The Masterpiece (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: The Masterpiece
Author: Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 243 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


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.

Well, isn’t this just simply loverly? Masterpiece is a M/M take on “My Fair Lady” set in 1909 London with dark, handsome and industrious shoeshine Joe Sprat in the Eliza role. He’s worked hard all his life and when he has the chance to make 20 quid (“well over a year’s wages, enough to rent a storefront and stock it with shoes”) he seizes the opportunity to fulfill his dream of opening a shoe shop.

His unlikely savior is Arthur Lawton, a gentlemen of means who wiles away his days. “If only it wasn’t becoming increasingly difficult to awake refreshed and ready to begin another round of keeping boredom at bay.” So when Lord Frederick (Freddie) Granville makes the bet, Arthur is ready for a new challenge.

This is really a wonderful story, with Freddie’s bet taking second place to the romance between Joe and Arthur. Arthur expands Joe’s world view and education through interesting discussions, museum visits and unlike Professor Higgin’s misogynistic overbearing teaching, there is respect between the two men which quickly bursts into a sizzling sexual attraction. And I love how Joe challenges Arthur to explore his own dreams of travel and exploration. There is a time jump between the final chapter and the epilogue and the story is beautifully tied up. 4.5 stars for this enjoyable read!

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Masterpiece provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

A romantic M/M take on "My Fair Lady." Loved it!

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Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader