Title: Convincing Leopold (London Legal #1)
Author: Ava March
Cover artist: April Martinez
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Historical (Regency)
Length: Novella (106 pages)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
One Sentence Review: This story shows us once again that lack of communication is the source of many relationship problems.
Mr. Leopold Thornton finally has the man he’s loved for a decade, yet he can’t believe his good fortune. A reformed rake and a conservative solicitor? Can it possibly last? To add to Leopold’s worries, Arthur’s spending more time at the office…with a handsome new secretary. Desperate not to lose Arthur, Leopold does the only thing he can think of — use pleasure to keep him.
Mr. Arthur Barrington truly wants their relationship to work. Sinfully beautiful and devoted to him, Leopold’s the opposite of Arthur’s staid ex-lover. And Leopold’s given up his old vices, putting those concerns to rest. Yet lately, all Leopold wants is sex — in the study, in the carriage, and at Arthur’s office, no less. The sex is amazing, but juggling demanding clients and a demanding lover leaves Arthur exhausted and worried perhaps he and Leopold aren’t suited after all.
It takes one disastrous night for Arthur to realize how much Leopold means to him. But convincing Leopold he loves him, all of him and not just his body, proves difficult. For Leopold’s disappeared and Arthur hasn’t a clue where to find him.
Convincing Leopold is the second book and a decent follow-on in the talented Ava March’s Convincing series (the first book, Convincing Arthur, is reviewed here), and while I really liked Convincing Arthur, I had some mixed feelings about this second story. That said, I did like it overall and would not recommend that you read this story if you have not digested the first one as you really need the history, happenings and emotions Convincing Arthur gives us to fully enjoy this one.
Set three months after the end of the last installment, the story begins with Arthur’s internal thoughts hoping Leopold (Thorn) wouldn’t have smexxin on his mind because he was exhausted. Long hours at the office mean that he is often tired, and all Thorn seems to want to do is get it on. It doesn’t matter that once they get going Arthur is very into it, but couldn’t they just talk for once? Thorn, for his part, has done everything Arthur has asked — no more drinking, gambling or sleeping around — and is upset that Arthur has broken his promise that he would place Thorn and their relationship in front of work. Feeling very insecure about where he and Arthur are headed, as well as suspicious of Arthur’s new secretary, he falls back onto what he knows — aggressive smexxin hoping to keep Arthur interested — not realizing it is having the opposite effect than what he intended.
March once again gives us a well-written novella laced with hot smexxin and two flawed characters — opposites in almost every way — and once again Thorn is my favorite of the two. His unexpected vulnerability draws me in and makes me want to give him a big hug (if not a slap as well at times). Arthur, on the other hand, I’m not so wild about; I think he takes Thorn for granted, and while he thankfully realizes his mistakes along the way, I guess I am just not sure what Thorn wants with Arthur given his behavior and attitude toward him.
Not quite a reaching a BM plot-device, March stops just short and gives us a quite realistic view, in my opinion, of some issues that challenge relationships, especially lack of communication. Each man is worried about what the other sees in him, each has problems and concerns they are holding back from the other, and they let these issues build up until it is almost too late. I liked that they worked their way though, but it took the majority of the book for that to happen and I felt there was a touch too much angst for my tastes along the way. Others may not feel the same.
If you liked the first book and/or like regency m/m stories, and/or are a fan of this talented author, I recommend Convincing Leopold.