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Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander

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by Ann Herendeen
     
 

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The meddling mothers of the Regency would do anything to wed their daughters to Andrew Carrington, the wealthy, handsome, and athletic heir to an earldom. There is one problem, however. No woman in all England would suit the determined bachelor, for Andrew far prefers the company of men—at his table and in his bedroom.

But with privilege comes

Overview

The meddling mothers of the Regency would do anything to wed their daughters to Andrew Carrington, the wealthy, handsome, and athletic heir to an earldom. There is one problem, however. No woman in all England would suit the determined bachelor, for Andrew far prefers the company of men—at his table and in his bedroom.

But with privilege comes responsibility. Andrew must take a bride. And while Phyllida Lewis, the penniless, spirited, and curvaceous author of romantic novels, is not quite what his family had in mind, a marriage to her would enable Andrew to live his life as he pleases. The arrival of Matthew Thornby, the honorable and dashing son of a self-made baronet, into their cozy arrangement makes Andrew's happiness complete.

Yet a shrewd enemy is waiting in the wings, threatening to expose them all—an act that will surely lead to scandal and ruin.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this debut novel, librarian Herendeen creates a quirky and comic Regency romance in which Phyllida Lewis, a young, beautiful and feisty writer, agrees to a marriage of convenience with Andrew Carrington, the gay heir to an earldom. Although Phyllida is attracted to her good-looking husband, she recognizes that Andrew prefers the company of his friends in the Brotherhood of Philander, an elite "gentleman's" club. What Phyllida hadn't counted on, however, was the physical connection between the two despite his averred status, and the concomitant difficulties that arise when a man is clueless in the ways of wooing and pleasing a woman. Phyllida expresses her newfound carnal knowledge in her role as a budding writer of "inferior romance" and finds she must learn the ways of London society while being the object of relentless observation and gossip. Much time is devoted to Andrew and his exploits with other men as well as to Phyllida's love-hate relationship with Andrew and his way of life. But when Phyllida breaches Andrew's trust, the delightful characters in Phyllida's new world must play a part in reconciling the pair. Herendeen's book brings a breath of fresh air and creativity to the romance genre and with her humor and ability to entertain, she is sure to woo fans. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

It is the usual romantic tale of a marriage of convenience: a devastatingly attractive, confirmed bachelor who needs an heir marries a beautiful, portionless gentleman's daughter who is to expect nothing from the union and be grateful for her good fortune in winning such a prize. There is, however, a twist: he prefers men to women, she is a secret authoress, and even the refreshingly open and honest marriage contract that acknowledges this cannot save Andrew Carrington and Phyllida Lewis from the pain that inadvertent misunderstandings and well-meant deceptions bring to any relationship. Sparkling with Regency wit and panache, Herendeen's debut novel, originally self-published in 2005, is a brilliant exploration of love, sexuality, class, and gender, but above all, it is a wonderful love story. Highly recommended for those readers comfortable with alternative sexual and erotic literature.
—Cynthia Johnson

Booklist
With caustic wit, some wildly original characters, and plenty of sex, Herendeen creates her own delightfully imaginative and boldly sensual take on the classic Regency marriage-of-convenience plot.
Jani Brooks
Impeccable research, fantastic characters, and even a bit of mystery made this one of the best novels so far for 2008. Be prepared to be shocked, to learn something about the Regency world, and to laugh out loud. Ms. Herendeen writes a dynamite tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061736568
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
513,673
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander

Chapter One

London, March 1, 1812

Andrew Carrington awoke with a headache, no memory of the previous night, and a sneaking suspicion that he was not alone. He opened his eyes and groaned. Daylight—bright, intrusive, accusing daylight—was peeping through the chinks in the hastily pulled drapes covering the windows of the bedroom in his Grosvenor Square town house. "Damn," he muttered.

"Mornin'," a cheerful voice assaulted him. "Back in the land of the livin'?"

