Convincing the Secretary
Convincing the Secretary by Ava March is the third novella in her London Legal series. This story is set around a legal firm where Edward Fenton is a new lowly clerk/secretary to a partner in the firm, Lord Gray. Edward dislikes being a clerk and wishes to be an artist, but has no inkling as to how to give up his salaried occupation, and afford his rent etc.
Edward is described many times as ‘weak’, ‘cowering’, ‘blushing’, and a ‘virgin’-
Color stained his cheekbones, his chest rising and falling quicker than normal beneath his plain cream waistcoat. “You have my apologies, your lordship, for the mishap.”
Lord Grayson Holloway is tall and…goes after what he wants – be it in the law office …or in the bedchamber. Edward,
…tries to be a good secretary, but being in Lord Grayson’s hard, commanding presence rouses Edward’s most forbidden desires… Dark and wicked, depraved and immoral, igniting a craving he could not ignore.
Both men ‘prefer men’ unbeknownst to the other and both like kink. I’m sure you can see where this is going. I decided to finish reading, just in case this was a clever parody, or the story had an amazing twist. It was not – there was not. I am told there are many people who enjoy Ava March’s style of saccharine sweet, harmless, m/m, historical romances, but I am not one of them.
I do not believe that every novel should fall into a mythical category of ‘good literature’, or it should be ‘good for…’, but I prefer novels where the reader is treated as a thinking human being with a reading age of above thirteen years old. Indeed, I read books like this when I was thirteen years old and loved them, only it was a woman who was meek, virginal, and for some reason often had violet eyes. The man was…well as I described above and quoted below. Somethings never change including terrible mixed metaphors.
…Thornton’s arrogance poured off him, shouting he had a tendency toward being temperamental. “Shall we be off then?”
I don’t enjoy gay genre romance where the author simply supplants a stereotypical romance heroine for a male – who is given the same qualities. This does not mean you cannot have m/m genre romance; there are some terrific writers of said books. Additionally, after the age of thirteen I wanted my female love interests to have more to offer than flowing locks, violet eyes (that flashed) and virginity. I apply the same criteria to my queer romances.
Convincing the Secretary is a harmless, short, historical m/m romance with characters who enjoy some of the contents of a bondage shop on Bond Street. It is a good example of its type. But if you want an historically accurate, emotionally tense, well plotted Regency m/m romance – read K.J. Charles.