oh, this worked. And it worked in the best way ever. Witnessing Lawrence struggling with his belief that he was doomed to be another crazy man who would rent apart anyone around him and then seeing him come out the other side of his supposed crazy. Well, swoon. Just swoon.

The big misunderstanding (not so big!) was handled so tenderly and the way both characters responded was with such love for each other that my little heart crumpled in a good way. The best way.

sad zach

Words are not flowing for me with this review. I think I'm humbled by Ms. Sebastian's words and the story she created. Suffice it to say, this book? It's one of the everything books. Truly.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this story.
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,601 reviews1,669 followers
November 22, 2017
I've only read two books by this author, but she's already on my auto-buy list. Traditionally published LGBTQIA historical romance novels are hard enough to come by (like, I don't actually think I've ever seen one before??), but so far both of the books I've read by Cat Sebastian have been some of the best romance novels I've read, period. They've both had everything I look for in a romance novel: interesting characters who get under your skin, indulgence in romance tropes without becoming cliché, plots that don't make me roll my eyes, good sex scenes (and they are really good), actual chemistry and a believable developing relationship between the leads, and a willingness to try out stuff that romance novels usually don't (in the case of this book, it's a character with a severe anxiety disorder). This book also has the added side benefit of actually feeling like historical fiction, which a lot of the times, these books just do not, instead resembling fantasy versions of history (which is fine, by the way).

The titular Lawrence Browne is also known as the Mad Earl, the latest in a line of Mad Earls that also included his father and his brother. Lawrence has locked himself away in his crumbling estate, and all but two of his servants have quit. The local vicar writes to a friend in London (the hero from book one) for help when he believes that Lawrence is in danger of being declared legally incompetent, and his heir and lands taken away from him.

The answer is Georgie Turner, who is there nominally to be Lawrence's private secretary and help him with his work (he's an inventor--Sebastian definitely plays with the traditional image of the mad scientist), but is secretly there under orders to find out if Lawrence is really mad. But also secretly secretly he's there because he's hiding from some former associates he wronged. Georgie is a con man who tipped off one of his marks they were being conned, and now he's running from the man he used to work for. He figures he can do this favor for his brother Jack (the vicar's friend), and then make off with some valuable items, which he will use either to buy his way back into good graces, or to make off for parts unknown.

Of course, they fall in love.

But it's really satisfying getting there! Georgie is so good for Lawrence. He's utterly unashamed of who he is, and gradually teaches Lawrence not to be, either. He helps Lawrence cope with his anxiety, and begin to live like a person instead of a barely sentient cave dweller. And Lawrence gives Georgie a reason to finally put down roots. He feels useful and purposeful, and for the first time he allows himself to develop a real connection to another human being, which of course is problematic if you are wanting to rob that other human being blind.

Ugh, I can't even explain it, it just satisfied me on a deep level. The side characters are great, too.

Also, the cover on this book is sooo much better than her first book, which honestly made cringe it was so bad. I could probably write 10,000 words on the plight of the romance novel cover. It is a topic that makes me lose my mind, so don't get me started.

I have the third book in this series ready to go and I'm super pumped about it. My Thanksgiving reading plans are all set.

[4.5 stars]
Profile Image for Caz.
2,645 reviews1,002 followers
February 10, 2017
4.5 stars rounded up

Cat Sebastian’s wonderful début historical romance, The Soldier's Scoundrel, in which former thief-turned-valet-turned-private investigator, Jack Turner, was called upon to investigate a nasty case of blackmail and found love along the way in the unlikely form of Oliver Rivington, younger son of an earl  - was one of my favourite books of 2016.  Historical romance as it should be done, the book has a sharp eye for period detail and some degree of social comment as well as strong characterisation and, of course, a beautifully written romance between two characters that hold the readers’ attention and, in this case, gained my affection, too.

Naturally, I’ve eagerly been looking forward to Ms. Sebastian’s next novel and hoping for more of the same – and I’m pleased to report that she doesn’t disappoint.  While The Lawrence Browne Affair doesn’t quite top the appeal of the previous book, it’s nonetheless a superbly written story which addresses some difficult themes while showing, at its heart, that everyone needs love, acceptance and understanding, even though it’s sometimes difficult to believe one is deserving of it.

Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, is plagued by a family history of madness.  He lives alone in his dilapidated castle in the wilds of Cornwall, where he devotes his life and entire focus to scientific pursuits, and, at the moment, is working on a method of conveying messages through a complicated system of wires; what we might today call a primitive method of telegraphy.  His experiments have resulted in explosions, fires and other mayhem, and as a result of that, and the rumours that he is unhinged, the locals give him a wide berth.  Lawrence also thinks that the fact that he is attracted to men is yet more proof of his affliction and he fully expects that the madness that claimed his father and brother will eventually do for him, too.  He has given up on ever living a normal life; he doesn’t bother about his appearance, hardly remembers to eat and doesn’t care about his home or estate – and the only person with whom he has any regular interaction or something approaching friendship is the local vicar, the Reverend Halliday.  He genuinely cares for Lawrence, and when he hears rumours that Lawrence’s family may be taking steps to have him legally declared incompetent and locked up, he writes to his old school friend, Oliver Rivington, to ask him to find the earl a secretary, someone who can vouch for him if his sanity is ever called into question – and because Lawrence badly needs a secretary.

The vicar’s request arrives at an opportune time for Georgie Turner, thief, swindler and con-artist extraordinare who is also Jack Turner’s younger brother.  His latest scam has gone badly awry, with the result that the local crime lord is out for revenge - so when Jack asks him to go to Cornwall to see what he can find out about the Mad Earl, Georgie is only too pleased to get out of London.  He’s not really qualified to be a secretary, but he needs to get away from town to think things through and besides, Radnor might prove an easy mark.  Once a con-man, always a con-man…

Arrived at the crumbling Penkellis Castle, Georgie is utterly horrified at the state of both the earl and his home, unable to believe that a gentleman would want to live in such a mess and be so careless of his wardrobe and personal hygene.  Nonetheless, he sets to work straight away, starting to organise Lawrence’s letters and papers even though the earl, who is resistant to any kind of change, tries to get him to leave by behaving aggressively and unpleasantly.  But Georgie has quickly realised that while Lawrence is different, surly and quite brilliant, he is not insane; and also discovers that he actually enjoys his secretarial duties and is very good at them.  Once Lawrence accepts Georgie’s presence, the pair strikes up a comfortable working relationship that soon grows into a genuine friendship.  There’s also a strong undercurrent of mutual attraction, but Lawrence believes his madness means he cannot have a relationship with anyone, and in any case, he refuses to allow himself to be attracted to a man.  Georgie realises that Lawrence struggles to accept change and the reader will recognise that what Lawrence sees as episodes of madness are in fact, intense panic attacks whenever he is confronted with the prospect of something that doesn’t fit into his established patterns.  Cleverly, Georgie begins to make small, subtle changes to Lawrence’s daily life in order to make things easier for him, but he never attempts to change the man himself.  Sure, he needs a shave, haircut, new clothes, servants and a stable, ordered environment, but most of all, he needs to recognise that he is not mad and to see that he is entitled to love and be loved.

There are a couple of intriguing secondary plotlines in the book running alongside the romance, but this is essentially the story of two people who have to make a major re-evaluation of their self-perception if they are going to be able to accept love and make a future together.  Georgie has spent most of his twenty-five years cheating and swindling, having done whatever it took to get out of the poverty into which he was born and determined never to go back there.  He’s always compartmentalised his life and likes it that way, but the sudden and unwelcome intrusion of a conscience casts all that to the winds, and he’s left wondering exactly who he is – and whether he will ever be able to go back to his old life.  Or if he even wants to.

The relationship between them is beautifully drawn, and Ms. Sebastian does a terrific job showing their growing understanding of each other.   Lawrence realises that Georgie is trapped by his view of himself as nothing but a worthless thief; Georgie wants to free Lawrence from the restrictions and judgements he has imposed upon himself due to his supposed madness.  Each helps the other to begin to see himself in a different light, and it’s wonderful to watch that happening at the same time as the attraction and affection between them deepens into love.  It’s perhaps true that Lawrence’s turn-around from believing his attraction to men is part of his madness to embarking upon a physical relationship with Georgie happens a little quickly, but that’s a minor quibble about what is otherwise a very well-developed romance.

The Lawrence Browne Affair is only Cat Sebastian’s second published novel, yet her writing is so accomplished and assured that it’s almost difficult to believe that to be the case.  If you enjoy historical romances with a strong sense of period, fully-rounded, complex characters, a sensual love story and a nice dash of humour, then this book – and its predecessor – is highly recommended.
Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,586 reviews230 followers
April 10, 2019
Seriously good!

Second listen 4/9/19: Still Spectacular!!!

Original review:

I plowed through this book in one sitting. Great pacing and character development helped to make this a fantastic read.

