Author: Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 170 Pages
At a Glance: Beautiful cover, wonderful characters, fun read – The Bohemian and the Banker was a treat!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: A night lost in Paris finds two hearts changed—forever.
Sent to Paris on business, Nigel Warren doesn’t quite understand why his colleagues’ eyes twinkle as they tell him to meet them at a local night spot.
When he discovers it’s a drag cabaret and his acquaintances aren’t there, he realizes he’s the butt of a joke. Yet he finds himself quite undone by a singer dressed in an elegant gown, crooning a spellbinding ballad.
It’s not unusual for Jay, a former Londoner, to bring a new “friend” home from the cabaret, but he’s never had a guest quite like Nigel, whose straitlaced manner hides an unexpected passionate streak.
One romantic night on a rooftop under starry skies, followed by an afternoon enjoying the excitement of the 1901 Paris Exposition, bonds these opposites in a way neither can forget—even after they part.
Their spark reignites when Jay comes to London, but he’s not sure he can go back to hiding his true self, not even for the sake of love…unless Nigel is willing to shed his cloak of staid respectability and take a leap of faith.
Review: This was my first Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something so cool about getting lost in another time and place for a little while. Reading historical fiction is a fabulous way to do that; and, what better place to get lost than The City of Light? The Bohemian and the Banker takes us to early 1900s Paris, where Englishman Nigel Warren, in town on bank business, meets sultry nightclub singer Jean Michel. Nigel’s bank colleagues are attempting to play a prank on him by sending him to a drag cabaret, but, instead, they do him a huge service.
Jean Michel is the drag persona of Jay, who is tickled to meet a fellow countryman when he runs into Nigel outside of the club after a show. Jay takes Nigel back to his flat and introduces him to his art-crowd friends. At first Nigel is shocked by their Bohemian lifestyle, and can’t imagine ever being comfortable living like that himself. The more time he spends with Jay, though, the larger the attraction grows. He realizes how relaxed he feels with him, and desperately tries to imagine a way they could work together. Nigel appreciates all aspects of Jay, and Jay loves that he doesn’t have to hide Jean Michel away from him.
However, Nigel is certainly more than a bit naïve about what he expects from Jay when the singer makes an extended trip to London to be with him. Jay has definitely awakened a passion in Nigel that the banker now can’t live without, but the lovely, free-spirit Jay will not be reduced to what basically amounts to the equivalent of being Nigel’s housewife. I loved seeing Nigel absolutely come alive when he was with Jay, and the sacrifices that Jay was willing to make to be with Nigel made me fall in love with him even more. The authors did a wonderful job at building the romance. I was definitely invested in both characters, and in the relationship, so, when the big conflict of the story came, it broke my heart a little. The emotions on both sides were very well written and realistic.
I also had no trouble falling right into the vibe of the time. The descriptions of both cities, and all the trappings of the time period were so well done; the section where they explore the 1901 Paris Exposition was fantastic. The characteristics/personalities of both characters also fit the period, and both were charming and likeable. The transitions between the character chapters wasn’t as seamless as I would have liked at times – it was a little tough to get used to the back and forth between the POVs – but that could have simply been a product of me not being used to the feel of a co-authored book. It was clear enough whose voice it was at the beginning of each chapter, but I did find myself having to sort of backtrack and remind myself who was speaking a few times. It wasn’t a major distraction, though.
Overall, absolutely a charming historical romance. Beautiful cover, wonderful characters, fun read – The Bohemian and the Banker was a treat! :)
You can buy The Bohemian and the Banker here: