Ten Days in August (Natalie’s Review)

Ten Days in August cover
Title: Ten Days in August
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Genre(s): M/M Historical
Page Count: 256
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5

From the Lower East Side to uptown Manhattan, a curious detective searches for clues on the sidewalks of New York—and finds a secret world of forbidden love that’s too hot to handle…

New York City, 1896. As the temperatures rise, so does the crime rate. At the peak of this sizzling heat wave, police inspector Hank Brandt is called to investigate the scandalous murder of a male prostitute. His colleagues think he should drop the case, but Hank’s interest is piqued, especially when he meets the intriguing key witness: a beautiful female impersonator named Nicholas Sharp.

As a nightclub performer living on the fringes of society, Nicky is reluctant to place his trust in a cop—even one as handsome as Hank. With Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on vice in the city, Nicky’s afraid that getting involved could end his career. But when he realizes his life is in danger—and Hank is his strongest ally—the two men hit the streets together to solve the crime. From the tawdry tenements of the Lower East Side to the moneyed mansions of Fifth Avenue, Nicky and Hank are determined to uncover the truth. But when things start heating up between them, it’s not just their lives on the line. It’s their love…

This was my first time reading Kate McMurray’s work. I came across the blurb for Ten Days in August on NetGalley and decided to request an ARC. *squeals* It sounded divine! I don’t read too many historicals, but I was ready to go full throttle with this story.

*in my Sophia Petrillo voice* Picture it, New York City, 1896.

Temperatures have hit the 100-degree mark. People are dying from heat stroke since there’s no refuge from the unbearable heat. If you’re poor and living in a tenement, it’s even worse. Clean water is scarce; crime is high.

Hank Brandt is a police officer, well he’s an acting inspector for the NYC Police Department (promotion pending). He’s out investigating the murder of a working boy (read prostitute) at one of the “fairy clubs.” Hank crosses paths with the witness who found the body, Nicholas Sharp. Nicholas works at Club Bulgaria as female impersonator singer/dancer Paulina Clodhopper. Hank finds Nicholas fetching and the same can be said for Nicholas regarding his attraction to Hank. There’s an instant attraction, but both men know that nothing will ever become of their attraction since the type of relationship they seek es escándalo! Homosexuality in 1896 NYC, big ole no-no. Cross-dressing in public, a MAJOR no-no.

This is where our story begins.

Okay, my critique? It took me about ten pages to figure out this story was going to be an interesting read. Not interesting as in bad. Interesting as in offbeat. Think of watching an old black and white movie on AMC and the jargon of the characters. I wasn’t accustomed to that. It took reading a historical to an entirely different level for me. The writing wasn’t bad, on the contrary, it was actually splendid. It just felt laborious for me at times to move further along in the story. It was a struggle up until the 60% mark, and that’s a lot of book. Also, the relationship between Hank and Nicholas would hold my interest, and then I’d lose interest. Lots of ups and downs that I found frustrating. The latter part of the book and the secondary characters added a lot to the storyline. I wonder if Andrew and Charlie will get their own book. I’d read it since I now know what to expect with Ms. McMurray’s writing style.

My rating for this story falls in between 3 stars and 3.5 stars. It was a fantastic concept, the execution was great, I just think the style in which the book was written will take some getting used to for newer readers who aren’t accustomed to being immersed in a story that rings true to the period.

Overall, this was an entertaining read.

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Galley copy of provided by Kensington Publishing in exchange of an honest review.

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