Andrew turned his head a fraction of an inch. The pain was excruciating, stabbing. "Not exactly living, no," he said. He studied the irritatingly pert face a couple of inches away. "And just who the hell are you?"

The face lost some of its good humor and took on what Andrew imagined was a more habitual look of ill-usage and distrust. "Don'tcha remember?" he asked. "Covent Garden, White's, the Brotherhood of—of—Phil somefink or other?"

Andrew focused his tired eyes. His companion was young, little more than a boy, although his voice had broken, thank goodness. He had a pretty face, but pinched, scrawny, as if he'd never had a full meal in his entire life. Which, Andrew reflected, he probably hadn't. His body, perhaps as a result, was possessed of a certain whipcord muscularity—the reason, no doubt, Andrew had been drawn to him in the first place. Andrew snorted. "White's?" he said. "I doubt that very much. Covent Garden, I'll accept. As to the Brotherhood of Philander, I imagine they'd throw us out."

"Yeah, well," his companion admitted, "you're right there, guv'nor. Bruiserat the door took one look at me and said we'd 'ave to find other accommodation. White's—" he grinned, showing an alarming, gap-toothed smile, "—worth a shot, just to see what you recollected. But you done me right. Took me 'ome wif you. Most nobs wouldn't let me near a mile o' their place."

"Always was a soft touch," Andrew said.

"Nah," the boy argued, "you ain't soft. 'Ard as steel you was, don't you worry. Just tight as a tick, that's all."

Andrew groaned again. Worse than he thought. No, he decided, exactly as he had feared.

"You gonna be sick?" his companion asked. He looked around for the slop jar, couldn't recognize so utilitarian an object in the elegant furnishings of the large room, and brought forth the full, reeking chamber pot.

That did it. Only mildly nauseated before, Andrew, confronted with the effluvia of a night's worth of two drunken male bodies, coughed up the remainder of his stomach contents, retching and heaving over the side of the bed.

The boy held the pot until Andrew appeared to be finished, touched his dark, pomaded locks in a tentative caress, and said, "Feel better then, love?"

"No," Andrew growled. "I feel like death warmed over."

The boy shrugged. "Some breakfast'll put ya to rights. Betcha serve a real spread."

Andrew lay back on the pillows and took a few deep breaths. At least his headache had abated. "Wouldn't you like to know?" he teased.

The boy's face fell. "You wouldn't kick me out wifout breakfast, guv?"

"Why not?" Andrew asked. "I paid you well enough to buy your own."

The boy sniffled. He looked about twelve years oldlike that, with his tousled hair, badly in need of a wash and a cut, falling over his eyes, and with his narrow face and hollow chest. "Ain't the same," he said. "Thought I was gonna eat like a lord."

"Well, you won't," Andrew said, as the boy's face hardened and closed, his eyes narrowing into shifty, veiled slits. "Because I'm not a lord. I'm just Mr. Carr—" That's all he needed, he thought, his lips clamping shut. Why not tell this little whore where he banked and direct his man of business to open a draft account for him? Must be losing his mind. If only Harry hadn't been sent away. . .

The boy's face relaxed, just enough that Andrew stopped worrying where he'd left his pistols and whether they were loaded. "You pullin' me leg?"

"No," Andrew said. "I am not a member of the peerage. Never said I was."

"No, I mean, you told me your real name," the boy said on a note of wonder. "Nobody done that since I started working." He stuck out a grimy hand. "I'm Kit."

Andrew shook the offered hand automatically, both embarrassed and touched by the human gesture intruding on the sordid commercial transaction. "Kit," he said. "Short for Christopher?"

"Dunno," the boy said. "Everybody calls me Kit."

"I shall call you Marlowe, then," Andrew said, smiling. "Kit Marlowe. How does that sound?"

"I'm just Kit," the boy protested.

"Ah, but you see, Christopher—or Kit—Marlowe is one of our patron saints."

The boy scuttled a few inches away in the wide bed. "You a Papist?"

