Standish is a historical fiction novel written by Erastes. I’d seen this book mentioned in various places, so when my library network purchased a digital copy, I knew it was finally time to check it out.
The first thing you need to know about Standish is that this is not a conventional m/m historical romance. If that is what you’re expecting, then you’re going to be disappointed.
Ambrose Standish is a sickly young man who lives in the English countryside with his sisters. They spend their days in genteel poverty in the shadow of Standish- the great country house that their grandfather lost in a card game.
Ambrose’s life changes forever when Rafe Goshawk returns from Europe to take up residence at Standish. Rafe is looking for a tutor for his son, and sees hiring Ambrose as a way to apologize for the whole losing-your-birthright thing.
There’s a minor amount of resisting forbidden urges, but eventually Ambrose and Rafe give in to temptation. How lovely! Sounds great! Happily ever after? Not so fast!
But wait- this is only the beginning. For some reason, Rafe decides that country life is too stifling, and so decides to return to Europe. He invites Ambrose along, and that’s when things start to get wild.
Standish delivers an absolute roller coaster of plot points, including but not limited to rape, infidelity, heartbreak, and much much more. This is a grand historical epic, and there are very few moments when there is not over the top drama. Many of the characters are more archetypical rather than being fleshed out, but that helps to keep the story moving along; there’s never a dull moment.
I would recommend Standish to anyone who enjoys m/m historical fiction. Readers might not like some of the characters, or agree with many of their decisions, but they will most definitely be entertained. This is a mashup of Regency fiction and reality television. I would certainly read more from Erastes is the future.