The Lawrence Browne Affair is the second book in Cat Sebastian’s Regency-era Turner series of historical romance novels. I actually purchased this book right after it came out almost a year ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until last week. I love Sebastian’s books, and wanted to savor this one, and then unfortunately, I was so intent on savoring it, that I forgot about it! I’ve been on a m/m kick lately, and so I was very excited to pick up this little undiscovered treasure.
Lawrence Browne, the Earl of Radnor, believes that he is mad. He is content to live in his dilapidated manor house by the sea, subsisting on ham sandwiches and apples, and conducting experiments. This gentleman scientist’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of his new secretary. He didn’t hire a secretary, and does not know what to do with this handsome man who seems intent on helping him.
Georgie Turner travels to Cornwall to take on the secretary position for several reasons. He has double-crossed the wrong person and needs to leave town quickly. So it is rather fortuitous that Georgie’s brother’s partner mentions the small favor of checking up on the Earl of Radnor.
Lawrence has spent so much time in isolation (both self-imposed and forcible) that he doesn’t really know how to trust people. He is also afraid of letting anyone get too close to him because he believes that he has inherited the same madness that afflicted his father and brother. Lawrence has always thrived on routine, and Georgie’s arrival throws all of that into disarray. Likewise, although Georgie has the manners and appearance of a young gentleman, he is anything but that. He grew up on the streets, and has survived so long almost entirely by his cunning, and lack of a conscience; that is to say, Georgie is not afraid to swindle people to achieve his goals. And indeed, he plans on swindling Lawrence for most of the book. They are certainly a mismatched pair, and there is all sorts of tension brewing between Lawrence and Georgie, so it is delightful when they finally give in to their mutual attraction. This is certainly a big change for both of them, but will it prove to be too much of a change?
I would absolutely recommend The Lawrence Browne Affair. This is the second book in the series, but you don’t have to read the first book before reading this one. This does serve as a nice bridge between the three books in the series; one of the heroes of the first book is Georgie’s brother, and one of the heroes of the third book has a connection to Lawrence. Cat Sebastian is absolutely wonderful at writing Regency-era m/m books, and she does such a good job of capturing the nuances of the relationship, such as the need for secrecy and the class dynamic, among other issues. She has at least two books coming out in 2018, and I am looking forward to both of them!