Title: Merrywood Hall : a novel
Author: James Ryder
Release Date: December 22, 2015
Genre(s): MM Romance/Historical/War
Page Count: 137
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
It was the year 1913.
Jack Curtis, rugged and brooding, fell for kind-hearted Tom Archer the first night he saw him. But as servants at Merrywood Hall pursuing their love wasn’t easy because the Honourable Edward Merrywood, heir to the vast estate, was a bitter and arrogant man and he was determined to keep Jack and Tom apart.
I have to confess that at the end I was surprised myself how much I actually enjoyed this novel, because it hadn’t started very promising, but the author managed to draw my utmost attention as the story went on.
The decision to bound all 4 very short sequel to one novel was the right one, though I prefer the original cover that suited better to a MM Romance book. Considering the amount of detailed sex scenes on the pages, maybe it was not totally wrong.
Merrywood Hall falls in the category „historical romance“, but I would be careful in using this terminology: there is historical gay fiction and there is a MM romance, that takes place in a certain historical setting, where the main focus is set on a LOVE STORY. This book is a clear representative of the last genre.
If you look for the realistic and accurate description of historical facts – I mean in the first place angst, guilt, shame, insecurity and danger that gay men, regardless their social status, had to confront with at that period of time, then probably this book will leave you unsatisfied. Because, in spite of the fact, that Jack and Tom needed to overcome many obstacles and difficulties before they would get their HEA, they gained understanding for their feelings and support from many people they met. It wasn’t homophobia, discrimination and hatred of the society they fought, it wasn’t even the WAR, that was one of the serious tests for their love, it were not circumstances of time and place, but pure evil in the form of a single person, Edward Merrywood, spoiled and arrogant heir of Merrywood estate, who did everything in his power to bring them apart.
He failed of course. (Did I give too much away?!) But let me remind you again, we are talking about a MM Romance book, and a different ending would be out of place here.
I have also to admit, that I don’t belong to t a regular reader of a mainstream MM Romance, and I can’t explain why one book works fine for me while many other do not. Maybe it is a matter of timing or a matter of a proper mood. Maybe it is a simple harmony of a way of telling and the story itself, that just suit me well.
A lovely entertaining tale that takes place in the time before and during the WW 1.