Both MCs were enthralling in their own right, and I appreciated how they both brought out and saw the good in each other. There's a bit of a mystery mixed in and quite a bit of self-sacrifice. I loved the tension between Georgie and Lawrence early on in the book, along with their climactic HEA.

While other characters from Cat Sebastian's first book make small cameos, this can be read as a standalone.

Gary Furlong’s narration ROCKED THIS!!
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,279 reviews299 followers
March 4, 2021
Another triumphant historical romance from Cat Sebastian

I loved the first book in this series which was set in the early party of the 19th century in a London still recovering from Waterloo.

The second book concerns Georgie, brother of scoundrel Jack and general ner' do well, who is roped in to investigate a possibly mad Earl in the woods of Cornwall.

I loved the scientific element to this book, the early days of experimentation with copper wires as a method of transporting messages worked brilliantly as a backdrop to Lawrence's supposed madness.

The characters and atmosphere of the crumbling ancestral seat were very well crafted, the feeling of mystery and suspense wrapped up in the traditional Cornish smuggling history.

Lord Courtney is an intriguing new character and I'm fascinated to see where his romance is going to go in book three.

It was also nice to get a glimpse back into Jack and Oliver's life and see them both still happy.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,773 reviews500 followers
February 13, 2017
A reclusive 'mad' Earl slash brilliant scientist and a swindler who becomes his secretary * Swoon *. It was such a lovely read. I loved how Georgie's presence at Lawrence's estate slowly transformed both the earl and the rest of the servants to be more "alive". The change of meal from cold ham, apple, bread for example -- hey, Georgie bought eggs and cheese!

I loved the interaction between Lawrence and Georgie, I was completely charmed by the dialogs between them, the romance ... and the dashing rescue in the end. Like I said, it was such a LOVELY (and satisfying) read. And kudos for that gentle mutt, Barnabus. Loved that dog!

I can't wait for Cat Sebastian's next book. I apparently discovered a new favorite MM historical author!
Profile Image for Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥.
1,224 reviews138 followers
February 6, 2017
4.5 stars

Alright now, Cat this is 2 for 2 for me with your stories. I enjoyed the Soldier's Scoundrel, but I really really liked this book. Georgie and Lawrence were hot like fire. The chemistry and adoration between these two were astounding. This book is in the same world as book one, but can be read as a standalone. Georgie is a con man but with a conscience. Lawrence is the mad Lord of the town who is scientific genius. They push each other buttons continuously, and I can feel the connection on page.

I really liked what the author did by having them be completely different towards each other, but have some of the same similarities of comfort with one another. Georgie needs to lay low for a while so he escapes to another town and poses as a secretary. Its not so far fetched since he knows how to do honest work, he just prefers conning. He is employed with Lord Radnor, and its frustrating, he's infuriating, ungrateful, and downright mean at times. Well a little discomfort doesn't hurt Georgie, in fact he is the ideal person to deal with the madman of the village. Georgie is falling and fighting his feelings on the same accord when it comes to Lawrence. He isn't a bad guy per say, he is just prone to loud outbursts, and bouts of craziness according to Lawrence and the men in his family. The only way to be safe is to isolate himself from people, and his last living relatives. He stays coupe up in his family's' estate that he let go to hell. He things that if he stays away from people then they won't have to deal with him. He lives on ham sandwiches, and apples from the only two servants that he allows to stay on at the house.

I am not usually one for slow burns, but this was much needed. The slow burn added on top of all the copious amounts of attraction that Lawrence and Georgie had for one another. Another kudos to the author for keeping the authenicty and dialogue up to reflect the period of time.

I found myself laughing at times, and tearing up at other. I thought the author did another great job with these characters. I think I enjoyed this one better then the first. The chemistry between the two was real. I liked the pacing, plot, and overall feeling that this story had. I do love regency romances, and Cat Sebastian can add herself to my auto-buy list as of now. I can't wait for the third book in this series. I did love him in this book. Highly recommend this series!
168 reviews20 followers
January 22, 2021
4,5 where you are, i am STARS

“How long would it take you to notice that I was gone, my lord?”
“That’s a stupid question. You know perfectly well that I mark every moment you’re with me.”

What an utterly DELIGHTFUL book!! I LOVED IT!!!

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♠️ My review of: ♠️

#1 The Soldier’s Scoundrel4,5 ⭐️
#2 The Lawrence Browne Affair4,5 ⭐️
#3 The Ruin of a Rake5+🌟
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♠️💭 My Initial Thoughts: 💭♠️

Considering this was only my second time reading M/M historical romance, I’m pleasantly surprised at how refreshing and enjoyable i found this book to be. All credits go to Cat Sebastian for her exquisite writing style.

