Title: The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish
Series: Winterbourne: Book Four
Author: Joanna Chambers
Length: 177 Pages
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
At a Glance: I finished The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish in a day and wanted to start it all over again the moment I was done. Joanna Chambers aimed to make me love her characters as much as she so obviously does. Mission accomplished: Perry and Jonny thoroughly won me over.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Lord Perry Cavendish knows that he’s seen as a not-too-bright, amiable, sporting sort of chap. The type who can hold his own in the boxing ring, drink most men under the table, and offer a useful opinion on a piece of horseflesh—but not much else.
When Perry visits his friend, Lysander Winterbourne, he is introduced to the Honourable Jonny Mainwaring, a free-thinking artist who is everything Perry is not: unconventional, emotional… and very talkative.
At first, Perry is overwhelmed by the vibrant, witty Jonny Mainwaring, but when he agrees to sit for him, he discovers the real man beneath the dramatic flourishes, and the undeniable physical attraction he feels for Jonny begins to develop into something more.
But Jonny is not to be easily won over. While he has a longstanding weakness for brawny men like Perry, he’s still smarting from his latest heartbreak and determined to change his habit of throwing himself into each new affair without pausing to recover from the last.
Can Perry convince Jonny that he is more than just an empty-headed young buck, and that they could have a real future together?
Review: I have such a soft, sentimental spot for a character who doesn’t understand how truly captivating and extraordinary they are until they see themselves through the eyes of someone who loves them, so it was just my luck that Joanna Chambers delivered not one but two such characters in The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish. Perry and Jonny Mainwaring hooked me by the heartstrings with a deft and steady aim, and their charm and warmth and self-deprecation and anxieties and steadfastness and earnestness snared me so thoroughly that I finished the book in a day and wanted to start it all over again the moment I was done.
Perry and Jonny are a case of opposites attracting. Perry sees himself as the oafish simpleton whose redeeming traits include his ability to drink other men under the table and his impressive physique—meaning he more often than not bests his opponents in the boxing ring—while Jonny is artistic, sensitive, emotive, and far more sophisticated. When Perry, who has only recently acknowledged his attraction to men after a holiday visit with his best friend, Lysander Winterbourne, and Zander’s love, Adam Freeman, pays the men a surprise visit months later and unexpectedly finds himself face-to-face with a copper-haired beauty who has no reservations about openly flirting and fills Perry’s silences with a steady stream of conversation and innuendo, the stage is set for an affair that lays them both bare and allows them to be vulnerable in ways neither could have anticipated.
Words matter is a central theme in this story, and the harshest words can be insidious when delivered often enough, which we see so clearly as we get to know these characters. Perry and Jonny have both absorbed their share of slights and insults meant to belittle them over the years, to the point they believe those aspersions cast against them make up the whole of who they are, and they believe they have nothing more to offer. But it’s in the quiet moments when Jonny is sketching Perry and Jonny goes silent for hours that Perry is content to simply be there in those silences with Jonny. It’s in those moments we come to understand how perfect they are for each other.
The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish is a study in trust and two people allowing themselves to be vulnerable enough with each other to communicate their fears and their desires. When they do, the world opens up to them in quite literal ways. Joanna Chambers aimed to make me love her characters as much as she so obviously does. Mission accomplished: Perry and Jonny thoroughly won me over.
You can buy The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish here:
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