4.5 stars This book was released in what seems to have been the author s first year of publication Just three years ago wow, she s done so much good writing in such a short span It is a little less crafted, less layered with the gorgeous language that makes a Harper Fox novel something unique, but there are flashes and moments that are stunning The basic story is a classic, of the rich boy who has material wealth but nothing else good or real in his life, meeting the poor boy who changes his world.Laurie is an interesting character, a young man with talent and intelligence but who has learned a passive approach to life around his overbearing and volatile father He s a little absent, feeling colorless when we meet him The only thing that rouses him to effort and real engagement is protecting and nurturing his younger sister, to whom he is brother and father figure both But one cold night he spots a homeless man just about his age, huddled in a doorway, and has a moment of connection that becomes an epiphany A few days later he tracks Sasha down, and takes him in for the night And in turn, Sasha unlocks Laurie from the fog of distance in which he is living his life and makes him feel real, urgent and necessary passion within himself, for someone new.But Sasha is an illegal immigrant with a shady past, and Laurie s father is a bigot and homophobic Being together isn t simple in any way The story plays out with a fair bit of drama and unexpected moments of hard won joy The plot is eventful, the resolution sweet Like almost everything this author writes, I read this in one sitting, and will come back to it Not my favorite Harper Fox, but that bar is very high indeed Still going on my favorites list, and a reread.I won a free copy of this book on the M M group, but I d been searching for it and would have bought it anyway I ll read anything Harper Fox cares to write. I am a huge Fox fan, but this story was missing the one thing I cherish in every Fox book Romanticism That sense of awe for the natural world that comes through so palpably that one can live it by reading it This story is set in London it doesn t not have the wilds.Yes, there have been other stories that are set in urban areas, but there is always this contrast of the civilized versus the raw, unvarnished space that the reader via the MC is privileged to view intimately without interference Here the open space, the heath, is never given that due It is described in chorus with others whom Laurie is sharing it That precious solitary commune is absent So, this greatly affected my perception of this work because it is something I look forward to with anticipation Now, back to the story itself The conflict of social spheres and expectations as well as both Laurie s and Sasha s external familial relationships drive the story It is brash, presenting reality harshly in places and leaving a portion of the blame on the reader s shoulders as a culpable witness The references to theater are elusive and I m not an expert on Shakespeare I had to carefully follow parts so as to not be left behind In the end, there is a lovely character arc for both protagonists and is quite an enjoyable story that I didn t want to set aside when life demanded This rating reflects not only the work itself, but how I have compared it to other works by Fox Still a good read Favorite quote If he did not expect, he could not be disappointed, and his solitude would not get the chance to consume him. Not a historical I thought it was, from the blurb and the cover, although neither actually says, historical.The blurb doesn t say what era, but it starts off with the son of a wealthy London baronet rescuing a homeless young man off the bitter winter streets And then the cover maybe especially the cover photo which is sooo very typical of other historical romances completely persuaded my subconscious that this was a historical, maybe set in the 1800s I see that a few others have shelved this under historical too, so I wasn t the only one with the wrong impression Also, the 3 people who voted for it in the Best Gay Historical Romance list Still enjoyed it very much as a modern read, but I think I might have liked it better if my mind had been in the right time period when I started Then I wouldn t have had to pause to keep puzzling out the date as when I realized, hmm, cars, it must be at least the early 1900s and then later, oh, they have cell phones, I d better move them up to present day, which meant I had to go back and reset the story in my mind each time. 3.80 starsThis was lovely at its essence if not its execution and so much than a coming of age love story.When Laurie, wealthy scion and pampered rich boy meets Sasha, a homeless, street hustler, his eyes are opened up to a whole new world that has been right in front of him His totally evil and repulsive father does not take well to Laurie s new infatuation and kicks him to the curb, literally, where he must make his own way with nothing than the clothes on his back.Sasha belongs to a tribe known as gypsies or Romani These people with nothing take Laurie in and show him caring than his own family The commentary about the Romani and their invisibility can be extrapolated out to any alienated, homeless person living anywhere in the world Woven here with the love story we get a view of bustling London streets from both sides of the divide Through Laurie s eyes we see how easy can be the path to poverty, shame, and neglect, how quickly one can lose everything and be at the mercy of the elements and the kindness of strangers It is this depiction of a young man s coming of age that pulls at my heart.I did find the style of the story telling odd formal, with an old fashioned, quasi Dickensian feel that didn t match the modern day setting Sudden mention of mod tech such as cell phones and the internet would snap me back to present day In fact, this story could have easily been set during the Victorian era If you are willing to overlook that, this is an interesting world made so with the added depiction of theatre life that Laurie finds refuge in There s a lot of color and depth