This book was so beautifully written, the characters were extremely charming and well developed, the story was really smooth with no unneeded drama, and overall such a wonderfully delightful read.

In addition, at it’s heart, this book sets out to deliver an extremely thoughtful and important message:
That everyone is worthy of love, acceptance and kindness.
Because love has no conditions. It’s not limited or bounded in any way.
True love is independent, timeless and unconditional.
It cannot be corrupted by what you do or what you fail to do.
For me, love, kindness and compassion should not be bound by notions of good or bad, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly.
Everyone is worthy and deserving of love.

♠️✨ Georgie & Lawrence: ✨♠️

”He had never understood what use fine feelings were to a man who was half-starved.
But now he thought he did.”

⚜️ Georgie who was previously introduced in The Soldier's Scoundrel as Jack’s little brother, is a swindler with a big heart.

”He was a swindler, born and bred; a creature of back alleys, smoke and mirrors, whispers and lies. He didn't know any other way to be.”

After he gets too attached to one of his marks, an old lady he refused to swindle. He puts a huge target on his head, which forces him into hiding.

“It was an embarrassing error, a raw novice’s mistake, to care about a mark. It was one thing—bad enough, really—to let one of them take him to bed. It was quite another to start worrying about them as if they mattered.”

Because of that, and as a favor to his brother, he accepts the job as the Earl’s secretary, which turns his world as he knows it upside down.

”Kissing Turner had felt like the suddenly obvious answer to an equation he had been trying to solve for years. Hell, every minute he had spent not kissing Turner seemed evidence of an unsound mind.”

⚜️ Lawrence is the Earl of Radner, a genius scientist who everyone-including himself- think is mad. He’s a recluse who believes himself to be mad just like his deceased father and brother.(both of which-i should add-were despicable people).
He has completely isolated and neglected himself, he spends his days hiding away in his study, eating ham and bread and inventing scientific devices.
It’s only when he meets Georgie that he finally starts to come out of his shell, and begins to see the world and himself through a different and more optimistic lens.

“Radnor?” Turner asked. He had a bit of plaster in his hair, and Lawrence reached out to brush it away, letting his thumb linger overlong on his ear.
“It isn’t mad to want to touch you,” Lawrence said, his voice hoarse.
Turner sucked in a breath. “No, indeed. I’m glad you know that.”

Together, Georgie and Lawrence present a great painting of two beautifully flawed characters. One can’t help but fall in love with them.

I personally loved Georgie and Lawrence in different ways.

〰️I loved Georgie for his big heart. From the very first chapter, i was immediately in awe in the face of his kindness and generosity.

”It was as if after a quarter of a century of blithely not giving a damn about anybody, he had accrued a surplus of damns to give.”

Despite everything pointing to the Earl being mad, he gave him the benefit of the doubt and when he saw the truth of the matter, made it his mission to make Lawrence uncover the veil obscuring his view, to finally see the truth about who he truly was.

"What will you do with yourself when you grasp that your mind is only different, not deranged?"

He was so patient in his ways, but still firm enough to be heard.

“I’m not going anywhere, and you’re out of luck if you think you can get rid of me. You can build a dozen new houses, and I’ll simply follow you about from house to house, like a bad case of bedbugs. Where you are, I am, so get used to it.”

He fell in love with Lawrence, flaws and all, and was so selfless in his love.

“Listen,” Turner said, his voice silky. “I’ll spell this out for you. I want you badly. I won’t try to persuade you to do anything you might regret, but I also won’t hide how much I want you.”

Just like Lawrence, i am truly grateful for him because of how caring he was towards Lawrence, and honestly everyone needs a Georgie in their life. Enough said.

〰️As for Lawrence, from the very first moment he was introduced, he tugged at my heartstrings.

”He was petrified by the idea of leaving his study, of meeting new people, or being assaulted by too much noise, or really doing anything that took him out of the cocoon he had created for himself.”

Just like Georgie, I immediately realized that the only thing he truly was, is a misunderstood guy who is different because of his social anxiety, and certainly not the mad monster everyone was painting him to be.

”Lawrence didn't need to go out of his way to frighten anyone. All he had to do was simply exist. Everyone with any sense kept a safe distance from the Mad Earl Radnor, as surely as they stayed away from rabid dogs and coiled asps.”

I instantly felt a connection with him, his thoughts sometimes aligned with mine, and when i imagined myself in his position, it just made me incredibly sad.