"Ha!" Andrew abandoned himself to humor for a few seconds. "No, Marlowe, I am a Protestant and a sodomite, muchlike you. Christopher Marlowe was a poet who had the admirable good sense to proclaim his two greatest loves to be tobacco—and boys." Andrew slid his eyes sideways to see how his nervous companion took this. "Although I can't abide the noxious weed myself."

Kit didn't look happy at this revelation. "Ain't a sodomite," he muttered. "Just do it fer money. And I ain't a boy, neither. Almost eighteen."

"Indeed?" Andrew said, pleased to learn that he had not been so far gone last night that he need accuse himself of robbing the cradle. It was difficult to stretch his mind around the fact that the last time they had been together, Harry had been the same age as this waif. Kit was more than a foot shorter and doubtless half Harry's weight—and that with a good breakfast inside him. "Most of your fellows pretend to be younger."

"Ya see, guv, I'm old enough to know I oughta be gettin' out of this life while I can."

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander. Copyright ? by Ann Herendeen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Jani Brooks
Impeccable research, fantastic characters, and even a bit of mystery made this one of the best novels so far for 2008. Be prepared to be shocked, to learn something about the Regency world, and to laugh out loud. Ms. Herendeen writes a dynamite tale.

Meet the Author

Ann Herendeen, a native New Yorker and lifelong resident of Brooklyn, received a B.A. in English from Princeton University and an M.L.S. from Pratt Institute. She works as a cataloging librarian specializing in natural history. Ann's first novel, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, was published in 2008.

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Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Duniath More than 1 year ago
We who enjoy reading Regency romances know all about mothers trying to match their daughters with a Bingley or a Darcy... But what if this rich heir happenned to be... gay? Well, Ann Herendeen has taken the genre to a very clever, unusual spot. Wickedly sexy, brilliantly written with a shocking contrast between good manners and unleashed fantasies, "Phyllida" delivers a unique love story introducing a set of unforgettable characters surrounded by an intriguing sub-plot of mysteries and dark secrets.
I had a great time reading page after page of this wonderful work and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a Regency romance with a slightly modern twist. It is sinfully erotic and mischeviously romantic.
cmor4les More than 1 year ago
Not a typical romance, but it is still worth a read and then a re-read. Interesting take on m/m, m/f romance. It was like reading today's stories of mixed families, but from another time. Plus, it was educational as it showed the dangers of prejudices in morally strict times. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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NYBeachgal More than 1 year ago
Though there were certainly times when the story was hard to follow (most having to do with subterfuge in the war with France), this story was incredible and impossible to put down! The details in regards to the Regency period are fantastic, the sex scenes are steamy, and the plot is unique and fascinating. I wish that the book had been edited more comprehensively--more time should have been spent on Andrew's dawning realizations in regards to his feelings for Phyllida, and I felt that some of the subplots, such as the relationships between three of Andrew's friends (don't want to give it away) could have been flushed out more. However, I found this fast-paced, fun, and very intriguing! Worth a read, especially if you like Regency romances, enjoy male/male relationships, are bisexual (or have a partner who is), or like romance novels in general!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jenny_Chawleigh More than 1 year ago
Dear All, _Phillida_ is literate, witty, loving, and funny. This well-researched Regency has a particularly delicious final chapter. Herendeen wears the crown of Heyer with panache.
BekahSC More than 1 year ago
I love Regency romance, and I love Emma Holly's contemporary stuff so this book seemed like a match made in heaven. The premise is a refreshing spin on a familar theme. Andrew, who's due to inherit an earldom, decides it's time to marry and beget an heir. The only catch? He's gay. Phyllida, his prospective bride, agrees to overlook his infidelities as long as she can continue writing her gothic romances. It all seems very cut and dry until Andrew is shocked to discover he actually desires his wife. That's when things become complicated. I really liked Andrew. He was so comfortable in his skin and wholly unapologetic about who he was. I also enjoyed the dynamic between him and Phyllida. Despite all his experience with men, when it came to a woman's body, Andrew was completely clueless, and his brother's advice about the "man in the little boat" was pretty funny. I was even intrigued when Andrew fell in love with another man and how it impacted his relationship with Phyllida. What I didn't like was the whole spy subplot. It became so convoluted and detracted from the love story which was complicated enough. My other quibble was that it seemed like the author shied away from anything too explicit between Andrew and his male lovers, but the sex scenes with Phyllida were fairly detailed. It seemed too conventional for a romance where the hero was openly gay.
AnkhetCM More than 1 year ago
Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is the story of Phyllida, an author of trashy gothic romances, and her bisexual husband, Andrew Carrington. Andrew married Phyllida in order to do his duty by his family and secure an heir. Phyllida married Andrew in order to be able to continue her career as an authoress. Both went into the marriage with open eyes, knowing Andrew would continue his dalliances with his male friends (in the titular Brotherhood of Philander). Neither expected to fall in love with the other.

