Book Reviews

Just a Little Mischief (The Brotherhood 9) by Merry Farmer

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 18-June-2021

Book Blurb

Valet Xavier Lawrence hasn’t seen much of the world. So when his employer, the Duke of Selby, takes him along on a transatlantic voyage in pursuit of his missing son and heir, Xavier is thrilled with the opportunity. But the excitement over his first taste of salt air and the sea is nothing to the thrill of an opportunity for a secret affair.

Dancer Alexander Plushenko is on his way to New York to see his family, no idea whether they will accept him or not after a slip in St. James’s Park ended with him spending time in jail for Gross Indecency. The last thing he needs with all of that hanging over him is to meet the dashing and fresh-faced Xavier as soon as the ship leaves port.

Falling in love is easy, but conducting a steamy affair on a crowded ship with few places to hide is another thing entirely. And when more than just Xavier and Zander’s reputations end up at stake, and with a limited time together before the voyage ends, can the two men prevent a disaster and find a reason to stay together?


Book Review

“Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt.” ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar


Xavier Lawrence, of ‘Just a Little Mischief’ by Merry Farmer, once had an interrupted encounter with a beautiful man in the park. It terrified him because he barely escaped arrest. But, unfortunately, his companion wasn’t. As the cops hauled him off, it filled Xavier with guilt, but there was nothing he could have done to help him. So imagine Xavier’s surprise and delight when the same man turns up on the cruise ship he is traveling on.


Alexander Plushenko, Zander, son of Russian immigrants, left home to pursue a career as a dancer in England, a profession his family thought was useless. Because of a series of unfortunate circumstances, Zander is on his way back home in disgrace. He lost his job with the ballet and authorities in England deported Zander. Zander walks around on the ship, taking him home to New York, feeling glum when he sees someone who makes his world a lot brighter. Zander spots someone he never expected to see again; Xavier. Xavier can hardly believe that he and Zander have ended up on the same ship. Xavier had hoped for another encounter with the beautiful man who, with one meeting, had entranced him. Now he has the chance to get to know him better and, perhaps, pick up from where they left off.


At the insistence of his employer, Lord Selby, Xavier is traveling first class. It’s a novel experience for Xavier. He is not sure he is comfortable with all of this luxury, but Lord Selby insists he deserves it. Zander is in second class, but as Xander’s guest, he can accompany him. It certainly comes in handy, offering them the privacy they desperately need to advance their relationship. Unfortunately, they are making love when the captain and some of his men burst in. They are there to accuse Xavier and Zander of stealing jewels belonging to another passenger whom they befriended. Fortunately for Xavier, Lord Selby saves Xavier from punishment, but Zander is not so lucky. They march him to the brigg, where the captain will hold Zander until they reach New York, to be turned over to authorities, and charged with sodomy.


Xavier and Zander are complete opposites but complement each other dramatically. It may have been an instant connection, but it is profound. I am relieved that they found each other again. I think it is time for Lord Selby to finally get his son back!





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 249 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-May-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
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