”Lawrence felt the too-familiar sense of rising panic, that even in this room he was not safe from the chaos of the outside world. The man meant to stay here, to meddle and talk and distract; he planned to smell good and be handsome and obviously Lawrence should never have agreed to any of this.”

His father was a horrible person, he treated Lawrence despicably, he was a terrible drunk, forbid him from going to school, and he even used to whip him behind closed doors.
His brother was just as despicable, he was a rapist and just an awful person.
Both his father and brother were publicly believed to be mad.
Because of that, and the fact that he was brainwashed by his father throughout his childhood to believe he was mad just because of his ‘perverse desires’, he believed he was to follow in their paths.

“They were still standing too close. Turner tipped his head against the wall and looked up at Lawrence with lazy indifference. Most unsecretarial. But Turner didn’t seem afraid, and Lawrence didn’t know how to feel about that. He was so accustomed to fear that the absence of it was unsettling.”

Ah...my heart... 🥺
Moments like these, when Lawrence was puzzled by Georgie not fearing him, just made me wanna hug all the insecurities and self loathing out of him 💔😭

I loved Lawrence because he didn’t love himself, and because despite being held back by his social anxiety, he was really courageous and brave in his love for Georgie.

With the help of Georgie, he changed his destiny, took matters into his own hands and built the life that he was satisfied with and that he absolutely deserved.

♠️✨ My Favorite Moments/Quotes: ✨♠️

▫️Lawrence’s adorable friendship with Lady Standish:

“He tried to imagine what Georgie would do, what measures he would invent to make Lawrence feel more at home, less in the wilderness of confusion and nerves. "If you could see to it that I have bread and ham when we stop for supper, perhaps?" It sounded childish, pathetic.

"Of course," Lady Standish said briskly, as if nothing were amiss. This, Lawrence reminded himself, was friendship.”

I love Lady Standish simply for the way she cares for Lawrence(my poor misunderstood baby), she was a true friend for him and such a great woman, i stan! 🥺😍

▫️ Georgie’s inner thoughts and feelings which were insanely relatable:

“He had several weeks’ worth of beard, which Georgie felt as a personal attack on order and cleanliness. Terrible. Simply awful. Really, he shouldn’t be wondering what it would feel like against his skin.”

And then—oh, his kingdom for a pair of field glasses. The earl dropped the ax long enough to strip down to his shirtsleeves. That couldn’t be necessary, given the chill in the November air. But on another, purely aesthetic level, it was quite, quite necessary for this man to take off his clothes whenever the spirit moved him. Perhaps he ought to go the full distance and take his shirt off too. No sense in doing things by halves.

Georgie used his handkerchief to clean a bit of the window for a better view. It would have been a sin and a shame to let a sight like this go unseen”

He’s officially my spirit animal. I love him so much 😂😍

▫️ Lawrence waxing poetics about Georgie’s beauty😍:

“He was—there was no way around it, as much as Lawrence might have wished—ridiculously beautiful, with fine features that looked carved out of ivory. Black hair and eyes that were blacker still, cool and polished and fixed on Lawrence. Lawrence wanted to stare, to admire this man the way one might admire a sketch tacked to the wall of a prison cell, an unlooked-for reprieve from the dismalness that surrounded him.”


▫️ Georgie constantly throwing Lawrence off guard by flirting with him when Lawrence is trying to intimidate him lol:

“I could murder you without breaking a sweat, if that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
Ducking out from under Lawrence’s arm, Turner shot him a wry look that he couldn’t make heads or tails of. “But that’s not what you want to do to me, is it?” he asked, heading for the door. He threw a look over his shoulder, one side of his mouth curved into a sly grin. “Not even close.”

▫️Basically just Lawrence falling in love with Georgie 🤩😍:

“At some point, Georgie had become indispensable, not only to Lawrence’s work but to his life—his heart, damn it”

“He wondered whether asking Georgie to stay would be the maddest thing he had ever done.”

▫️Probably my favorite moment- Lawrence convincing Georgie to ‘steal’/take his jewels, so he can settle his debts and never need for money:

“I’m trying so hard not to take from you.” An adorable crease had appeared on Georgie’s forehead.
“It’s a gift. You’re meant to take it.” When Georgie didn’t answer, Lawrence moved his fistful of jewels closer to the open window.
“Stop! Damn you. This is—you’re holding a pistol to my head.”
“Would you like me to hide them someplace for you to pretend to steal? I could put it all back in the jewelry case—I assume you’re capable of picking a lock?”
Georgie choked back a laugh. “If you had acted half so daft a month ago, I would never have tried to convince you that you were sane.”
“I’ll concede that this might not be the moment I’d want brought up if my sanity were called into question.” He settled a palm against Georgie’s hip, satisfied by the way his hand nestled against the smaller man’s body.”

