30 November 2014

Groom of Convenience by Vicktor Alexander

 In an alternate universe, in the country of Angland, 1814, the gentry live lives of culture and class. It is a time of courtships, marriages of convenience, and titles, where scandal can ruin an entire family. Gender lines are blurred, and making a good match is of utmost importance. Children are born to men and women, which has led to the acceptance of same-sex marriages.

Lady Lucien Timothy Hawthorne is shocked and angry when he is betrothed against his will to Lord Heathcliff Eddington, III, the Duke of Pompinshire. While drowning his frustration at a popular gentleman's club, he meets "Robert," a gorgeous older man whom he sleeps with as "Timmy," regardless of the potential damage to his reputation.

After their liaison, Lucien corresponds with Robert via letters left at Remmington, and they decide to elope. Before they can get away, Lucien meets his betrothed, Heathcliff, who he is surprised to discover is also his beloved, Robert. Both men desire a marriage of the heart, but they find out that sometimes a marriage of convenience can turn into love under the right circumstances. But Lucien has a secret, and Tlondon isn't as safe as they once thought.
This is the first book in Mr. Alexander’s new series Scandalous Whispers of the Remington Realm.  I have to admit that if you try to understand the genders in this book using reality as your frame of reference then you will get very confused.  However, as soon as you suspend reality, and journey back in time in an alternate reality, everything starts to become clearer. 

The genders in this book are simply fascinating, individuals with either a penis or vagina can become pregnant and give birth to children.  The outwardly visible genitalia is not indicative of whether or not child bearing organs are present.

By creating this entirely unique world, the Remington Realm, Mr. Alexander is able to explore the topics of transgenderism and gender fluidity.  I found it very interesting that while there are “gay” or “lesbian” couples using our definitions, a true homosexual relationship is not accepted in this society. 

I wonder if this is an issue that Mr. Alexander will explore in his later books in this series.  One of the things I like most about Mr. Alexander’s books is his ability to create a world that allows us to re-examine our pre-conceived ideals by presenting social issues in truly unique ways.  He gives names, faces, and emotions to social/ political issues and allows you to experience them in a way you may not have previously even imagined.

I loved the characters in this book. Heath and Lucien make such a beautiful couple both physically and emotionally.  I thoroughly enjoyed their journey to finding love and acceptance in each other.  Even the supporting characters in this book seem to be flawed, broken, or disadvantaged in one way or another.  I am looking forward to watching all of them find their soul mates and begin the healing process.


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