Reviewed by Heather C
Title: The Carousel
Author: Eva Vicci
The Heroes: Jonathan Moore & Francis Johnson
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
Length: 74 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 8, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: Eighteen–year-old Jonathan Moore works as a garden hand on a lord’s estate in Victorian England. On a festive servants’ day off, he visits the Christmas fair, hoping to fulfill his childhood dream of riding the carousel. The trip turns out unexpectedly when he catches the eye of impudent footman Francis Johnson. Despite Jonathan’s reservations, the flirtatious Francis doesn’t give up, and after some hesitation, they share a ride on the glittering carousel. Before they say good-bye, Francis asks to meet again, and with a quickening heartbeat, Jonathan agrees.
Rarely having a day off from their duties, their yearning for one another cannot be quenched, while Jonathan’s fear of heartbreak makes him uncertain whether Francis is the right man for him. Meanwhile, Francis does everything in his power to make a next date happen. Will Jonathan’s naïve heart give in to the temptation of the seductive footman?
Jonathan’s childhood dream has always been to ride the carousel at the local fair. Now he is 18 and has saved up enough money with his gardening job to enjoy a few rounds on the dazzling ride…against Mrs. Watkins’ mad ravings about the carousel being the devil’s work. At the fair he meet’s Francis, an arrogant footman for a nearby lord. Francis is flirty and forward and Jonathan doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Then after the young men spend some time together riding the carousel, they agree to another date in a month’s time. But Jonathan is hesitant and doesn’t trust that Francis truly has any interest in him. Plus, an affair between two men can be dangerous. Will Jonathan risk it all and see if he and Francis may have a future together?
This was a sweet, enjoyable little read for me. I had just finished a long and complex book and was in the mood for something quick and simple. I really liked innocent Jonathan; he was an over-thinker and a worrier and reminded me a lot of myself. I honestly didn’t like Francis in the beginning; he was a bit of an asshole, but once I realized it was his armor, then I was able to warm up to him a bit.
I think this story would have been more solid if it would have been expanded to a longer novella, or even a short novel. I feel like I didn’t get to see enough of the two characters together to feel for myself that spark they obviously felt for each other. If the time that Jonathan and Francis spent on the carousel would have been on page in the story…I think their connection would have been more believable. Instead, it felt a bit too much like insta-love for the characters to risk so much for each other without really knowing each other at all.
In the end, its a sweet and hopeful story that will make a good “in-between” read.
Overall Impression: I Liked It
*I received a free copy of this book from the author or publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*