♠️💭 Final Thoughts: 💭♠️

I really loved Georgie and Lawrence together, they balanced each other so well, and were the missing puzzle in each other’s lives.

Their chemistry was off the charts, the banter was extremely snarky and witty, and the romance was so pure and powerful.

It’s safe to say this book is a new favorite of mine that i will probably be rereading in the future.
Cat Sebastian is an incredible author, and i will definitely be reading more books by her.

So good 😍 Highly recommend it!

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♠️💭 Thoughts Before Reading: 💭♠️

After reading and loving The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian, i am so excited to read this book which is about Jack’s brother Georgie.
Fingers crossed it’s as good as The Soldier's Scoundrel was.🤞
Profile Image for Andrea.
881 reviews132 followers
July 23, 2021
I don't think I can adequately express how much I loved this book. I've been trying to gather my thoughts all day, and I still can't think of more than "AWWWWW" and "I LOVED THIS SO MUCH!!!!".

So anyway, here goes:

What I love most about Cat Sebastian's book (and yes, I realize it's only been three, but I loved all three SO much) is how layered and well-drawn her character are. They are never just one thing, they are complex people with many real issues. There is never any external drama (in fact what little there is stems from internal issues and is dealt with maturely and without a fuss). And most of all: they always, and I mean ALWAYS, treat each other with respect. Even if they don't see eye to eye, they support each other no matter what.

That being said, and totally unsurprising, I adored Lawrence and Georgie. So much. I loved where Lawrence's issues about his madness come from and especially how the conflict was resolved. I loved that Georgie always believed in him and never once judged him. And when he finally came out of his shell and fought for what he wanted? I was crying so hard, while simultaneously cheering him on. It was perfection.

"Listen here, my lord," he said with a touch of his old insolence. "I'm not going anywhere, and you're out of luck if you think you can get rid of me. You can build a dozen new houses, and I'll simply follow you from house to house, like a bad case of bedbugs. Where you are, I am, so get used to it."
Profile Image for Trio.
2,931 reviews171 followers
May 17, 2018

This series is so well done! The first one was amazing, but I liked this one even more. The characters are so creative and interesting, and the story was unique and kept me guessing. Obviously the ending is a given, but how they get there? Wonderful.

Audio is a great way to enjoy Cat Sebastian. Gary Furlong was born to read these characters and delivers a flawless performance. His accents are beautifully varied and it's easy to distinguish between the different characters, I always enjoy listening to him.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,372 reviews1,835 followers
November 10, 2017
Lawrence didn't need to go out of his way to frighten anyone. All he had to do was simply exist. Everyone with any sense kept a safe distance from the Mad Earl Radnor, as surely as they stayed away from rabid dogs and coiled asps.

Stop me if you've heard the one about the conman and the madman. No? Because I hadn't either.

Lawrence felt the too-familiar sense of rising panic, that even in this room he was not safe from the chaos of the outside world. The man meant to stay here, to meddle and talk and distract; he planned to smell good and be handsome and obviously Lawrence should never have agreed to any of this.

THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR, book two in Sebastian's interconnected historical series, was so so wonderful. Georgie, Jack's brother from THE SOLDIER'S SCOUNDREL, is sent to Cornwall to investigate the claims stating that the current Earl of Radnor is mad. For surely he seems to be, locking himself in his study, making things explode, refusing company, and of course there's the small matter of his father and brother both having been variations of mad, terrible and cruel. So why wouldn't the current earl be any different.

"What will you do with yourself when you grasp that your mind is only different, not deranged?"

Instead Georgie, posing as a secretary, finds a reclusive man who is instead brilliant, hyper-focused, prone to debilitating anxiety and fears of the outside world, and harbouring "unnatural" desires, all of which he is convinced must mean he is, infact, mad.

He was a swindler, born and bred; a creature of back alleys, smoke and mirrors, whispers and lies. He didn't know any other way to be.

Georgie, in an unexpected turn of events, finds the more time he spends with Radnor, the less he's willing to pursue any scheme that might afford him a way out of a bad situation he's left back home. Owing money and allegiance to a man who allowed Georgie to run his cons on his turf, he thought to steal Radnor's inventions out from under his nose, turn a profit, and buy back into his handler's good graces. Instead Georgie finds himself protective of anyone looking to take advantage of the earl; and when Radnor's son is proposing to visit during a break from school, Georgie bends over backwards to turn the crumbling estate into something resembling a home. When rumours swirl unchecked about the earl's propensity for devilry, Georgie tries to dispel them. When Radnor finds himself overwhelmed with anxiety, Georgie knows exactly how to calm him.

