Title: Kindred Hearts
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Charming rascal Tristan Northwood seems to have it all: an ancient name, a noble inheritance, a lovely wife, and a son he adores. Women love him, men admire him, and it seems there is nothing he can’t do, whether it’s seducing a society wife or winning a carriage race. Little does Society suspect that the name means nothing to him, the fortune is in his father’s controlling hands, and he has no interest in his wife except a very distant friendship. Society bores him, and he takes dares because he only feels alive when he’s dancing on the edge… until his wife’s brother comes home from the wars.
Decorated war hero Major Charles Mountjoy jerks Tris out of his despair by inspiring feelings of passion Tris had never suspected himself capable of. Almost as terrifying as those feelings for Charles are the signs Charles might return his affection—or, even worse, that Charles sees the man Tristan has been trying so valiantly to hide from the world.
Rowan has delivered another amazing story to her readers everywhere. This time she tackles a romance between two men who lived back when that little Napoleon dude ran rampart and the Battle of Waterloo happened. The two men, Tristan and Charles, were what I like to call soul-bonded. Back in the era this story takes place falling in love with and having sex with the same sex is a crime punishable by death, yet these two men find a way to make it work, find a way to find happiness, even thru a marriage, a war, and other such things such as addictions, physical impairments, and possible exposure.
We meet one of the main characters when he’s but eight years old, Tristan Northwood, at the time of his mothers and sisters death, he is left alone in the world along with his father, and sadly the two just can’t seem to see eye to eye. His father had no idea what being a father entailed, he trusted that his lovely wife would be around to raise the kids, however, fate plays a bad hand with this family. Tristan is put in the finest schools, given any and everything he could have wanted, but he wasn’t ever happy. He can’t, no matter what he does make his father happy or proud of him, so he doesn’t try. Instead he does what he wants when the urge strikes him.
He’s a ladies man in every true sense of the word, he’s a drinker, an adventurer, a dare devil and he’s anything but happy.
Upon his father’s demands, he gets married to Lady Charlotte, a woman who I greatly admire. She spends no time on frivolities, there’s no false pretense with her, she is a in your face, plain as day, truth on the platter woman and I found that I really liked her. Generally the ladies of that era, when written in stories, drove me nuts almost causing me to have several DNF titles lying about. I’m not a big historical fiction fan; I burnt out on it years ago, so to read her character I was totally in awe. She set a new standard for me and I hope to see more of these types of heroines.
She and Tristan marry, they have a child and that’s just that. She expects nothing in return but to be treated good. Sex isn’t a big thing with her, love seems to elude her, she is who she is and I adore her. She’s not shy by any means and will say it how it is. Giving into hysterics? Not this strong woman.
She births Tristan’s son, Jamie who is named his father’s heir. The whole purpose of his marriage to her was to produce an heir for his father because Tristan had proven to be a failure in his dad’s eyes. A marriage of convenience. And one that was slowly killing Tristan, that is until he met Charlotte’s brother Charles.
These two men together are an amazing team. Charles brings Tristan from a state of total despair and shows him worth, shows him he’s so much more than a drunken aristocrat, and Tristan shows Charles it is possible to find love, true happiness and trust. Now, I can see that you’re like: but wait, he’s married, has children.
Read this enticing story to find out how all that blends in. Rowan gives a show of her intense research on the historical side of this novel. The detail is awesome, the story line powerful, the characters awe-inspiring. And again, though I am no longer into reading historical romance novels, I’m glad I didn’t allow that to stop me from digging into this story. It was well worth every word read.
Reviewed By: Michele