The Bitter Rednesses of Love - Dominique Frost 3 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Anthony loves his life just the way it is, drinking, whoring and his inventions, but the time has come for him to finally marry his betrothed, a man who is rich, handsome and a prude. Stephen has known all his life who he is to marry and can only hope that his husband will give up his whoring ways but knows there is little chance. When Anthony finally realises just who he truly wants will he be able to crack the shell his husband has erected around his heart to prevent further hurt.

This is a great little novella of a regency timeline that incorporates just a touch of steampunk and gay marriage. Anthony is in his thirties and has enjoyed his life of freedom to the fullest, marriage isn’t something he wants but his betrothed is of age and the time has come to settle down, although he has plans that don’t quite involve giving up all his vices. Stephen is twenty-one and has saved himself for his husband, he is resigned to the fact that he will not be able to change his husband, but after a great start to his marriage hope begins to grow until it is shattered by one careless act.

I found this story to be quite sweet with the way that Anthony suddenly realises that his husband has crawled under his skin and wormed his way into his heart. I liked the way that Stephen was willing to give Anthony a chance until he betrayed his trust and I really liked how Stephen doesn’t back down on his stance or just forgive Anthony. Anthony really gets a shock when Stephen turns his back on him and he begins to realise what a mistake he made, he does try his best to prove he has changed but the damage has already been done and it takes a terrible accident to bring them together again.

The steampunk aspect is very loose, based on steam engines and developing machinery used in battle, it is an occupation that keeps Anthony busy. Anthony isn’t a very likeable man at first but he does grow on you and you like Stephen straight away for his sweet innocence.

I recommend this if you like steampunk tinged regency, an innocent falling in love and being hurt, a rake who falls in love despite his plans and a very happy ending.