It was as if after a quarter of a century of blithely not giving a damn about anybody, he had accrued a surplus of damns to give.

While the unlikely relationship between these two beautiful characters was a major highlight for me, each with their own identity issues (what am I if I'm not a thief? what am I if I'm not mad?), what I think I loved best was how Sebastian handled mental illness in a historical setting. The earl isn't mad, of course, but back then they didn't know what we know now. I loved the coping strategies she included for Radnor, between exhausting himself physically so he could sleep, to having a dog that was basically a service animal who could and did provide comfort when Radnor was overwhelmed. And I loved the events near the end of the book that forced him to leave his comfort zone and how real Sebastian made that struggle out to be. It wasn't a sudden matter of being cured and capable, it was instead a very real example of necessity providing the overriding means for coping and helping him through an extreme circumstance.

He was petrified by the idea of leaving his study, of meeting new people, or being assaulted by too much noise, or really doing anything that took him out of the cocoon he had created for himself.

I loved seeing some familiar faces from book one, I loved meeting some new faces (book three's couple, hello, I see you!), and I love love loved the dedication at the beginning of this book. Sebastian is definitely an author I can't wait for more from and this series is definitely topping the list of some of my favourite historical reads, not to mention favourite m/m books. Heartwarming, funny, relevant, sexy, and absorbing. Highly recommend.

4.5 "where you are, I am" stars
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
September 21, 2017
**4.5 well-deserved stars**
So great to see that my enjoyment of the The Soldier's Scoundrel was not a fluke. Cat Sebastian knows how to write sweet and steamy historical romances with endearing characters, entertaining plots and lots of banter.

The Lawrence Browne affair can be read as a standalone. It features Georgie, Jake’s brother from the previous book. Georgie has been raised in the streets of London as a con to have food and nice clothes. But he fails to trick his last quarry, bringing the wrath of his dangerous associate, so Jake sends him away in disguise of a secretary to spy on a client, Lawrence, a recluse Earl living in Cornwall.
Lawrence is prawn to society anxiety but believes madness is in his blood given his family history and his “deviant” proclivities. He hides in his crumbling house, giving his full attention to his science projects. And it's with great reluctance that he agrees with his vicar to employ a secretary.
Right from the start, Georgie, neither fooled nor put out by Lawrence’s scowl and grumpy attitude, slowly brings some welcomed organisation in his life, as well as sizzling sparks, forcing Lawrence to get out of his shell and Georgie to revaluate his coning life.

The dancing between Georgie and Lawrence, so opposite but so suited for each other, is utterly delicious and steamy, with plenty of snarky remarks. Right from the start, I was charmed with these two characters, amused by their interactions and completely in awe by the protectiveness and good heart of Georgie and, most of all, the tender braveness of Lawrence in overcoming his anxiety.
Add to that a very decent plot and a solid writing and I couldn’t read this romance fast enough.

Highly recommended for all fans of MM historical romances or for those who would like to try a taste of this genre.
Profile Image for Sofia.
1,136 reviews192 followers
February 10, 2017
Herewith we have Geordie.........

Cat Sebastian's second book is well worth reading. A good second to her first, different but with the same ability to capture my interest and my smiles. I love how she built up her characters, their flaws, their challenges, their change. I also liked the relationship they built up together, it's strength, it's love, it's comfort.

Sebastian has her work cut out for her with the character she has chosen to write about in her third book but I'm sure looking forward to that book.

Note on the cover - a definite improvement on the cover of the first book.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,371 reviews313 followers
February 7, 2017
4.5 stars

Ever since I read Cat Sebastian's debut The Soldier's Scoundrel, I knew I found my new favorite m/m author. Bonus point for actually writing historical m/m. This book 2 might even better than book 1, if I dare say so myself.

Georgie Turner is a conman, a swindler and basically amoral. When his recently grew a conscience and end up being hunted, he decided to take up a rare task to pose as a secretary for the reclusive Earl of Radnor. His job is to report on the earl mental competency, while also trying to steal a silver or two for himself. What he didn't expect is to find himself getting attach to the ruin castle and to the eccentric earl.

Lawrence Browne is the decedent of the infamous mad Earl of Radnor. With his father and brother succumb to their madness, Lawrence is constantly worry about his own mental state. His castle is in ruined and his servants all left except two, but Lawrence couldn't care less. He love his solitude and rather hole up in his study tinkering on his latest invention.

