Lee Rowan has written 6 M/M romance novels for Linden Bay, both historical and contemporary. Her most recent, Ransom, is a 2007 Eppie winner (for Outstanding Achievement in E-Publishing.) Lee lives in Ontario, Canada. Please visit her at www.lee-rowan.net.
Tangled Web: An M/M Romanceby Lee Rowan
Brendan Townsend is a young man who is very loyal to his friends. So when Tonyhis best friend, occasional lover, and a complete screw-upcomes to him in trouble, Brendan is determined to help. Tony is being blackmailed by the owner of a “molly house”, the private club that Tonyand other like-minded/i>
Brendan Townsend is a young man who is very loyal to his friends. So when Tonyhis best friend, occasional lover, and a complete screw-upcomes to him in trouble, Brendan is determined to help. Tony is being blackmailed by the owner of a “molly house”, the private club that Tonyand other like-minded gentlemenfrequent in order to indulge their entertainment needs.
Brendan is disappointed in his friend, but goes to seek the help of his older brother's military commander. Philip Carlisle is a gentleman to Society, and also a man Brendan's brother trusted completely and told his younger brother to seek out if he ever was in trouble. Philip is a 40-year-old widower, and finds himself charmed, for the first time, by an attractive young man. Brendan is likewise besotted with hero-worship, especially when Philip turns the tables on the blackmailer and saves the day for many of Society's closeted sons.
What follows is a tale of desire, regrets, cross-country pursuit, hidden identities, lovers torn asunder then reunited, clever cover stories, and the requisite pistols at dawn.
- Running Press Book Publishers
- Publication date:
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
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After reading a bunch of classics for classes at university and having them beaten into me, I enjoy reading something light and fun every once in awhile. Tangled Web is one of those books that I read to relieve my mind of the torture of reading classics. It's candy for my brain. Gay romance novels are my favorite guilty pleasure, and this novel fulfilled all my fantasies about male/male relationships and desire in this time period. The sex scenes in it were intimate and beautiful, and they never became trite or trashy. Also, this book accurately portrays the moral and social issues that homosexuals dealt with in the early 19th century. Brenden, the protagonist, struggles with keeping his sexual preferences a secret iun order to maintain his reputation, which seems to be most important to him, and living up to his aristocratic parents' expectations of him. His confusion indicates his coming of age, which makes the novel relatable. The book also accurately portrays the hypocrisy associated with closeted homosexuality and homophobia. Brenden criticizes his former friend and lover Tony for being unashamed of his sexual preferences while Brenden wishes he could be open about his love for Philip. Also, Brenden's godfather speaks out loudly against gay people, but frequents the molly house, or brothel for gay men. Not only is Brenden confused about reconciling his sexuality with his moral code and social position, but he is confused about what career path he should take, which makes him even more relatable. Brenden and and Philip are well-developed characters, but Tony is two-dimensional, and I wanted more detail about his thoughts and feelings. I consider this one of the flaws in the story. Another major flaw within the story is that the contraband and blackmail action aspect plot is insufficiently developed and explained. It has no bearing on the romance part of the plot or the buildings roman portion, and so it is overshadowed. Furthermore, the contraband and the blackmail conflict is never fully resolved and what resolution there is is anticlimactic. Also, though I was engaged in the novel completely by the first sentence, the middle became weighed down by details of Brenden's confused thoughts and inner turmoil. Nevertheless, this is an immensely enjoyable read.