A Position in Paris
Title: A Position in Paris: A gay romance set in 1919
Author: Megan Reddaway
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 20, 2018
Page Count: 260
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
A very sedate love story set at the end of WWI in Paris. James Clarynton survived the war, but lost a leg and an eye. He's set up in an apartment in Paris with lots of money (courtesy of a rich dead relative) but with little to actually do. His friend suggests he write a book and James engages a male secretary, Edmund, to take shorthand and transcribe.
Edmund lives a rather grim hand-to-mouth existence in Paris with his mother and brother Robby, who has tuberculosis. There is a secret about Edmund's family, and he keeps that shame very close to the chest. Edmund has his pride, if little else, and is very closed-mouth about his family and his background, and even his first name, which he doesn't share with James at first. (He goes by E. Vaughan.)
The novel is written in an epistolary style, so we get both James' and Edmund's POV throughout via their respective journals. The pace of the story is very, very leisurely as the two men work together for some time before James learns Edmund's first name, and longer as he slowly discovers more and more about Edmund's family. There are miscommunications a-plenty, and while both men are attracted to the other, it takes most of the book before they kiss, and there is no on-page sex, other than a fade-to-black scene.
I liked the historical setting for this story and James' recovery from his injuries, and how the romance between James and Edmund gently unfolds, but felt the pace was at times excruciatingly slow. Also the epistolary style added another layer of distance in the romance, since we are reading about what happened after the fact in a journal entry, rather than feeling the emotions "live."
Overall, I liked the premise of this story, and I would definitely read more by Megan Reddaway in the future, but this story didn't really come to life for me. 3 stars.