I was hooked on Georgie and Lawrence's interaction from the start. Despite Lawrence anti-social and brutish attitude that tend to scare off everyone else, Georgie was not the least affected. Being bred and raise in a slump, Georgie had experience all life had to offer and he know how to handle Lawrence's eccentricity. He even find himself fascinated by Lawrence brilliance.

The story felt a little like Beauty and the Beast, especially with Lawrence's strong physique and generally behaving like a wild man and unable to socialize. Georgie is the fine and pretty one, easily accommodate himself in any situation like a perfect chameleon. Being isolated since he was a young man also make Lawrence sorta naive in relationship. Is so endearing and sweet to see him dipping his toes into the whirlpool of emotion with his new lover.

Although I wish there is actually more dirty sex scenes to satisfy my pervy mind, the limited amount actually proves that the author had enough meat in her story that she doesn't need sex scenes to act as filler or to establish the characters emotional connection.

There is a bit of drama towards the end when Georgie have to face the consequences for his past sin and how it affect his future with Lawrence. I especially love the heroic moves by both Georgie and Lawrence. The effort and sacrifices they willing to make for their love ones. This is the kind of romance that guarantee to make reader swoon.
Profile Image for Anyta Sunday.
Author 89 books2,505 followers
November 24, 2017
Definitely love this author, this book wasn't quite my favorite though.
I loved Ruin of a Rake the bestest. :P
Profile Image for Papie.
627 reviews116 followers
January 6, 2023
I adored this book, and these two men. I hadn’t especially liked Georgie in the first book, but I was intrigued. Here I discovered that he is caring, sweet, hardworking, and he thinks the worst of himself.

Lawrence truly stole my heart though. Brilliant, gorgeous, rich and neurodivergent. His father was horrible. His brother was horrible. And he is hiding away in a crumbling mansion terrified of turning into them.

And then Georgie came.

Lawrence found himself forgetting that there had ever been a time before Georgie came to Penkellis. And he wondered what it would take to get him to stay. He wondered whether asking Georgie to stay would be the maddest thing he had ever done.
Profile Image for Simon.
642 reviews76 followers
February 27, 2017
Yet another great historical, m/m romance by Ms Sebastian. Great little story, lovely characters, gentle plot, tiny bit of angst, just what I want from a period romance; even the sex didn't offend me.
To date, both novels by this author have been placed in early 19th Century England, so it was a surprise to read the author's biog....Alligators....Biscuits and Gravy!
I do so enjoy reading a novel where I have to use the on-line dictionary and Wikipedia, strangely this was the reason I read the author's biography on GRs.....What on earth is a "gewgaw"? Ah! North American word, so this author probably isn't British.
A thoroughly enjoyable comfort read, well written and with loveable, adorable protagonists.
4.5 rounded up.
(So much more sexy having the cover models clothed in period costume. I liked the cover).
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,240 reviews266 followers
April 6, 2018
Georgie, Georgie, Georgie.

He stole the show. Just a bit too much - I felt the romance was a little more unbalanced than I'd hope as a result. But I listened to it, and the result me really loving Georgie's voice too.

It was a lovely book, a 3.5 simply because of that lack of balance. I just couldn't muster up quite the care of Lawrence, which is interesting, because he was a very intriguing character who just seemed to fall a bit flat for me overall.

As for the performance, I usually just say I loved it, or it added to it, but at times this narrator (though I do think his voice is quite delicious) was a bit too 'flat' and the transitions were a bit too smooth overall because of this.

But damn, that jewel scene. I wanted to cry.
Profile Image for ⚣Michaelle⚣.
3,672 reviews204 followers
June 19, 2018
Audio Rating: No Change

I still love this series, and everything that Cat writes. I hope all her books end up on audio so I can listen to them!

Original Rating: 4.5 Stars

OMG, this was seriously good. I loved how Lawrence's anxiety was treated respectfully, but the "madness" moniker downplayed to be less menacing since he was no danger to anyone but himself with the reckless science. I loved the experiments and the inclusion of yet another competent, strong, smart woman taking charge of her own life (even if she had to do so in a wily way but within the bonds society imposed upon her).

And I loved the way Georgie found a home, a place where he belonged. The way he found the strength to face his own past and try to redeem himself from previous misdeeds. The way he surrounded himself and Lawrence with a family that needed and wanted him.

So much love. Seriously. And I can NOT wait for Courtenay's story now.
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