Title: Blackmailer's Delight
Author: David Lawrence
Publisher: Broadbound Publishing LLC
Release Date: February 12, 2024
Genre(s): M/M Historical Romance
Page Count: 325
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In the midst of the French Revolution, the English "Revolt of the Housewives" erupted in 1795, whereby the mostly female rioters redistributed food stores to those in need, after one of England's coldest winters, setting fair prices for the food and paying the proceeds back to the original owners. I love how the women strived to give all involved a good outcome, and in a sense, this reflects the overall tone of David Lawrence's book.
Throughout the course of Blackmailer's Delight, we find, yup, blackmailers, some perfectly horrid characters, miscommunications and misunderstands galore, and situations where there seems to be no good outcome. And at first, the tone of the writing - for me personally - was a bit much to really digest. There's a certain formal tone and a huge amount of descriptions that bogs down the story and many of the actions and events in the book are told after the fact, or recalled as a memory, resulting in a lack of immediacy.
But once the plot is fully in swing, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it all. Daniel Thornton goes to Grantham to care for his ailing uncle, declaring that he wished to find the goodness in the world. Yet when confronted with Luke Morley "this young man I've joked with, caroused with, argued with, f@cked with, and tried to emotionally blackmail. Everything, it seems, except to speak to properly.") he believes the absolute worst of him, and yet believes most of what his ex Clarence tells him.
Clarence starts out as a simply horrid character who I was eager to write off, and yet Daniel manages to find a good resolution to their former relationship. He manages to circumvent the supposed blackmail plan for his marriage to Luke's sister, and the solution is really a stroke of genius all the way around. The secondary characters are well-developed and fleshed out and as the book come to an end, there is a world of possibilities for all the characters. 4 stars.
I received an ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.