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REVIEW: The Quid Pro Quo – A.L. Lester

The Quid Pro Quo - A.L. Lester

Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Trans FTM

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Sequel to The Fog of War

Village nurse Walter Kennett is content with his makeshift found-family in tiny Bradfield. However, one midsummer morning a body is found floating in the village duck pond, dead by magical means.

Detective Simon Frost arrives in Bradfield to investigate an inexplicable murder. The evidence seems to point to Lucille Hall-Bridges, who lives with Doctor Sylvia Marks and Walter Kennett at Courtfield House. Simon isn’t happy — he doesn’t believe Lucy is a murderer, but he’s sure the three of them are hiding something. In the meantime, the draw he feels toward Walter takes him by surprise.

Walter is in a dilemma, concealing Sylvia and Lucy’s relationship and not knowing how much to tell Frost about the paranormal possibilities of the murder. He isn’t interested in going to bed with anyone — he’s got a complicated life and has to know someone really well before he falls between the sheets. He’s taken aback by his own attraction to Detective Frost and is angry when Frost appears to twist the spark between them to something transactional in nature.

Will Walter be satisfied to stay on the periphery of Lucy and Sylvia’s love affair, a welcome friend but never quite included? Or is it time for him to strike out and embark on a relationship of his own?

The Review

The Quid Pro Quo is the second book in the “Bradfield Trilogy.” I highly recommend reading “The Fog of War” first. It introduces Dr. Sylvia Marks, Lucy Hall-Bridges and Walter Kennett. 

On a girls’ night out at the Lilac Villa with Charlotte Fortescue, Mrs Maria Leamington, Miss Clara Royce, and Harriet Lonsdale, Sylvia and Lucy have no idea what they’re getting into.  When Lucy no longer feels safe, an argument has Lucy, Sylvia and Harriet fleeing the terrifying get-together.  

The next morning, Sylvia is called out about a body at the pond.  

Walter is protective of Sylvia and Lucy and will do anything to keep their secret. He’s also protecting, Robert (Rob) Curland, who has known the secret of the Border for a long time. But in order to save Lucy, Walter has to appease Detective Simon Frost.  

Detective Frost gets called in to investigate the incident, and immediately there’s tension between Walter and Simon. What Simon will have to do makes the conflict worse, and there comes a point where Walter knows he will have to share a dangerous secret with the Detective.  But Walter will keep some personal secrets to himself. There’s a miscommunication between them, and it puts Walter in a precarious position. He wants to believe Simon is a good man, but can he trust him? 

Lester brings out some eerie, dangerous and paranormal happenings in this novel. The Ouija board scen, what comes from beyond the border, and what it does is quite terrifying. This story is also set in a much more conservative era that could easily destroy the reputations of Sylvia, Lucy, Walter and Simon. 

I love how A.L. Lester gave us an in-depth look into Walter Kennett’s character. He was already an important character in this trilogy – I’ve liked him from the start, and was glad to see him get his own story. He served in the army and then became a nurse. He has special feelings for Sylvia, and has accepted Lucy as part of his small found family.  

I also like the addition of Simon Frost to the cast. Being a detective, he lives a lonely life. He has no time for anything outside of his job, and even if he did, he’s hardly ever in his shared room.  Being a “by the book” detective makes him seem tough, but he does salvage his character with some surprising actions.

I love the cover art for both “The Fog of War” and “Quid Pro Quo” – it’s stylish and attractive and sets the tone for the era. I am excited to see how A.L. Lester will take us to the end of a magnificent trilogy!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

 

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