Length: 344 pages
Opposites attract in this low-angst romance filled with British snark and humour.
Life should be a breeze for a playboy like Charles Heppel. As the third son of an earl, he lives for the moment, partying and playing. Settling down isn’t for him. Not when London is full of beautiful men who he hasn’t one-and-done yet.
To escape his family’s nagging, Charles applies for a temp job that matches his playful skill set. A role in a Cornish classroom could be his until the summer, if Charles meets two conditions: he must move in with the headmaster’s best friend, and teach him to be happy.
Living with Hugo should be awkward. Charles is a free spirit, but Hugo’s a man of faith, with morals. A man who almost took holy orders before disaster changed his direction. Only far from being a chore, Charles finds that making Hugo happy soon becomes his passion.
Together, they share physical and emotional first times. Ones that change Charles, touching his soul. He wants Hugo for longer than they have left, but learning to love with his heart, not just his body, will take a leap of faith from Charles — in himself as well as Hugo.
New from Con Riley, Charles: Learning to Love is the first novel in a series based at Glynn Harber, a very special boarding school set in England’s glorious Cornwall.
♥ This shared-world series starts with Charles and Hugo, but each book follows a different couple in their own standalone novel, with a fulfilling happily ever after. Want to hear more from Charles? He stole the show in His Haven. ♥
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
5 ++ Stars
Oh Charles, you wonderful, gorgeous mess of a man. You have stolen my heart; never have I wanted a HEA for someone more than I wanted it for you. Thank the lord (literally in this case) for Hugo.
This book is a stand-alone—a side step from the author’s His series. We met Charles in His Haven and while you absolutely must read that book, in actual fact, you don’t need to for this story as everything you need is in this book.
Charles sees himself as a walking disaster, a failure, and never having lived up to his position or succeeded at anything. He may have hidden in his manwhore ways but what we, and luckily those around him do too, see is a beautiful soul who has used the pain and disappointments of his own childhood to give children the joy and freedom that he never had. He gives himself absolutely to his job and is passionate in his defence of the children he cares for. He fails to see that he does this with everyone he is close to.
Hugo was to be ordained but he has come to rethink his life at his friend Luke’s school. He is battered and bruised, literally and emotionally. He needs a new direction and a new faith in life. Charles is the ray of sunshine, the gift from God to give it to him.
Only Charles doesn’t see it; he has no faith in himself so how can he have faith in them being more than just a fling, a moment in time? Following their journey to each other was perfect.
I loved…no…I adored these two. It is both laugh out loud funny yet achingly poignant in equal measures. It is about hope and faith and love; about finding a purpose in life and having the courage to follow it.
A must-read, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***
I admired Charles and his ability to work with children, and his determination that none suffer as he did is more than admirable. I felt so bad that he couldn’t seem to find a place that would keep him on a more permanent basis. I loved how bright and shiny Charles’s personality was considering how much his self-esteem has been battered by life. His ability to say the right things to lighten the mood, especially for Hugo was amazing.
Hugo saw through so many of the masks that Charles put on, and I loved how he made sure to point out all the positives that he saw to Charles. Hugo’s ability to stay calm and provide support was definitely underutilized before Charles arrived. I was happy to see Hugo engaging the students more and realizing that there was plenty that he could do. I was also happy to see Hugo start thinking about new directions and just blossom into a happier man.
These two made a fantastic couple. I loved how they both accepted each other as they were and supported each other. The supporting characters at the school were wonderful. While I was very disappointed in Charles’s brother for a long time, I was deeply moved when he finally opened up to Charles. This book had me smiling and crying at unexpected times and I’m grateful I had a chance to read it.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
CON RILEY lives on the wild and wonderful Welsh coast, with her head in the clouds and her feet in the ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that make them live and breathe.
When not people-watching or reading, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her — she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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