What is probably the best achievement of the author is to make me like Charlotte “Lottie”, a supporting character that I was ready to hate even before starting the book; true, in the blurb they presented her like a supporter of Charlie and Tristan’s relationship, she is Charlie’s sister and Tristan’s wife, but well, she had two children from Tristan and I didn’t think it was really possible she had no amorous feelings for her husband. So, or she was a sad wife who realized she couldn’t have the love of her life, or she was someone who really didn’t care for her husband at all. She is nor one or the other. Lottie is a practical woman, and apparently she has no romantic dreams; I have the feeling that, if she met the right man, she would fall in love, but, first she is not searching and second, that man had to have a very strong will to match a woman like Lottie. In the meantime, Lottie had nothing against the idea of the arranged marriage with Tristan, mostly since it allowed her to be independent. The relationship with her father is strange, but the reader will later realize the reason of that.
This long introduction is also giving you the idea of how important Tristan’s bisexuality is for the plot; actually Tristan is not bisex, he is strictly heterosexual until he meets Charlie, but this is not a gay for you story. Tristan has a complex relationship with his father, marred by the wrong idea that if Tristan is not a perfect son, his father will not love him; and since Tristan is far from being perfect, at least at his own eyes, he thinks no one can love him. Being homosexual, a sodomite, is not an option, and Tristan is repressing his feelings so much that it will lead him to a nervous breakdown. The reason? I think that, until he is having affair with women that are as much disinterest as him, he is not facing the issue of his homosexuality; but when he meets Lottie, a woman who is more than worthy to be loved, and he is not able to “impress” her enough to build a love relationship, he has to admit that the love of a woman is not what he is seeking, and that is the end. Doesn’t really matter that probably Lottie will never find the right man, that is not Tristan’s fault, and that, more or less, their marriage is a good one, probably better than most of the bon-ton marriages around them.
If the first part of the novel is a little slow, or maybe I read it like that since I was not really interested in that part of the story, when Charlie enters the scene the story takes a faster pace, and the love relationship between Charlie and Tristan is one of both love, trust and friendship. There are really no obstacle to their love, Lottie not only approves of that, she is even encouraging it, and even who is not aware of the personal nature of their bond is favouring it, for the good influence that Charlie has on the former scoundrel that was Tristan. Maybe that was something not really realistic, as probably it’s not Tristan’s choice to become a doctor (no aristocrat of the time would probably considering such idea); but there are example of middle class men of the time who were scientist or intellectual, so maybe it’s not impossible that someone like Tristan, after having assured to his descendants a good future, could spend the rest of his life doing something he enjoys.
I didn’t speak a lot of Charlie; he is not at all a plain character, on the contrary, he is a noble and sensitive man, but probably in comparison to Tristan he is too “good”, and you know, the bad guy is always attracting the romance readers ;-) but joke aside, Charlie is an impressive romance reader, and someone with a great courage, not only on the battle field but also when dealing with love and relationship.
Amazon: Kindred Hearts
Amazon Kindle: Kindred Hearts
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 2, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott