elaine smith, good points, good questions. I really liked A Soldier’s Scoundrel, When I read it, I had not read much M/M, and the books I had read usually went no further than kissing (and then “they got up the next morning.”) I enjoyed reading an actual sex scene between two men who cared about each other, though as a straight woman, I have no idea how accurate or realistic anything was.
I thought Cat Sebastian did a pretty good job getting it across that the M/M have to sneak around in order to have intimate relations with each other. But to your point, I think one has to admit that lots of unrealistic things happen in Romancelandia, whether the couple is M/M or M/F. For example, it always gets me, in a heterosexual historicals, how the heroine’s period, with accompanying cramps, conveniently never makes an appearance, even if she’s been bedding the hero for weeks. Or how the gently raised heroine manages to easily move about unchaperoned in an era where that simply would not have been so easy to do, and people would have been in an uproar if they’d found out. So in that respect, I can’t say M/M romance novels are much different from M/F romances–most of them all seem to downplay the nasty realities of the time period if those realities would take away from the sense of romance. Just my opinion.
My bigger issue with A Soldier’s Scoundrel is how Oliver’s and Jack’s sisters conveniently were so accepting of the men’s sexual orientation. In fact, in the M/M novels I’ve read so far, when a friend or family member knows that the hero is gay, the friend/family member tends to be pretty accepting. In A Soldier’s Scoundrel, I’d have preferred, at the very least, that the author suggest, oh, say, that Oliver’s older brother (who is mentioned as being the one will inherit the title of Earl) keeps his family away from Oliver because of his suspected “proclivities”. At least then we’d have had a tiny reminder that not everyone was kindly disposed toward gays. But the author just never goes there. Again, it’s Romancelandia… :-/
I also have an issue with these gay men in historical romances seldom questioning whether they are really going to hell or not. (I can’t remember–was Lawrence Brown worried about this a little?) I’d like to see a gay hero who actually worries/believes that he is in fact a disgusting pervert who will be damned for all time. I want gay characters in romance novels to discuss this issue, and deal with it, like it actually existed.
I do wonder what gay men and women think about this novel.