to this sweet, coming of age love story with the added spice of an underworld crime adventure thrown in. A very beautiful, bitter sweet love story.The beginning has a dreamlike fairytale quality in a snowy, timeless London Made me think of The prince and the pauper and also the Oscar Wilde fairy tale about the golden prince, although there is no real connection or relation.The writing was brilliant, and with two so very young lovers the falling in love and feeling it so strongly and forever felt naturally.I enjoyed this very much as it was a very romantic story, but still held enough realism to be convincing. Nineteen years old Laurie Fitzroy is the son of wealthy Sir William Fitzroy He has everything but he is also lonely and imprisoned in his life of having to become what his father is needed Then one freezing night, he meets an illegal homeless boy, Sasha, and his life forever changes Because Sasha teaches him to dream, to fight for what he wants, and to love Oh, Harper Fox, how I adore your stories I have to admit, I still struggle with Ms Fox s very British language style it is somehow feels too layered, too detached BUT, the story itself is just amazing It s not as angsty emotional roller coaster ride as her two previous books, ALTHOUGH, it doesn t mean that this doesn t have that It does and my how it will break your heart This story is on Laurie s point of view In a way, it s his journey, to get out from his father s tyrant way of life to find his true self through his love for Sasha I adore his determination when he needs to find a job for himself and a place to stay for him and Sasha I love his affection for his little sister There are so many scenes here that just touches me and I just want to hug the two men and keep them from the cold winter and harm Plus point for tidbits scene of the life of the theater I want to read M M stories that takes place around the theater with actual scene of audition, performing on stage, as well as the acceptance from the audience This one has that, and I love it so. 4,5 stars.BIG drama Romeo and Julian in London only with HEA.Just a tiny bit too stagy and pompous.What shall I say this is Harper Fox. Laurence Fitzroy Is Trapped In A Golden Cage The Only Son Of A Wealthy London Baronet, He S Struggling To Escape His Father S Suffocating World But Laurie Is Losing His Fight At Nineteen Years Of Age, Bright And Imaginative, He S No Match For The Brutal Sir William Laurie Wants To Be An Actor Bad Enough As Far As Sir William Is Concerned, But, Worse Than That, He S GayOne Bitter Winter Night, He Meets A Young Homeless Man Huddled In Blankets Outside The Opera House The Two Form A Bond Straight Away, And Laurie Takes Him Home, Wanting Only To Offer Him Food And A Warm Bed But Sasha Is A Passionate Romani Immigrant, And His Beauty And Sweet Nature Soon Overwhelm Laurie S Chaste Intentions, Leaving Him Hopelessly In LoveLaurie And Sasha Reach Out Desperately To One Another From Their Different Worlds, And Against All Odds Begin An Affair, Hidden In The Attics Of Laurie S Sumptuous Home And On The Bleak Moorland Of A Romani Encampment For Laurie, It S A Delicious Sexual Awakening, And Sasha Returns His Affections, Opening Up To Him A Whole New World Of FreedomBut Sasha Has Secrets, And A Murky, Violent Past When He Vanishes, He Leaves Laurie Bereft And Alone In A City He Hardly Recognises Any Now Laurie Has To Stand On His Own Two Feet And Find The Strength To Rescue His Lover And HimselfNote This Is Not A Historical Series They Are Titled Aristocrats In Contemporary Society Word Count , I liked this story I did But at the same time, it saddened me At the same time I had a hard time accepting some parts of it So it settles at 3 stars.One note Romania also has Romanians, not just gypsies Roma Just putting it out there, in case you were wondering view spoiler Ok, so what I found less interesting and somewhat unbelievable was Laurie s sudden and undying love for Sasha It was perfectly done, very emotional, with feelings running deep But I don t really believe in love at first sight or any type of love that manifests in the span of a week fortnight with such all consuming power So while I sympathised with Laurie and admired his devotion, I kept stumbling over his overnight love Another aspect that saddened me and I suppose this should have, in fact, increased the book s rating is that I felt it all to be too real and highly unlikely to have a happy ending It made me realise there is a degree of fantasy I attribute to all the stories I read be they set in contemporary times or some magical world that makes the happily ever after believable Whereas in this story, it was too easy to imagine seeing everything unfold on the evening news on my own tv.What I did like were Laurie s intense emotions the way he made Sasha the very centre of his life, the despair he experienced after betraying him and believing he had lost his gypsy prince forever , the complex story line and characters, Sasha s mysterious past and brave survival despite it I focused on the pair, not only because they were the MCs but also because they were transitioning from childhood to adulthood and had to go against some harsh, some ugly truths hide spoiler I loved this story from Harper Fox It s been a while since I read it but I can remember enjoying he characters so much And the love between tthese two MC s who are pretty much as far apart socially as it s possible to be Yet they have in common than they first realise Just thinking about yhese two is making me want to re read it I am all gooey from the intense love they shareand the difficulties they faced because of it.A recommended read.
Harper Fox is an M M author with a mission She s produced six critically acclaimed novels in a year and is trying to dispel rumours that she has a clone twin sister locked away in a study in her basement In fact she simply continues working on what she loves best creating worlds and stories for the huge cast of lovely gay men queuing up inside her head She lives in rural Northumberland in nort
- 154 pages
- A Midwinter Prince
- Harper Fox
- 05 August 2019 Harper Fox