Hector Sommerville is the third son of an entailed estate in England. He’s no hope of inheriting, and he has little interest in being a burden. Hector has known his whole life that he has unnatural tastes, loving men, and one in particular: Viscount Captain Tyler Wentworth, who is nearly ten years his senior. Tyler grew up on the neighboring estate to the Somervilles and he was the best friend to William, Hector’s next-eldest brother. Tyler seemed a dashing young man all Hector’s life, and a savior of sorts from the abusive hands of Hector’s drunkard father.
Hector has grown up to be fully enamored of the celebrated Captain and thrives on his visits. He does not know that William and Tyler shared their first love with one another. Nor does Hector know that Tyler’s jealousy over William choosing to marry a woman caused Tyler to act in an unconscionable manner, which severed their once close bonds of friendship. Hector planned to lose his virginity to Tyler, and is happily doing so before family drama sets in.
His Brother’s Viscount is a Regency romance loosely connected to His Second Chance by means of some character connections, but fully enjoyable on its own. Through flashback, the whole and sordid stories of their pasts are unraveled. From the beginning, we know that Hector has made it his mission to spend a fortnight with Tyler to win his affection once and for all, several years after his first time with Tyler, still unknowing all the history between William and Tyler.
Hector is sweet and giving and Tyler is old and jaded. Afraid to upset William again, and unsure if his mad affection growing for Hector is simply a reflection of the love he once held for William, Tyler spurns Hector’s plans for a life together. Add to this, William fears that Tyler’s sodomite predilections are ruining his brother’s chances. And, angst. There’s lots of angst. Tyler hides his misery in drink, and he does ruin Hector, in a way, by breaking his poor tender heart. For a time.
As a Regency, this one has a far less decorum and hiding for the main characters than I have seen before. It was different, and didn’t feel authentic. Admitting to what amounts to criminal sexual behavior seems to happen with little care, being a rather open secret even between brothers and husband/wife. There are many changes in POV, as well as time, with flashbacks taking us back years in Tyler’s history that were at times confusing and certainly halted the growing action in favor of explaining. I’m not a huge fan of flashback, and it became problematic for me as a reader. I did eventually understand that Tyler’s struggles with his memories and himself, as well as his love for Hector, were difficult to engage with and to acknowledge, but the level of angst was almost melodramatic. The late plot of a spurned lover taking Hector in his confidence added to the “too much” crisis I was having as a reader. I adored Hector—and I liked Tyler eventually, but I think the plot meandered a bit for me to really have loved it. I was glad that Tyler and William reconciled their friendship, and that Tyler’s growth as a character eventually allowed him to see his true worth and save Hector from both bitter loneliness and a bizarre and dangerous revenge plot.
Expect some dashed hopes and uncomfortable sexytimes followed by separation, emotional abuse, and lots of soul searching before Tyler finally gets to the core of his feelings. He has some intense groveling to do, and he will—if Hector lives long enough to hear him out. In the end, it was a happy resolution, and Hector and Tyler find a way to make a loving life together.