When a new clerk is hired at the law office where Sam Hutchinson works, he has no idea his life is about to change forever. At first, Sam thinks Nathaniel Turner is standoffish and somewhat cold. But as time passes, Sam realizes Nate is lonely. Originally from Boston, Nate has come to the quiet town of Rosemont to keep him away from the growing political crisis affecting the American colonies. In Sam, he finds a kindred spirit, someone with whom he can read and debate and explore new ideas. Soon, friendship blossoms into something more, but Sam isn’t sure he can accept everything Nate is offering. Doing so will risk his heart and his comfortable existence. And even if he and Nate can find a way to be together, a war may ultimately tear them apart.
Rebel is a short story and prequel to King’s Man, the first book in the Outlawed series. We’ll be reviewing both here at Joyfully Jay and I strongly recommend you read Rebel before preceding to King’s Man. Despite its small page count, Rebel does a great job of setting up the romance between Nathaniel and Sam.
These men are intellectual and well learned, but each has come from a different background and that will profoundly affect the course of their relationship. Sam is somewhat reserved and, despite relishing Nathaniel’s friendship, he’s terrified of what might happen if they venture further. Nathaniel is more confident and he isn’t afraid to pursue what he wants, which in this case is Sam. And Sam’s initial rejection is devastating; we see how fragile each man really is and how, together, they are truly whole.
There is some subtle foreshadowing for what will happen in King’s Man, but one of the reasons I enjoyed Rebel is that we get to see Sam and Nathaniel during the first bloom of love, before war and hurt and betrayal come between them. We get to experience these moments of quiet and calm before their lives are ripped apart. And obviously, I’m try to avoid getting too spoilery here, but it’s impossible to discuss the story without thinking of what rests on the horizon for this couple.
I’m not usually a fan of short stories; they fly by so quickly it seems like you never really get a chance to enjoy the story. But Rebel has done a good job of giving the reader the sensation of a well rounded mini plot and the promise of so much more to come. Even if you end up choosing to read King’s Man first, you’ll want to come back for Rebel.