Reading Phyllida reminded me greatly of quite a few fanfics I enjoy. There's a three-sided relationship: Andrew and Phyllida, Andrew and his lover(s), and his lover(s)'s friendship with Phyllida. Add in some spying and there you go. Oh, and did I mention it's a Regency novel?

The book is...okay. It is not stunning, nor is it horrible. Like I said, it reminds me very much of many fanfics I have read. The author weaves the lives of the characters - not only Phyllida and Andrew, but those of the entire Brotherhood - in and out of each other throughout the novel, and throws in a spy subplot to (it seems) draw the entire story out another two hundred pages. I would have been happy without the spy subplot, just reading the story of Andrew, Phyllida, Harry, Matthew, and the rest of the Brotherhood.

I stayed up all night to read the last two hundred pages, because I was engrossed with the characters' stories. However, I don't think I'll be borrowing this from the library again, nor will I be purchasing it any time soon.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1812 London, as a future earl Andrew Carrington knows he must begat the heir and the spare thus he must find an appropriate wife who will not be upset with his dalliances as his sexual preference is males. He thinks he found the perfect spousal breeder in impoverished romance author Phyllida Lewis, who he admires and believes he might love. Andrew deems life is good when on top of meeting and marrying the understanding Phyllida, he makes the acquaintance of baronet heir Matthew Thornby.--------------- Andrew¿s perfect world splinters when a blackmailer tries to extort money from him. Worse someone molests his charming Phyllida, but forces her silence with the threat of exposing her husband. Though she hides the truth, Andrew learns what happened to her. Feeling like a loser, Andrew wonders what he can do to protect his beloved wife and his cherished lover from harm.---------------- This fabulous erotic Regency romance stars three likable fully developed individuals with diverse personalities who bring a different look at the usual locales and suspects that frequent sub-genre novels. The story line is fast-paced as the audience knows from the title that Andrew is atypical of the normal historical romantic novel hero. His relationships with Phyllida and Matthew are beautifully portrayed and his feelings of inadequacy are caused because he cherishes and loves both of them. Humorous and satirical as Ann Herendeen skewers the ethics of the Ton (and by implication modern day American hypocritical claims of morality) PHYLLIDA AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF PHILANDER is a superbly written ¿bisexual regency romance¿.------------------- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1812 London, as a future earl Andrew Carrington knows he must begat the heir and the spare thus he must find an appropriate wife who will not be upset with his dalliances as his sexual preference is males. He thinks he found the perfect spousal breeder in impoverished romance author Phyllida Lewis, who he admires and believes he might love. Andrew deems life is good when on top of meeting and marrying the understanding Phyllida, he makes the acquaintance of baronet heir Matthew Thornby. --- Andrew¿s perfect world splinters when a blackmailer tries to extort money from him. Worse someone molests his charming Phyllida, but forces her silence with the threat to expose her husband. Though she hides the truth, Andrew learns what happened to her. Feeling like a loser, Andrew wonders what he can do to protect his beloved wife and his cherished lover from harm. --- This fabulous erotic Regency romance stars three likable fully developed individuals with diverse personalities who bring a different look at the usual locales and suspects that frequent sub-genre novels. The story line is fast-paced as the audience knows from the title that Andrew is atypical of the normal historical romantic novel hero. His relationships with Phyllida and Matthew are beautifully portrayed and his feelings of inadequacy are caused because he cherishes and loves both of them. Humorous and satirical as Ann Herendeen skewers the ethics of the Ton (and by implication modern day American hypocritical claims of morality) PHYLLIDA AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF PHILANDER is a superbly written bisexual regency romance. