Book Reviews

Molly House by A.R. Pip

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Historical / Regency / Royalty/Nobility / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 26-July-2021

Book Blurb

In England, during the Regency period, sodomy is still officially punishable by death, but London is very gay indeed. Wealthy gay men enjoy luxurious private clubs; the middle-class do their best to dodge raids and find love in pubs, private houses, and parks throughout the city; and the poor, as always, do whatever it takes to get by.

Jack Marshall is a small business owner, a London smuggler, and a sometimes drag queen who once seduced and secretly married a young male aristocrat. In the Year Without A Summer, a massive famine sweeps Europe. With his wife dead and his infant son's life hanging in the balance, Jack is forced to return to his wealthy ex-husband to beg for charity.

Wealthy Theodore Hewes expects to spend his life insulated from the day-to-adversities suffered by gay men of lower rank. He only needs to hide his sexual proclivities from his suspicious family until he can inherit the vast estate that he is heir to, and then he can live a life of relative personal freedom. But when Jack Marshall careens back into his life, Theodore's conservative plan is upended, and he finds himself dragged into fatherhood, foolhardy love, and mortal danger.

 

Book Review

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” ~ (The End) John Lennon/Paul McCartney

 

'Molly House' by A.R. Pip is an exceptional historical romance set in Great Britain’s Regency period. The story follows two lovers – Jack Marshall, a commoner, and Theodore Hewes, a nobleman, heir to an earldom – from adulthood to middle age. When Jack and Theodore are young, their differences matter little, but as they get older, things change. As the physical and emotional distance between them grows, it engenders what seem to be irreconcilable differences that take them twenty years to resolve.

 

The two men have little in common except for their love for each other. Their lives are fraught with socio-economic issues caused by their class differences. Each has a firm opinion about what is essential and realistic in life. They see the world through dissimilar eyes. Jack’s vision shows him how hard ordinary people have to struggle just to survive, how the upper class makes laws to hold the average person down, allowing them to imprison or even hang them almost on a whim. Also, it shows him, no matter how rough things get, never give up; there’s always another way. When Jack is lonely and can’t be with Theodore, he finds companionship with his special friends at a club for men like him or with a young wife, as he does after Theodore leaves him. The hardest thing Jack ever has to do is to crawl back to Theodore when his wife dies while bearing his son, William. Jack knows he can’t take care of a child. Even in his time of heart-wrenching grief, Jack finds the words to convince Theodore to take his son.

 

When his uncle discovered Theodore was his successor for his position of earl, he took him away from the warm family with his mother and sisters into a miserable existence where they scrutinized his every move and put him down at every opportunity. Meeting Jack is his saving grace. The love and affection they share makes their lives worth living, at least for a while. From the beginning, Theodore asks Jack to take chances that may have had deadly consequences, but because Jack loves him, the risk is worth it. Jack would have done anything for him. Even after they accuse Jack of theft and throw him off the estate, Theodore still wants to see him. So they make secret plans to get together, regardless of the consequences. Theodore loves to argue with Jack, disputing his opinions and dismissing his grievances about the upper class and their devious ways of controlling and using everyone they consider lower than they are. Theodore loves Jack, but for years, he manipulates him to have his way. It takes Theodore years to see what he has done and to apologize. Fortunately for Theodore, Jack forgives him.

 

I realize Theodore was a product of his environment, but sometimes I did not like him at all! I was never as sure of his love for Jack as I was of Jack’s love for him. It took Theodore years to learn what Jack always knew. ‘Molly House’ was a whirlwind of emotion ranging from happy to sad and about everything in between. The book is written in nonsequential order. Since I don’t do well with that type of formatting, sometimes, I had a rough time following it. I have read a lot of historical romance and thought I had a good understanding of the Regency period. However, the research for this book has increased my knowledge exponentially. Thank you, A.R., for an enlightening, emotional, sad, happy, and most of all hopeful book.

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 485 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-May-2021
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Molly-House-R-Pip-ebook/dp/B094F21BJS