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Convincing Arthur by Ava March

If Leopold was a woman, it would have been the classical heroine who no romance author chooses as main character. Usually a widow, or a fallen woman, in the Regency romance they are friends, mistress (usually abandoned at the beginning of the story), housekeeper. Some daring romance authors made them the main heroine, but seldom, and usually with no much success. And so that Ava March decided to write the story of a corresponding male version it's quite original, and daring as well. In the few M/M historical romance you can find around, the men are strong and dominant figures, full of sense of honor, or innocent young boys, the male version of the damsel in distress. If the man is a rake, it's probably due to a poor childhood, to a lack of love that made him aloof.

Leopold instead is "weak" to the pleasure of flesh since he is basically easy to fall into temptation. At 19 years old, when he was starting to realize that he preferred men, he fell in love with Arthur, the nephew of his father's solicitor. While Leopold was a noble man, the fourth son of a Viscount, Arthur, even if middle class and wealthy, was on a different level. To Leopold that didn't matter, but he was really young, and as I said, not so strong, neither then. He let pass too much time to make clear his feelings with Arthur, and the man chose another. Falling in despair, Leopold spent the following ten years drinking stupor his pain, and sharing his favors with everyone was willing. Not a good way to prove to Arthur that he did the wrong choice.

Where Leopold could care less of the society, his father's title and money protecting him, Arthur has to be discreet; his position depends from his job, and his job from his reputation. A relationship with a discreet man, albeit cold, it's better than an hot affair with a young man apparently unable to be low profile. But even if sure, the relationship is also unsatisfying, and when it ends, for natural death, Arthur is tempted to accept an invite for a brief stay at Leopold's country home. Leopold's intentions are clear, and Arthur is willing to surrender, only for few days.

While Arthur is the hero you are expecting from a man on man Regency romance, as I said, it's Leopold who wins my sympathy. Leopold is not a strong man, without Arthur's love he is no one, not "man" enough to resolve his self-confidence issues by himself. Basically Leopold is a spoiled child, as fourth male child, his father doesn't expect to much from him, but loving him, he gave everything to his child. Not having the bear his father's expectation, Leopold is free to live his life as he wants, but on the other hand, he has no real purpose. I don't feel as Leopold charges of something his father, he is a beloved child, and he expects to be loved. When Arthur doesn't do that by himself, Leopold his willing to help him to take the right decision, to let him taste what he is missing. From the unconditionally love of his father, Leopold wants to pass to the unconditionally love of Arthur: it's only natural, why someone shouldn't love him? 

Said like that, it could seem that Leopold isn't a nice character, and it's absolutely wrong. Ava March describes him in a way that the reader is all for Leopold, and when Arthur, with right, states his perplexity, the reader only thinks that he is not right with Leopold, that he should be more flexible and understanding. Leopold is an easy man to love (no pun intended).


Amazon Kindle: Convincing Arthur

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Cover Art by April Martinez


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