CBR 15 Bingo – Queer Lives: Both the main characters in this book are queer, and one of the major plot-lines concerns itself with what must change in society for them to live their lives openly.
Hundreds of years after the time of Arthur Pendragon, his descendent Arthur Delacey is betrothed to Gwen, the princess of England. If only she wasn’t more interested in the only female knight in the realm; if only he wasn’t more interested in her brother…
I picked up this book because I was excited by the premise, which seemed sure to have plenty of humor and romance, and because I was interested in the setting, which is a sort of alternate history set in an England where King Arthur is a factual figure whose life and rule is an important part of the country’s heritage.
This is a very cute book, populated with lovable characters. I really liked that the developing friendship between Gwen and Arthur was given as much attention as their respective romances with Bridget and Gabriel. It was fun seeing Gwen come out of her prickly shell, and Arthur was just a ridiculous rogue. I also really loved Sid and Agnes, who are often much more sensible than the people they work for. There’s plenty of cute, humorous moments throughout that had me laughing out loud.
However, I did think that the book suffered from an uneven tone. The first half of the book is very light-hearted, so the sudden swerve into much darker territory in the second half is jarring, even though the actual plot points were foreshadowed earlier on. I feel that I would have enjoyed the book better had the escalation in stakes was smoother. I also wished we got more of an understanding of Bridget and Gabriel; though we spend plenty of time with them, I didn’t feel that we got in their heads as much as I would have liked, especially Bridget.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.