To Hold a Hidden Pearl by Fearne Hill
Dr Jay Sorrentino is getting married in ten days’ time to the girl of his dreams, so what the hell is he doing in a gay London club with a stupidly handsome stranger? As if calling off the wedding and alienating his friends and family isn’t enough, Jay also has to contend with starting a new job at a new hospital. So the last thing he needs is for the bloke from the club to be his prickly supervisor.
Dr Lucien Avery is a difficult colleague. He’s also the unexpected and reluctant heir to the vast Rossingley estate. Reclusive and miserable, he hates most of his colleagues, people who eat packed lunches, and supervising junior doctors. That is, until the delectable Dr Sorrentino turns up on his doorstep.
A light-hearted M/M contemporary romance, Rossingley takes place in Southern England and is centred around a fictional country house and estate by the same name. The first in the series, it can be read as a standalone.
~ * ~ Annie‘s Review ~ * ~
Hurt-comfort stories are always a favorite of mine because of the potential for big, palpable emotion. To Hold a Hidden Pearl captures all of that emotion while delivering a great romance with characters I absolutely fell for. I love books with multi-dimensional characters and Lucien is one of the better ones I’ve read in some time. Facing a difficult tragedy, the glimpses into his struggle to cope, overcome and reemerge is a gift.
I also really like Jay’s progression over the course of this book. It makes for a nice change of pace for a coming-out/bi-awakening romance, challenging many of the obvious assumptions or approaches to embracing one’s sexuality. While there are loads of little details and moments worthy of praise, I especially love how Jay and Lucien fit. Flirty, sexy, and with plenty of emotion, this romance has all I could hope for and the couple is so supportive of one another, allowing their partner time to grow and work on themselves.
If you are looking for a well-written romance with dynamic characters and a journey that taps into a wealth of emotions, I’d highly recommend giving To Hold a Hidden Pearl a try. I’m so happy I didn’t let this author slip from my radar again and will definitely go back to read their other books.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
I’d seen a recommendation for this book and had actually bought it when the offer to review it came through. I’m happy to report that the original recommendation was spot on. Some books have a style and a presence that draw you in and hook you from the start. A wonderfully original meet cute starts a really engaging story. It’s a story about two people who are lost in their own worlds, finally finding the person who sees them. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s an emotional, yet funny, and surprisingly joyful one for a story that deals with such pain for the main characters.
Lucian has lost his family and so has become the Lord. He hides his pain (and who he is) in a mask of coldness as he works as a doctor. Jay has cancelled his wedding and walked away from the future he had planned because he’s gay. People don’t know that. Well, apart from his new supervisor at the hospital he’s starting at, Lucian. Turns out, they’ve met before.
I love a book where the focus is on the main characters and others only interact quietly and occasionally. This is Lucian and Jay’s story. So different on paper, yet they are drawn together. Lucian appears to be everything the beefy, working-class Jay wouldn’t want. He’s quirky, he wears nightdresses, paints his toenails, and wears pearls. He barks at all those around him, but to Jay he’s beautiful. He sees behind the mask to the pain and he wants nothing but to care for this man. It isn’t easy though, Jay is battling with the decisions he has made. He can’t just swap lives. What the author does so beautifully is take us on this journey as they struggle to move beyond past hurts and find a way to be together. A book that can make you laugh, doesn’t hold its punches, and can make you cry with a few lines is a must-have for me.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***