Buy Link: Convincing Arthur
Author: Ava March
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 4 out of 5
Leopold Thornton has spent the last 10 years longing for Arthur Barrington. At 19 he was attracted to his friend, but missed his opportunity to declare his interest and Arthur entered into a long-term relationship that only recently ended. Leopold doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice, and invites the solicitor to his country home in hopes that this time he can share his feelings and finally start a relationship with the man.
Quiet and conservative Arthur is attracted to his friend, but knows there can never be anything between them but a few nights of passion. Leopold is wild, indiscrete, and has spent the last ten years hopping in and out of bed with various men. Arthur, on the other hand, is looking for someone to settle down and share his life with. He doesn’t realize that Leopold’s wild life was just a way to get through his longing for Arthur, and that what Leopold really wants is a relationship between them. The question is whether Leopold can convince Arthur how he really feels and show him that they are meant to be together.
Convincing Arthur is hot, sweet, and romantic, with great characters. Unlike the usual rake redeemed by love trope, Leopold is ready to commit to Arthur from the very beginning. I could feel the intensity of his emotions as he struggled with his desire for Arthur and the knowledge that he needed to tread slowly for fear of overwhelming the man with his feelings so soon after his breakup. And Arthur too was torn as he wavered between his strong attraction to Leopold and the worry that there was no hope for a future together. Both men were appealing and I was rooting for them to make it work.
My only real issue with the book, however, is that so much hinges on Arthur’s misinterpretation of Leopold’s motives and desires. Both men wanted to be together, but Arthur’s fear that Leopold doesn’t want a relationship is what holds things back. One of my favorite things about March’s characters is that they actually talk about their problems. They have conflicts and struggles, but they never gravitate to that “big misunderstanding” that takes over the book. They work out their issues and move on. And while this book doesn’t go near big misunderstanding territory, I still felt bothered that it takes so long for Leopold to communicate how he really feels and for Arthur to understand the depth of that commitment.
However, despite that, I thought this was a great book. March writes such wonderful m/m historicals (the Bound series is fabulous) and this one was no exception. Later this week I will have a review of the sequel, Convincing Leopold.