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REVIEW: The Young Man’s Guide to Love and Loyalty – Clara Merrick

The Young Man’s Guide To Love And Loyalty - Clara Merrick

Genre: Historical, Romance, Fantasy, Alternate Timeline

LGBTQ+ Category: gay

Reviewer: REVIEWERNAME, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Loyalty is Lieutenant Owain Morgan’s watchword—loyalty to England’s Queen Elizabeth XII, to her daughter the Princess of Wales, and to the Royal Navy in which he serves. When his loyalty leads him into danger, an unseen something—or someone—lends a helping hand. Is he imagining it? Could it be a guardian angel? Or is it someone—or something—else?

Enter the intriguing Benjamin Fletcher. Owain knows that sharing a drink and a steamy afternoon together doesn’t have to mean anything, but Benjamin’s quiet charm works its way into his heart…. Until Benjamin turns up in the Earl of Essex’s retinue, that same Earl who, rumor says, is angling to marry the Princess of Wales and make her power his own. 

Every encounter with Benjamin binds Owain’s heart more tightly to this enigmatic man yet tests his loyalty to Queen and Country. Will Owain be forced to choose between love and loyalty?

The Young Man’s Guide to Love and Loyalty is part of the Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone’s in dire need. This alternate history contains princesses, palaces, steam trains, fumbling lovers, and a guaranteed HEA.

The Review

The Young Man’s Guide to Love and Loyalty is another addition to the Marden’s Magic Emporium series which has been brilliant so far. I’ve enjoyed the variety of characters, plots and relationships from multiple authors and Clara Merrick brings something different with a historical mystery that has a romantic element and is set on a slightly alternate timeline.

It took me a little while to get into the story that we read from Lieutenant Owain Morgan’s POV. I spent a little bit of time trying to figure out the differences between history and the setting of this story in 18th century England. Overall, I enjoyed the alternate version that the author has written. The characters all provide entertainment, intrigue and mystery as you try to figure out who is plotting what, why, how and with who. Because there are several possibilities, it’s a guessing game throughout much of the story as we are taken along on this adventure that Owain is brought into by the princess in an effort to ruin the plot to take the crown. 

Owain is brought to London to give a report after returning from a voyage with the Navy but ends up embroiled in this plot that he knows nothing about. At the same time, he meets Benjamin and there’s a spark between them but after a wonderful afternoon spent together, confusion arises at the different locations the younger man appears, namely when there is trouble around. Again, it takes time to get to grips with who Benjamin is as well as his role in the story. I think this is what brings my rating down a little bit, the time it took for me to engage with each part of the story – plot, characters, relationships etc.

The best characters for me were Owain and Princess Elizabeth, entertaining and intriguing throughout, whilst there are so many people involved in the story that you have to keep your eye on as I found myself unsure as to which side they would actually fall on, especially the Queen’s spy network, Benjamin and the princess’s possible beau. 

Overall, this is a good story though possibly not for everyone. It has a lot of aspects/tropes that bring a lot of interest but it’s having the balance between them all to tie everything together that doesn’t always work. I’m glad that I’ve read it – another story from this great series.

The Reviewer

Hello all, my name is Xanthe and I am excited to be a reviewer for the PRG.

I read a lot, every night for at least 4-5 hours and I love to get lost in the world that an author has created. The best ones leave you wanting more and at a loss for words to describe just how good it is but I’ll try my best.

I live in a small town in South West England, just me and my dog Bonnie. I work part time in administration and really enjoy my job and the people I work with which I am very aware is not always the case!

I’ll read pretty much any sub genre within the mm genre. Since discovering it a few years ago, I rarely read anything else. One thing I won’t touch is horror, a definite no no for me!

Never ask me what my favourite anything is as I’ll have to give you a list of about ten or twenty things. How am I able to pick one food, book or film out of so many that I love?! 

The Paranormal Romance Guild was established in 2009 by 8 Indie Authors and one Reviewer to be a constant help for authors. You can be a free author member, submitting your work for review OR become a Premium Author Member for a small yearly fee and enjoy many extra services including Free Beta Reads, Author Giveaways and many others. Your reviews are posted on our 3 FB Sites, Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram. WE REVIEW ALL GENRES LGBTQ+ welcome.

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