Built from the bottom up: one perfect gentleman.
Man about town Arthur Lawton spends his days pursuing entertainment while shoeshine Joe Sprat labors to better his family’s lives. When an argument about nature versus nurture sparks a wager, Arthur swears to a friend he can turn this working man into a gentleman who will pass at a society function.
Joe is happy to participate in the experiment for a fee but receives more than he bargained for after moving into Lawton’s house. Arthur is determined Joe won’t merely wear a veneer of sophistication but educates him in every way. As he creates his new and improved man, Arthur grows more deeply infatuated with him, while Joe falls equally hard for his charismatic mentor.
Underneath a growing friendship, desire simmers and one day explodes. After their relationship escalates, the pair exists in a dream bubble until the threat of exposure sharply reminds them they belong in different worlds. When the ball is over, each must resume his own life, changed by their encounter but destined for different courses.
Find out if love is strong enough to bridge the gap between peer and pauper in this twist on the tale of My Fair Lady.
It all starts with a bet. Arthur Lawton, well known member of 1909 London’s high social circles, will undertake the project of turning shoeshine Joe Sprat into a fine gentleman himself. This is a modern take on My Fair Lady and I loved it!
Working on the fringes of the formal economy and in the dirty streets of London, sometimes comes with an honesty not a lot of rich people possess. But Joe has dreams and ambitions of his own. And helping Arthur win that bet, will get him the money to start his own business. And that’s how Joe Sprat, becomes Mr. Joseph Newman.
I really liked Joe but Arthur was the star for me. A very interesting character, nothing like his uptight, snobbish, upper class friends. I fell in love with Arthur’s mind, his sense of universality, his thirst to explore, the way he questioned societal norms despite being a part of high society. The respectful way he treated those who were less fortunate than him.
I loved the scenes of Joe’s “training” that gave the MCs the time to bond, and allowed for the romance to develop steadily but fiercly, but also the playful/adventurous scenes like the one in the museum. This really was a very romantic tale.
“…love was the truth all humans shared, the reason for existence. When stripped down to basics, all else could be done without except love.[…]
He would seek out the one person who gave real meaning to the word.”
I find the ending to be swoon worthy. I always think that the time jumps can do wonders when used right, and that was the case here.
I’m really liking Bonnie Dee’s latest work, Contemporary and Historical.