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander is a 'bisexual regency romance.' I had not read a romance novel in a while I've read all types, from Danielle Steel and Belva Plain to the Harlequin romance novels. When I got the book, I was taken aback -- this was not the size of a trade paperback. I started reading it, and was happy to find that it is well-written. This book is not 'well-written for a romance novel ' it's 'well-written.' Period. In fact, I received it on a weekend and read half on Saturday, and stayed up Sunday night finishing it. It captivated me until Monday morning at 1 am, and it was worth going to work tired that day. While one of the characters had 'piercing blue-gray eyes,' nobody had a 'heaving bosom' or a 'throbbing tool' or any of the other standard romance novel cheesy descriptions. The plot was actually worthwhile -- this is not a romance novel where the reader dog-ears the sex scenes for later reading. This is a novel where an adult audience can find a fun bisexual romance dealt with in a 19th century way. The characters are three-dimensional, which is more than I expect from a romance novel. The references to another contemporary (1812) author was amusing. Overall, a great read. To find out more about the book, the author's note sums up the character of the book well. The book is a must read for any romantics out there, anyone who likes romance novels, and anyone who enjoys reading a well-written book. 5 stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a winner! Reminiscent of the best of the period-piece Merchant Ivory film scripts, it is written with style and wit, peeking behind the closed doors of the gay life of 1812 London and exploding in an engaging and lively plot peopled with vivid characters from all walks of life. There¿s a painter, a cryptographer, a writer, a scullery maid, a spy, a scoundrel, lords and ladies. Moods range from tough to tender, hysterical to noble, hilarious to solemn. Filled with sophisticated humor, zesty sex, believable dialogue, and passion, this literary romance is a refreshing romp through uncharted but timely bi-sexual territory. Author Herendeen is one worldly writer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Andrew Carrington is the ideal Regency gentleman: heir to an earldom, wealthy, handsome, athletic¿and gay. When he decides to do his duty to his family, he wants marriage on his terms: an honest arrangement, with no disruption to his way of life. But in the penniless, spirited¿and curvaceous¿Phyllida Lewis, a self-educated author of romances, Andrew gets more than he bargained for, perhaps even love. And when he meets honorable, shrewd¿and hunky¿Matthew Thornby, son of a self-made baronet, Andrew seems to have everything a man could desire, until a spy and blackmailer tries to ruin him and his friends. The fragile understanding developing between Andrew and his bride is shattered when Phyllida is attacked, and her assailant threatens to denounce her husband if she tells. She must deceive Andrew to protect him. But Andrew discovers the truth and, devastated by his first experience of failure, seems in danger of losing his wife, his lover, his very manhood itself. Only with Matthew¿s help can Andrew and Phyllida acknowledge their feelings and find their way to lasting love. ¿Phyllida¿ introduces an intrepid heroine and an engaging and sympathetic group of characters, members of an exclusive establishment for gentlemen who prefer the company of their own sex. A diverse assortment of personalities, the Brotherhood of Philander is bound together by sexual preference in a world where the law brands gay men as outlaws and leaves them vulnerable to extortion. Moving from familiar scenes of society balls, theater parties and midnight suppers, to the witty conversations, games of chance and intimate pleasures at London¿s most aristocratic ¿madge club,¿ ¿Phyllida¿ takes the reader into a little-known side of Regency life. In this unusual romantic comedy, a bisexual man makes the best husband¿for both his wife and his lover.