*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the authors. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: FROM MULTI-PUBLISHED AUTHORS OF GAY ROMANCE, CATHERINE CURZON AND ELEANOR HARKSTEAD
Book three in the Captivating Captains series
When Captain Pendleton needs an emergency fiancée, who better to turn to than his male best friend? After all, for Amadeo Orsini, life’s one long, happy drag!
Captain Ambrose “Pen” Pendleton might have distinguished himself on the battlefield at Waterloo but since he’s come home to civvy street, he’s struggled to make his mark.
Pen dreams of becoming a playwright but his ambitious father has other ideas, including a trophy wife and a new job in America. If he’s to stand a hope of staying in England and pursuing his dream, Pen needs to find a fiancée fast.
Amadeo Orsini never made it as a leading man, but as a leading lady he’s the toast of the continental stage. Now Cosima is about to face her most challenging role yet, that of Captain Pendleton’s secret amour.
With the help of a talking theatrical parrot who never forgets his lines, Orsini throws on his best frock, slaps on the rouge and sets out to save Pen from the clutches of Miss Harriet Tarbottom and her scheming parents.
As friendship turns into love, will the captain be able to write a happy ending for himself and Orsini before the curtain falls?
Another dashing Captain for this third book in the Captivating Captains series – a collaboration between the talented romance writers, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead.
The series can all be read as standalones, as each book features different characters in a different setting, or even a different time period. The linking theme is that one of the main love interests is some form of a ‘Captain’ – from military to sports.
In this case, Ambrose ‘Pen’ Pendleton has done his duty to family and country with an honourable stint in the war, but it appears that a son’s duty is never done, as his father plans to marry him off to the daughter of an American entrepeneur, for the good of the family’s fortunes. Luckily, Pen’s flamboyant theatrical friend Orsini and his talented alter-ego, Cosima, are at hand to raise Pen’s spirits and… other parts!
Whilst the romance is sweet and steamy between the two friends, the rest of the plot is light and frothy. The side-characters could have stepped from the cast of an Agatha Christie novel: belligerent father, kind but ditzy mother, hard-nosed businessman and equally hard-faced family. But instead of a murder mystery, we get a romantic comedy, with cross-dressing comical shenanigans, and a parrot sidekick. I was reminded of plays like Twelfth Night or Charley’s Aunt, as poor Orsini whisked out of one door, and Cosima in the other. Do not expect gritty realism!
As always from these authors, the underlying story is about true love, and being true to oneself. On this occasion there is also a strong, serious, theme of following one’s dreams and utilising one’s talents.
Anyone who loves a good MM romance (or just a good romance!) with heart and humour, and a reasonable amount of hanky-panky, will enjoy this theatrical romp.
“Letters, Mother,” he said. But it wasn’t letters at all, but a new play—Avarice and Ambition; or, the Magnate’s Misfortune. The main character was a put-upon young man with a stubborn father, who was about to be hoodwinked by a liar. However, a charming young lady from the continent was about to rescue them all.
Really, where did Ambrose get his ideas from? He just couldn’t say—they appeared in his mind as easily as daydreams.
– Eleanor Harkstead & Catherine Curzon, The Captain and the Theatrical
For more from Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead, check out their respective links below:
Check out my other reviews of the Captivating Captain series on the following links!