Challenge Week Review: Kindred Hearts by Rowan Speedwell

Reviewed by Susan65

Kindred HeartsTitle: Kindred Hearts
Author: Rowan Speedwell
Heroes: Tristan Northwood and Charles Mountjoy
Genre: M/M Historical
Length: 350 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 2, 2011
Available at: Dreampinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes

Blurb: 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.


Straight up I must be honest and make clear that I was challenged to read this book, and I’m glad that I did. However, my least favorite genre is historical romance and even though I gave it every opportunity I can still safely declare that I am not a fan of historical romance novels. I feel like an oddball for not loving this since it garnered so many five star reviews. I was very hopeful with that blurb that I would finally break through, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

The main problem for me was the vernacular. What does lachrymose, verisimilitude, and durance vile for the nonce, mean anyway? I am college educated but I still spent a great deal of time looking up words I didn’t know. Uncommonly used words tend to disrupt the flow and it pulled me right out of the story; the fact that this was British, as opposed to American English, only compounded my problem. I always struggle with other dialects and usually avoid something I know I will not enjoy. I readily admit that it’s all on me though because the writing fit the time frame perfectly and the locale descriptions were spot on. So like I said, most people loved it, ignore me and definitely give it a shot.

The other issue I had was the history lesson. I really disliked history class while in school and for sure don’t want to deal with it to excess in my recreational reading. I now know more about the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon than I ever wanted to know and I hate to admit that I skimmed quite a bit to get past those scenes.

The story itself was kind of unbelievable to me. Ms. Northwood was just too blasé. I find it hard to believe that a woman, even in the 1800’s, would be so happy with her brother and husband having an affair. Maybe it was normal back then, but it didn’t work for me. And every time Tristan called her “love” or “my love” with Charlie right there it just didn’t sit well either. There was no jealousy of any kind on anyone’s part and that just seemed unnatural. The only time Charles was jealous was over someone inconsequential, and while he was incapacitated.

I know it seems like I have more dislikes than likes, and I do not intend for anyone to take my review as a slight against the author, the book, or the genre…it’s just not my preferred reading trope and had I not been challenged I would have never even picked it up. I am merely explaining what does and does not entertain me.

So with that said, I will add a star just because I did read it quickly and I did care about Tristan and his dad, Tristan and Charlie, and how Tristan would overcome his addictions, lack of self-esteem and learn to love himself. I was surprised with the suicide attempts and the desperation that Tristan felt (I love angst) and I really got into the reconciliation between Tristan and his dad. So yeah, that’s my take and since the reviews are mainly really high I absolutely recommend this to others who enjoy British historical romances.

Overall Impression: I liked it

*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, Challenge Book Week, LGBT, Published in 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Challenge Week Review: Kindred Hearts by Rowan Speedwell

  1. justjenbo

    Fabulous review!

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